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Footwear for Namibia in mid-June

footwear shoes boots sandals

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Fischwife

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 01:50 AM

Hello,

We are going to be in Namibia from June 11-22.  We will be going to the Kalahari, Soussusvlei, Swapkomund, Twyfelfontein, Etosha, and Erindi.  We will be staying at lodges and mostly getting around by vehicle, but we do plan to do a Bushman walk and do some viewing near waterholes, where the lodges have waterholes on site or very close by.

I'm wondering about bringing boots. I have these boots: https://www.journeys.../product/231484 but I am thinking of getting these: http://www.shoebuy.c...e-_-none-_-none (Yes, I can fit boy's sizes.)  I don't mind getting the Timberlands, as I'd get use out of them at home, too, but would want to get them soon to start breaking them in. The Docs have a rubber sole--not super thick, but more like the sole on a sneaker/trainer--maybe about 1/2" thick.  They are really like a pair of leather, high-tops.  The Timberlands have a thicker sole and the uppers are harder and sturdier, too.

Which would be more suitable for Namibia? Or would either one be overkill? I've been researching, and some people say that comfortable shoes or sneakers and sandals are enough.  I'm not sure I'd like wearing sandals in a non-urban environment, although I don't mind having a pair along, as we will be spending a few days in Germany on the way there and Toronto on the way back. I'd probably also bring a pair of lighter shoes, such as these ones, which I have: https://www.ca.skech...-4-achiever/gry 

I know that Namibia at that time of year can be quite warm midday but around freezing in the early morning and at night.  That sounds very much like Calgary, where I live, in late September to mid October, so I understand the need for layering and bringing some light and some warm things.

We will have a private guide and vehicle, so space isn't a big issue on the ground. However, we always prefer to travel with carry-on luggage only on flights (have done three 3-week trips to Europe this way), if possible, so I don't want to bring stuff I won't need. Are thorns likely to be an issue at lodges?  (Some of the lodges consist of cabins or tented chalets that are quite spread out.) If so, I'm worried the Docs and my Skechers might not protect against those. What about scorpions in winter?  Would the Timberland boots be way too hot, though? What about at Soussusvlei? Would my shoes or boots be a pain in the behind for walking on sand? Is there something else I should consider (e.g. flip flops for inside the cabin and going to the pools, if I do so?). I'm confused. 

Thank you.
 



#2 theplainswanderer

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 08:57 AM

I certainly wouldn't reccommend sandals or lightweight shoes - trust me when you make the walk to the Dead Vlei or other spots in Sossusflei you will not want sandals or sneakers - its hard work walking in the sand - getting in and out of safari vehicles is also not always easy and so sturdy boots or Timberlands style lighter weight boots would definitely be my choice that support the ankles. Walking near waterholes in Etosha wasn't allowed but at private reserves it may be the case - once again there is lots of rocky ground in Namibia so good footwear a great idea for mine - forget thongs/sandals and lightweight stuff unless you want it around the lodge and that would be ok - boots don't need to be military hard leather but good soles and ankle protection for mine - and they may even save you from a scorpion bite!!  haha!!

 

Regards

 

David Taylor

 

PS - don't be fooled - mid June will be very cold in the morning drives - we did it in June and some morning and night drives were bitterly cold with the wind - all great stuff but go prepared!  Your feet will also get cold!!


Edited by theplainswanderer, 26 February 2017 - 08:58 AM.

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#3 wilddog

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:06 AM

Agree with @theplainswanderer boots will be essential particularly in the dunes. Not sure about your current boots but if you are used to them, they may be best as you do not want to be wearing in new boots as you climb the dunes and findiong they pinch/chaff

 

Best way of carrying boots is to wear them on the flight, saves ramming them into hold bags.

 

and yes June is very cold in the mornings in Namibia until the sun gets up.



#4 Seniortraveller

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:17 AM

Welcome to Safaritalk@Fischwife.
It can be difficult deciding what footwear to bring, especially if you are trying to travel with carry-on only. I now find that good trainers (Meindl at present ), walking sandals ( Merrel ) and a pair of Crocs, is all I need.
The Crocs, or similar, are useful for putting on during a long flight, wearing if necessary in the shower or for relaxing.
After a trip to Namibia last year, I did discover that there were a multitude of long thorns in the soles of my Crocs. A result of birdwatching in them round the lodge, off proper paths. Lesson learnt! We did quite a bit of walking that trip, some quite rough underfoot, the trainers and walking sandals were fine.

#5 Seniortraveller

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:05 AM

Apologies if my post comes across as challenging other posters. I only saw them when I posted mine...too slow!
Too late to edit but Merrell not Merrel!!!!

#6 optig

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:15 AM

I would bring a pair of walking boots which offer solid ankle support. I once twisted my ankle when I was walking and that it's something that I'll ever risk happening again. A pair of crocs as well would be perfect because they're so comfortable and versatile.



#7 xelas

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:40 AM

I am also supporting the use of solid ankle high boots with sturdy enough sole. While you can always took them off when in the car (or in the plane) they will show their strengths whenever walking outside.

For inside the house/cabin we used flip flops. And yes, early mornings, in the open car (game drives) is very chilly indeed. Luckily they always have a blanket or two for those thinking Africa is hot 24/7  :) .


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#8 Fischwife

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 05:24 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback. I was planning to bring boots but was starting to doubt myself after reading all the advice (not here) that said sneakers were enough or that I'd spend most of my time in sandals.  (Not doubting you, seniortraveller, but I'm not much of a sandal wearer to begin with--most are not comfortable with my wide feet, and I would like more foot protection. I stubbed my toe while painting the kitchen a couple of years ago and broke it). So, I think I'll go with the Timberlands if they fit well, and get them now to start breaking them in.

(Just a clarification: I wasn't thinking I could walk around waterholes, but I was under the impression that some of the ones at lodges had blinds that I might need to walk to).

I've never worn Crocs, but I may look into those.  I need to think of what I might want to wear in Germany and Toronto, too, and it probably would not be Crocs.

Thanks again.  You have been very helpful.



#9 wilddog

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 05:59 PM

In addition to your boots, if you are not into sandals, you could take trainers or something light weight for walking around camp etc.

You won't want to wear boots all the time.
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#10 optig

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 06:06 PM

I would also recommend that you take a spare pair of laces.This is something that I learned from @COSMIC RHINO and from my own recent experience.


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#11 Seniortraveller

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 06:33 PM

No offence taken @Fischwife. I have the same difficulty getting shoes that fit. The type of sandals I use are fairly substantial with a vibram sole. I don't think anybody would consider them fashionable!
I would not advise wearing flip flops or crocs anywhere that there are likely to be thorns. The thorns that I pulled out of my crocs last year would have gone right through the thinner sole of flip flops.
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#12 marg

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 06:57 PM

@Fischwife..take a look at Tevas.  You can wear them with socks, if necessary, and you can get them wet.  This might be an option to Crocs.


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#13 xelas

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:10 AM

As an "around-the-camp" alternative, and specially useful for people with large feet and touchy toes (count me in), Keen closed-toe sandals are very good option for lodges and in the car. I am using the H2= model for 8th year, and they are working great in a number of different environments.


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#14 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:18 AM

please everyone test  out your shoes before going away 

 

I can no longer wear sandals the surface leather or artificial makes parts of the skin on my feet red  and uncomfortable


Wild Africa is in my blood. All life is sacred and interconnected. for the animals are fellow nations caught in the splendor and trevail of the earth.


#15 Fischwife

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:19 AM

please everyone test  out your shoes before going away 

 

I can no longer wear sandals the surface leather or artificial makes parts of the skin on my feet red  and uncomfortable

Good advice.







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