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Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

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posts: 31
reviews: 24
Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

Planning a trip in less than three weeks to Clifden/Connemara/Aran Islands. I'm hoping that a pair of flats, my hiking/running shoes (they are trail runners, which I've hiked the Grand Canyon and our 12,000 foot peaks in Az in, many times) and a pair of nice Born sandals will be enough for hiking, going out to eat, pub wear, etc. Please help...I am trying not to bring things I won't ever wear. Thank you!

14 replies to this topic
Greenwich...
posts: 402
reviews: 59
1. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

I just returned last week - - - the footwear really depends on your hiking destinations. Parts of Connemara have bogs and can be quite wet and muddy; if you plan to hike in the Burren, good ankle support is absolutely essential (trail runners would be completely inadequate and even dangerous). Have a great time!

posts: 31
reviews: 24
2. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

Hello, I don't know what the Burren is, but I've hiked in trail runners for years (rough western US terrain), never used ankle supported hiking boots because every pair I ever had didn't work well, expensive or not.... I don't want to buy any new shoes because I can't afford them. Really? I have to buy a new pair of high ankle boots for a hike or two on a trail to the Bens? It would be great to hear from some others.

Yellow Springs, Ohio
posts: 736
reviews: 46
3. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

trail runners should be fine in the Burren. Just be careful. Also, the point about boggy is correct in Connemara.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 35,271
reviews: 49
4. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

It really depends on your definition of "hiking", the specific places you're planning on going. For example, the trails in Connemara National Park are nice "walks" except for the one to the top of the Diamond Hill. So you can (and I have!) done the much easier portion (3 km) with the hiking/running shoes. There are gravel paths and boardwalk areas over the more messy bog parts.

Same with Inis Mor. The main attraction there is the walk up to Dun Aengus fort and I literally saw a woman last summer doing it in heels. Helped by a none-too-happy male companion, but she made it to the top.

But if you're talking about off the beaten path "up into the hills we go" hiking, you need not only sturdier footwear than what you've planned but also a lot more preparation for weather, etc. What looks like a fine day at the bottom of the hill can turn outright dangerous in the mountains and it's essential to be educated and prepared about what you're getting into.

Greenwich...
posts: 402
reviews: 59
5. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

I have hiked throughout the western USA (AZ, UT, MT, WY, WA, CA, NM, TX) in trail runners without any problems, and I agree that they are often adequate. In addition, I have hiked extensively throughout the Alps, the Andes, and the Himalayas, and I was simply giving you some requested feedback about what I figured you might need, due to the unique qualities of the terrain in Western Ireland. As with most things in life, one must do what feels right for him/herself. I'm sure you'll make the right decision and have a wonderful time! Everything about Ireland is wonderful!!

posts: 31
reviews: 24
6. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

Thank you Inishfan!

Saginaw, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Western Ireland
posts: 5,441
7. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

A huge range of walks in Connemara, as per this link, for example.

Required equipment, when and where appropriate, is detailed also.

http://www.walkconnemara.com/walks.html

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 35,271
reviews: 49
8. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

And neither Connemara not Inis Mor but an article from my local newspaper yesterday about hiking in a couple locations, might be worth a read:

washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/in-irela…

Dublin, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dublin
posts: 4,066
reviews: 183
9. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

I've done Inis Mór in flip flops, Converses and hiking boots... never heels (not even in the evenings!) All were fine but if you are doing off road/boreen walking then the hiking boots are the best as they protect your ankles from getting grazed off the limestone pavements.

posts: 31
reviews: 24
10. Re: Footwear for Clifden/Inishmore

Okay..we've covered the trail question. What about pub wear and street wear? Are sandals appropriate on a sunny day?

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