Nothing is more important than making sure your feet are happy for the trek of a lifetime! Here are our recommendations for what boots to take on your trek in Peru:
Ankle Support: You don’t necessarily need ankle support for this hike, as you’re not carrying much weight (just your day pack), but I do recommend it. If you worry at all about hurting you ankles, or have a history of ankle injuries, bring boots with ankle support. You’re hiking on uneven rocks and Inca trails, so there will be times when you’re stepping on slanted rocks. I also think that ankle support helps for long distances, especially when you’re getting tired at the end of the day.
Soles: We recommend a stiff sole, preferably a sole with a shank. If your soles are too flexible, you’ll feel every little pebble, and your feet will become sore more quickly. With stiff soles, you won’t feel the uneven trail as much.
Waterproof or No Waterproof? You’re up high in the Andes for this whole trip, and weather is unpredictable. September is during the dry season, but you never know. I personally think it’s a good idea to have waterproof hiking boots, even though they tend to get hot. If you have boots that aren’t waterproof, I recommend bringing plenty of dry socks, just in case you do get some rain.
Type of Boot: You don’t need a heavy duty backpacking boot for this hike. I personally think that a lightweight backpacking boot, or a stiff soled hiking shoe is perfect for this hike. You want enough support for long days on uneven surfaces, but you don’t need to be weighed down by big boots.
By Far The Most Important Thing: By far the most important thing for your boots is to be well broken in by the time you do this trek, and to be comfortable walking 9+ miles. Most of your porters will be wearing rubber sandals, not because they can’t afford hiking boots, but because that is what they are comfortable walking in. If you have trusty heavy duty backpacking boots that you love, great! If you prefer a lightweight running shoe for long distances, great!