T.rekking shoes play a big role on a hike. A good couple – be it Quechua trekking shoes or Woodland shoes – can feel like an extension of your feet. Likewise, an ill-fitting couple with a thoughtless design can slow you down and even stop your hike. So, How do you choose that best trekking shoes in India?
Different shoes are suitable for different types of hikes. Does that mean Snow trekking shoes can only be used on snow? Not really. The best trekking shoes are versatile. They work well in all weather conditions.
This brings us to the next question – which are they best trekking shoes in India? And how do you make this choice?
Many hikers write to us and ask – Which trekking shoes to buy?
And because this is a crucial choice, we've put together a complete guide that covers everything from buying trekking shoes to 5 best trekking shoes in India to ratings and how to maintain them.
So if you are looking for information about trekking shoes, look no further. This guide contains everything you need to know how to choose the best.
Here are the general topics we will cover in this blog.
1. How to choose best trekking shoes in India (Skip to Section)
2. What are they Types of trekking shoes available (jump to section)
3. Trekking shoes for women (continue to section)
4. B.est trekking shoes in India (Skip to Section)
5. Best of all Budget trekking shoes under INR 4000 (jump to section)
6. How to clean and store your trekking shoes (Jump to section)
│How to choose the best trekking shoes in India
When choosing your trekking shoes, there are 5 things to look at:
1. Check the trekking shoe for a good grip
The best way to recognize a trekking shoe with a good grip is to look at the grooves. You will be deep. A shoe with a good grip has mud, mud and dirt that gets stuck in its grooves. This is a sign of deep grooves that get stuck in the mud. Make sure your shoes have deep grooves and good grip.
2. Pay attention to the softness and flexibility of the shoe sole
You will run on different terrain and your shoes will have to adapt to it. A soft and flexible sole is great. But how do you check that?
Take a hard, metallic object, say a key and just tap the sole. Listen to the sound it makes. A soft sole makes a dull sound. If you hear a sharp sound, you know that it is too heavy and such a sole will not work during a hike.
3. Ankle support in the trekking shoe
Many running and sports shoes offer a lot of flexibility and good grip. What they lack, however, is ankle support. In the Himalayas you hike in uneven terrain. You climb up and down and your ankle tends to turn at unusual angles. And then your hike can end. And you don't want this to really happen. To prevent this, you need good ankle support and make sure that your trekking shoes offer good ankle support.
4. Choose a tight-fitting shoe
Always test the shoes for the correct fit. Ideally, you should buy trekking shoes that are one size larger than your normal size. Without the extra space, you would develop shoe bites by constantly rubbing your toe on the wall of the shoe and you would get additional space for your wool socks (especially for winter hikes).
A shoe that is larger than your normal size protects you from shoe bites and gives your feet enough space to breathe.
5. Water resistance is crucial
Waterproof shoes are required for a Himalayan trek or a monsoon trek in the ghats. This is because trekkers walk through snow, rain, water, or other regions where your feet can get wet. If your shoe is not water resistant, there is a possibility that you may develop shoe bites or calluses due to wet feet. It is also uncomfortable to cover long distances in wet socks and flooded shoes.
Therefore, it is best to buy waterproof shoes (remember that you want waterproof shoes and not waterproof shoes).
An extra layer of leather or resin will really help. It ensures that your shoe will not get wet or water penetrate if you step in a puddle for 3-4 seconds. Therefore, water resistance is important.
| Note: Make sure it's not waterproof as your feet can't breathe waterproof shoes. And it gets sweaty and smelly. There is a possibility that your trekking friends will not let you into the tent if your feet stink 🙂
Also wear your shoes for about two weeks to break them in.
| In 2011, the founder of Indiahikes, Arjun Majumdar, shared a video about similar lines from the Rupin Pass Trek. You can watch it here:
│Types of trekking shoes
1. Hiking shoes
These are similar to sports shoes, but have a stronger grip. They are also more robust.
• • Where are they used:
These are light shoes who have flexible soles. They are ideal for short hikes when you don't have to carry heavy loads on your back. You can use them for the following hikes:
- Day / weekend hikes
- Hikes in warm weather
- Hikes in dry terrain (not suitable for the rainy season)
• • Features to watch out for:
- Light and flexible soles
- Good fit
- Average grip
- Easy to carry and remove
• • Recommended brands:
Some of the most popular and recommended hiking shoe brands are Forclaz Fresh, Arpenaz Flex, Salomon, Woodland and Weinbrenner with low ankles.
2. Trekking shoes
Trekking shoes are a class above hiking shoes. They are usually shoes with good ankle support:
• • Where are they used:
This Shoes are made for trekking in different seasons and for trekking in different slopes. They are ideal for
- Longer hikes, usually one week hikes
- Hikes with backpacks from 7 kg
- Good for trekking in snow and rain.
- Moderately water resistant
• • Features to watch out for:
- Water resistance: The upper part of the trekking boots is usually made of leather, suede or a synthetic material such as Gore-Tex (GTX) or Nova Dry.
- Deep grooves: This ensures a strong grip.
- Ankle support: This saves you painful ankle twists on uneven paths. But that also makes it harder. And you have to get used to wearing it – break in a few weeks before the start of your hike.
• • Recommended brands:
Some of the most popular and recommended brands are Forclaz, Quechua, Salomon. They are usually priced between Rs 3000 to 8000.
3. Mountain boots
Expedition boots or Mountaineering boots are not necessary for normal hikes. Or for one of the hikes that Indiahikes is currently running.
• • Where are they used:
Mountaineering shoes are needed on ice, rocks, crevasses and glaciers. They are designed to grip these high surfaces.
• • Features to watch out for:
- Thick soles with aggressive outsoles
- Robust fabric outside
- Padding in the sole cushion the foot
- Ankle support
- Supports crampons
• • Recommended brands:
These boots are more expensive, with prices starting at Rs 10,000. Some of the most popular and recommended expedition boots are Forclaz 900 and Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX. Other brands like Merrell, Scarpa, Interested and La Sportiva can be considered but is not readily available in India.
4. Trekking shoes for women
Manufacturers of trekking shoes develop special trekking shoes that have been developed for women's feet.
• • Where are they used?::
The length from heel to ball and the width of in-step and heel are larger for men. Therefore, shoe companies began to design a slimmer shoe that was specifically designed for women's feet.
• • Features to watch out for::
- Slimmer shape
- Special material on the insole and midsole for the Q-angle
- Good fit
• • Recommended brands: Some great shoes in this category are Trek 100 and MH100 for women from Decathlon. Apart from that, you can opt for the Moab 2 Mid fan from Merrell Women and the Salomon X ULTRA 3 GTX W.
| Here is a video that talks about the difference between trekking shoes and sports shoes and which one is suitable for your trekking:
│List of the best trekking shoes in India
Trekkers choice: Top 5 trekking shoes recommended by Trekkers
(According to Indiahike's Instagram poll)
Speaking of top choice, a representative of Decathlon confirmed that Forclaz Trek 100 is their best-selling product and now they want to launch a new variant.
Forclaz 500 High / Trek 100: Excellent hiking shoes for rough Himalayan terrain
"We introduce Trek 100 textile boots in India. It is a beginner's trekker boot that mainly focuses on the comfort of the trekker, is environmentally friendly and is made of 100% natural rubber outsole. It also has a 100% recycled outer panel and a black lining is dyed with spinning solution, which reduces water consumption and CO2 emissions during the process.
The PU midsole is used for cushioning to provide comfort for multi-day hikes. Trek 100 Textile also has a waterproof membrane and is tested with 30,000 seals, ”says Karim Zameziati – Product Manager (Mountain Trekking Boots) Decathlon.
And come to a variety close to the fifth option – Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX – We think it's great for experienced trekkers. We checked it here:
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX: all-terrain hiking shoes for experienced trekkers
From the Trek Leaders' Cabinet
Salomon X ULTRA 3 GTX W.
Trek leader Ayushi, who likes the grip of the shoes especially when descending. The shoes also have a tight fit that minimizes fatigue. She particularly likes that Gore-Tex in the shoes that keep their feet dry in the shoes.
Salomon X ULTRA 3 MID-GTX
Trek Leader Nitesh swears by this model because it was his first trekking shoe after years of trekking in canvas and running shoes. “I used it for 2 years, 30 hikes. And I still love it because it's too easy. The traction is first class on every surface and extremely durable when rough, ”he says.
│Top 6 budget trekking shoes in India under INR 4,000
Here is a List of trekking shoes that our hikers swear! We know because we did a survey and listed it Top trekking shoes that was shown in the answers. But before we get to the list, there are two things to consider:
- These are shoes that have been recommended by trekkers that they used.
- Most of these shoes are perfect for local hikes and easy to moderate Himalayan hikes like Kedarkantha and Dayara Bugyal. But for a very long, difficult Himalayan hike, I would choose wisely.
The list at a glance:
- Quechua NH100 hiking / trekking shoes
- NH150 trekking shoes from Quechua
- Quechua MH100 trekking shoes
- Wildcraft Hypagrip trekking shoes
- Campus Sports hiking shoes from Action
- Woodland trekking shoes
1. Quechua NH100 trekking shoes
You are perfectly fine for Trekking in the Western Ghats although. They have ankle support and are quite sturdy. However, they have no water resistance. So you can't use them for hiking in the snow or rain. They are good shoes for easy and mostly dry hikes.
Trekking shoes rating: “Advantages: (1) High quality workmanship. (2) Abusive, can be used roughly with ease. (2) Good traction / grip. (3) Pocket-friendly price. (4) Comfortable to wear. Disadvantages: (1) Not waterproof. (2) Unsuitable slippery ice hiking trails. "- Zulfi
2. Quechua NH150 Trekking shoes
This is a higher quality than the NH100 because it is water resistant. In water, it can take up to 2 hours because it has a waterproof coating and a waterproof membrane.
It has a good one Cross Contact sole with ankle support. This is even suitable for Himalayan hikes, but not for very difficult terrain such as the Pin Bhaba Pass or Kanamo Peak.
Trekking shoes rating:: “The shoes are comfortable, can be easily dried and offer good grip even on wet, slippery stones. Great shoes for the given price ”- Vashisht
2. Quechua MH100 Trekking shoes
This is another shoe called a hiking shoe. It falls on a good budget and fulfills all criteria – the sole has good grip, ankle support, a flexible sole and water resistance.
These shoes work for most of our easy, medium and even moderate Himalayan hikes like the Rupin Pass. However, they are somewhat at the upper end of the inexpensive trekking shoes and cost around Rs 3,500.
Trekking shoes rating:: “I also used the shoes on several Sahyadri hikes in winter and in the rain and also used them in the snow on Buran Ghati. It's been almost a year since I bought it, and these shoes are in very good condition. They are helpful in any terrain, and are maintenance-free and easy to wash. "- Raj Shah
4. Wildcraft Hypagrip Trekking shoes
Surprisingly, Wildcraft also has a list of "budget" trekking shoes. It is never known that they are somewhat "budget". And there is also a gap.
These shoes cost Rs 2,500 on portals like Flipkart, but they are way above that (~ Rs 4,000) on the official website. So it depends on your luck to get this at a cheap price.
The shoes, on the other hand, are quite decent for Himalayan hikes. You score in the traction department. However, certain reviews suggest that water resistance is very simple. We would not recommend it for a monsoon hike. If you are a trekker on occasion, these shoes are for you.
Trekking shoes rating:: “It worked pretty well during my sand acphu hike !! But I can't tell if it will take a long time or not as I only used it for a hike and did not use it in the snow either. "- Utpal Gogoi
5. Campus Sports hiking shoes through action
20% of our trekkers recommended this shoe and it costs less than Rs 1000. What an absolute bargain! The trick is to buy this shoe offline, or you may have to spend a long time finding the right shoe online.
This is not the ideal shoe for Himalayan hikes. It has no ankle support and is not intended for rough terrain with long hours of trekking every day.
But it works great for hiking in the Western Ghats and can even survive a light shower. From Indiahikes, Saurabh Sawant, who hikes extensively in the Sahyadris and has been using them for a long time, even in the rain. Its only problem is that it gets a bit heavy when it gets wet and it takes a long time to dry.
Trekking shoes rating:: “These are the perfect budget trekking shoes. Use it in rock, scree, snow, rain, grass. They have both low and high ankle versions and I use the high ankle version. Your only danger is that they are not waterproof, but there is no better value for money when it comes to trekking shoes. "- Saini Krishnamurthy
6. Woodland trekking shoes
This Shoes are sturdy and durable like any trekking shoe, but have the same problem as most Woodland shoes – they're heavier than other brands' trekking shoes and don't work well in the rain. And at around 3,500 rupees, they're not too budget-friendly.
But this review put it in the spotlight.
Trekking shoes rating:: “Contrary to the widespread opinion about forest shoes, I found that these shoes have an excellent fit, usefulness and purchasing power and are also affordable. These shoes offer excellent grip on snow, gravel and boulders. They are light, have good ankle support and are also quite durable. I've been using it for three years, although I've only done about 6 hikes. I have used it extensively for my training, including running. "- Abhishek Vaddadi
| Bonus rating:
Forclaz 500 Warm: pocket-friendly hiking shoes for all weather conditions
| Note: If you have used any of these budget trekking shoes or any other than the ones recommended above, share your experience here:
This table gives you an overview of what trekkers choose:
Rent Himalayan trekking shoes
With all the options on the table, you can even see that Budget trekking shoes are not cheap. However, if you want to use your trekking budget sparingly (which we should recommend!), Rent trekking shoes instead of buying them. This way you can use Rs 4000 worth of shoes by paying only Rs 690 for it. Think about it.
The money you save can then be spent on other things – such as travel or your next hike!
How we clean and maintain our rental shoes at Indiahikes
If you hike with Indiahikes, you can rent equipment from us by clicking here.
│How to clean and maintain your trekking shoes
Buying trekking shoes is expensive. So when you buy a pair, be sure to take good care of them. And here are 5 things you need to do to keep your trek in good shape after a hard trek:
1. How to clean your trekking shoes:
Rule of thumb is to clean yours Trekking shoes every time you come back from a hike.
Don't let them get dirty. The accumulation of mud and dirt on the outer fabric of the Trekking shoes affects the sealing. This reduces the breathability of your boot. Therefore, always clean your shoes after a hike to remove dirt residues.
• • Steps to clean your trekking shoes:
You need – a soft brush (an old toothbrush works well) or a sponge and lukewarm water.
- Before cleaning the upper, hit the soles of your shoes against each other to remove dust and mud.
- Then dip the brush lightly in water and clean the outside to remove all stains.
- Use lukewarm water, a soft toothbrush to remove the outside dirt Trekking shoes.
2. How to keep your trekking shoes dry:
It is obvious that you have to dry your shoes after cleaning them. But even if you skip cleaning, you shouldn't skip Dry your shoes.
Trekking shoes are exposed to a lot of moisture such as sweat and rain. Therefore, you need to dry your shoes before storing them. Store moisture or wet shoes causes mold growth and can affect the quality of its breathability. Let your trekking shoes air dry for at least 24 hours.
• • Steps to dry your trekking shoes:
- Remove the insole and loosen the laces so the shoes can breathe and dry faster.
- Let the shoes dry at room temperature.
- Do not expose the shoes to a direct heat source such as fire, dryer, hair dryer or direct sunlight, as this can cause cracks and damage the seal. It can also cause discoloration and weakening of the adhesives, or premature aging in leather shoes.
- Instead, let your shoes dry under a fan.
3. Sealing your trekking shoes:
Many shoes lose their water resistance with use. This function is restored using sprays that make it easier for the water to slide off without getting into the shoe. After cleaning and drying, you can treat your shoes with waterproof sprays to maintain their water resistance. You can find waterproof sprays and greases in all major online shops or sports shops.
| Note: None of the treatments promise foolproof water resistance.
Use of re-waterproofing sprays for trekking shoes:
Treatment is only required once or twice a year.
- Follow the standard application rules for such sprays.
- Spray the product evenly on your shoe. Pay more attention to the seam and joint areas, as most of the water penetrates from here.
- Let them dry all day and take up the spray. Attention: Do not try to increase the drying speed by using an external heat source (hair dryer, sun, etc.).
Use of re-waterproofing grease for trekking shoes:
This product is specially applied to leather boots to prevent premature aging and cracking of the leather by making it water repellent.
Contrary to popular belief, this does not affect the breathability of the shoe. It can also be used for membrane shoes. You can follow the steps above. But instead of spraying, apply the grease with a cloth.
Please check your Trekking shoes after you are back from the hike. Check for loose stitches or a torn insole. And have it repaired before your next hike.
A damaged one Trekking shoe can cause blisters and balance problems on a hike. Don't take this risk and keep your trekking shoes in good condition.
| Tipping: Here's a video on how to fix your trekking shoe when the sole comes off.
5. How to store your trekking shoes:
Please note the following:
- Always make sure your shoes are perfectly dry before storing them.
- Store them in a dry and well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight.
- If you don't want to use them for a long period of time, fill them with newspaper to keep them in shape. You can also use dehumidifiers such as tea bags and silica gels to keep the shoe odor-free.
| Bonus tip: Here is a video on the subject that is often overlooked by most trekkers. How to tie your laces so they don't come loose?
Trekking shoes can indeed make or break your hike. For this reason, we have compiled this extensive guide with information that has been collected over the years.
Now you don't have to repeat the clichéd mistakes made when choosing a trekking shoe.
If you have any questions, thoughts, or recommendations about affordable trekking shoes, which trekking shoes to buy, or how to care for your trekking shoes, please post them in the comments below and someone from the Indiahikes team will look into them.