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    really just looking for as much inforamtion i can get. i leave for kokoda next May and am trying to by boots to wear them in now.

    but i went to Rays Outdoors over the weekend and the advise i got on boots varies from waterproof to breathable… i am now more confused, and is it true that its best to buy a pair of boots one size too big?

    any help much apreciated


    Hi Marshall,

    Welcome to this forum where you find a great deal of information on boots based upon the experiences of many past Kokoda Trekkers. Just click on "Trek Preparation" and follow the relevant topic.
    In summary though, based upon your enquiries to date, with due respect to the Ray's Outdoors chain of stores, I would move "up market" for more reliable advice. Seek out the advice from experienced hikers generally employed by stores such as Paddy Pallin, Wilderness, Kathmandu and maybe Annaconda.

    In my opinion, the advice to buy boots one size larger is very very bad, certainly for Kokoda where you do not want to be wearing excessive layers of socks. You must buy the best boots your money can afford. Whether they be leather of Gore Tex is a matter of personal choice. You will find almost any type of boot will become water logged whilst trekking Kokoda. This only adds to the overall experience.

    Best of luck with your preparation.

    Geoff Hardie


    Hi Marshall

    I agree totally with Geoff your boots and your feet are that most important thing that you will take with you on your trek.

    Look after your feet wash and thoroughly dry them every night, I also used tinia powder each time and each morning I used vaseline around the feet and between the toes each morning.

    I had no problem at all the entire trek with my feet I was though wearing good boots the best that I could afford at that time. The boots I wore were Aussie made Rossi boots actually my second pair of such boots as I have been so happy with them.

    I gave these boots away to my porter Brenden at the end of the trek intending to buy another pair of Rossi's on my return. On receiving a 30% off voucher from Annoconda I went there looking for some other gear whilst there I noticed that they had a sale on all foot wear and went looking. I saw tried on and liked thier top of the range Hi-Tec boot that even with discounts was still around $200. I have now worn these boots over several bush walks over a few months now and am very happy with them. I can personally recommend either Aussie made Rossi or imported Hi-Tec to you.

    As Geoff mentioned getting a boot one size larger would I feel be a disaster yes slightly larger is a good point like for example being able to get your finger down behind your heel and another thing you must watch out for is that you have plenty of room between the your toes and the front of your boot if you do not do this your boots will kill you particularly going down steep hills and there are plenty of these along the Kokoda track as your toes will grind into the front of your boots.

    Couple of little things
    Cut you toe nails short before leaving for same reason as above.
    Take a spare pair of boot laces, in an emergency these can be used for other purposes also.
    After cleaning my boots after each walk I use Dubbin on them helps keep them more waterproof and pliable.

    If you have to cut costs do NOT do so on your boots.

    What ever have a great trek it will be an event in your life.



    I agree with the above as well,,,larger boots are a no no.
    Breathable boots are good, but Kokoda is way too wet for them and your boots wont dry out. It took 4 days to dry a single pair of socks that were hanging off my pack, its just too humid and you are beneath the jungle canopy and not in direct sunlight for very long.
    Water proof boots will stay that way unless you sink them in a creek or deep puddle and fill them with water.

    Not everyone will agree,,but the good thing about the forum is that everyone chucks in their different ideas and you can choose for yourself what best suits you.


    I love the Scarpas I bought. One of my feet is about half a size bigger than the other, so I went for a bigger size than I'd normally wear. I ended up walking through the swamp at Myola, rather than around the edge – misjudged and ended up ankle deep in mud. blink.gif My boots were totally gross, but my socks/feet stayed dry, so I was pretty impressed by that. My carrier washed my boots in the river and put them in a drying hut for the night and they were almost totally dry the next morning. The only time my feet got completely wet was the last day and a half, with the river crossings, but I landed on my butt in the water and didn't care by then. I do have to say that after cleaning them properly when I got back to the hotel, it took a few days to get them fully dry again.

    My dad, on the other hand, wore leather boots, and he loved those and didn't think mine would do the job. tongue.gif

    I spent about 90 minutes bugging the guy at Paddy Pallin about all the different types of shoes and trying them on, before I settled on the ones I bought. I have small feet so could not give them to my carrier or any of the other boys, but those boots will definitely be going back with me next year. Cost a fair bit, but well worth the time spent finding the right ones.


    Hi Eve,

    For boots to dry overnight on Kokoda suggests use of fire to accellerate the drying.
    Be carefull, as frequent or even occassional quick drying is not good for the long term vialabilty for your boots. I would think two days is about the right time to expect boots to dry out naturally.

    Cheers, Geoff Hardie


    Yep, there was a small fire for a while. But I hung my boots up on a rafter in the ceiling with the laces, away from the flames/heat. They hung for about 12 hours. One guy did fry his inners by putting them near the fire that night.


    Hi I am an old hand from New Guinea, – Ex-Army PNGVR unit – but keep up to things pretty much (I'm 62 feeling like 32) – Vaseline is good for protection, yes… but if Tinea strikes, use Apple Cider vinegar and wipe on affected areas – stings – but goes and let dry, put vaso over before replacing socks and boots. I always wore 2 army socks on each foot – my boots had room for it. Dont eat too much processed European food… Eat native kaukau, taro or yams, and especially orange cooking banana with them, bully beef added okay, but not too much. Especially get to drink young green coconut juice for bowel and intestinal health. Use bHIP sachets with 500 or 600ml water every day for best energy, stamina, concentration and immune system booster to help protect from disease … There is a bad virus that can hit you in PNG, hits the lungs like a band around your chest… is not a heart problem… but local green leaves like HOVOI or NONU Fruit (Noni also comes in sachets from bHIP agents) I found work best and also good with Malaria. (Kerema people GD, know this.) – So if you need to know where to get some of these things, just Give me a HOY at Brisbane on +61 405 161 778, or email me direct at rkoomans@yahoo.com or (2nd backup email) – bob.bhip@gmail.com


    By the way, just a little mention for those guys sometimes fondly referred to as "fuzzy wuzzy angels" by old diggers – they never wore boots, and had the least problems with their feet. But my feet were too soft to emulate them, gotta admit! They could WALK up mountains like a sunday stroll in a few hours, carrying OUR packs! – While we took just about all day and got knackered! – God Bless 'em!


    I would personally stay away from Goretex or "waterproof" boots. As far as I know, the goretex water evaporation mechanism only works when there is a temperature difference and the inside is hot while the outside is cold. Also, waterproof boots are best used in climates where rain is expected but you aren't expecting to trek through extremely wet terrain.

    The Kokoda track is in a tropical climate so your boots are going to get waterlogged regardless. I would recommend army jungle boots – the US army jungle boots are the best I've tried and considering their experiences with Vietnam, it's not surprising! I've tried UK issue ones but they're not as comfortable. In fact, many UK servicemen in tropical climates will buy the US ones.

    Another thing you really need to consider are socks – don't just use your usual sports nike ones. Choose socks meant for the tropical climate. Again, I'd go for army issue ones which you can find from most army surplus shops. Although if you have to go commercial the Bridgedale socks haven't let me down.

    1st post, but there's my 2 cents smile.gif


    I prefer military boots to hiking boots, they seem to be made stronger and just seem to do the job better. We are off to New Zealand next month to walk The Milford Sound Track and I'll be wearing GarmontT8 combat boots, I have found them to be outstanding in every way.




    I walked 19 times last year wearing a pair off light weight Solemans, that weren't waterproof. Light weight is important, as you lift your feet up and down 30,000 times + a day.

    They didn't need wearing in at all, and didn't get any blisters at all.

    They lasted the whole year as well. Need another pair for this trekking season though.

    The sales lady suggested that I didn't get the waterproof pair, as when waterproof boots do get wet inside, they stay wet inside, whereas the pair I bought dried out over the day usually when they got wet, and next to the fire at night.

    I think everyone will have different opinions on whether to buy waterproof boots or not though.

    My next pair will not be waterproof.


    I whole heartedly agree with your water proof boot theory. My boots have drainage holes in the bottom and are'nt completely waterproof.


    As much as I love camping gear stores, I only go into Rays if absolutely necessary. The staff are way under trained and have never been able to "sell" me anything!
    I trekked in 2010 and wore Keen Targhee II mid hike boots. They were excellent and I had no blisters, soreness, cramping or any other problem with my feet. Really lightweight for a boot and you can pull the inner sole out at night for easier drying.

    Also I took a small bottle of talcum powder and gave my feet a good sprinkling at night to dry up any residual moisture. I dan't use talc for anything at home but was glad I took it along to Kokoda.

    My fav socks would be Wigwam but as I bought mine at a clearance in Anaconda, I haven't been able to find any more-I do know they are a US brand though.


    I go to Rays Outdoors at Lidcombe (a suburb of Sydney), the people there are really good and know what they are talking about. I bought some Wigwam socks from Anaconda as well abd find them really good. They dont sell them anymore .

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