Kilimanjaro Footwear - Climb Kilimanjaro Guide
kilimanjaro-footwear

Kilimanjaro Footwear

The Kilimanjaro footwear you take on the mountain is very important.

In this detailed article we outline the key characteristics to look for in a pair of boots, as well as provide recommendations on good but affordable shoes.

Remember your feet are what get you to the top of Kilimanjaro and back so make sure you follow the guidance in this article, or risk having sore feet, blisters and lost toenails.

Quicklinks

Kilimanjaro Footwear – Key Characteristics

There are three key characteristics to look for in a pair of trekking boots. The first two – fit and quality – are decided at point of purchase. The third – use – is entirely dependent on you.

Get any of these three characteristics wrong and you risk getting sore feet, injuring your back, losing toenails and enduring painful blisters.

Let’s deal with each characteristic below:

Fit

The best way to test good fit is to place your foot in a boot and slide it all the way forward until your toes hit the front of the boot (make sure you are wearing an average cushioned sports sock). Then take your index finger and slide it down the back of the boot between your heal and the boot support.

A perfect fitting boot will allow you to squeeze your finger in without too much resistance. If you cannot squeeze your index finger down the back of the boot, then unfortunately the boot is too small. If you find that your index finger fits too easily into the back of the boot, then the boot is likely too big. A snug fit, with your index finger in the back of the boot, is just right.

Note: this is not a science, but a good approximation for good fitting boots.

Quality

Good quality doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact you can get some affordable trekking boots that are great quality. Good quality boots have the following design features:

  • Medium to high tops for study ankle support. The higher the top the heavier the boot
  • The sole of the boot should have a high rubber content and deep lugs for better traction – the deeper the lugs, the heavier the boot
  • Medium to heavy weight – heavy boots are good for durability and cushioning, but the extra weight of the boot can be pretty tiring to hike in. We recommend going for a medium weight boot
  • Waterproof – this is pretty standard today but always good to get boots that use GoreTex material for improved waterproofing
  • Lacing system should incorporate D-Strings and speed hooks for better ankle support and fast lacing

Use

Once you have got yourself a good fitting pair of boots that have similar characteristics to those set out above, then the task is to break your boots in. Do not, under any circumstances, arrive in Kilimanjaro with brand new hiking boots that you have never worn.

The best way to break boots in are to wear them as often as possible before your hiking date. During that time you should undertake 2-3 long distance treks (4-5 hours a day) in your boots.

When the inner soles of the boot start to contour the bottom of your foot then you can be confident that your boots are well worn in.

Recommended Hiking Boots

Best Leather Hiking Boot: Asolo Power Matic

Asolo make some of the best quality trekking shoes on the market. We have included the Power Matics here as they are the best value hiking boot in the top end of the market. These Asolo’s will last you many good years of trekking and provide excellent comfort and durability. Mid-weight. Brilliant waterproof qualities with leather and GoreTex lining.

Price: ~$300 / ~£180 | Weight: 785 grams | Fit: Available in Men and Women. Review the Asolo Power Matic here.

Great Value Boot #1: Asolo Fugitive (Men) or Asolo Stynger (Women)

One step down from the Power Matic is the Fugitive. An all-round great trekking boot, ideal for long distance hiking in summer or winter.

The GoreTex lining provides very good waterproofing and breathability. Lightweight.

Price: ~$170 / ~£100 | Weight: 690 grams | Fit: Available for Men and Women

Great Value Boot #2. Salomon Quest

For great affordability, quality and all-round performance we recommend the Salomon Quest hiking boot. Sold as a day hiking boot, we have seen these babies used on many long distance treks, like Kilimanjaro.

Don’t expect long-term durability but you should get a couple years of good trekking in before they need to be replaced. Key features: Mid-weight with a GoreTex membrane for waterproof breathability.

Price: ~$140 / ~£80 | Weight: 670 grams | Fit: Available in Men and Women

Cheap and Cheerful: Hi-Tec Altitude IV

At its price range, the Hi-Tec Altitude IV is probably the best hiking boot on the market.

You can be assured of great comfort and durability. The outer material is waterproof full-grain leather. Very light-weight boot.

Price: ~$75 / ~£50 | Weight: 650 grams | Fit: Available in Men and Women

Other notable good hiking boot brands include Karrimor (UK Only, go for the Weathertite Mid), Timberland Chocorua and the Berghaus Explorer range.

Other Important Footwear

Trainers or Trekking Sandals

Each evening when you reach your camp, the first thing you are going to want to do is to take off your trekking boots, and not have to put them back on until the next day.

The trouble is you are going to want to walk around the camp and perhaps do some exploring in the surrounding area.

The solution: bring with you basic hiking shoes or trekking sandals that you can slip on in camp, and that can double as a trekking alternative shoe for flat terrain.

Here are some trekking shoes and hiking sandals that we recommend. Good and affordable brands include: Merrel, Columbia, Keen and Karrimor.

Trekking socks

It is important that you bring good quality trekking socks. You should avoid cotton or cotton-blend socks as these absorb and retain moisture, keeping your feet damp and making them susceptible to blistering.

We recommend 5 x Wool trekking socks as these are the best for wicking moisture away from the foot. The best trekking sock manufacturers include Point6, Smartwool and Bridgedale. All three brands manufacture their socks from really soft merino wool which is great for comfort and performance. If you are allergic to wool we would go for an acrylic or acrylic-blend alternative like those from Wigwam.

Key characteristics to look out for include:

  • Flat seams. Bulky seams are prone to increases friction which results in blisters
  • Thick socks as they provide more cushion for the foot
  • Snug, not tight, fit

Thermal socks

On summit night you will need to wear thermal socks.

Ragg Wool is the best material for thermal socks. Some people go with a polypropylene liner to assist with the wicking process.

We recommend 2 x extra thick / heavy thermal socks, the best quality thermal socks are the heavy variations made by SmartWool.

In terms of liner socks we recommend taking 1 x Polypropylene liner socks (see Bridgedale Coolmax Liners).

Note: The extra pair of thermal socks can be used as a thermal cover for your water bottle (see Other accessories to find out how)

Gaiters

Gaiters are made of waterproof material that extend up from your boot to your calve muscle. They are used to keep unwanted materials out of your boots (mud, water, rocks etc.). Although the trails are very good on Kilimanjaro, if you encounter rain it is possible that you shoes will get wet and muddy. Gaiters can help prevent this.

Here are some affordable gaiter models (don’t spend more then $30-$40).

Kilimanjaro Kit List Continued

Kilimanjaro Clothing

Clothing Kilimanjaro Guide - Packing List

Overview on all Kilimanjaro clothing requirements, including layered clothing recommendations and the all important outer layer (i.e. jacket).

See Clothing

Kilimanjaro Headgear

Headgear Kilimanjaro Guide - Packing List

Here we cover useful gear to keep your head out of the sun during the hot and high solar radiation days that you will experience on Kilimanjaro, as well as keep your head warm and cosy on summit night.

See Headgear

Hands & Walking

Gloves Kilimanjaro Guide - Packing List

Gloves and walking / trekking pole requirements. Both are critical. The former is very important as your hands are the first to start freezing on summit night. The latter can reduce the impact on your knees by up to 20%, which is a major win when you are descending from the slopes of Kibo.

See Hands & Walking

Kilimanjaro Bags

Bags Kilimanjaro Guide - Packing List

From the Kilimanjaro kit bag to your day-pack. In this section we have provided useful recommendations on the all important duffle and daypack bag requirements.

See Bag & Daypack

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping Kilimanjaro Guide - Packing List

Kilimanjaro sleeping bag recommendations and other useful sleeping accessories, like an inflatable pillow. The sleeping bag you choose is important as the nights on Kilimanjaro can get below freezing.

See Sleeping Gear

Other Accessories

Other accessories - Climb Kilimanjaro Packing List

Kilimanjaro accessories including water bottles and medications. You can also find detailed information on Diamox (the high altitude sickness prophylatic medication) here.

See Other Accessories

FAQ

Still have questions about what Kilimanjaro footwear to bring with you on your trek? Leave a comment below and we will respond within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment:

127 comments
steve jenks says October 6, 2015

Is most of this stuff available to rent. Like the sleepi g bags and canteens.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says October 6, 2015

    Hi Steve, yes, you can rent most gear in Moshi or Arusha, but I would recommend buying all your critical items – like trekking shoes and layered clothing. Trekking poles and sleeping bags are easier enough to rent, but I would make sure the latter is a good quality 4 season bag. It can get really nippy on Kili in the evenings. All the best!

    Reply
Heena says November 24, 2015

Where can we buy hiking shoes in dar es salaam for climbing Kilimanjaro?
Please advice.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says November 30, 2015

    Hi Heena, Unfortunately we don’t know any retailers in Dar es Salaam. You will probably get some suggestions on Google. All the best!

    Reply
    Esmail says January 15, 2017

    Hi Heena,

    Were you able to find anything in Dar? Am thinking of doing kili towards the end of the year, and am interested in getting things locally from Dar.

    Reply
Kim Memia says January 10, 2016

Hi Heena, how many layers of thermal socks should one wear on summit night?

And is Hi-Tec Vlite Ultra Luxe equally as good as the Hi-Tec Altitude IV ? The guys at the store here say so.

Thanks
Kim

Reply
Kim says January 11, 2016

Hi,

How many layers of thermal socks do you recommend one should wear on summit nights ? i didn’t quite understand if one should wear 1 or 2.

I got Hi-Tec V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe at the shop and not the Hi-Tec Altitude IV. I just hope it will do as well.

Kim

Reply
    Mark Whitman says January 11, 2016

    Hi Kim, One pair of warm thermal socks will do. You can wear sock liners underneath the socks if you are concerned that your feet will get cold. Your hiking boots sound absolutely fine – just make sure you walk them in before starting your trek. All the best!

    Reply
Heli says January 14, 2016

He,
If we will take 2 days hike do I need a hiking boots or is it OK to wear trekking sandals ?

Reply
    Mark Whitman says January 15, 2016

    Hi Heli, Not sure I understand your question – are you planning to hike Kilimanjaro to the summit? If so you will definitely need hiking boots. Sandals will not suffice.

    Reply
      Heli says January 17, 2016

      Hi,
      No, we will not hike to the summit, just 2 days hike until Mandara Hut and back.

      Heli

      Reply
p.s. pannu says January 21, 2016

HI
Where in Arusha can I buy layered clothing and other clothing equipment

Reply
    Mark Whitman says January 22, 2016

    Most tour operators will be able to rent you gear directly or will be able to take you to a gear rental store in Arusha. Failing that you can rent gear from Springlands Hotel in Arusha.

    Reply
Jordi Moreno says January 28, 2016

Hello Kilimanjaro Guide,

We are a couple that we want to do Kilimanjaro summit on January 2017. We will be travelling around east africa from september 2016 for one year. We don’t want to wear a lot of equipment because we have to carry everything all the long trip.

We are planning to do a 1 week 100 kilometers walking around Kenya, a relaxing break of 2 weeks and then Kilimanjaro summit, to be accustomed to walk long days, because now we are not walking a lot.

I am thinking about buying a middleweight hiking boots without spending much money, not more than 100 € (100 US$). What do you think about Merrell NORSEHUND OMEGA MID? I read the temperature on the top on January is usually -5ºC to -15ºC and I want a pair of boots that can also be used for hiking in east africa usual weather (+20 /+25 ºC)

Thank you!!

Reply
    Mark Whitman says February 4, 2016

    Hi Jordi, the boots you suggest are absolutely fine. It can get very nippy at the top of Kili so a good pair of thermal socks are key!

    Reply
    Sarah says October 1, 2016

    I might see you there if you have the same dates. My sister and I areally climbing Kilimanjaro in January 2017.

    Reply
Lorna says February 14, 2016

Hi,
I’m planning on the Lemosho Route March 2017. With regards to liner socks, will these be needed everyday or just summit night? Was just wondering how many pairs to get.
I’m finding your site so useful by the way, many thanks for all the tips.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says February 15, 2016

    Hi Lorna, liner socks are great for summit night. I sometimes wear liner socks under my trekking socks as they are very light and easy to clean so I only need to bring 1 or 2 pairs of normal trekking socks (which I wear over the liners – i.e. I can use them for multiple days without getting smelly), and the rest (4-5 pairs of liner socks). It is really up to you though. Make sure you liner socks are breathable (not cotton!). Cheers!

    Reply
    Sonal says January 25, 2017

    Hi Lorna,

    Are you still climbing in March?

    Reply
Anneri van Zyl says March 20, 2016

Good day

I have a pair of Hi-Tec Waterproof V-lite boots. On the label it says Altitude Ultra WPI WO’S. It has a vibram sole and ION-mask waterproof technology.

Will these guys get met up there?

Kind Regards

Reply
    Mark Whitman says March 27, 2016

    Hi Anneri, these boot will be more than sufficient! All the best.

    Reply
G Jones says April 8, 2016

Hi, I have a pair of Salomon cosmic 4d gym bots that I’ve owned for about 5yrs or so, they are still in great order and waterproof as they day I got the. (I treat them every year or two) – will they be warm enough for summit day or should I invest in a new pair and start breaking them in. I will be going up in August 2016.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says April 27, 2016

    Soloman’s are great! They so like you have really looked after them so I’m sure they will be fine for Kilimanjaro!

    Reply
Julian says April 11, 2016

To prevent sores, blisters and improve the firmness of your feet; you can treat your feet prior to departure.

One month before departure – Trim and maintain toe nails, anything that is not right now runs the risk of looking NASTY after day one.

At least two weeks before departure – (not to be performed on open cuts/sores) A potassium permanganate bath 2 times per day for 15 minutes, will remove any bacteria and fungi from your feet (be prepared for your feet to turn brown if there are any contaminants present) rinse and pumice clean.

One week before departure and during trip -Alcohol/surgical spirit/Isopropyl foot bath- once feet are free of contaminants a foot bath once per day for 15-30 mins will turn your now perfectly clean and smooth feet into immaculate, robust walking machines. So much so, you’ll question whether you require those £150 + neon, GTX, hover boots that you’ve spent months agonising over and weeks price matching……….I’ve done the same

Reply
    Mark Whitman says April 12, 2016

    Great advice, Julian. Thanks!

    Reply
sarah says April 23, 2016

How do you tell if a boot is mid or heavy weight?
Thanks

Reply
    Mark Whitman says April 27, 2016

    Hi Sarah, there is no hard or fast rule of what weight qualifies as mid or heavy weight boot. Generally, standard trekking boots are all mid weight. The exceptions are leather boots or boots with high tops, these tend to be on heavier side. As a rough rule of thumb, if it feels heavy on your foot and the weight on your leg is noticeable when you walk, then it is probably too heavy for Kilimanjaro. Hope this helps!

    Reply
eike says May 3, 2016

hi
my daughter is going there end July. In a hiking-shop nearby they have Merrel Cocoa hiking boots (=which is the Chameleon Arc Rival 2 Wtpf). Would those be ok?

Reply
    Mark Whitman says May 5, 2016

    Hi Eike, These are perfect! All the best!

    Reply
James says June 11, 2016

I have read about people hiking up Kili barefoot. Of course they did not do a night time summit.

I use Vibrams for all my hiking. Will a pair of Vibram Insulated Trek Ascent with thermal ininji socks be okay for a night time ascent?

Reply
    Mark Whitman says June 12, 2016

    Hi James, I’m apprehensive to say that you would be fine with Vibram trek ascent shoes as it can get very cold on the upper reaches of Kilimanjaro. As you probably know your hands and feet are the first to feel the cold at altitude due to blood rushing to your core organs and brain under conditions of hypoxia. Having poorly insulated shoes can put you at additional risk of having a really cold and uncomfortable summit night. That being said, you might be absolutely fine. Perhaps you can plan to summit in your Vibrams with insulated socks as suggested, but carry a pair of warmer boots should you start to get very cold feet. Please note, this is just my opinion and shouldn’t be relied on as medical or professional advice. I wish you all the best with your summit attempt!!

    Reply
      James Cunneen says June 12, 2016

      Thanks for the advice. I am pretty accustom to wearing them in the cold so I tend to think I will fair well enough. What I was most concerned with would be frost bite. I tend to think the thermal socks will protect me but I do not know how cold it will actually be. I will be going in early August if that makes any diffrence. Do you think that would be a worry or is it not that intense.

      Reply
        Mark Whitman says June 12, 2016

        Hi James, Augusts tends be be a “warmer”, less snowy month on Kilimanjaro, so this should play in your favour. Nonetheless, temperatures throughout summit night will be sub-zero and if it is snowing and windy it can be very cold. Frostbite is a rare issue on Kilimanjaro but of course most people are wearing decent hiking boots. You might want to use foot warmer with your Vibram’s and insulated socks! Cheers man!

        Reply
Carol says June 18, 2016

I will be climbing in early August would the Merrell Moab mid waterproof hiking boot be sufficient?

Reply
    Mark Whitman says June 18, 2016

    Hi Carol. Yes, you boot is more than sufficient. Best of luck!

    Reply
Swagmaster says June 20, 2016

They say Mt Kenya is a tougher and more exciting climb….what do you say

Reply
    Mark Whitman says June 21, 2016

    Mt. Kenya is a more technical climb and depending on which route you take is more challenging than Kili because if the technical elements. Kili is of course quite a bit higher, which obviously poses its own challenges. As for the differences in excitement I would say that is a personal thing, both can be very exciting and huge achievements! Cheers

    Reply
Lizzie says June 23, 2016

Hi and first, thank you for this amazing website.
Summiting Kilimanjaro next october, I need advice regarding my shoes. I currently have Salomon Campside MID 4 goretex LD that I use for all my hikes.
Would that be enough for the whole trekk or just for the 2 forst days or so ? If I need to get another pair, which model of Salomon (or any other brand) would you recommand (knowing that I would not go skiing or mountainering again right after…)
Thanks a lot

Reply
    Mark Whitman says June 24, 2016

    Hi Lizzie! Thanks for getting in touch. Your Salomon’s will be more than adequate for the hike. Just make sure to have a warm pair of thermal socks for summit night! Cheers!

    Reply
Chris says June 23, 2016

Hello.
Would one of those pairs be good/enough/appropriate for summit night ?
If they do, what would be your top 3? If they don’t, well I need to keep looking… 😛

– COLUMBIA Minx Fire Tall Omni-Heat Waterproof Boot
– SALOMON Snowtrip TS WP Winter Boot
– SALOMON Kaina Mid CS WP Winter Boot
– VASQUE Skadia UltraDry Winter Boot
– THE NORTH FACE Chilkat III Boot

Reply
    Mark Whitman says June 24, 2016

    Snow boots are a bit overkill for Kili and certainly not suitable for the days before the summit push. I would just go with a standard hiking boot like the one you already own – Salomon Campside MID 4 – and use a thermal sock on summit night to keep your feet warm. All the best!

    Reply
Lizzie says July 8, 2016

Hello ! 🙂
I am hesitating in between those 3 models :
-Salomon Quest Origins,
-Salomon 4d Quest2
-or the AsoloTPS 520 Evo

which who you recommand the best for Kili ?

Reply
    Mark Whitman says July 8, 2016

    Hi Lizzie, all three are suitable but if I was pushed I would go with the Salomon Quests!

    Reply
Katie Hamm says July 10, 2016

Hi! I am wanting to climb Kilimanjaro in July or August 2017 and have been shopping for hiking boots to begin training and wearing them in. I am having a difficult time deciding between: Vasque Eriksson GTX Backpacking boot; Lowa Mauria GTX Trekking Boot or Asolo Power Matic 200 GV boot. I have problems with rolling over on my ankles, so I need great ankle support. I also tend to put alot of pressure on the balls of my feet and will usually end up with hot spots and blisters. I’d love to hear your recommendations for what is best for my feet. Thanks so much!

Reply
    Mark Whitman says July 10, 2016

    Hi Katie, All the boots you mentioned would be more than adequate for Kilimanjaro. Boots, like any shoe, is a really personal thing. I would recommend choosing the pair that is most comfortable on your foot given your concerns about rolling over on your ankles. You may want to invest in gel foot inners which could help with reducing the pressure on the ball of your feet. Hope this helps!

    Reply
    Sam says January 9, 2017

    Hi Katie,
    I took the advice and tried on 3 different pairs in the store including a wide version. As a result the boots I selected are just perfect for my feet. Of course I have been breaking them in for 3 months as well!

    Reply
kelly says August 3, 2016

I am climbing Kili in Jan, but don’t really do a lot of trekking so don’t need a pair of boots to last past the training and the climb itself, would the trespass noble walking boots do the trick or should I look for something different?

Reply
    Mark Whitman says August 4, 2016

    Hi Kelly, The Trespass Nobles will do the trick. All the best!

    Reply
Fiona Forster says August 8, 2016

Hi there,

This is a great resource for preparing for Mount Kilimanjaro!

I have seen these boots as a possibility for completing my Mount Kilimanjaro trek, do you think they are suitable and sturdy enough? They are the Salomon X ALP MTN GTX® for women.

Many thanks.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says August 9, 2016

    Hi Fiona, these boots are perfect! All the best!

    Reply
Paulina says August 9, 2016

Hi 🙂 I was wondering about needing gaiters… I’m climbing Kilimanjaro in late August, and I’m honestly unsure if it’s a necessary purchase. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!!

Reply
    Mark Whitman says August 9, 2016

    Hi Paulina, I’m not a big believer in gaiters for Kilimanjaro. The paths are well trodden and not susceptible to high levels of muddy patches.

    Reply
Cynthia says August 17, 2016

Hello, I’m hiring boots for my climb up Kili and I’m wondering if I need to wear them in myself so they can “fit” my foot, or is this unnecessary?

Many thanks.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says August 20, 2016

    Hi Cynthia, The boots will likely be well worn in by previous trekkers who hired them, but the shape will obviously not have moulded your foot profile so it is possible that they might rub and be slightly uncomfortable. It is unlikely that you will have enough time to wear the boots in properly, but in general a hired boot is better than wearing a brand new boot!

    Reply
Kim says August 19, 2016

Hi,

I find hiking boots uncomfortable. Is it possible to get away with warm socks, gators and trail running shoes? Or maybe only wear the boots the last couple of days?

Thanks!

Kim

Reply
    Mark Whitman says August 20, 2016

    Hi Kim, it is possible to wear trail running shoes but I would recommend going with a light boot as the added ankle support is very helpful on Kili, especially on the descent!

    Reply
Gal says September 2, 2016

Hey!

Could or are there parts where walking is on ice? If so – are shoe spikes required? Because they cannot be applied well on all hiking shoes…

Thanks,
Gal 🙂

Reply
    Mark Whitman says September 3, 2016

    Hi Gal, you don not require crampons for Kilimanjaro. All the best!

    Reply
Daniel Z says September 13, 2016

Hi there, I just want to commend you this website!! It is just amazing and sorts out 99% of the question anyone interested in Kili has. To proceed to my question; I am in the process of buying hiking boots and one made by Solomon, Quest 4D 2 GTX hiking boots with actually good reviews. Weight wise they close to you recommendation. Found one person who wore them on Kili and even though he was more than satisfied his review lacked lacked a bit of elaboration. Would they be one you would recommend.
Thanks!!!

Reply
    Mark Whitman says September 13, 2016

    Hi Daniel, thanks for your kind words! The Quest GTX boots are perfect for Kilimanjaro. I’m a big fan of Salomon! These boots will serve you well but make sure to break them in! All the best!

    Reply
      Daniel Z says September 16, 2016

      Hi Mark, thanks a lot for the response!! By the way I read your book a few months ago and I think that it is rich with so much detail and I already found all I needed to know. It is well written and I recommend it to everyone who is seriously considering Kili. Very greatful for the insight!!!!
      Thanks a lot!

      Reply
        Mark Whitman says September 16, 2016

        Thanks Daniel, always a pleasure!

        Reply
Marie Murphy says September 17, 2016

Love your site! We are starting our hike on Oct 24th, Lemosho route. I use WOMEN’S CONSPIRACY™ TITANIUM OUTDRY® TRAIL SHOE for my hikes as they are so comfortable. I’ve heard the tracks are quiet good on Kili, but do you recommend I should really buy boots, or will these suffice for the Lemosho route? Thanks in advance!

Reply
    Mark Whitman says September 18, 2016

    Hi Marie, These shoes could suffice for Kili, although I would caution that they will not be warm enough for the summit night so you will need to double up on warm thermal socks. Also, trail shoes tend to perform badly on the steep scree that characterises the descent slopes of Kili. I suspect your shoes will get full of dust and stones as you descend. A mid-weight, high top boot is a better bet, but it is really up to your preference.

    Reply
      Marie Murphy says September 20, 2016

      Thank you so so much for helping me out here. Since your response I’ve done some online, and in-store shopping. I have my eye on Columbia Grand Canyon Mid, but the guy in the store says these are too soft, the sole and support, isn’t strong enough for Kili. I’m worried he is being overkill and will persuade me to buy something that is too heavy. What do you think of Columbia Grand Canyon Mid? Would really appreciate your input again – THANK YOU!

      Reply
        Mark Whitman says September 20, 2016

        Hi Marie, I’m not familiar with the Columbia Grand Canyon Mid, but from a quick Google they look fine for Kili. They do look like they will offer less ankle support than a heavier more rigid boot, but personally I prefer softer / lighter boots for a trek like Kilimanjaro. Hope this helps!

        Reply
Emilio says September 18, 2016

Plan on climbing next August and want to know if my boots will do for the summit attempt. They are LL Bean Tek 2.5, proven waterproof, just over the ankle, and worn in nice. I will be wearing a liner, thermal sock, and gaiters. Thanks in advance for your advice.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says September 19, 2016

    Hi Emilio, you will be all set with the footwear you have mentioned! Cheers!

    Reply
Reshma says October 1, 2016

Hello,
I am climbing Lemosho route in early Feb 2017. I have The Berghaus Expiditor AQ ridge tech boot. Will these suffice? Do you think we need any other footwear (for any purpose) during the climb. Also, I am thinking of bringing ~25l day pack; is that a good size, and any recommendations on a particular backpack. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says October 2, 2016

    Hi Reshma, Your Berghaus hiking boots are perfect for the job. You might want to also bring a pair of lightweight trainers to wear in camp. After a long day trekking its nice to change into trainers. In terms of a day pack, a 25L pack should be fine, you might want to go slightly large (i..e 30L). I like Osprey packs. All the best!

    Reply
Manuel Newyork says October 8, 2016

Thanks for all the tips, great and reassuring assistance. I am doing Kilimanjaro in September 2017 and getting new boots. My feet tend to get cold as i had a bit of nerve damage in my toes from winter hiking. I am concerned about summit day… Do you recommend to go with extra insulated winter boots or to get regular mountaineering boots and go warmer on the socks? or just get toe warmers. I also have a wide foot. What are your recommendations? Much appreciated.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says October 9, 2016

    Hi Manuel, I would go with regular hiking boots (not too stiff in the sole) and then wear extra thick thermal socks. Foot warmers are also a good idea, just make sure that they are working before you place them in the boot, sometimes they don’t activate properly. All the best!

    Reply
Lisa stow says October 13, 2016

Hi climbing Kilimanjaro may 2017 currently looking for boots to wear in ready for the trek would berghaus supalite 2 be suitable

Reply
    Mark Whitman says October 16, 2016

    Hey Lisa, Berghaus Supalite 2 are perfect for the job! All the best!

    Reply
Marlene says October 23, 2016

I was planning on wearing my Ahnu hiking boots as they are light and fitted well. Are they sufficient for Kili.

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    Mark Whitman says October 24, 2016

    Hi Marlene, yes, your boots should be sufficient for Kili! All the best!

    Reply
Raman says October 28, 2016

I am just confused which boot should I buy as I have read many threads till now and found this one very helpfull.
So can you recommend me some boots or salomon quest 4d 2 gore-tex is ok for kili hike.
As i discussed with my College professor he was telling millet climbing shoes will be enough but later he told me that for roind trek you might need high ankle boots.
Hoping for best suggestion as i am planing in Aug 17 or sep17.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says October 28, 2016

    Hi Raman, Salomon Quest 4D hiking boots are fine for Kilimanjaro. You certainly don’t need climbing boots or even a boot that takes a crampon. Standard hiking boots are fine. All the best!

    Reply
Ivan says November 14, 2016

Hi! My name is Ivan and I will go to Kilimanjaro with two Friends on January.
I need to know if we can rent equipment in Moshi or Arusha for mountain travel (hiking boots, special jackets, etc.), and which are the costs.
We will travel into Tanzania and Kenia and we don’t want carry those things all the time…
Thanks in advance!

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    Mark Whitman says November 15, 2016

    Hi Ivan, you can rent gear in Arusha. I would try bring as much as you can, especially your own hiking boots. Hope this helps!

    Reply
Hadeel says December 30, 2016

Hi I’m planning to climb in March 2017, would Queshua High be recommended?

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    Mark Whitman says December 31, 2016

    Queshua high will do the job. All the best!!

    Reply
Lisa Nordoen says January 15, 2017

Hi! I’m planning a hike to Kilimanjaro at the end of August 2017, and I’m looking at hiking boots. I’ve been looking at Salomon Ridgeback Mid Gtx W or Timbaland Chocorua. Any recommendations would be most helpful.

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    Admin Admin says January 23, 2017

    Hi Lisa, the Salomon Ridgeback’s will do the job!

    Reply
PK says January 19, 2017

Hi, can I use Cabela’s XPG 2.0 mid hiking shoes/boots. I don’t have enough time to buy boots and break them in.

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    Admin Admin says January 23, 2017

    Yip, those boots will be fine! Cheers!

    Reply
PK says January 19, 2017

Hi,
I have only two weeks before the trip and need a new pair of boots. Not enough time to break them in, so tried Cabela’s Men’s XPG™ 2.0 Mid Hiker with GORE-TEX® and they felt comfortable and light in weight. Do you think these will do the job?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

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    Admin Admin says January 23, 2017

    Hi PK, yes, these boots will be fine!

    Reply
Dele Dee says January 22, 2017

QUECHUA FORCLAZ 100 HIGH WOMEN’S WATERPROOF BOOTS – I read on some reviews these are only good for hiking and not recommended for trekking. i got wondering what the difference gonna be .

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    Admin Admin says January 23, 2017

    Hi Dele, there is not much of a difference between hiking and trekking. Hikes tend to be shorter in distance and time, but your boots should work for both activities! All the best!

    Reply
Kyle Petrie says January 29, 2017

Hello, I have been recommended either the Quechua Forclaz High Women’s boots or the Merrell Vego Mid Leather. I was just wondering which of these you recommend! Thanks!

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    Admin Admin says February 1, 2017

    Hi Kyle, they will both do the job well. I would say go with the one that feels most comfortable on your foot.

    Reply
Gautier says February 1, 2017

Hi,
This website is very useful!
I plan to climb kili in february. My shoes (Salomon ultra mid HTC) are really comfortable! It is a mix of Trail running and hiking boots. Anyone experienced this kind of shoes in kili trek? A bit light? Thanks for your feed-back!

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    Mark Whitman says February 3, 2017

    H Gautier, your Salomon’s will be fine, they are a little on the light side but that can be a benefit. My only concern will be warmth. Make sure you have really warm socks for summit night. All the best!

    Reply
Amanda says February 8, 2017

Hi there, great blog post! I’m debating whether or not I should buy proper hiking shoes based on your advice. I’ll be hiking the Kilimanjaro in October. Usually I wear my Timberland boots (the classic ones that everyone has) and I was wondering if those would be sufficient or that I should buy a new pair?
Thanks!

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    Mark Whitman says February 9, 2017

    Hi Amanda, if they are Timberland hiking boots then you should be fine. If they are the more trendy Timberland city boots, then I would recommend buying a hiking boot alternative. The city boots tend to have a hard toe and are quite ridged. Good luck!

    Reply
Daniel says February 9, 2017

Hi
Plans are being drawn up to walk Kilimanjaro in either Feb or sept 2018.
I’m looking at boots at present and wondered if Berghaus kibo GTX boots would be overkill or should I be looking at something more flexible like the Salomon Quest boots?
Cheers for any advice

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    Mark Whitman says February 12, 2017

    Hi Daniel, Yeah the Berghaus Kibo’s would not be great for Kilimanjaro – too rigid and technical for general hiking. The Salomon Quest boots would be a much better bet for Kilimanjaro. Cheers!

    Reply
Heather Batts says April 3, 2017

Hi Daniel! Thank you for all this amazing information! I read through everything here regarding hiking boots, but I still have a couple of questions for you. We are planning to climb Kilimanjaro in July or August. I have been considering buying a pair of old school Fracap Italian mountaineering boots for awhile now as they would be perfect for my urban existence in NYC as well as for my general outdoor adventures. From what I have read, they are fantastic hiking boots, but do you think they would see me through the extremes of Kilimanjaro? They are considered water resistant – not fully waterproof – and though everyone recommends waterproof boots for Kilimanjaro, no one really says why. In the dry months, will I need fully waterproof boots, or might these suffice? I don’t want to create more obstacles for myself by trying to make them work, so I would love to hear your advice.

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    Mark Whitman says April 4, 2017

    Hi Heather, I’m not familiar with Fracap boots but having had a look at them on the internet I would say they are more of an urban boot that would fair fine on a day hike but would get battered on Kilimanjaro. You definitely want a more hardy hiking boot, one with a gore-tex membrane or more waterproof material. They don’t need to be expensive but a solid hiking boot from Salomon or Merrell is a better shout for Kilimanjaro. I suspect if you use the Fracap boots they will be properly poked after Kilimanjaro through with them. All the best.

    Reply
Victoria says April 8, 2017

Hi Daniel,
I love this site and I am so grateful to have found it. I will be sticking to all of your packing recommendations. I am on a search now for the best hiking boot for me and after reading, you seem to be pretty confident in Saloman’s, so I will start there. I have a pair of Merrells that I wore for about a year straight on deployment, but I’m not sure they are high enough. I’m looking to summit at the end of June this year. Do you know what I ca expect as far as the temperature goes? Should I maybe expect some rain? I will likely be doing this trek solo as well, so any other tips on what not to do or bring? I will begins doing long treks next week at least 3x a week to help prepare myself. Thanks so much for all of your advice!

Cheers,

Tori

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    Mark Whitman says April 9, 2017

    Thanks Tori! I recommend you browse our site to get all the answers to your questions. June is a good time to trek. Rain is relatively scarce during this month and conditions generally good for trekking. All the best!

    Reply
Mark Calvert says April 19, 2017

Hi will my timberland earth keepers be suitable for kili or should I be looking to get something else?

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    Mark Whitman says April 19, 2017

    Hi Mark, these will do the job! All the best.

    Reply
Robin says April 21, 2017

Question re boots. I wonder if you can shed light on the need for flexibility vs. rigidity in the sole/ball of the sole. I understand that a rigid ball area will be easier on calf muscles on the descent. What about 2 pairs of boots, one for lower altitude and another for higher? Any thoughts?

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    Mark Whitman says April 21, 2017

    Hi Robin, I would advise against a rigid sole for Kilimanjaro. Ideally you want the boot and sole to feel solid, but with some give or flexibility. So not like a trainer, but equally not like a mountaineering boot that can take crampons. I think two pairs of boots would be overkill for Kilimanjaro. I recommend you look at the Salomon Quest range or trekking boots from Scarpa, Meindl or Merrell. Hope this helps!

    Reply
Lena says April 22, 2017

Are these shoes okay for Kilimanjaro? Altra Lone Peak 30 Neoshell Mid Hiking Boots.

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    Mark Whitman says April 23, 2017

    Hi Lena, yeah, the Altra Lone Peak hiking boots would work fine for Kilimanjaro.

    Reply
kolla sudhakar says June 7, 2017

Hi! Daniel,
Thanks for all the valuable information you are giving.I have quechua forclaz 500 boots which I have used for my earlier treks.Are these shoes fine for the Kili trek?Thanks in advance,
Kolla

Reply
    Mark Whitman says June 9, 2017

    Hi Kolla, yes, your Quechua boots will be fine. Cheers!

    Reply
Lina says June 15, 2017

Hi! I’m climbing Kilimanjaro in September and I’m torn between the Vasque Sundowner and the Danner Mountain 600. The Vasque feel too sturdy and heavy. While the Danner are more flexible. A woman at REI said that when you can bend the boot it’s not good for cold temperatures. I’m confused! Thanks for your help!
Lina

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    Mark Whitman says June 28, 2017

    Hi Lina, A flexible boot is doesn’t necessarily mean less insulation, however, fixed sole boots are generally warmer as they are built for winter mountaineering. In terms of the two boots you are looking at, both will be fine for Kili. I would go for the more comfortable boot and if you are concerned about the cold, take a warm pair of thermal insulated socks. Hope this helps!

    Reply
Alexandra says June 17, 2017

Dear Community,
Thank you so much for the article and the many comments shared – it is very useful prior to those hikes.
I am planning to climb Mount Kenya via Burguret-Chogoria routes this summer. (Burguret is supposed to be muddy and not as steep as the more frequented and short Naro Moru route). I have a pair of proper mountain shoes from Maindl (Air Revolution Lady Ultra) weighing 540g http://www.meindl.de/produkt/air-revolution-lady-ultra/
Do you think these would be recommendable or should I go for something lighter (and possibly without ankle protection)?
Thank you very much!

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    Mark Whitman says June 28, 2017

    Hi Alexandra, these boots will work perfectly! I wouldn’t go for something lighter or with less ankle support. All the best!

    Reply
Michele Dawson says June 18, 2017

Hi
My partner and I will be climbing Kili in September 2017 and we will be in Africa travelling around for about 3 weeks before hand are trekking bags ok instead of duffels? We are getting most of our gear from Kathmandu as well do you know how it serves on the mountain?

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    Mark Whitman says June 28, 2017

    Hi Michele, yeah, trekking backpacks are fine. Just make sure they are a decent size (over 55L) as you will need to carry your sleeping bag in the bag as well. Most gear sold in Kathmandu is fake, but some of it (even the fake stuff) is pretty good. Don’t cut corners on your boots, sleeping bag and warm jacket. All the best!

    Reply
Jason says August 29, 2017

Hi there,

I am doing the Lemosho trail in October. I am just looking to get some advice with regards of what clothing to pack from this trip? I have looked at the weather and see that in Tanzania it is pretty warm during the day, just looking for a guide of what to pack clothing wise with regards to weather at this time of the year. I look forward to your advice.

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Kelly says October 17, 2017

Love your site it has been so helpful! I am struggling with the weight I should have for the hiking boot. I am a female 120 lbs and definitely don’t do so well with the cold but also find many hiking boots feeling heavy on me. I was looking at the Asolo Drifter GV Backpacking Boot or Salomon X Ultra 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boots. Will these be too light? Thank you!

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    Mark Whitman says October 20, 2017

    Hi Kelly, both these boot options are great and I’m a fan of both brands. Go for the one that is most comfortable on your foot. Best of luck with your hike.

    Reply
Adil says October 22, 2017

Hi,
Kindly advise of these timberland hiking shoes are OK for Kili. I’m a bit short on budget and breaking-in time. A change would be difficult unless absolutely necessary.

https://www.climbkilimanjaroguide.com/kilimanjaro-kit-list/kilimanjaro-footwear/hiking-boots-timberland/

Tjanks.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says October 27, 2017

    HI Adil, These Timberland boots are fine for Kilimanjaro. Best of luck with your climb!

    Reply
Himi says December 4, 2017

Do you know if the Columbia Newtown Ridge Plus women’s shoes would be suitable for the climb?

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    Mark Whitman says December 4, 2017

    Hi Himi, this boot is good for Kilimanjaro. All the best!

    Reply
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