The most important thing you’ll need to trek Kilimanjaro is determination, but a comfortable pair of hiking boots won’t hurt, either!
There are tons of options out there, and any number of them could be a good fit, both for Kili and for your feet! There’s no one “right” boot, but if you want a good place to start, try one of these recommendations from the Thomson Safaris staff. After all, you know these can get you to the top…because they’ve already done it for us!
Katie’s Recommendation: Merrell Chameleon Thermo 6
Merrell is a leading name in cold-weather hiking gear, and the Chameleon Thermo 6’s are no exception to the company’s reputation for quality. According to Katie, “they are the most comfortable well-cushioned boots I’ve ever owned! They’re amazingly sturdy but still flexible, and good for the changing temperatures and terrain on Kili.”
Best of all, they’ll hold up. Katie’s pair has made it through “two Kili treks, many day hikes, wading through a flood, and five New England winters,” and they’re still going strong.
Though they’re no longer made in women’s sizes, some women trekkers may be able to purchase a men’s boot (after converting the shoe size, of course).
Amy’s Recommendation: Asolo 520 TPS GV
These leather boots are durable, comfortable, waterproof, and well-made. Amy has used them on Kili and to hike 80 miles in the backcountry of Alaska, and says she’ll “probably stick with them for the rest of my life!”
Paul’s Recommendation: La Sportiva Pamir
These boots are all-leather, which means they won’t double as fly-fishing waders, but they will be incredibly breathable during a hike, which will help keep your feet from sweating too much on your way up the mountain!
Michael’s Recommendation: Asolo Power Matic 200 GV
Not only did Michael’s feet stay toasty and dry all the way up Kili, he still has his Power Matics, and uses them “all the time in the winter.”
Rachel’s Recommendation: Lowa Renegade Mid GTX
But it wasn’t an easy choice. Before she settled on them, she “went to REI and tried on every hiking, backpacking, and trekking boot they offer, and settled on the one that was most comfortable for my (narrow) foot.”
Rachel’s quest to find the perfect boot illustrates an important fact: there is no ONE perfect boot for Kili, there’s just YOUR perfect boot!
Good boots for Kili are:
1) Warm (with enough space for thicker socks)
2) Waterproof (in case it rains)
3) Supportive (of both your feet and your ankles—trails are uneven, so you should avoid light trail-running shoes)
4) Broken in (which means you should wear your boots before you get to Kili, during training hikes, while walking on a treadmill, or even just doing your daily errands!)
As long as your boots cover those four bases, and they feel good on your feet, then they’ll be a perfect fit for Kili!
For more footwear recommendations, check out our Kilimanjaro footwear board on Pinterest!
All pictures above from manufacturers’ websites