Trekking in a sand desert is an adventurous experience. You walk on a unique kind of surface- soft and extremely hot during the summer day, comfortable during the summer night and cold in winter. And this makes your walk more difficult than on a firm surface. So you need proper equipment, in particular- footwear, suitable for such an environment. Let’s take a look at the 6 best boots for sand desert, especially if you are going to make trekking.
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Sand desert conditions
If you haven’t been in a sand desert yet, and wonder how the sand there looks like- yes, it is like the sand on a sea beach. But in the desert, usually this “beach sand” is shaped in dunes. This makes walking on the desert sand much more difficult than on a beach. And in general, since the desert sand is often blown by the winds, it can be a little less thick, which makes you sink deeper.
Walking on dunes
Walking on a dune slope is even more difficult. You sink in the sand and make a large amount of sand to slide down. So you start to slide with the sand too. And if you try to ascend to the summit of the dune, it requires more effort than on a firm surface. Not only that, but the sliding sand tries to enter and fill your boots.
In general, walking on desert sand is more tiring than normal, it requires more energy against the physical resistance of the sand. You can’t walk stably. And it is the reason for more blisters on your foot than on a normal surface walk. That’s why you need boots with better features against blisters.
Sand tries to fill your boot
This is another problem in the desert. Wearing most of the boots, you can feel the sand inside, and you often have to put your boot off and empty it. So you need a solution to this problem. And now there are some boots with liners or gussets between the main body and the tongue, or just enough high to prevent sand from entering inside.
A short walk in the desert
If you just go to “touch” a sand desert, you don’t need special shoes. You can walk in the desert and enjoy the dunes and the soft sand just by sandals, or even without shoes, barefooted. It could be a real pleasure if you don’t do it in the hottest time of the day when the sand could “burn” your foot. And if you are wearing sandals, just empty the sand from them when you go out of the desert.
Long desert hike
It is something different. Playing barefooted on the sand for a while is a pleasure and can give you a lot of fun, but exposing and “polishing” your feet for a whole day is not so funny. The sand will also make your feet skin extremely dry, especially if it is hot. So, your feet need to be covered by proper footwear.
6 best boots for sand desert trekking
So, there are a few important features for good sand desert boots. They have to be well-cushioned, preferably high- for good ankle support and sand-protecting. At the same time, it would be good if the boots are not so heavy. Let’s see the 6 best boots for sand desert trekking. They are all of high boots type, which also makes better ankle support.
EREM Xerocole Hiking and Expedition
These boots are the undoubted rising model for 2023. They are soft, spacious, and keep your feet cool in desert conditions. At the same time, they give you stability when you walk on sand. EREM Xerocole come with two versions- Hiking boots (for men and for women), and Expedition boots (for men and for women). The hiking version is shorter, while the expedition version is taller, designed for heavier desert conditions.
Pros: Soft, spacious, keep the feet cool, stable.
Cons: Still new on the market, although very promising.
Lowa Men’s Elite Desert WXL-M
These are one of the best high trekking boots for desert. They are relatively lightweight, with a good breathable design.
Pros: Stability, breathable and light.
Cons: Weak lace system, and a bit expensive
Ridge Footwear 3003Z Desert Storm Zipper Quarter Boot
These boots are also a good option for sand desert hiking, although not perfect. In general, they are comfortable and lightweight, but still have some weak points, of which seems the worst is their zipper- the most often complaint point from the customers.
Pros: Very good boots with great features for sand desert hiking- lightweight, breathable and strong (not perfectly, but great for their price).
Cons: First- their zipper is not well designed. Also, some customers complain they are a bit narrow on their top.
Altberg Desert Microlite Combat Boots MoD
These are some of the best boots for sand desert trekking. Lightweight, comfortable and very good protected against feet sweat even in the hottest weather. They have a very high evaluation from the customers (in general Altberg is one of the best brands, not only for desert trekking but for many other kinds of environment).
Pros: Lightweight, comfortable, strong, and most importantly- with very good protection against sweat in the heat.
Cons: A bit expensive.
Altberg Women’s Military Sneeker Boots, MoD
Similar to the other Altberg boots above, these are also an excellent choice. About their quality- they really satisfy every taste and need. Again, they are a bit expensive, but the price is worth.
Pros: Excellent quality in every aspect.
Cons: A bit expensive.
Reebok RB894 Stealth 8″ Boots with Side Zipper Composite Toe Women’s
In general, these boots are very comfortable. However, some customers complain that they are a bit tight for their ankles (of course, it depends on the size of the boots and the customer’s foot). Another complaint is about their solidity- there are some cases of quickly falling apart.
Pros: Very comfortable, with good features for walking in a sand desert.
Cons: Some boots would fall apart more quickly than normal.
Do you want to make your boots stylish and more distinctive? PVC Patch is a good choice! You choose a PVC Patch with a good-looking pattern and stick it on your favorite boots. The familiar boots can also become eye-catching. A small change can make a big difference!
The gaiters are shoe covers that can increase the sandproof protection of your boots. So, it is a good additional accessory to your boots when you go for long trekking in the desert. Let’s see these two gaiters:
Socks are also an important part of your footwear. Contrary to what you may expect, the best socks are the wool socks. They may seem a bit thick, maybe even hot, but they absorb your foot sweat better than the other socks. Besides, they also contribute more to protecting your feet from blisters. Let’s see some wool socks examples.
There are some important things that you need to have in mind when you prepare for a sand desert trekking (see more tips in our Taklamakan Desert trekking gear post). Not only to help you choose the best boots but also to be best prepared on how to use these boots.
Try the boots before the trekking!
Never buy boots for your trekking at the last moment! It is not only for desert but for all kinds of trekking. Buy your boots in advance, so you can wear them and use them enough long. Thus your boots can fit better to your feet, and you can get used to wearing them. It is especially important in such a place as a sand desert.
Relax in the summer evening
Yes, finally, after a long desert trek, when you arrive at your campsite location, it’s time for your feet to relax. The sun is falling beyond the horizon, the temperature is falling too, and the sand becomes comfortably cool. This is the time when you can put off your boots and socks, and let your feet enjoy the fine sand. And it can be an amazing part of your unique desert experience!
Equip yourself with the best gear for exploring the nature of the Earth!
Take a look at more adventure equipment below:
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Hi, we are Krasen and Ying Ying. Krasen is from Bulgaria, and Ying Ying is from China. We are passionate about geography and history, and we believe that the best way to experience it is by exploring the Earth in reality, not in a school, and not virtually.
So, we created this blog Journey Beyond the Horizon, where we share geographical knowledge, travel guides and tips how to experience it when you explore our planet, and a lot of inspiration.
And we wish you a happy journey, not just virtually, but most of all- in reality.