You’ll never make it out to that off-trail lake in high heels. You’ll never climb that icy couloir in road-running shoes. To find your little bit of solitude in the wilderness, you need footwear appropriate for the distances, terrain types, and weather conditions you’ll encounter. In this article, I’ll explain the basic types of footwear you may use for wilderness travel and which ones would be best for the type of activity you plan to do. No shoe is perfect for everything, and every shoe is a compromise between different needs. Rest assured, though, that there is a shoe out there for you, and the first step in finding it is figuring out what type of shoe you need.
Solitude in the snow is not hard to find, but you do need good gear. At the minimum, a pair of snowshoes and waterproof boots will get you there, but if you’re looking for more of a thrill, backcountry skis and climbing skins are the way to go. My new skins came in the other day, and they required a bit of work before they were ready for the snow.