Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

I'm planning to do Leg 1 and Leg 2 of the Malibu to Santa Monica walkabout in early August and had some footwear questions. I truly have no idea what to wear. I've read every thread/comment on here about shoes and come away confused each time.

My current plan (I think) is to be barefoot whenever possible on the sand (dry or wet-packed) and when wading. When barefoot won't work, I'll put on socks and these light/waterproof hiking boots. But then I start thinking about bouldering over rocks near/in the water and can imagine plunking my boots right into the ocean. And I can't imagine walking in wet boots will be very fun for long.

Soooo.... Do I need to bring two pairs of shoes? Boots for those hybrid dry/wet times and, like, sneakers for any road stretches where I can't stick to the coast?

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As you have seen from reading the comments and suggestions on the Walkabout California Forum Page, there are many opinions about the best footwear for a long beach hike.  I always hike with light-weight hiking boots or barefoot.  The only times my boots have gotten wet was when I made a foolish decision (trying to dash around a rock outcropping between waves instead of climbing to the bluffs) or when I wasn't paying attention and a wave sneaked up higher on the beach than I expected.

Just in case you missed the entry below, I think it provides some valuable ideas. 

Have a great walkabout.


Jennifer Williams hiked the Malibu Coast Walkabout with five other women.  She posted this to the Walkabout California Forum.

"Footwear:  In our group, two people wore Chacos, one wore Vibrams, one wore Ahnus, and two wore Keens.  We’d all broken our shoes in significantly prior to the walkabout.  The wearers of the Chacos and Vibrams got blisters; the others did not.  We were grateful for the suggestion to bring a first aid kit, and we recommend that folks bring a lot of moleskin!  Walkabout-ers should expect to walk in water regularly.  (Tip:  Moleskin comes off after moderate exposure to sand and seawater.  We learned to apply the moleskin and then wrap medical tape around the parts of our feet where the moleskin was.  That seemed to last much longer.)"

Thank you, Jennifer for your wise words.

The Malibu Coast walkabout is the most challenging of the 200 miles of inn-to-inn hiking in "Walkabout Malibu to Mexico."  It is pretty easy to avoid getting your feet wet on the other hikes.

Thanks Tom


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