Hiking shoes + socks on tropical forest/river hikes, Hiking on your Period, Glasses vs Contacts on a Hike

Hello Diane!

My name is Kristine and I went hiking for the first time two days ago. Now, the very few people who know me would say hiking and I would never go together. And they are absolutely correct in their assessment. My idea of a good time involves me being curled up with a good book inside a warm and toasty room. Or floating about in the beach resort. Roughing it is never in my vocabulary. And yes, I fear it. The wilderness, the discomfort, being away from the safety of concerete walls. But just like a lot of people, this pandemic has provided the opportunity for me to try to transcend my fears. I have discovered that nature is healing and so here I am.

My first hike was a mixture of success and failure. Success because I made. Failure because of some kinks that took place. Let me start with my shoes. I am in a tropical country, so the trail would be in rainforests. My first hike involved 8 river crossings. I was wearing a Merrell Erie MID. Suede Leather. I didn’t realize, at the time I got that particular shoe, that not all hiking shoes are the same. Hence said shoe had very very poor water drainage. So you can imagine the misery of hiking in water logged shoes. It’s as if I was wearing a pair of bathtubs and my feet was sloshing about in water. It is uncomfortable and frankly made climbing over the many many rocks, difficult. Man, those rocks were...I mean I don’t kno how you guys do it. The rivers had strong currents as well. Anywaaay, I had to, on occassion stop to take them off and drain the water. But being a first time hiker this caused me anxiety, because I coudn’t tell me group to stop everytime we cross a river. So yeah, I was on the tail end of the hike from start to finish. And also I was wearing Puma Dri-Fit Socks. I do not know what they are made of, but they seem like regular athletic socks, which absorbs a lot of water. So there. Hiking with bathubs for shoes is never fun.

So first question: What shoes and socks is best for hikes in tropical rainforests which covers the ff specs:
Water Drainage
Quick Dry
Good Grip
Protective/Suport
Lightweight
Comfort

My second question is about contact lenses vs eyeglasses. I wore contacts during my hike, but I had issues with it being uncomfortable. But on one hand with eyeglasses, it can easily get dislodged from your face and fall and break. I wonder how I can decide between the two?

My third question is about hiking when on your period. What do you do? What happens when you have to cross a river that is waist deep? What happens to the sanitary napkin you are wearing which can retain water? Do you cancel the hike?

I uploaded a few photos to give you an idea of the terrain. :)

I apologize too, because this is no longer what is deemed as “few” details. Hahaha. I hope to hear from you soon! Keep safe!

PS: I would like to request that the photos would not be published if you can. Thanks Diane! :D

Comments for Hiking shoes + socks on tropical forest/river hikes, Hiking on your Period, Glasses vs Contacts on a Hike

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Apr 18, 2022
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a suggestion
by: Diane

Since you have very specific questions and are having a hard time finding gear, let's move our discussion over to my email. You can contact me via this page: https://www.hiking-for-her.com/contact.html

~Diane

Apr 14, 2022
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by: Tin

Hi Diane!

Thank you for your advice! I haven't tried tampoms or the cups. I looked into them and both seem daunting! Hahaha. But I will see how it goes. Perhaps tampons are less intimidating.

And yes the cord seema like a good idea. Although at the back of my mind I am thinking if ever my glasses gets crushed accidently, I'm done for. So either I will do contacts. Or if I do glasses I need to use a cord, plus bring spare eyeglasses..if I am to be doubly sure.

I looked into the shoes you recommended. Both are sadly not offered in my country. And that particular chacos have been discontinued when I reached out to the company.

So for now I am left with Merrell. May I ask how I can decide which to get just by the looking at the photo if the shoe has good drainage and grip and ample protection etc? Since where I am the shelf stocks are so so limited. So I am left with no choice but to purchase hiking shoes online without having seen or put them on.

https://s.lazada.com.ph/s.fYRkf

That is where I get my shoes. But I feel so overwhemled. The descriptions are not very helpful to me.

I also see a lot of the word Gore Tex. And I am not sure if that means the shoe is waterproof but has bad drainage? I also love the mid cut and high cut variants but I am not sure how to judge their drainage and grip just based on a photo. The description they provide for each item is not very extensive.

May I ask what socks do you use in hiking in rivers?

Once again, I truly appreciate your response Diane! We have another hiking trip planned next month so I am trying to get my stuff in order. Hopefully I will make informed buying choices this time. Hahaha. Thanks again!

Apr 12, 2022
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Tropical hiking
by: Diane

Thanks for your questions! Sounds like a rough first hike, but I'm glad you're ready to go back for more.

I'm not sure there is a perfect pair of footwear for your terrain, as wet and challenging as it is. Keen Terradora Ethos water shoes are closed toe but allow drainage and dry fast. Chaco Outcross Evo 2 hiking shoes also check all the boxes you listed. But you'll have to make peace with wet feet and soggy socks, regardless.

Contacts versus glasses is a struggle, too. If you choose glasses, secure them on your head with a cord that will keep them from flying away if they slip off your nose. Glasses fog up, accumulate water drops, and are sometimes hard to clean unless you bring a soft cloth for that purpose. So they're a hassle for some hikers.

If you choose contact lenses, bring lubricating eye drops and cleaning solution to deal with discomfort.

Menstrual flow can be dealt with internally, eliminating the "soaking pad" problem. Tampons and menstrual cups are two options. Please don't cancel your hike, just try different options until you hit on the best solution for you.

Looks like you've discovered a lot of the discomfort a hiker experiences, but getting out there is worth it, wouldn't you agree?

As requested, I deleted your photos.

And a side note: If your hiking group won't stop when you need to, either speak up or find another set of trail buddies. Your needs are important and should be respected.

Happy trails to you!
~Diane

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About the author

Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.

She's been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for 5+ decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.

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