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Footwear in Costa Rica

Raleigh, North...
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116 posts
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Footwear in Costa Rica

I have heard some conflicting things about the right kind of footwear for costa rica for travelers who are planning to hit Arenal, Puntarenas, canopy tours, rainforest tours etc. what is the optimal, yet lightweight recommendation? are hiking boots a necessity? will sneakers just not cut it?

we are traveling pre-rainy season (March 2006).

thanks!

Fort Worth, Texas
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1. Re: Footwear in Costa Rica

hi again! (i just replied to your other post :) tennies will do just fine in most situations. if it's raining - and it tends to do that quite a bit - you'll encounter some mud and just plan accordingly... in other words, don't bring your $200 pair of air jordans! for white water rafting a lot of people bring these little water shoe deal (i think they're called tevas). hiking boots would only be necessary if you're planning on doing a lot of 'off roading' on your feet!

Vancouver, BC
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2. Re: Footwear in Costa Rica

We got thru our 3 week holiday with running shoe "hikers" and a pair of sandals. Sneakers will be fine as long (as you aren't planning any daylong hikes in Rincon de la Vieja, etc.) for your canopy tours, horseback riding and such. And the sandals are perfect for sunset sails, snorkelling, white-water rafting tours.

The only thing I think I'd recommend if you're going to be travelling in the pre-rainy season is perhaps a windbreaker-type shell jacket. Wouldn't hurt if it was waterproof (for that day in Monteverde!).

The Bakery
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3. Re: Footwear in Costa Rica

We each took two types of footwear. One pair of hiking sandels (mine were Keenes) and one excellent walking shoe (mine were Mephistos). A group of 4, two had Keenes, 2 had Tevas. The Tevas got blisters, the Keenes, didn't. (The straps can really cut on steep, slippery paths as your foot slides around.)

Sneakers may be fine for easier walks, but if you're going someplace wet, uneven or steep, you may find a well broken in pair of good walking shoes with good arch support will keep your feet and legs in better condition. These will cover most of thehiking visitors do, except for the real adventurers who are backpacking and hiking the more remote mountain trails.

For hardcore jungle/rain forest hikes a pair of proper hiking boots were strongly recommended. We weren't, so we didn't bring them.

My 2 cents, for what its worth.

Raleigh, North...
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4. Re: Footwear in Costa Rica

thanks very much! for our standard types of ecotours, maybe canopies and trail walks along with ziplines, sounds like casual shoes with heavy hiking tread (aren't these "hikers") sound good.

any advice for my wife-to-be? she wants some cool shoes to wear while hanging out/dancing in tamarindo, should she face reality and just go with the travel footwear?

names of shoe brands / types of guys/girls are appreciated!

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5. Re: Footwear in Costa Rica

We just got back, and while we didn't hit the exact areas you mention, we did go on a canopy tour, a hike through the rain forest, and a boat tour. I had a pair of Teva sandals and a pair of Teva sneakers with mesh sides. I got both at a discount store (Ross, kind of like Marshalls or TJMaxx) at a great price. For the canopy/rainforest, I really enjoyed the sneaker Tevas. They had a good enough tread to keep me from slipping on the wet path. I wore the Teva sandals on the beach and they were pretty good for traction and were easy to rinse clean (black sand), but they didn't offer enough support when we were on the rocky areas. My friend had some shoes that looked like the Keens, but were some other brand. They were great for the canopy and rainforest and made her happy because they were pink and kind of cute. They would have been better than my sandals on the rocky areas. My husband got by with regular sneakers and Teva sandals.

As far as what to wear when hanging out and dancing, I guess what matters more is how far you're going to walk to and from and what the terrain is. I know we changed into prettier clothes and shoes in the evenings, but we were in the resort, so the only concern was the hilliness. Pretty shoes don't take up much space in the suitcase, so I'd say take some of those, too!

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