Kilimanjaro Boots & Footwear – What Hiking Boots For Kilimanjaro?

Mark Whitman

The Kilimanjaro boots and 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 hiking boots for Kilimanjaro. We'll also provide recommendations on some good but affordable shoes.

Remember your feet are what get you to the top of the mountain and back so make sure you follow this guidance. It's not worth the risk of having sore feet, blisters and lost toenails!

See my guide to hiking Mt Kilimanjaro and download my Kilimanjaro equipment list.

Kilimanjaro Hiking Boots

hiking boots for kilimanjaro

Your boots are the most important piece of gear for your Kilimanjaro hike.

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 dive into each characteristic below:


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.

Pro tip: For summit night, you will likely want to wear two pairs of socks (or at least one very thick wool pair). It's worth keeping in mind or trying boots on with thick socks. This doesn't mean buying a size bigger as you'll need to loosen the laces and, if you had two pairs of socks on, it should be a tight fit. 


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. I 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. Combined with waterproof socks and you can be sure your feet will stay dry.
  • Lacing system should incorporate D-Strings and speed hooks for better ankle support and fast lacing


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.

climb kilimanjaro summit

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Recommended Hiking Boots for Kilimanjaro

Best Overall Boot: Asolo Fugitive (Men's) or Asolo Stynger (Women's)

Asolo Men's Fugitive GTX Light Hiking and Trekking Boots (Wool/Black, 10)

Asolo make some of the best quality hiking boots on the market. 

The Asolo Men's Fugitive or Asolo Women's Stynger are all-round great trekking boots, ideal for long distance hiking in summer or winter. The GoreTex lining provides very good waterproofing and breathability. They are also lightweight.

If durability is your thing, then the Asolo Power Matic'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.

Best Value Hiking Boot: Salomon Quest

Salomon X Ultra 3 MID Gore-TEX Hiking Boots for Men, Castor Gray/Black/Green Sulphur, 10.5

For great affordability, quality and all-round performance I recommend Salomon hiking boot - specifically the X Ultra or Quest range (Men's and Women's). Sold as a day hiking boot, I 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.

Cheap and Cheerful Hiking Boot: Hi-Tec Altitude IV

HI-TEC mens Bootie Hiking Boot, Dkcho Dark Chocolate, 11 US

At its price range, the Hi-Tec Altitude (Men's and Women's) 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.

Other notable good hiking boot brands include Keen, Merrell, Timberland and the Berghaus. For the latest hiking boots deals see - Men's and Women's

Other Important Footwear

Trainers or Trekking Sandals

New Balance Women's FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker, Black/Magnet, 8.5 Wide

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 trainers that you can slip on in camp, and that can double as a trekking alternative shoe for flat terrain.

Good and affordable brands include: Merrell, Keen and Salomon. See Men's and Women's

Hiking Socks

Darn Tough Men's Hiker Boot Full Cushion Midweight Hiking Sock (Style 1405) - Eclipse, Large

It is important that you bring good quality hiking 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.

I recommend 5 x Wool trekking socks as these are the best for wicking moisture away from the foot. The best trekking sock manufacturers include Darn Tough and Smartwool (Men's and Women's). Both brands manufacture their socks from really soft merino wool which is great for comfort and performance. If you are allergic to wool I would go for an acrylic or acrylic-blend alternative like those from Wigwam (Men's and Women's).

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

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. I recommend 1 x extra thick / heavy thermal socks, the best quality thermal socks are the heavy variations made by SmartWool. In terms of liner socks I recommend taking 1 x Polypropylene liner socks (see Coolmax Liners). See options for Men's and Women's.

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 (Optional)

Hikenture Leg Gaiters with Waterproof Zipper, Ultra Anti-Tear Gaiters for Hiking, Waterproof Boot Gaiters for Men Women, Adjustable Shoe Gaiters for Hunting, Breathable Snow Gaiters for Boots (Medium)

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 gaiters (don’t spend more then $30-$40).

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    1. 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!

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

      1. You could try Ilala Mission Quarters Market where you get used shoes sold. A lot of variety but you need to be careful or bring a street wise minder with you.

    2. 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.

  1. 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.


  2. 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.


    1. 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!

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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!!

    1. 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!

  4. 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.

    1. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

  7. 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

    1. 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!

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

    1. 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!!

      1. 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.

        1. 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!

    1. 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

  10. 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

    1. 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!

  11. 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

    1. 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!

  12. 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 ?

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

  13. 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!

    1. 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!

    2. 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!

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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!!!

    1. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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!

  18. 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?



    1. 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!

  19. 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…

    Gal 🙂

  20. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

  21. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

        1. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

    1. 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!

  24. 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.

    1. 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!

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

  26. 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.

    1. 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!

  27. 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!

    1. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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 .

    1. 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!

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

    1. 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!

  33. 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?

    1. 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!

        1. Hi Amanda, I would consider these more of a city boot, not ideal for hiking. The Timberland Chocorua would be a better bet.

  34. 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

    1. 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!

  35. 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.

    1. 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.

  36. 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!



    1. 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!

  37. 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?

    1. 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!

  38. 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,

  39. 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!

    1. 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!

  40. 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
    Do you think these would be recommendable or should I go for something lighter (and possibly without ankle protection)?
    Thank you very much!

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

  41. 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?

    1. 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!

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

    1. 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.

  44. all terrain lowa tempest lo hiking shoe – men’s, are they good for Kilimanjaro hike. I have been using them for sometime.

  45. Hi there,
    Great site, very informative, detailed and clear. I find your good advice to be helpful both for preparation and for stress reduction 🙂
    In a month I will be on the Lemosho route. It is the right time now to buy my new hiking boots and get on the road to break them in.
    There is currently an excellent sale at the North Face around the corner – what do you think about the Hedgehog HIke Mid GTX?
    Thanks a lot,

  46. Hi Mark, are North Face walking trainers good enough footwear to climb kilimanjaro? I used these successfully last year on the inca trail which had steep paths/steps..just wondered if the terrain specifically requires boots?

    1. Hi Tom, you could get away with using trainers, but its worth noting that higher up on the mountain, Kilimanjaro can be very rugged and dusty, or depending on the season covered with snow. The variability of the terrain also lends itself better to sturdy boots.

  47. I have the Merrell Continuum (waterproof) with Vibram soles from about 3 years ago. Are these suitable for Kilimajaro? Thanks

    1. Hi Sherry, the Continuum should be fine for Kilimanjaro, although I am more a fan of boots with a mid top for greater support. Also shoes tend to get a lot of dirty / grit into them. Apart from that they should hold up just fine.

  48. Also, my daughter has the Salomon women’s x ultra mid 2 gtx hiking shoe. Will this one be suitable for Kilimanjaro? Thanks

  49. Sorry…my Merrells are the Moab Mid from a few years ago (J88792) grey with periwinkle. I guess the Continuum is a feature of the shoe. Still wondering, though, if these will be good for Kilimanjaro. Thanks

    1. Ah, these are much better suited for Kilimanjaro. The Continuum is more of a trail shoe as opposed to a hiking shoe. You are all set with the Moab

  50. Hi Mark,
    Thank you for a great website! I’m climbing Kilimanjaro the end of April, i.e. wet and cold. I have a pair of Asolo Revert GV. I guess the Gore-tex is good for the rain but I’m worrying about the cold. On Asolo’s website it says the Revert GV it’s a summer hiking boot. Will these be to cold for Kili in April?

    Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Hi Maria, the Asolo Revert boots will be fine. Just make sure to take a warm pair of socks. If you are concerned about cold feet then it is also worth bringing chemically activated foot warmers.

  51. Hi, I have a pair of Vasque Snowblime Ultradry mid boots (waterproof & 200g of Thinsulate) that I use for snowshoeing in CO. I also have a pair of Loma Renegade GTX mids and Merrell Moab low hikers that I use in the summer. Going to Kili in October. Will the Vasque’s be too hot? Would it be better to take 2 pairs?

    1. Hi Rick, your Vasque boots are fine for Kilimanjaro. I wouldn’t take two pairs of boots as carrying the extra weight is not worth the effort.

  52. Can I climb Kilimanjaro with hiking shoes as boots aggravate my Achilles tendinitis. The high back puts to much pressure on it. I have tried mid-Merrell- and high back Salamons GTX and no success. Any low cut hikers?

    1. Hi Andreas, crampons are definitely over kill. It’s possible to be quite snowy near the summit so as a precaution you may want to bring some basic yak tracks.

  53. Hi! I enjoy wearing minimalist boots and am wondering if the vivobarefoot forest tracker esc ( ) or the tracker II FG ( ) would be more suitable. The tracker esc has better grip/traction, but is only water resistant. The tracker II FG has less grip, but is waterproof. Suggestions? My feet do not fare well in traditional, clunky hiking boots so really hoping to make these work

    1. Hi Irene, I’m not familiar with either boot, although the Tracker II FG looks more suitable for hiking. In terms of comfort, quality and price I think you can’t go wrong with hiking boots from Salomon, like this pair.

  54. Hi. I am looking for a shoe / boot to climb kili with. I have seen this one
    The North Face Women’s Activist Mid FUTURELIGHT™ Hiking Boot
    Will this be suitable. Or what recommendation do you have for someone who is going to buy a shoe

  55. I am torn between the Salomon X Ultra and Lowa Renegade for our July Kilimanjaro summit — both feel similar and are equally comfortable and fit well. I didn't see you mention the Renegade, but many other folks have. Any comments?

  56. Greetings..
    I am preparing to climb Kili in Sept and have started to shop for my essentials.
    Kindly advice where in can buy theAsolo Stynger GTX Hiking Boots – Women's – in the UK (United Kingdom)

    1. Hi Panduleni, you might be able to get them at Cotswolds or Amazon, but don’t just limit yourself to this option. Other brands that are good include Salomon, Keen, Columbia and even Hi-Tec.

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