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What shoes are best for a European Winter

17 Jul 2011 GregB asked


I am going on the Winter Wanderer tour starting Dec 21 2011 and would like some advice as to what shoes are best to take. I'm from Far North Queensland where we consider anything below 20 degrees C as below freezing, so my experience with sub zero temps and snow are somewhat limited.

Its more a question of practicality. Would normal casual shoes with extra thick socks be sufficient or would waterproof hiking boots be a better option for when its snowing etc since normal shoes will take a while to dry. I only want to take 1 pair of shoes that I wear most of the time and then one pair of dress shoes for going out so they have to be all encompassing.

Would appreciate any advice as I'm more likely to wear pluggers than shoes here and have never experienced a proper winter.

  • Read the responses 7 responses so far
  • 17 Jul 2011 Explorer1125977 said


    A friend of mine went winter just gone and said a lot of aussies were wearning normal shoes and their feet froze! I would suggest waterproof ones because she said your feet do get wet and will also hopefully have more warmth :)

  • 17 Jul 2011 jade89 said


    What about waterproof leather shoes? Treat with waterproofing spray before you go. These can also double up as dress shoes, if necessary (though you might want another pair so they can ‘air out’ overnight I guess…) Waterproof hiking boots would be best, but heavy to take around – I would wear those on the plane.

    I’ve been told to look for thick soled shoes, and to wear a pair of thick ‘outer’ socks, and then regular thin ‘inner’ socks – that way you only have to change the inner socks daily, and can buy 2 pairs of more expensive, good quality hiking style socks.

    Makre sure whatever you get is comfy to walk around in all day… If you work on your feet, wear these shoes to work for a few days (if possible) first. A tour is not when you want to be breaking in new shoes and covered in blisters!!

  • 18 Jul 2011 GregB said


    Cheers thanks for those tips. Thanks explorer1125977 for letting me know about your friends experience, certainly helps getting first hand info on these trips. nyssajc thats a great idea taking the leather hiking boots to double as dress shoes, I hadn’t even considered that. The double layering socks is probably going to turn out to be gold advice.

    I’d say that a good pair of leather hiking boots, waterproofed sounds like the way to go.

  • 18 Jul 2011 Lozzzaaa said


    i’m wondering the exact same thing! Ive been hunting on the internet for some water proof/ snow boots because they are almost impossible to get in perth! I’m hoping they will be comfortable enough to walk in every day…Its risky buying things on the net when you cant try them on first.

  • 20 Jul 2011 Robbie said


    We’re going on the same trip I think. I’ve been stressing about what to take as we’re from Central Queensland and there is just nothing suitable here. I bought a pair of boots online but I’m worried about the whole waterproofing.

  • 20 Jul 2011 jade89 said


    You can buy waterproofing spray from any shoe store – I know there is leather stuff and I think there is also a type for fabric/suede.

  • 20 Jul 2011 sparkyuk said


    i am from the uk justr have a good pair of shoes try merrel they r a good shoes ok

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