You’ll be spending quite a bit of time on your feet, so choosing the right footwear is vital to ensure that you can enjoy your holiday to the full, remain comfortable on your holiday activities and avoid accidents whilst walking.
We recognise that footwear can be a personal matter and individuals vary greatly in their anatomy and habits.
As our holidays range from city sightseeing on foot to high alpine hiking we give guidance below as to appropriate footwear for our range of holidays. On our easier holiday grades, the guidance is largely a recommendation. For our higher grade holidays, the guidance provides minimum standards and indicates the sort of footwear we consider essential.
We feel that appropriate footwear is one of the best insurance policies you can take on holiday.
With such a range of holidays, it’s essential you make the right choice of footwear:
|Grade 1 (Previously SS)
||For our easiest holidays, within reason, you should wear whatever is comfortable for a day out on your feet.
|Grades 2 & 3 (Previously E, E/SS, SS/E)
||Good quality waterproof walking shoes or trail shoes with a thick moulded sole with a good tread and a low heel are all that is likely to be required for these holidays.
Grades 4, 5 & 6 (Previously D D/D+, D+)
||Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are recommended and may be essential for some walks. If you are an experienced walker with strong ankles, a good quality pair of trail shoes may well be suitable for some Grade 4 walks.
|Grades 7 & 8 (Previously C and above)
||Good quality waterproof walking boots with a moulded sole with a deep tread and good ankle support are essential.
||A proper four-season mountain boot which can take a crampon is essential for these holidays
Proper walking sandals are suitable for our low-grade holidays (Grades 1 – 3) in warmer places, for example on Greek Islands. They should have an instep and a sole with a good tread. Some sandals have toe protection at the front to stop you stubbing your toe.
These and similar good quality walking sandals are available from Cotswold Outdoor.
WALKING SHOES / TRAIL SHOES
Lightweight walking boots (see below) or proper walking shoes, also known as approach shoes or trail shoes, are suitable for our Grade 4 walking holidays (and perhaps some walks on Grade 6 holidays) providing you have strong ankles.
We would recommend a Gore-tex lined upper as this will stop your feet getting wet. We would also recommend a Vibram style sole which both grips uneven ground well and protects your foot against sharp stones.
These and similar good quality walking/approach shoes are available from Cotswold Outdoor.
LIGHTWEIGHT WALKING BOOTS
Alternatively, a pair of lightweight walking boots providing ankle support and a good grip on the path is suitable for Grade 4 to Grade 6 walking. We would again recommend investing in a quality product with a Gore-tex upper and Vibram sole.
These and similar good quality lightweight walking boots are available from Cotswold Outdoor.
Proper walking boots are essential for our higher level holidays (Grades 7 & 8). These should have a Vibram (or similar) sole, some shock absorbing cushioning, a Gore-tex (or similar) waterproof upper and good ankle support.
High performance soles such as 'Vibram' soles provide a durable, non-slip and abrasion resistant sole to improve grip and safety on the hill. It is not necessary for the sole to be able to fit a crampon.
These and similar good quality walking boots are available from Cotswold Outdoor.
Four –season mountain boots which can take a crampon are essential for these holidays.
These and similar good quality mountain boots are available from Cotswold Outdoor.
Is your footwear comfortable?
Whether you are walking around a museum or scrambling to the top of a mountain what you have on your feet needs to feel good.
Is your footwear waterproof?
If you are going to be outside and there is a chance of rain, knowing you will always have dry feet is very reassuring.
What will happen if you are on steep and loose ground?
Clearly you need something with a good firm sole and a good tread. If your ankles are not particularly strong, even on our easier holidays, you would be well advised to have good ankle support
What happens if a rock falls on your foot?
Painful… unless you have a firm upper on your boot and a strong toe cap.
Being responsible for the wellbeing and safety of our groups as a whole whilst on holiday, our tour leaders may adopt a more prudent approach than may be considered reasonable by an individual traveller. Should your tour leader reasonably feel that your footwear is unsuitable for the nature of a particular walk or holiday as a whole and presents a risk to you or your travelling companions, they have the authority to refuse your participation in the day’s activity.
Should you wish further advice on the footwear necessary for a particular holiday, please don’t hesitate to contact us.