Actually, that’s what I’m about to do in a couple of weeks. Anton and I are going over to visit family and friends in Germany and Spain. We’ll start the trip with a family trek hiking Säntis, a mountain close by in the Appenzell region of Switzerland.
For a couple of days we’ll hike trails that go from point to point with an overnight stay in a rustic “hut” complete with a few essential creature comforts. The last time we were there it was buried deep in snow. This time around it’s supposed to be verdant. Think Heidi and Goat Peter with a down vest and sensible shoes. That’s what I’m thinking about: sensible shoes that will be comfortable with soles that can take a little bit of an Alpine beating.
Sneakers are probably not too bad a choice as would be full-on hiking boots. But hiking boots take up so much space in your luggage and will only get used the first 2 or 3 days. What about the other 2 weeks with one of them spent in autumnal Mallorca? I don’t want to look like a German tourist stomping around Mallorca, not that there’s anything wrong with German tourists in hiking boots.
I also want an alternative to sneakers of which I’ll surely pack a couple. So research has turned up a shoe from Camper that looks like it can do double duty on the mountainside and along the cliffs. Camper, a company that’s been around for some time, occasionally have something with a twist. Their shoes are always comfortable even if they sacrifice style at times. This walking shoe has a look that says chukka/desert boot with a sole that can work overtime and over lots of terrain.
The suede and neutral color makes them look like they can be worn any time and not just for the trek. The Iron Ranger boots in my previous post are a logical choice. Breaking them in on a 2 day hike might benefit them but likely will make ground beef of my feet. I think I’ll opt for comfort.
Just in case I’ve underestimated the terrain in Switzerland, I’m thinking it’s a good idea to cover my bases and bring along a hiking boot that has plenty of support and is light weight. The La Sportiva Mid GTX Waterproof Hiking boot is just what I’ll take. They’ve got great reviews for comfort and ruggedness and look pretty smart to me. I’m getting a half size up so that I can slip an extra comfortable insole inside. Something tells me my feet are going to thank me.