Best Hiking Boots and Essential Footwear for Kilimanjaro

Hiking boots can make or break a trekking trip. The footwear you choose can make your feet feel like they’re dying a little bit at every step, or they can support you in comfort all the way up the mountain.

If you are hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, you need to be sure you’re wearing the right footwear for you! After all, this is the highest mountain on the African continent, and it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Make sure it’s a pleasant experience, too!

What Makes a Good Hiking Boot for Kilimanjaro?

Appropriate size and comfortable fit

As with all shoes, you should make sure that your hiking boots fit. Having boots that are too small can lead to great discomfort, blistering, and even cramping during the hike, and having boots that are too large can cost you the protection that boots are meant to provide.

In order to make sure that your boots are the appropriate size, you should make sure that you have room to place your index finger between your heel and the back of your shoe.

If you cannot, your shoes are likely too small. Even if they feel comfortable on your feet, you want to make sure that you have wiggle room, as some legs of the excursion–such as the descent of Mount Kilimanjaro–may cause your toes to be pressed sharply forward towards the top of your shoes.

On the other hand, it’s equally as important to make sure that your boots aren’t too big. Having boots that are too big can lead to inadequate support of your feet and ankles, causing you great pain and discomfort. You also may find that stray objects–such as small pebbles–can find their way and work down into your shoes. You can’t hike up a mountain with a rock in your shoe, and it will be too cold to comfortably take them off once you get close to the top.

When choosing a boot size, also keep in mind that you will probably need to wear layers of thick socks and other footgear for when you make it higher on the mountain, so it’s a good idea to account for the extra space needed for these articles as well.


Choose a pair of boots that are reasonably weatherproof. You want to make sure that you have quality boots that can withstand the cold and are waterproof. Keep your feet are warm and comfortable—this is about more than just being cozy. You also need to stay healthy, and you can’t do that if your feet are wet for hours on end.


Make sure that you have a boot with good support. You need both arch support and ankle support. Boots with high tops can give your ankles the extra support they need to make the climb without any unnecessary injuries. And support for your arch will keep your feet from getting sore and tired too quickly.


Don’t get boots that can give out before you do! Although the most durable boots are usually pretty heavy, this is always worth it on long treks. Your soles should be thick and tough, and your shoes well-constructed.

Break in your boots

You should never wear a brand-new pair of boots on a trekking trip—especially one that is as long and hard as Kilimanjaro! Make sure you buy your boots a few weeks or even months in advance. This will give you time to break in those boots and let them mold to the shape of your feet. If you skip this important step, you are going to be miserable all the way up the mountain.

Recommendations: 5 Best Men and Women Hiking boots for Kilimanjaro

 Men’s Timberland
Our Best Pick for men
Women’s Timberland
Our Best Pick for women
Asolo Power MaticAsolo StyngerHi-Tec Altitude IV
Weight5 lbs5 lbs4.3 lbs1.3 lbs3.7
MaterialLeather and textileLeather and textileLeatherLeatherLeather/synthetic
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

There are a lot of great hiking shoes on the market, but not all of them are suitable for a hard-core Trek like Kilimanjaro. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to go hunting through sports stores and Amazon listings to find good boots! All you have to do is keep reading to see some of the highest recommended hiking boots on the market.

  1. Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot

The Asolo Power Matic is a medium-weight boot that provides the comfort and support you need in order to make a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. It has both a men’s version and a women’s version.

It uses the most-advanced waterproof technology to ensure that your feet stay warm and dry, no matter the climate.

Even better, the durability and quality of these boots means that they can last for many years, giving you the ability to not only climb your way up and down Mount Kilimanjaro, but to go on and enjoy many other trips as well.

  1. Asolo Woman’s Stynger GTX Hiking Boots 

These women’s hiking boots provide ample incredible of support and padding. They have great arch support, are waterproof, and are built durably. The boots are designed to minimize the risk of rubbing and blisters while still fitting snugly for warm and support.

  1. Timberland Men’s Chocorua Gore-Tex Hiker

These men’s boots are designed comfort and support. Despite their lightweight build, these boots offer incredible support and durability, lasting for thousands of miles and a number of years.

Made of stylish leather, Timberland Men’s Chocorua boots provide a fashionable pair of quality hiking boots. Even better, they are considerably cheaper than some other top-quality boots.

  1. Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boot

The female version of the Chocura Trail boots are very similar to the men’s version. They feature a mesh panel and lace-up closure, so you can get a customized, breathable fit. These are a bit heavy for a women’s shoe, but they are also sturdy.

  1. Hi-Tec Men’s Altitude IV Waterproof Hiking Boot

These great boots bring you all the durability and waterproof capabilities of the other shoes listed, but for a great low price.

These boots can save you time and money, proving that quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Sturdy, comfortable, and durable, these boots are great for any adventure–including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Final Verdict

While boot selection depends on your feet and your preferences, the boot I most highly recommend is the Timberland Chocorua. It’s waterproof, yet breathable. Even though it’s heavy, it makes up for this with quality and sturdiness. For me, the highlight of this boot is the Gore-Tex technology! This material is excellent for long-lasting durability.

Other Hiking Footwear for Your Feet

A good pair of boots is an excellent start, but don’t stop there! There is a whole array of footwear designed for your mountain climbing quest. This includes trainers and trekking sandals, trekking socks, thermal socks, and more

Keep reading to learn more!

Trainers and Trekking Sandals

Let’s face it: your feet will get hot, tired, and sweaty stuck inside your hiking boots all day. And while we might not want to think about sweaty, stinky feet, it makes sense to accommodate accordingly. You can do this by investing in a great pair of trekking shoes or sandals.

Trekking shoes or sandals will give your feet freedom from the hiking boots but still provide you with insulation from the cold and rough elements of Kilimanjaro. This is a necessity for anyone who plans on spending any sort of time relaxing or camping during their stay.

There are many great brands of hiking shoes and sandals online, including Merrell and Colombia. These shoes come in various prices and designs.

Merrell Moab Ventilator

The Merrell Moab Ventilator, is a low-rise hiking shoe that provides your feet with top-notch insulation from outside elements, while at the same time providing the freedom of tennis shoes.

Columbia North Plains II

This is another awesome hiking shoe option. It is made with a lightweight midsole that will help you stay comfortable and energetic as you climb up the mountain. It also has a water-resistant membrane, so you won’t get cold feet.


The Columbia North Plains II shoe is my top pick. It’s not fully waterproof, but it offers better weather protection than the Merrell shoe. It also has a great midsole that reduces energy output and fatigue.

Trekking Socks

Socks are an invisible yet invaluable part of your trekking ensemble. Without good socks, you will have chilly feet on your way up the mountain! Take a look at these trekking socks options.

By the way: avoid cotton socks, as these soak up moisture. This can become more than just an annoyance when the dampness of the fabric causes your feet to blister.

Smartwool Medium Crew Socks

Consider Smartwool Medium Crew Men’s Hiking Socks. Wool naturally combats external moisture and protects your feet from blistering.

Also, the padded and thick layers of these socks give you the comfort and freedom you need to move efficiently and without blistering.

Smartwool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks

Smartwool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks are a quality thermal sock that you can purchase for a low price. These socks are made of top-notch wool that keeps your feet warm and insulated from any external dangers.

Bridgedale Coolmax Liners

If you are looking for liner socks, look no further than Bridgedale Coolmax Liners, an inexpensive brand that will provide you with insulation and comfort. It is recommended that you purchase multiple pairs of these socks so that you can double them up against the cold.


When it comes to hiking in the cold, heavier is better. I would go with the Smartwool Heavy Crew Socks, which will do more to keep your feet cushioned and warm for your trek up Kilimanjaro. A packet of Coolmax liner socks for extra padding wouldn’t hurt, either.

Is it possible to rent your boots or buy them in Tanzania?

You might be wondering if it’s possible just to rent your boots or buy them in Tanzania. The answer is yes! There are places in Moshi where you can find the boots you need.

And while it is still recommended that you buy a pair of quality boots BEFORE you embark on your trip, it will not be the end of the world if you do not. Please check with your travel agent to find out if climbing gear will be available.


As a rule, it’s best that you invest in quality footwear before hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. This means that you should purchase quality hiking boots, sandals, and socks. High-quality products will ensure the safety and comfort of your feet during your hike, and I’m sure your your feet will thank you later.

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