Is hiking in Patagonia with approach shoes a bad idea?
October 5, 2016 6:09 AM   Subscribe

Is hiking in Patagonia with approach shoes a bad idea?

I will be hiking the Torres del Paine W Circuit in mid-November for 4 to 5 days. I understand the weather is somewhat unpredictable then. A preliminary Google search has some conflicting advice regarding trail shoes vs hiking boots for that route. Is it manageable in La Sportiva TX3s and waterproof socks? Or am I better off in hiking boots?
posted by helios410 to Travel & Transportation around Patagonia, AZ (6 answers total)
Personally, I think approach shoes are almost always a better choice, so long as you haven't had ankle problems and aren't carrying ridiculously heavy loads.
posted by Jon44 at 7:03 AM on October 5, 2016 [7 favorites]

Yeah, it depends a lot on your ankles, but without huge packs or bad ankles, I like approach shoes more as well. Less weight = less fatigue, and I tend to be more sure-footed in them.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:28 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't know much about approach shoes but I have done the Torres del Paine circuit many years ago. (My shoes were fairly shitty lightweight hiking boots, but I was also 21 years old.) Terrain difficulties included lots of mud and one place where you had to climb down and back up some rocks.
posted by vunder at 7:42 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

You should be fine. I hiked the W a few years ago and for most of the steepest/rockiest parts you'll only be carrying a daypack because they're out-and-backs. Do bring some hiking poles so the wind doesn't blow you over.
posted by asphericalcow at 8:58 AM on October 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think you'll be fine in those shoes. I hiked around there with a small solo pack in just tennis shoes. Avoiding occasional mud patches was the biggest difficulty I encountered.

posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 10:42 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

My concern would be the waterproof socks - have you hiked in those before? Are they actually comfortable when the shoes get wet?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:15 PM on October 5, 2016

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