Going on a safari is an exhilarating experience that many people dream of. Whether you are exploring the vast savannas of Kenya or trekking through the African bush, it is essential to have the right gear, and that includes proper footwear.
Choosing the right pair of hiking boots can make a significant difference in your comfort and safety while on safari.
In this blog post, we will explore the 6 best hiking boots for an African safari, taking into account factors such as durability, comfort, and protection.
We will also answer common questions that travelers have when it comes to footwear on safari, such as whether you need hiking shoes, if black shoes are ok, and what shoes to wear on safari in Kenya.
Whether you are a seasoned adventurer or a first-time safari-goer, having the right shoes can make or break your experience. So, read on to discover the best hiking boots for your African safari and get ready for an unforgettable journey.
6 Best Hiking Boots for African Safari
- Blundstone BL550 Classic 550 Chelsea Boot
- Danner Men’s Mountain 600 Hiking Boots
- Red Wing Men’s Iron Ranger Hiking Boots
- Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Hiking Boots
- Dr. Martens 1460 Originals Hiking Boots
- Lowa Renegade GTX Hiking Boots
Blundstone BL550 Classic 550 Chelsea Boot
The Blundstone BL550 Classic 550 Chelsea Boot is an iconic and timeless design. It’s a Chelsea boot, meaning it’s easy to slip on and off with the help of stretchy side panels.
This makes it perfect for those who are always on the go and want a shoe that’s quick and easy to put on. The boots are designed to be calf-high, giving ample coverage and protection to the lower leg.
The boots are made from 100% leather, which is both comfortable and durable. Leather is also known for its ability to be broken in over time, ensuring the boots will mold to the shape of your foot and become even more comfortable with each wear. The rubber sole provides excellent traction and grip, making it suitable for a variety of terrains.
One of the standout features of the Blundstone BL550 is its waterproof capabilities. The leather upper is designed to withstand rain and moisture, keeping your feet dry and comfortable in wet conditions. This makes it a perfect choice for outdoor activities like hiking or camping.
- The elastic side panels make it easy to slip on and off
- The rubber sole provides excellent traction and grip.
- Few choices are available.
Danner Men’s Mountain 600 Hiking Boots
The Danner Men’s Mountain 600 is designed for the serious hiker. It’s made from waterproof suede and full-grain leather, ensuring it’s both comfortable and long-lasting.
The Vibram Fuga outsole with Megagrip technology offers superior grip on wet and dry surfaces, making it perfect for those who love to hike in any weather condition.
The Danner Dry waterproof protection keeps your feet dry even in the wettest conditions. This is important because wet feet can cause blisters, which can be incredibly painful and debilitating. The cushioning open-cell OrthoLite footbed provides all-day comfort, while the Vibram SPE midsole offers maximum rebound, comfort, and support.
The nylon shank and TPU heel frame enhance support and stability, making the Danner Men’s Mountain 600 a great choice for long hikes or rugged terrain. The boots are available in a variety of sizes, ensuring a perfect fit for everyone.
- Comfortable, sturdy, and waterproof.
- Excellent grip
- The nylon shank and TPU heel frame enhance support and stability.
- The price may be a bit high for some people.
Red Wing Men’s Iron Ranger Hiking Boots
The Red Wing Men’s Iron Ranger Hiking Boots are a classic and stylish option for any outdoor enthusiast. These boots are made of natural leather, which gives them a rugged and vintage look.
While natural leather can be prone to scuffs and marks, it can easily be rubbed out with a soft dry cloth. The Nitrile Cork sole provides excellent grip and durability on any terrain, making them suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities.
The bump toe design and double-layer leather toe cap and heel pocket provide ample protection and room for your feet, ensuring they stay comfortable and safe even on the toughest trails.
It’s worth noting that these boots may require a break-in period, so it’s best to wear them around the house for a few days before embarking on a long hike.
- The natural leather gives them a rugged and vintage look
- The Nitrile Cork sole provides excellent grip and durability
- The bump toe design and double-layer leather toe cap and heel pocket provide ample protection and room for your feet
- Natural leather can be prone to scuffs and marks
- They may require a break-in period
Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Hiking Boots
The Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Hiking Boots are a great choice for anyone in need of a waterproof and supportive hiking boot.
These boots feature a waterproof membrane that seals out water and lets moisture escape, ensuring your feet stay dry and comfortable even in wet conditions. The pigskin leather and mesh upper, along with the bellows tongue, help to keep out debris and other elements.
The Vibram TC5+ rubber sole provides excellent traction and stability on any terrain, making them a suitable choice for a wide range of outdoor activities.
The Kinetic Fit ADVANCED removable contoured insole offers reinforced heel cushioning for medium support, and the Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock for added comfort. These boots also feature a molded nylon arch shank, which provides additional support and stability.
- The waterproof membrane keeps your feet dry and comfortable
- The Vibram TC5+ rubber sole provides excellent traction and stability
- The Kinetic Fit ADVANCED removable contoured insole with reinforced heel cushioning offers medium support
- They may not fit wide feet well
- They may not be as stylish as other options
Dr. Martens 1460 Originals Hiking Boots
Dr. Martens 1460 Originals Hiking Boots are a classic and stylish option for hiking and outdoor activities. Made from smooth, waxed leather, these boots are durable and long-lasting. The moisture-wicking, breathable lining keeps your feet comfortable and dry, even on long hikes.
The contoured SoftWair footbed provides excellent support and cushioning, with memory foam at the heel and an anatomically shaped arch support.
The air-cushioned rubber and PVC hybrid Grip-Trax outsole provide superior traction on any terrain. However, it’s important to note that these boots have a soft toe and don’t come with a safety toe cap, so they may not be the best option for those who need additional protection.
- Stylish and durable
- Moisture-wicking and breathable lining
- Contoured SoftWair footbed with memory foam cushioning and anatomically shaped arch support
- Superior traction with the air-cushioned rubber and PVC hybrid Grip-Trax outsole.
- No safety toe cap.
Lowa Renegade GTX Hiking Boots
The Lowa Renegade GTX Hiking Boots are a comfortable and versatile option for any hiker or outdoor enthusiast. The boots have a shaft that measures approximately 5 inches from the arch, providing ample support for your ankles.
The waterproof Gore-Tex lining keeps your feet dry in wet conditions, while the Vibram Evo outsole provides excellent traction on any surface.
The boots also have a full-length nylon shank that provides additional support and stability, as well as a Climate Control footbed that wicks away moisture and keeps your feet comfortable. However, the boots may take some time to break in and may not fit everyone’s feet comfortably.
- Waterproof Gore-Tex lining
- Vibram Evo outsole provides excellent traction
- Full-length nylon shank provides additional support and stability
- Climate Control footbed wicks away moisture.
- May take some time to break in
- May not fit everyone’s feet comfortably.
Do You Need Hiking Shoes for Safari?
If you are planning to embark on a safari adventure in Africa, one of the important questions that may arise is whether you need hiking shoes or not. The answer is a resounding yes! Having the right footwear can make all the difference during your safari experience.
When you think of a safari, you might envision sitting in a jeep or a safari vehicle, but there are times when you’ll be out exploring the wilderness on foot. Hiking shoes provide the support and protection you need to traverse through different terrains such as rocky trails, muddy grounds, and even shallow streams.
Wearing the appropriate shoes also reduces the risk of injury from insect bites, thorns, and other sharp objects. Moreover, it can help to prevent slipping or tripping, especially when hiking up steep paths.
Are Black Shoes Ok on Safari?
If you’re wondering whether you should wear black shoes on a safari, the answer is that it’s not the most recommended color.
While black shoes may seem practical, they tend to attract heat and can become uncomfortably hot during the day. This can cause discomfort and even blisters on your feet, which can ruin your safari experience.
It’s best to opt for neutral-colored shoes such as brown, beige, or khaki, which blend in well with the natural surroundings. These colors are also less likely to attract attention from animals, which is crucial when you’re trying to get close to wildlife for a good picture.
What Shoes to Wear on Safari in Kenya?
When it comes to what shoes to wear on a safari in Kenya, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, the terrain in Kenya can be quite diverse, ranging from grasslands and forests to mountains and savannas. Therefore, it’s important to choose shoes that are suitable for the specific terrain you’ll be encountering.
For savannas and grasslands, sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support are a good choice, as they can protect your feet and provide stability on uneven ground. For forested areas, lightweight hiking shoes with good traction are ideal, as they can help you maneuver through the dense vegetation.
It’s also worth noting that Kenya can get quite hot during the day, so it’s important to choose shoes that are breathable and comfortable. Materials such as mesh and Gore-Tex can help keep your feet cool and dry.
You can read our blog on the Best hiking boots for the Appalachian Trail
In conclusion, when preparing for an African Safari, the right footwear is crucial for a comfortable and safe experience. While there are a variety of shoes that can be worn on safari, hiking boots are recommended for their durability and support.
The 6 best hiking boots for an African safari offer a range of features and styles to suit different needs. It is important to consider the type of terrain, weather conditions, and personal preferences when choosing the best hiking boots. With the right pair of hiking boots, you can confidently embark on your African Safari adventure.
Tyler Looney is an avid hiking enthusiast and the author of HikingBootsPros.com, a website dedicated to providing helpful insights and advice on choosing the best hiking boots. His expertise and passion for hiking have made him a valuable resource for both beginner and experienced hikers alike.