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Of Shoes and Mountain feet

Many have popped questions on suitable shoes to wear when going for a jungle trekking in Malaysia.
For me, it is advisable to have two or three pairs for different terrain:-:P

1) muddy trails, river crossing, or steep terrain - wear Kg Adidas with rubber studs.
Pros: I like it b'cos they are light, durable (no chance to lose its sole!), easy to wash and waterproof. Even the water enters inside it, Kg Adidas does not smell and stay dry quickly. It is also flexible to bend and squeeze in small spaces, making an easy climb uphill and downhill at steep terrain.
Cons: Some people cannot stand the pain from its thin sole. If your feet beneath 2 pair of stockings in Kg Adidas is comfortable with ground "reflexology", then this shoes is a good investment.
Price: RM4 to RM8.

2) long walk on road, dusty or rocky trail- use boots/ high cut shoes or waterproof shoes.
Waterproof shoes is an extra bonus as you can use it on muddy or puddle (but is a hassle to wash).
Pros: They protect your feet from ankle injuries and keep your feet in good standing from heat, dust, sharp objects, and possible cramps.
Cons: Most boots are heavy. The army boots are heavier (but more durable)! Waterproof shoes give your feet a discomfort if water enters inside it as it could not flow out. During river crossing, hikers often have to make a choice between their precious shoes or their own discomfort. They either remove waterproof shoes and cross into the river; or jump from rocks to rocks on their shoes. The latter, however, is a dangerous method as most rocks are slippery.
Price: RM300-700. You can try Columbia shoes- I heard their shoes sturdy on slippery rocks. Other brands of waterproof shoes mostly are not able to withstand slippery rocks unlike pure rubber Kg Adidas. Army boots are usually available among those serving in army. Timberland shoes mostly designed for 4WD offroad trips, and thus, if you like this brand, look for its hiking hybrid. Lafuma shoes are good too, which is popular among my male friends. I am using Hi Tec, quite ok and is the cheapest waterproof shoes.

3) Offroad shoes (usually non waterporoof) - this is cheaper and lighter alternative for item 2.
Pros: Cheap, dry easily and less heavier than waterproof shoes. Serves good for trail running, Can be worn for any casual occassions.  I like to wear this to Tabur Hill, giving me more comfort than the heavier boots.
Cons: Not suitable on slippery rocks. Does not provide protection like a high cut boots.
Price: New Balance is one of the good brand, you can get it for RM250 - 350.
What type of shoes best worn? Technically, I give my best answer as my opinion based on experience. If you happens to incur injuries based on my suggestion here, it is not my responsibility, as there are other factors not within my scope. Personally speaking, shoes is not everything, you have to get good muscles and bones, and proper training is a must before attempting long, and tough hikes. What is long and tough hikes depend on how much your physical body could take it without any cramps or fatal injuries.

If you notice, the porter and local guides only wear penguin shoes or Kg Adidas shoes. That is cause their regular hikes and gotten their feet used to tough terrain "reflexology". I myself had worn China made studded
Be like native people cause it is the Mountain feet that make all possible. Thick sole shoes serves as additional protection, but in some case, may cause injury as well. The world's best sprinters come from a country where they walk on sandals.

1) Mount Kinabalu
You can use almost any shoes suggested above. The trails are clear and there are no leech or poisonous insects known to attack hikers. However, jogging shoes or non-hiking shoes can easily be torn during wet days, when the trails are muddy and moist. My old jogging shoes' soles came off bit by bit in my hike to Mt Kinabalu, and there was no spare shoes in hand, however I managed to complete the summit hike with the same shoes. Kg Adidas is a good option especially on soft ground trail, but may not be good shoes to wear for Summit trail as our knees could not withstand the hard pressure from the Summit's rocky trail.

2) G. Datuk
Kg adidas causes leg cramp if worn on rocky trails. Advisable to wear thick sole shoes, especially when descending downhill.

3) Mt Rinjani, Mt Agung
Wear high cut boots! Those are dusty area, and requires long walk.

As for the preference of shoes among the brands, you need to try out according to your feet architecture. This is probably will be my next study, as to why some people not okay with Kg Adidas and some no problem with Kg Adidas. And what kind of feet that suits certain brands of shoes, especially among men as they are heavier than women.
p/s: Terrain in western countries and similar is different from tropical jungle in Malaysia, some of their jackets and backpacks are not suitable, same as shoes. Do not buy gore tex items as they will peel off in hot & humid country here.

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