I bought Quechua’s Forclaz 500 trekking shoes before my Winter Trip to Ladakh, since I wanted a comfortable and protective shoe, which could provide good grip on wet and slippery surfaces eg. frozen lakes and rivers. Because my Woodland Trekking shoes have the tendency to behave like roller skates, when presented with even a hint of slipperiness!
At around Rs. 3500, Quechua Forclaz 500 were neither prohibitively expensive, nor cheap and based on the feedback I got from fellow travelers, I was pretty confident that they would be the right shoes for my trip, especially since couple of my friends mentioned, that they were somewhat warm as well.
My attempt to buy Forclaz 500 online through an online shopping site provided to be futile and just as well, since I had ordered the same size (no. 7) as my Woodlands and later it turned out that only UK size 9.5 of Quechua Forclaz 500 fits comfortably in my feet!
So in a way I am really thankful to the online shopping site which failed to deliver the shoe in time and saved me from wasting my money on a shoe too small!
Coming back to the Forclaz 500, since I only managed to buy them a day before my scheduled departure to Ladakh, I really didn’t have time to break them in and I was worried, that donning these shoes throughout the trip would prove to be a painful affair; thankfully I was wrong!
Forclaz 500 proved to be quite comfortable, even though on the very first day of our sojourn in Leh, we hiked up couple of kilometers to the Shanti Stupa and then took longer trail back to the guest house.
Add to that, my feet had remained relatively warm, as our plane had touched down in the morning at Leh, with the outside temperature being -16.5 Degree Celsius! However, when we went to Leh Palace late in the evening and stayed outside to capture the Leh town at night, my feet did get slightly cold. But then again, with temperature probably hovering at around -15 or so and furious winds, that was something bound to happen and was only repeated a few other time, especially once when I stood still on top of a frozen river.
Though I must also point out that throughout the trip I only wore single pair of cotton socks underneath my shoes and never put on another pair on top of them or for that matter, used the warm socks I was carrying. So if you are going to wear double layers of socks or the warm ones, then the Forclaz 500 should be even warmer.
Even though we weren’t really experienced in walking on frozen lakes, grip offered by the Forclaz 500 was reassuring enough for us to venture out freely with our cameras in hand. In fact, I don’t really remember any instance, where my Forclaz 500 lost their grip, be it while climbing up and down narrow and somewhat steep paths or while walking on ice.
Of course one does needs to place the feet flat on the ice, in order for the shoes to maintain grip, otherwise they will lose grip.
Biggest problem I faced with the shoes was the fact that they are actually UK size 9.5 on the outside, so on the stairs they are much longer than my normal shoes and thus I do need to be a little careful with feet placement. Add to that, tying the laces till the top is an exercise itself, though I guess, not all that different from any high ankle shoes.
Additionally, they do not feel all that comfortable while riding motorcycle and their rather large outer size only results in missed shifts. So at least for riding, I guess I would mainly be using my Woodlands.
Overall, I cannot help but say, that I am fully satisfied with Quechua Forclaz 500 shoes and really glad that I bought them, instead of buying something cheap and regretting later.
I must these looks really nice, a bit of some other bright color like orange, red, green would have made them even more dashing to look at but its only me. I kinda seems to be developing a fetish for some sick looking shoes and if they have some connection with automobiles even better. Stig’s Alpinster tech 1 is really high on my shoes wish list.
lol, btw I wanted the blue ones, but sadly only these or the black ones were available in my size.
These are really very good shoes, and work equally well on the bike. The only thing to depart early on mine are the laces, else the shoe is comfortable all day.
Grip is very good too, as is ankle support.
Hmm… maybe it just needs more getting used to, but I didn’t really find it all that comfortable on the bike.
Possibly it needs a little getting used to, as I’ve worn trekking shoes on the bike for some time now, primarily for the ankle support, also for the utility value.
Been using this pair for the past year. Agree with every point you’ve made about it and can also add, its pretty good at waterproofing too !
Although, once the trousers get wet, followed by the socks and then it takes quite some time to dry out the shoe from the inside !
Doc I too have been using Woodland’s supposedly trekking shoes for almost 7 years http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travel-automotive-gear-f15/woodland-g-40777-shoe-review-t8220/ However, they aren’t as large or high as Forclaz
Sourav, didn’t get a chance to test the waterproofing, but I guess even a little bit of it would be better than Woodlands, which used to get soaking wet after water crossings and remained that way for almost the entire trips.
Glad that you are back and with you came lots of splendid pics and useful information…
Would you please mind sharing the details (place from where you got the shoes etc….) gr8 reviews about them and i want to use the pair on my next trek..
Thanks Rahi. I bought this pair from Adventure 18 at Satya Niketan. If you have time, then it would be a good idea to try the size there and order online, since it is available for around 400-500 bucks cheaper and Adventure 18 sells at MRP and that too with a staff, which is least interested in catering to customers.
Thanks for this very informative and useful review.
I want to buy it for myself but not able to get here in pune for my size. Can you suggest where I can buy is online?
It is available at Koovs and Playgroundonline, haven’t yet successfully bought anything from either of these sites, so can’t really recommend either, but any site which offers cash on delivery and ability to exchange in case the size is not correct, should be alright.
I have doubt regarding the size.
Could you give me an idea, what would my size be corresponding to a 39 in Woodland. (24 cm, its written on the box)
also a BCMT Member
I have Ordered one pair of Forclaz Shoes — 43″ Brown, on playgroundonline 3 days back: and my order no was 168076, which was confirmed online with the successful tag.
After the online confirmation, I called on 91-80-49327000, and confirmed my order with gentlemen who confirmed the same with the delivery on 3-4 days which was comfortable for me.
But today again I called up to update the delivery status and talked with Mr. Ahmed and he told that my order is not generated & I was shocked to hear the same, and also now the ordered size & color is out of stock…
Even I was surprised that if any order is not generated as was told today by Mr. Ahmed that at least the system should auto reply the same to the customer as my full details are first registered before the Order.
I got a fair review reg playgroundonline, and did not expect such things with them, so I was lucky enough that I ordered on COD basis
I am from Mumbai. After reading all the positive reviews about Forclaz 500, I bought these shoes from playgroundonline.com for my regular trekking activities. I used these shoes for the first time during my YHAI Mizoram trek in Nov 2012. While I felt these shoes to be extremely comfortable, sturdy and water proof, with good ankle support, they slip a lot providing extremely poor grip on the wet rocky terrain. I would warn the new buyers to consider this point seriously before buying these shoes. Based on my personal experience, I can confidently say that these shoes would prove to be useless for the monsoon treks
That’s quite strange, because my pair was providing me with decent enough grip, even while walking on the frozen rivers. And same was true for at least 4-5 people I know, who have bought Forclaz 500 and been to Ladakh in winter!
Maybe the quality has gone down these days or those rocks were way slippery than anything I encountered during my trip.
I have also been to the Chadar Trek with the Forclaz 500 and only slipped once during the entire 2 weeks but I think that’s because I was ultra careful with each and every step as I knew walking on ice was no cake walk. I don’t think that’s really a credit to the shoe. Since that trek, I have slipped countless times on various other treks and on terrains where I wouldn’t have expected to in a million years. At this point, I feel like even my 700 rupees running shoe would provide better grip during a trek.
I spoke to quite a few of my friends on the trek and they too seconded my view. One of my very good friends who is also into selling of trekking gear told that the biggest problem with Forclaz 500 is its inability to provide good grip on the wet rocks. He even advised me to use normal plast bandaid roll during monsoons and while on rocky terrain. I am going to try following his advice while on next trek.
Hmm… I will check with others who are into trekking. As far as my experience goes, on normal wet surfaces, these are fantastic, especially when compared to the the woodlands I normally use, which become virtual skates.
I don’t think any shoe gives good grip on wet slimy rock, and this is no exception. However, I find this a comfortable and quality piece of gear which is now part of my default biking gear in the non monsoon months (Duckback gum boots preferred then because of the added protection) and feels pretty surefooted when I hike too.
I have plans to buy trekking shoe of cost arnd 3k. Your review for Quechua Forclaz 500, has prompted me to buy it. I am a bit concerned about the size issue. It is difficult for me to try this shoe as it is not available at nearby stores. Could you provide the length in cms of your foot and the one which you actually bought? Also since someone already queried this before, it would be a good idea to reflect it in the blog post itself.
Great post and surely it has helped a lot of people.
I had wonderful experience with Forclaz 500 ; Got it from flipkart.
Hi, Planning to buy this pair of shoes from flipkart for Rs 2800 .. just wanted to confirm that should i buy 1 size bigger that wat i usually wear heard a lot about size problem.. if my size for normal shoes is 10 shall i buy 10.5 for these shoes ??
Monil, I don’t believe 10 is available on Flipkart (just checked), only 9.5 and 10.5 are mentioned). So choice is quite simple for you at the moment.
Btw Forclaz is priced at Rs. 2799 at the moment and there is a additional discount of Rs. 400 if just buy that or Rs. 700 in case you buy shoes worth 3000. Which is a steal, considering I pay Rs. 3500 for my pair :(.
HELLO.. I usually wear size 8 no shoes. Which size will be suitable for FORCLAZ 500.Will it be suitable for chadar trek ?
Krishna, for Chadar trek you should get Forclaz 600 or something better. Since 500s won’t offer that much grip and neither will they be able to protect you from that extreme level of cold.
hi just order 10.5 brown color . ( black out of stock. 🙁 ) frm flipkart 2400 . eagerly awaiting to try it out.. hope size is not an issue since mine actual size 10 ordered 10.5..
Shouldn’t be a problem. In any case, if you have bought these for cold weather, you will be wearing couple of socks or woolen ones, so your feet will have room for that, in case it is bigger.
Any ways, congrats. I too wanted to buy the black one initially, but ended up with brown, which isn’t really bad.
Hey Hikers… I’ve been looking for some advice on trekking shoes for women here… was a futile effort. So here’s my question – I did my Manimahesh trek in August this year with my Quechua Forclaz 500 women shoes which were sadly stolen later. I’d have certainly got another Forclaz for I loved its look, color, comfort, grip for ankle and feet which was great, tested waterproofing… but.. it slipped on algae laden rocks. Also I believe that they (forclaz for men) slip on ice too. I’m planning to enjoy snowfall in Shimla very soon, and am looking to but a pair of shoes that would be my partner in treks, ice, very shallow streams – all of that in future. Please advice…
Thanks a ton in advance!!!
Binny, I am not sure there are any shoes which wouldn’t slip on algae, though I could be wrong. I did walk on a frozen river and Forclaz 500 didn’t feel slippery.
Thanks Yogesh, I think I’d buy another pair of Forclaz 500 in that case. Though I know there surely are shoes that have really really minimal chances of slipping on algae laden stones, cz I’ve seen such soles in locally made shoes uphills. But again, dunno where to the perfect combination of comfort, grip, durability, looks, antiskid properties, waterproofing…. all together 🙁
is there any outlet in kolkata selling these shoes ?
Hi Yogesh!!.. Thank you for sharing your experience. I usual wear shoes of size 7 ( not woodland ) what size would you recommend to me for FORCLAZ 500??
Hi Yogesh, I have the similar question as Amey …. normal size of my shoes are 7 …which size should I go for Forclaz 500. Going to Valley of flower in Uttarakhand in August…..Thanks
Hello Caesar! I bought Forclaz 500, size 7 (UK) in Dec 2014, and they fit me perfectly well. And they are very reliable and comfortable..
Brother you have spoken so highly about the Forclaz 500’s grip and yet according to my experience and many many other users, grip is probably it’s weakest point. Forget about ice, it even slips on surfaces where you would have never seen it coming. Wet rock, melting ice, hard ice, dusty downhill slope….it slips everywhere. The sole is so hard that you almost expect it to slip sometimes and it doesn’t disappoint either. I have lost confidence on this shoe.
Having done multiple treks, hampta pass, deoria tal – chandrashila, hemkunt, pin parvati, in the himalayas, this show was just perfect. I have recently started trekking the Western ghats this monsoon. I am shocked to see that forclaz 500 just won’t let you walk without slipping on algae ladden rocks. I have learnt to maintain strong balance, because of this shoe, because one wrong step on an angle over a wet/algae-laden rock can make you slip down a flight of stairs and into the valley. Action trekking shoes are performing much better than them.