I am looking for hiking shoes for my upcoming trip to Belize. I need something that is going to be durable and lightweight and possibly waterproof if not water resistant. My only concern is that my feet are going to feel like they are in the oven. Please help there are so many options.
Good morning @B-A . I'm not an REI employee, but thought I'd share my thoughts. First, there's really no shoe that's going to be completely, 100% waterproof, and still be breathable. There are some really good ones, but even they will eventually wet-out, or you'll get water in over the ankles, or your feet will sweat. The other issue with the most waterproof shoes is that once they do get wet, they take forever to dry. I use hiking boots with Gore-tex in the winter, but wear lighter weight Merrell Capras in the warmer weather. My daughter is very fond of her Keen Terradoras. Both will repel a splash or a quick step during a stream crossing, and are cool and lightweight.
REI has some really good articles in their Expert Advice section to help you find the best footwear choice for you.
I suggest you try on various shoes to get a really good fit, and make sure you get good, comfy wool socks and sock liners (yes, even for the hot weather). They will make all the difference!
Good luck and enjoy your trip!
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Hello, I hike a lot in Nothern Newengland and my favorie boots are Salomon, my current ones are an older version of their Quest GTX. I baught a pair new and they are still in great conditions after ~ 6 years of heavy use.
The weather and conditions vary wildly up here and I needed a boot that was comfortable, had ankle support, waterproof, and breathable. I've always had the fight between protection and having my feet sweat or increase breathability and comfortable feet. I have found not battle or compensation in these boots, not saying that eventually in really hot weather my feet do not sweat, but overall my feet had never been more comfortable. I've loved them from my first hike with them.
One down side I have found is that with very rocky terrain, the shoelace hooks near the ankle take a beating and may bend. Thankfully they are made of metal and I have had no serious issue but their profile seems to stick out more then other boots I have hed.
@B-A thanks so much for reaching out to us for help with footwear for your trip to Belize! It can be really hard to recommend the "right" pair of shoes over the internet because the fit matters so much, and that's hard to know without seeing your foot! It it wide or narrow? High or low volume? Do you have a narrow heel or a wide toebox? So many factors to assess to ensure you get a good fit - if possible, for footwear, we always recommend coming in to your local REI for a fitting. If that's not possible, here are a few things to consider:
- If you aren't going to be carrying a heavy pack, a trail runner might be a good category to consider, as they will typically be lighter-weight than hiking shoes/boots and can combine a waterproof liner with a more breathable outer material, which can help to keep your feet from overheating. Here's an article that may help you pick a trail runner! Again, which brand/model you pick will really depend on your foot!
Also, just a quick heads-up that even though you posted your question on the "Ask an REI Employee" board, you may get ideas and suggestions from other community members. You'll know the advice is coming from an employee when you see the REI Employee, REI Community Moderator and/or REI Community Manager titles.
Hope this helps and that you have a great trip!