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Are Ankle Boots in the Fall Needed for Ireland

I have been reading several travel threads that you should bring some type of boots to Ireland. I will be going the end of September into the middle of October. Is this really necessary? I will be bringing black sneakers and spray them with protective waterproof spray.

If I do get boots I would wear them on the plane but would be extra weight in my bag eventually. Looking into purchasing Teva Anaya Bootie 15 oz.

Posted by
4737 posts

Will you be hiking or will you primarily be sightseeing in towns and cities? If the latter, then boots are not necessary.

Posted by
920 posts

I have taken both Ireland tours. I did not need my hiking shoes. The only hiking I took wax one out free afternoon in Dingle ceased to the lighthouse in the bay. My running shoes were good enough. Plus I hadl another pair of shoes (off brand like keens). That was for the 14 tour.

The heart of Ireland I only took one pair of shoes hokas. Worked fine.

August for 14 day/. April for 8 day tour

Posted by
3713 posts

I'm going to disagree with those who say you don't need boots for the Ireland tour, especially considering the time of year you're going. I'm also going to say that those Anaya boots are city fashion boots, not at all useful for the kind of tour the 14 day is described to be. The last thing you need is to turn an ankle, slip and fall or have your shoes get so wet that they don't dry out overnight. See the weather averages toward the end of this response.

I encourage you to closely read the daily itineraries and the descriptions of the amount and kind of walking listed at the end of each one. Pay particular attention to those that say, "Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain." In fact, the overall info on the tour says, "This is a very active tour! Most days are moderate to strenuously paced with 2–8 miles of walking, including hilly terrain and lots of stairs."

I highly recommend that you consider some lace-up, waterproof ankle boots that are supportive for the kinds of terrain and weather you are likely to experience on the tour.

I'm not a particular fan of averages, but these are the timeanddate.com October weather averages for some of the places the tour will be. You can go there and research the exact days and locations for the past few years to get more recent data.

High. Low. Precipitation. Humidity.

Dublin: 57°. 45°. 2.06". 85%.

Kinsale: 56°. 46°. 3.85". 89%.

Dingle Peninsula: 59°. 50°. 6.35". 82%.

Galway: 58°. 47°. 3.11". 85%.

Belfast: 55°. 47°. 1.98". 82%.

I'll be on the same tour 24 July to 6 August. On the plane and everyday on the tour I'll be wearing these KEEN Terradora II Waterproof Mid Hiking Boots in the Majolica/Tapestry color. I suspect that these are the kind of boots some people have in mind. REI has them in other colors as does Amazon.

Ankle boots like these have great support and stability for all those hours on foot and walking. They've kept me from turning an ankle or falling on rough or slippery terrain. And, along with my Sockwell socks, they've kept my feet warm (or cool) and dry.

There are lots of good socks and people have their favorites. I like the Sockwell moderate graduated compression ones. They're great on the plane and help to fight standing and walking fatigue. I've never experienced a blister when wearing these socks Plus they come in fun patterns and colors. These and these are my current favorites.

Posted by
35 posts

@Lo Thank you for your helpful info. I normally bring my Keen sandals for my trips. This will be my first cooler trip to Europe. I have looked at the itinerary and the review http://www.trainerstravelsireland.com/. I am starting to walk more because it has been a few years since I walked 8 miles. My plan is to purchase Merino socks and wear compression socks on the plane. I could not bring myself to purchase boot/sneakers as I will never will wear them again. When you return from your trip I hope you post a review.

Posted by
1851 posts

Thanks, Lo. That confirms my choice to bring my hiking boots on the tour.

Posted by
11973 posts

The "hiking" part of the boots isn't really important. Just about any hiking you do will be on gentle enough trails that any walking shoe will cover it.

The bigger part is waterproof. Wet shoes take time to dry, wet socks make you miserable and can cause all kinds of problems.

If you spray your shoes with waterproofing spray, let them dry well, put them on, then point your hose at them and see how they perform. When it's raining in Ireland (and it will be in mid-October), it's just about the same - occasionally a deluge but constantly wet. If your shoes and socks stay dry after spraying them long and hard with your hose, your set. If not, I'd look at something made to be waterproof. Quick drying, non-cotton socks will also be important. Some nice wool hiking socks will keep your feet warm even if they get wet (but hopefully your shoes will keep them dry).

Posted by
1381 posts

I wear waterproof (Goretex) low hikers on all the trips I have done, including Ireland in November, and Austria/Germany in December. Mid-60s and klutzy--have never felt the need for more.

Posted by
3655 posts

WOZ, Unless your footwear is absolutely waterproof, put a pair of dry socks in a zip lock bag in your day bag. If your shoes get completely soaked (a definitely possibility), they will be worth their weight in gold.

Posted by
938 posts

I have SealSkinz waterproof socks. Also available from ShowersPass and one or two other makers. Remarkable products. But not everyone likes waterproof sox. You can get a pair and test drive them before your trip. Not cheap. If they work for you, you do not need waterproof boots and the socks ride much higher than the tops of boots so stepping in a puddle is not big deal. Waterproof sox can be worn with sandals or walkers.

https://www.rei.com/search?q=waterproof+socks

Posted by
11973 posts

Waterproof socks are an interesting idea. I've always opted for socks that still perform even when wet (wool or non/cotton). I can see these being a really good idea in Ireland in the fall.

Do they vent? I'd be worried about my feet sweating profusely in any weather other than cool/cold and rainy/snowy.

Posted by
93 posts

I have traveled to Ireland five times in the past 10 years or so. The most important thing in footwear is waterproof. I wouldn’t go without a Gortex or similar shoe that is sold as waterproof. My feet happen to like Merrills.

Posted by
1381 posts

I had a good test of my shoe/sock system a few weeks ago on a hiking trip in NE PA. One day on the trail it started raining, and absolutely poured for an hour or more. Hiking through puddles was unavoidable. I was sure my feet would end up wet, but they did not! Yay! Stuff in my pack didn't fair quite as well.
Damn good brand wool socks, and Gortex Asolo hikers with Vibram soles did the trick. Other people did not do as well.

Posted by
35 posts

Waterproof socks I will have to look into that. Thanks

Posted by
91 posts

I took this tour in October 2019. I brought waterproof Sorrel walking shoes and Teva waterproof ankle boots, Columbia waterproof pants and an Eddie Bauer all weather jacket because it was going to be cold and wet. We had heavy wind and rain on the Aran Islands. I was warm and dry while my tour mates were drenched and were drying out their shoes in front of the fire at the pub. The weather was indeed cold, but I never was. I am glad I had my boots when I was hiking up to the Cliffs of Moher and down through the countryside to the rope bridge and back again as the ground was soggy. Have I worn any of that stuff since? No. I live in Florida, but as the saying goes, there is no inappropriate weather, there is only inappropriate clothes. I would have been miserable on that trip if I hadn’t of had the right gear.

Posted by
24 posts

I was in Ireland mid May for 10 days and took 2 pairs of shoes, but wore my Blundstone boots every day, Only a few 3 mile days and was very comfy. Could have left the other home.