Having trekked in Himachal for more than four years, I just wanted to help people struggling to choose the best shoes for trekking in the Himalayas. This article is all about the shoes that I used for the Himalayan treks and their review. Even though I had written an article on “How to Buy Best Shoes for the Himalayan trek”, due to request from readers am writing this article on few shoes that I tried personally, which should help one to choose it without much research. This article is completely based on my personal experience and not for any advertisement purpose or brand promotion. If you have less than 5 minutes, just scroll down to the end of the article and you will find a one-liner guiding you.
I had considered four shoes in this article out of which I used three and one of my friends used one. Each of the shoes is of different budgets. Let’s dive deep into the article and in the end, I will reveal my choice.
Woodland Camel Trekking Shoes
Cost Approximate: 3200 INR
Minimum Life: At least 5 Years with daily usage
Best Suited Terrains: Rocks, Boulders, and Dry Soil.
Woodland has it’s own space in the market and one can never doubt the quality and life of Woodland shoes. This was my first Himalayan trekking shoe and trust me this was worth the investment. I used this shoe for Sar Pass trek twice which involves almost 6 hours of trekking in snow and heavy rains during the trek. Let me tell you some reason why this is one of the best shoes for the Himalayan trek and worth the investment.
These shoes have excellent outer sole and deep lugs (Grip) when compared to many other trekking shoes in the market. This is made of genuine leather and to some extent, it’s water-resistant These shoes are sturdy and rugged in nature. It is best suited when you are trekking in terrain which involves rocks and boulders. It has mid-ankle support and the space inside the shoe is huge, which helps to keep additional orthopedic insole if needed. People with flat feet and heel ache should prefer this shoe with an orthopedic insole rather than any other shoes in the market.
Apart from all these Pros, one important thing is, this can be worn as a casual shoe for parties and even to offices. I had used this for more than four years and it’s still in good shape except for the laces. So definitely worth the investment.
Even though the official description of Woodlands claims this as lightweight shoes, I don’t think its lightweight. These shoes are comparatively overweighed than other trekking shoe brands like Quechua, WildCraft, The North Face, etc., One other major drawback of the shoe is, the outer sole is made of Rubber and this makes difficult to trek when it rains and when the soil is slippery. It doesn’t mean that you cannot use it in rain, but utmost care needs to be taken and a firm foot should be established before each step in the slippery soil. Once this shoe gets wet in rain, the weight of the shoes increases drastically.
Quechua Forclaz 100
Cost Approximate: 5500 INR
Minimum Life: At least 5 Himalayan Treks
Best Suited Terrains: Wet and Dry Soil, Snow Areas.
This was my second shoe to the Himalayan Trek – Hampta Pass which I borrowed from my friend, to experience the comfort. It never disappointed me and it is an excellent shoe in the market. This has been designed very well meeting all the requirements of a trekker.
These shoes are completely lightweight. Even though these shoes don’t have deep lugs like woodlands, their cross-contact soles provide good grip on the wet surface. They have good ankle support.
The official technical specification claims that shoes are waterproof, but during my trek, I experienced continuous snowfall for 2 days and eventually the feet got wet during my trek. Even though they are waterproof, it depends on certain external factors like how intense the rain or snowfall is. Also, there are chances of water getting in through the tongue of the shoe or collar of the shoe if the snowfall is high. It might give aches on your heel, as it’s not that good in absorbing the shocks.
In the end, the only thing is it’s slightly overpriced and felt its engineered for comfort only for treks. If you are not worrying about budget, you can opt for this one, but like woodland, this can’t be used for daily casuals.
Quechua NH150 WaterProof Hiking Shoes
Cost Approximate: 1900 INR
Minimum Life: At least 5 Himalayan Treks.
Best Suited Terrains: Wet and Dry Soil.
This was my third shoe to the Himalayan Trek -Kheerganga. If you are looking for a budget-friendly trekking shoe, with a trekking duration of less than 5 days, I absolutely recommend this shoes.
Even these shoes are completely lightweight and have a good grip because of the cross-contact soles. Their ankle support is good.
One major drawback which I observed in these shoes is that almost every time I felt like my feet were in close contact with ground rather than the in-sole. This is because they lacked the Midsole. Realized these might not hold good for trails which involves too much of rocks and boulders as they are very bad in cushioning and shock absorption. Also, their laces are flat and I personally did not like it.
If you are a beginner and looking for budget trekking shoes for the Himalayan trek, you can absolutely go with this, as this provides you all safety aspects needed for a trek, but you might lack comfort.
Hunter Shoes Or Army Jungle Shoes
Cost Approximate: 600 INR
Best Suited Terrains: Wet and Dry Soil.
I have never tried these shoes, but writing here with experience shared by a friend who accompanied me in the Himalayan trek. If you are looking for an extremely low budget and if you are never worried about comfort, trust me these are the best shoes for trekking in the Himalayas. They have excellent grip, high ankle support, and stone guard in the front protecting from impacts. Even though they are not water-resistant or waterproof, like other shoes, they never retain wetness. They are made of quick-dry material and get dried exposing to the sun for a while.
To conclude, these are shoes serving the purpose and don’t expect comfort. These shoes are difficult to get, but you should look for shops selling Army and Police needs in your city. In Bangalore, one can find Hunter Shoes in Russel Market, Shivaji Nagar.
My Personal Choice
Personally, I enjoyed using Woodland Camel Trekking Shoes. They are rightly priced, highly durable, sturdy, and rugged in nature. Genuine Leather and mid-ankle support. Being a flat feet guy I can keep orthopedic insole comfortably inside the woodland and felt very comfortable. More than all, I use this for casual occasions and to office as well.
I hope you would have enjoyed this article on Best Shoes for Trekking in the Himalayas and by now decided on the shoes. These are completely based on my personal views and from my experience. If you had used some other shoes for the Himalayan trek, please do comment below and share your experience on it. Are you still not satisfied with these shoes, I had written an article on How to Buy Best Shoes for The Himalayan Trek in 5 Minutes, kindly read and purchase the shoe that you wish.
If you find this article useful, please share it with your like-minded friends and if you feel to save it for future reference, please save the below Pin in your Pinterest Board, by just clicking the save button on hovering over the image.
One-Liner from Dusky Dawn
Extremely low budget and not comfort conscious: Hunter or Army Shoes. Mid Budget and Comfort Conscious, Flat Feet, and Heel Ache: Woodland Trekking Shoes.
Hope I saved your time with one liner, but do read the article once you are free.
Take care, cheers and see you in another post. Let’s travel together !