Recommended Shoes


Posted: Sun, Jul 3, 2016, 19:59

Dear all,

I am planning to trek the GR20 in late August this year.
I wonder whether members of this forum can share their experience and help me to decide which kind of shoes are best.

Hiking Boots vs Trailrunning Shoes - no I don't want to run :)

Thx in advance


Posted: Sun, Jul 3, 2016, 20:07


Comfortable ones

I could recommend the ones that I use, but that would be pointless if you didn't find them comfortable


Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 8:20

Search this forum. The recent thread on Gear List for the GR20 (correct name??) included a good discussion on footwear.

It all depends on what you're used to and what you feel is right for you. Boots can be too heavy but lightweight runners might afford you too little protection. Are you heavy? Will you be carrying a heavy bag? How much experience do you have? if you're asking, are you quite inexperienced?

One thing, don't change your regular walking footwear for the first time on the GR20.

Our preference for our planned Sept trip is good quality approach Scarpa or 5.10 or Meindl or Sportiva or Salomon etc. A bit like a compromise between boots and trail runners.

Good luck.




Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 9:52

I too agree with Kevin you should go with whatever has worked best for you so far.

But, if you're asking for advice not knowing what to do, you might want to pick the best of both worlds: some comfortable lightweight boots with ankle support and decide on the spot whether to lace the higher part (for ankle support) or not (for freedom of movement).



Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 14:51

My Irish trail friend brought Meindl's and immediately regretted not bringing his trail runners instead. They are not only lighter but dry out a lot faster. My American trail friend brought common running shoes and saw no need for anything else. The best thing is to take a couple of practice hikes with serious descents, and you will not need advice from anyone.

What I saw commonly were two complaints- badly chewed up feet from poorly fitting and uncomfortable heavy boots, and trekkers of all ages having sore knee issues. A lighter pack, trekking poles and a knee brace all help a lot.


Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 19:21

Yep - I've seen people suffering with heavy boots, but some people just can't manage with lightweight shoes. A lot of problems are caused when people try and 'fight' their way along the trail. They try too hard and they damage themselves. There is a lot to be said for taking things slow and easy. Same goes for those with heavy packs. Heavy packs need you to burn more energy and sweat more, which means eating and drinking more, and probably wearing yourself out more. Pack light and enjoy the trail.


Posted: Thu, Jul 7, 2016, 17:05

Lightweight trail shoes worked really well for me, but a couple of things I learnt:
- The rough nature of the rock on the GR20 will soon play havoc with any exposed stitching.
- Duct tape is great for either protecting it before it's worn through, or repairing it after! The shop at Castel sells a lot of useful stuff including some lovely bright orange duct tape if you forgot it or ran out.


Posted: Fri, Jul 8, 2016, 8:50

Don't buy new shoes. Take a good pair of old ones and bin them at then end.


Posted: Thu, Jul 14, 2016, 11:49

I used Salomon Speedcross shoes earlier this month and found them absolutely fine, and was grateful of the 'sticky' tread that gave plenty of purchase on the (dry, thankfully) rock slab and boulder sections. Having said that, they're now pretty much wrecked and I'd recommend having some duct tape for repairs if needed. I'd second the advice above not to try a new footwear set-up though - the GR20 is tough enough on the feet and legs without making them adjust to new shoes/boots!


Posted: Thu, Jul 14, 2016, 14:27

thank you to everyone for sharing their view and experience on the subject.

I think I will wear my trailrunners. My pair is not new but not to old or worn-out yet and duct tape is always part of my packing list.

I will let you guys know how it worked for me.

Thank you very much.


Posted: Thu, Jul 14, 2016, 19:52

Interesting discussion, I wore Lowa leather boots, some would say heavy but they've served me well; they take crampons (two days prior to leaving the pnrc website was still recommending crampons), I had no feet issues whatsoever, but by the final two days the heel was becoming detached and the uppers definitely well scuffed. At Usciolu there were a group of Dutch lightweight shoe wearers walking around shoe-less displaying an amazing amount of tape on their feet. I was surprised at the number of brand new looking boots on display but nowhere nearly as surprised as when passing someone between Manganu and Petra Piana in flip-flops, apparently he was into his second pair! Moral of the tale, if planning on flip-flops take a few pairs. To my mind, if you plan to do the GR20 you shouldn't need to ask, you should know your feet, there is no shortage of photos of the route, you should know your footwear....... 7 days in, with maybe 8 to go is no place to find out your shoes aren't comfortable, or worse still as a New Zealander we met found out, the shoes fell apart. Still at Usciolu, the gardien has the problem covered, he sells shoes!




Posted: Sun, Jul 17, 2016, 19:56

I used these
my partner used these
They were excellent choices. We saw many people with sturdy boots that had either ripped in places or were too heavy (and hot) for this kind of terrain. another problem we saw was people with trail running shoes with 'soft' studs. if you are going for this kind of shoe ensure the studs are a bit more robust.
I always prefer to use a shoe over a boot when scrambling and trekking as it gives the foot more flexibility.
Hope this information helps.


Posted: Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 15:44

very informative thread.


Posted: Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 15:44

Very informative thread.