Thank you Millet hiking shoes

I’ve made mention of the over preparedness of the Korean people when it comes to day trip hiking. The matching outfits. Metal, collapsible hiking poles. Coats, layered shirts and pants on a 70 degree afternoon. Huge back packs stuffed full. Goofy hats and visors. Gloves. Do I need to keep going?

OK. It’s like the kid you see here playing catch in the park, sporting a baseball jersey, batting gloves and stirups. Or the roller blader you see here equipped with elbow pads, knee pads, shin guards and a reflective helmet. Heaven forbid not having a full outfit and every single piece of gear imaginable for your athletic event of choice.

Is it all really necessary? What this over preparedness is, is a cultural difference compared to how we do it at home. Doesn’t make either way right or wrong… but it is easy to poke fun at.

What I will never make light of however, is having the right shoes for the job.

I’ve been hiking in Nike running shoes since moving to Korea because I was discouraged from finding proper shoes that fit. I’m a size 11.5 at home, which translates to a 295 in Korea. Good luck finding anything over 285 here, and the selection at that size is super limited. When I was sized for my Adidas “slippers” that I wear at work, the lady told me I was a 300, making it even more challenging to find anything to fit. So I gave up on finding shoes of any kind until I get a chance to return home for a visit.

My girlfriend was fed up with hiking in her Saucony shoes, so I accompanied her to the Millet store in Ilsan, where she found an awesome pair of hiking shoes in her favorite color. And I started to get a little jealous…I want some too!

She suggested I lose the poor attitude, and try on some shoes a few days later at Costco. To my surprise, I fit in to a 285. On the label, 285 is equal to a 10.5 in the USA. I’ve been wearing 11.5 sized shoes since high school. Your guess is as good as mine.

The hiking shoes at Costco were not doing it for me, so back to Millet we went. I’m stoked to report that I went home with an awesome, comfortable pair of hiking shoes that day, and they are even Beaver Orange. In over a year of living in Korea, this is literally the first thing I have purchased for myself. That feels pretty good.

The difference on the mountain immense. No more slipping and sliding around. Tons of ankle support. Toe protection. No more funny looks from Korean people assuming that I’m a dummy for not wearing the right gear, as if to suggest I don’t know any better. No, I won’t start wearing the whole outfit, that will never happen. But, in addition to the increased performance I have experienced, not getting stopped and asked questions about my shoes while hiking on the mountain is worth wearing these bad boys.

And damn… I look good

Learn Korean with


~ by ripcitytoseoul on May 30, 2010.

5 Responses to “Thank you Millet hiking shoes”

  1. Handsome!!! 🙂

  2. thanks.. going on my first hike on Saturday.. needed to read this.. Off to Itaewon I go for shoes lol..

  3. Could you tell me where the Millet store is in Ilsan?

    • Thanks for the question, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve been to Ilsan. I believe it was on one of the main roads, shopping areas close to Lake Park.

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