The best hiking boots for Kilimanjaro
You need warm, comfortable, durable and water-resistant hiking boots to successfully and safely climb Kilimanjaro. We discuss what to look for in hiking boots in detail so you can find a pair that's right for you and will serve you well on Kilimanjaro!
Looking for boots that can handle the conditions you’ll experience on Kilimanjaro. Knowing what to look for in a boot to suit your feet.
You’re doing a great thing by thoroughly researching your hiking boots – please read on as you need to find a pair early and wear them in before your trek!
Why you need hiking boots, not shoes
All of the trekking routes up Kilimanjaro take you over rough and varied ground – hiking boots are definitely warranted.
Anatomy of hiking boots
Characteristics of good hiking boots
The upper boot Fit The soles
When you're wearing good hiking boots you forget about your feet and are able to focus on the climb and the scenery, which is how it should be!
The upper boot
Fabric Weight Toe caps Insulation Ankle support
They’re tough, resilient and durable. They can withstand abrasive action much better than synthetic fibres. A good pair of leather hiking boots can last years, even decades (though you may need to replace the soles). They can be made waterproof by waxing them regularly. They’re warm in cold weather. With time they mould to your feet and become very comfortable. They tend to be more expensive than synthetic boots. They take a while to break in. The more waterproof you make them, the less breathable they become. They require more care and maintenance than synthetic boots. They’re heavier than synthetic boots.
They tend to be cheaper than leather boots (we all have a budget). They’re quicker to break in. They also require less maintenance. They’re very breathable, which helps in the prevention of blisters. They’re lightweight. They aren't waterproof. They’re not as tough and durable as leather boots. They’re not as warm as leather boots.
Water-resistant vs water-repellent vs waterproof
‘Water-resistant’ is not the same thing as ‘water-repellent’. And ‘waterproof’ is another thing altogether.
Choosing between leather and synthetic hiking boots for Kilimanjaro
3. Toe caps
5. Ankle support
The very best ankle support
Ideally you should only try on hiking boots after having walked around for a few hours as your feet will have swollen a bit by then.
Wear your socks when choosing your boots
If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes.
The toe box
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Kilimanjaro and crampons
The good news is that crampons aren’t something you need to buy for a Kilimanjaro climb.
Choosing the best bootlaces
The best bootlaces for hiking boots
Break in your hiking boots
We recommend that you and your boots cover at least 100 km together before your Kilimanjaro climb.