How important are shoes for Paragliding?Perfect footwear for Paragliding
Tandem / 2 seater Joyride
Planning to do it for the first time just to experience it or retrying it for more fun. It is always suggested to wear sturdy and tight sports shoes during your joyride. Though the chances of anything going wrong while flying with professional pilots is very less to nothing but considering sport paragliding is, takeoffs and landings can be rough sometime so it is better to be safe than sorry. Secondly, not all the take offs (flying sites) are drivable. So you might need to to hike a little till you reach the takeoff point. Good shoes would be helpful there too. Also loosing a footwear mid-flight in mountains below is embarrassing 🙂 don’t forget to tie those shoe laces tight. Remember the right paragliding shoes cannot eliminate the risk of injury, but can minimise the risk in the ankle area.
Learning to fly
So you have decided you take beginner paragliding course and want to taste the free-flight on your own. At the initial stage of your learning most of your training would be on ground where you’ll be learning to control and inflate the wing in different wind conditions. Later you’ll be graduated to a gentle slope to do bunny hops where you’ll learn takeoff and landing on your feet. Finally, you’ll be climbing to the top of the small hill for your first solo flight. An important part of your paragliding equipment is the right paragliding shoes.
So considering all these a proper a proper footwear is a crucial factor here. At least a sturdy pair of lightweight shoes with good ankle support and excellent cushioning with thick soles for good traction is must that protects your ankles from injuries and also avoids unnecessary slipping during ground runs, hill climbs and bumpy landings. Waterproof trekking-style boots with good grip should do the job. Also make sure the lacing is tight, yet easily adjustable, so you get the perfect combination of mobility and comfort. Remember the right paragliding shoes cannot eliminate the risk of injury, but can minimise the risk in the ankle area.
Also it is suggested to use closed loops shoes (with no hooks) to prevent that line get entangled in them. Many walking boots have exposed hooks, which is a bit rubbish, but you can tape over them. That being said there are many options available in the market as per your budget which meets above requirements to begin with. However If you planning to continue these sports for long run, it is worth to invest good pair for lightweight flying boots with excellent cushioning and support, customized to meet the requirements of paraglider. This time of year, boots that can keep your feet dry, & with a good grip on wet ground.
Visit : Temple Pilots Paragliding for Paragliding related info.