Jun 29, 2010 at 7:59 pm #1260682
I'm planning on hiking the Annapurna Circuit this coming Sept. and am in the process of acquiring the gear necessary to make this trip comfortable and enjoyable. So far, I think I've got a handle on everything EXCEPT for footwear.
Here's the grand debate. I have extremely wide feet (huge bunyons) and have had terrible relationship with hiking boots in the past – as a result of this I've done a lot of big hikes, including scrambles up mountains in running shoes/trail runners – so I'm not that inclined to invest in a pair of hikers for the Annapuran Circuit.
Based on what I've read, it seems like it could be done in a light trail shoe. Thoughts from those who've done this trek?
I've been looking at some of the shoes listed on these pages.Jun 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm #1624719
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Yes, I think you are looking in the right category. Thorung La is about 17,000 feet, so that means that you need to be prepared for some cold, some rain, and some old snow (which depends on the monsoon season).
Personally, I would not take the very heavy boots, nor would I take the low-cut runners. A mid-height boot would be good. Take a good selection of socks for different combinations, and take some thin plastic sacks to put between inner and outer socks in the event of major rain and mud.
–B.G.–Jun 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm #1624724
Steven EvansBPL Member
You'll be good in runners – the sandwich bags are a good call, but you can dry your feet out in the tea-houses at night. The locals wear flip flops.Jun 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm #1624732
Franco DarioliBPL Member
If you are going through Thorung La I would suggest something a bit more substantial than runners.
I was in that region 2 years ago in September. We only did part of the circuit and then went another way. As we were camping at around 3,300 M in heavy rain , at about 3,500M it was snowing so the group decided on a detour. A couple of days later a Russian helicopter flew (below us …) taking back 2 tourists and 2 or 3 Nepalese that had died in a snow storm on the other side (around Thorung La) .
Sort of out of season but at 5,400 m not by much.
FrancoJun 29, 2010 at 9:24 pm #1624742
I did the circuit in may of 07 and wore teva sandals for 17 out of 21 days. I rented a pair of boots in Pokhara and wore then over the pass and on a hike up to the Dhaligari ice fall and through some leach territory at the end of the Sanctuary trek. We had been traveling light for 7 months before and I didn't have any of my trick gear (no gore tex just a big trash bag) or clothes and was still able to go real light, like 10 to 15 lb. pack. If I did it again I would bring a light hiking boot for sure.Jun 30, 2010 at 12:27 am #1624768
carlos fernandez rivasBPL Member
@pitagorinLocale: Galicia -Spain
I been on the annapurna circuit twice (and everest base camp trekking plus mera peak) ………. I wear Innov 8 390 shoes….. perfect
light trekking boots and "heavy" trail runners can be used (depending the month, of course)
Only remember to wear a pair of thick shocks for the thorung la pass …Jul 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm #1626631
Piper S.BPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
I hiked the Khumbu but back then I still wore boots. I think it could have been done easily in trail runners.
However, I went in November. From what I understand, there is more snow before November. So your feet may get more wet in September than in November.Jul 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm #1626715
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
We walked around Nepal at altitude in very light joggers. The erstwhile trip leader was horrified, but with the right size shoes and good thick socks we were very comfortable.
On the other hand, one girl on the trip who had taken the leader's advice and hired big heavy plastic boots was in screaming agony on Taschi Lapcha. Actually crying in pain. Her feet had swelled up, but plastic boots don't stretch…
There is very little difference between what you have already done and what you are prioposing to do – except for myth, superstition and bias. By the way – all the porters do the trips (and over the passes) in Chinese 'tennis shoes'.
CheersJul 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm #1626742
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"By the way – all the porters do the trips (and over the passes) in Chinese 'tennis shoes'."
On my first Khumbu trek, it was very easy to distinguish the Sherpa guides from the porters.
Below 11,000 feet, the porters were mostly barefoot and the guides wore Chinese tennis shoes. Above 11,000 feet, the porters went home and were replaced by yaks (who also went barefoot). The guides switched over to high-top leather climbing boots. That was a trick in itself since the Sherpa people tend to have a short/wide foot. Most Westerners who tell their used climbing boots have a longer/narrow foot. So, finding a boot that fit was the challenge. Similarly, the trekkers who did not know how to shift the lacing for uphill or downhill had a challenge.
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