Your feet are really important when you are walking. How they feel will have a major impact on how you feel as you walk and whether or not you enjoy the experience. If your feet are painful, will you want to walk again?
Whether out walking on the hills and country paths or round the block, it’s key that you think about what you have on your feet.
Flat shoes are usually the best, however, I do have some low heeled sandals that happily work in the summer if in the city and walking from A-B and from meeting to meeting.
In most cases I am in flat boots or shoes and then when the walking is more serious, trainers or walking shoes and Merrell is my chosen brand. It’s a great place to start if you are going looking for walking shoes but I do advise being open-minded and trying on loads of brands and styles to get the right ones.
Invest some time and go to outdoor shops where there will be staff trained to help you find the right shoes for you and do listen to them as they know their stuff. You have to find what is right for you.
I have spent 2-3 hours with women friends and clients shopping for shoes because they are that important. Do remember that your feet will expand during a long walk and that, in the case of walking shoes or boots, you will be wearing thicker socks. So the rule of thumb is to buy a pair a half or full size bigger than your everyday shoes.
Specialist shops will also have a bit of kit with a ramp and also uneven terrain for you to walk on and try how your boots feel on that. Take your time, do not be rushed.
I have both boots and shoes. In the past I’ve had times when boots really hurt my ankles and this was more about my gait than anything else, it’s now improved. Technology around walking shoes and boots and the material used is changing all the time and on my Camino Experiences, my chosen walking shoes are light and more like trainers.
Shops and brands that you might want to look to are Cotswolds; Field and Trek; Ellis Bingham and in the USA try REI. Go Outdoors is also good but in my experience, they haven’t had the best-trained staff available, though this will differ from store to store. Mountain Warehouse tend to do their own brands and are also a good starting place when you are not wanting too expensive an outlay.
The photo on this post is one of mine taking on the Camino Frances. Quite often you will come across boots. Have they been purposely discarded due to wearing out? Are they an extra pair that weigh too heavy and so can be done without? Have they fallen and not been missed? Sometimes you find one boot/shoe and I worry that the person will get to base and then realise that one has become loose and fallen off and will now cause the walker problems. Who knows?
Do you have a story of your boots?
Where would you like your boots or shoes to take you next? We have a range of great places to walk over differing periods of time. Some are challenging, others allow more time for journaling and discussion. We are currently exploring some new offers for you for 2021 and beyond. I can promise that offer great scenery, fun, great companions, discovery and wine…or a GnT. Click here to have a look and see which one speaks to you.