In 2000, when I moved up to McLeod Ganj for three months, there were still a few remaining sandal adherents. But most of the locals and nearly all of the monks had slid into hard black business shoes. They had some support and went quite well with the maroon robes, but again, not the best footwear for walking around the world's tallest mountain range.
Come 2010 and the monks have made a cosmic leap; or at least they can now make that leap without hurting their feet. The monks have moved up to some damn fine, high-grade, ass-kickin' footwear. Sure they may clash a bit with the maroon, but every monk I spoke with said they were happy as hell to not have to rub their feet back into shape every night - and sometimes these guys will put more than a couple miles in those dogs.
So here is a former athletic footwear industry worker's tribute to the monks and their comfy kicks!