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Hiking Boots for GAS in Aug/Sep?

Hi, This is my first RS tour! I'm scaling back on the packing for this trip and am trying to sort out my shoe situation. I have everything figured out, except, do I need hiking boots? I have nice quality, comfortable shoes for walking and rainy weather, but I am not sure if there will be actual hiking involved/offered? I would love it if there was! But don't want to lug around boots if there isn't. Any assistance is appreciated!

Kelly :)

Posted by
3492 posts

When we took the GAS trip several years ago hiking boots were not needed. We both used good, sturdy, lace up walking shoes like Deer Stag and Rockport. Most of the "hiking" was on walking paths that were paved or asphalt. Occasionally a dirt path with a few rocks but it definitely was not hiking in the out back.

Posted by
3541 posts

I find my Ahnu waterproof hiking shoes are terrific in both the mountains on trails and in the cities on cobblestones. Get the black leather ones and they are pretty multi-purpose.

You can choose what types of trails you go on. Your good quality walking shoes should be fine for many of the easier trails. Choose your trails thoughtfully and you should be fine.

Posted by
908 posts

I did this trip years ago, and the itinerary has changed, but the only time I did what I would call hiking was in the Berner Oberland, Reutte, and to the castle above Baden Baden. In certain places of the Berner Oberland there are paved or somewhat paved walking paths. In all the areas I mention, a pair of trail runners (many brands have water repellant models) or low cut day hiking shoes that you can also wear in the city (e.g., Merrells or pick your brand of choice) would work fine. I suggest picking a shoe that will work in both environments--city and mountains.

Posted by
2525 posts

The hiking is really walking on nice paths, so choose footwear with that in mind. I would not take dedicated hiking boots for the trip...which we took some years ago. Enjoy.

Posted by
8429 posts

I agree with everyone else! I did GAS last fall and just wore my regular (Altra brand zero drop) athletic shoes for hiking in Switzerland. I did wind up leading my little band down a fairly narrow dirt trail into Muerren but it was fine in the footwear I had on. Hiking boots would have been overkill. I also walked Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on Day 2 and it is level and wide. There are a few small rocks but not enough to need any kind of ankle support.

You'll have hiking opportunities on both days in Switzerland and the views are fabulous and jaw-dropping. You may have some short hiking options in Hallstatt (it was raining and I passed) and as mentioned, in Baden Baden. I had been to Neuschwanstein before so I walked part way around the lake which was lovely but if you've not visited, you'll probably want to go see the castle.

If you think you might want to do that Mozart concert in Salzburg (guide will probably get a head count and make reservations for you) there is a dress code. They don't allow athletic shoes. I skipped because that's all I had but if you think this will be of interest, take a pr of shies to wear there.

edited to take out misspellings due to fat fingers on a smartphone, lol!!

This is a really fun tour!

Posted by
61 posts

You are in for a fantastic tour! We took that one a few years ago and had many chances to take incredible hikes. I did them all with my Merrell siren sport GTX low rise hiking boots. They are waterproof and oh so very comfortable as well as light weight. Since then they have been on hikes in the Cinque Terre and all over Ireland. They will be with me in Scotland next month. Have a great trip!

Posted by
50 posts

IMHO, no, you do not need hiking boots. We are leaving next week (yippee!) to hike Mont Blanc which is 106 miles. We are both doing it in trail running shoes (Innov8s is the brand). I hiked a 50 mile trek in Corsica in a low, lightweight hiker 2 years ago. Hiking boots are generally overkill in my opinion. I'm in Seattle and for both Mont Blanc and Seattle Gortex is essential, but the high rise from hiking boots is not. Good luck.