After hiking Machu Picchu in the days prior, I woke up at 3:30am, slipped on the same pair of leguano boots (the Kosmos), and got ready to embark on our group’s last Peruvian adventure, Rainbow Mountain. We took a dark, freezing cold, 3-hour bus ride through little villages and up mountains with sharp edges. Just after the sun came up, we pulled up to the Trail entrance. One by one we stepped out of the bus, took in our first breath of thin, oxygen-deprived air, and immediately knew we were in for a real challenge.
The first three quarters of the hike was fairly “easy”, with only a slight upward slope. The ground was covered in a reddish-brown dust and sprinkled with small, sharp stones. Since I was wearing my Kosmos, I walked confidently with my head up, not concerned about stepping on a pointy rock. In fact, stepping on the stones and uneven ground actually felt good on my feet. The pressure felt similar to getting a reflexology treatment or foot massage!
The final quarter was… strenuous to say the least. It’s short distance felt like it would take forever. The mountain became extremely steep and it felt like I was breathing through a Kazoo. Since my body was not getting enough oxygen, I felt lightheaded and wobbly. For every ten steps I took, it felt like I had done one hundred burpees. Truthfully, the only things that weren’t bothering me were my feet. Despite it being a difficult terrain covered in sand and stones my shoes still managed to get a good enough grip to push myself up with each step. Due to the shoes’ material, my feet were able to breath when they got hot during the portions of intense exertion, and focusing on my feet actually helped take my mind off the painful burn in my legs.
Reaching the top was worth every gasping breath and definitely the perfect setting for a few selfies. At 17000ft we had a spectacular 180 degree view of the colourful Rainbow Mountain, Peruvian hillsides, and ice-capped peaks. It was very cold at the top but, once again, my leguanos were up for the challenge; While I was exploring, the flexible soles forced the muscles in my feet to move constantly, maintaining blood flow and circulation. The inner lining of the material is also insulated, making them warmer in colder weather.
The last test for my leguano Kosmos was making the steep climb back down. Because the mountain is covered in dust and rocks, and because gravity was working against me, this part was really tricky. While stepping carefully, my shoes were able to grip every spot I stepped on without slipping and sending me flying down the hill like a bowling ball; Phew.
At the end of it all, my Kosmos were scuffed with dirt and completely covered with dust. But, after a quick wash, they were ready to go for my next adventure, whether that may be!
To sum up, Kosmos were PERFECT for hiking Rainbow Mountain because:
- Protection from terrain
- Allows you to feel the materials you step on – enhances cognitive experience and improves balance
- Excellent grip on various materials, during ascent and descent
- Unpredictable climate of mountain – breathable during exertion, warm in windy and cold conditions, water-resistant
- Very easy to clean dust/dirt – Machine-washable
Thanks for tunin’ in – Until next time,
Angela from Leguano