Hiking Footwear

Hiking Footwear

What Shoes Should I Wear?

A frequent question we get at HikingCamelbackMountain.com is, “What is the correct footwear for hiking Camelback?”  While the final choice is more up to hiker preference, we have a few brief suggestions from hiking experience on Camelback mountain.


Minimum Requirements

Neither Echo Canyon nor Cholla Trail is an easy walk-along hike.  Both paths have jagged rocks, rugged terrain and boulders to navigate as well as steep slopes.  Despite this we have seen people hike Camelback in less than desirable footwear.  This includes, skate shoes, construction boots, slippers, flip flops, dress shoes and even barefoot!  While it is possible to get up the mountain in anything, the minimum really should be some type of rubber soled athletic shoe with decent tread on the bottom.


Running Shoes

A majority of people that hike Camelback do just fine in standard running shoes or tennis shoes.  This will be a completely acceptable choice when picking out your footwear for the hike.  This is especially true if you are traveling and want to have a more versatile option that you can use for other activities while you are in Phoenix.  However for hiking Camelback on a more regular basis, tennis shoes will not hold up or last as long as hiking shoes or boots.  They will also typically not provide the same type of tread or grip that really helps out on the steeper parts of the trail.  Plus the tread on basic athletic shoes simply won’t last on Camelback


Hiking Shoes or Boots

For most people, more durable hiking shoes or boots is the best choice for hiking Camelback.  This is especially true if you will be hiking Camelback at a regular interval.  This could even be as little as once every 10 days or so.  If you are looking to make the most out of the hike, investing in quality hiking shoes is a wise decision.  Not only will you perform better on the hike, but they will last longer, hold up better to the rugged terrain and will keep you safer.


High Top Versus Low Top

At HikingCamelbackMountain.com we recommend a high top boot because of the added ankle support.  We have seen too many people roll their ankle when coming down the mountain.  They may not look as cool, especially when wearing shorts, and may require some taller socks for comfort, but the added security of a high top is really the best for hiking Camelback.  This is especially true if you wish to descend the trail with a good pace. The problem however with high tops is that they are bulky and are typically heavier than low tops.  This is why many people wishing to hike quickly choose low tops.  A good comprise of support and weight, is a stiff mid-top.  This is probably the best solution for you if you are looking to keep shoe weight down but still have some support for your ankles.


Vibram Five FingersWhat about the toe or minimalist shoes?  We have seen plenty of people wear these types of shoes up Camelback.  In fact some of the best and most regular hikers of Echo Canyon trail actually prefer the minimal soles for quicker accent.  As stated above it comes back to preference and ability.  If it is going to be your first time up Camelback, you may want to wear hiking boots, but if you are in good shape and confidant give your low profile shoes a shot.


What do you footwear do you use when you hike Camelback?

Let us know in the comments section below…

One Response to “Hiking Footwear”

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