Do I need walking boots to climb Snowdon?

What to wear on your feet when you’re climbing Snowdon is a common question we get asked here at MountainXperience so we’d thought we put together a blog post with some useful information.

Each of Snowdon’s six main footpaths are well looked after by Snowdonia National Park and charitable bodies such as the Snowdonia Society. The paths are built to withstand the traffic and are regularly maintained throughout the year. With around three-quarters of a million hikers walking the paths each year, they certainly have to be! However don’t be expecting smooth, tarmac paths to the summit. Snowdon’s footpaths are a mixture of shale, scree and rocks.

If you already have them then we always recommend a good pair of walking boots. They provide you with some ankle protection, keep your feet warm and dry and are sturdy enough to take the bashing of Wales’ highest mountain. However hiking boots don’t come cheap. They start from around £70 and go up to over £300! If you’re planning on doing more hill and mountain walking then they’re definitely a good investment but we’d wouldn’t suggest going out and buying an expensive pair of walking boots just for a day on Snowdon. If you are out shopping, look for brands such as Meindl or Scarpa.

If you don’t have a pair of hiking boots and don’t want to start spending lots of money, then the next best option are walking shoes. These are very similar to boots just without the ankle support. They’re quite a bit cheaper too. They’ll have good soles and are usually waterproof … to a certain extent. Walking shoes have the added benefit of being able to be worn for ‘lesser’ walks along the canal or to the park and even in everyday life.

As a last resort, and assuming it’s a dry day on the mountain, then a comfortable pair of trainers will often be sufficient. They won’t be as comfortable as proper walking boots/shoes and if they get wet your feet will be horribly cold but for Snowdon’s footpaths they’re usually fine. Make sure they fit well and tie your laces properly.

As with any new footwear, be sure to wear them a few times before your big day on Snowdon to make sure they fit well and are comfortable. Nearly all now use man made materials and won’t need ‘bedding in’ like the stiff leather boots your parents might have worn in their day. However you don’t want to find yourself half way up the mountain with an ill-fitting shoe.

Clients of MountainXperience get discounts off big brands at Cotswold Outdoor. Check your booking confirmation for more details.