The most popular shoes for trekking in India is without doubt the Quechua Forclaz 500. And I believe its less because of its quality but more so because it is the best available option in India for the price. Including my friends and I, more than half the trekkers I meet during treks, are wearing Forclaz 500 or any other Quechua variant.
I have been using these shoes for over 2 years now and over various terrains – boulders, scree slopes, ice and snow. Even after enduring such punishment, the shoes still feel comfortable and there is hardly any visible damage. The water repellent (Forclaz 500 are not water proof) properties sure have diminished over time, but it can be revived, provided you can get your hands on a water repellent spray such as ReviveX Air Dry. But the first few treks, the shoes hardly got wet even after casually walking over a shallow 3 inch puddle of water!
Compared to other trekking boots offered by Woodland or Bata, Forclaz 500 are the lightest. Woodland does have a 100% waterproof shoes for trekking but they come at a heavier cost (approx Rs. 8500) while Forclaz 500 can be bought for Rs. 3500-4500 depending upon the offers and discounts by online retail shops (a list is given below). The traction is pretty good on dry muddy trails, wet trails or fresh soft snow. But unfortunately, they refuse to get a good grip on ice and old snow.
In my opinion, for the price of about Rs. 4000, Quechua Forclaz 500 is a good buy. In the past 2 years, I have spent some 90 days in the mountains and have always used these shoes. They still feel comfortable enough and I wouldn’t mind taking them along for even 5-7 days of moderate / difficult treks.
Some of the websites from where you can order Quechua Forclaz 500,
If you would like to go through some tips on how to take care of your hiking boots during and after treks, please click on the link below: