Best way to start the year and release those endorphins is to get out in the countryside and blow those cobwebs away. It’s pretty muddy out there so choose your footwear well. To minimise blisters and the build up of calluses I find it best to wear thin silk socks under my thick winter socks to reduce friction.
Here is my favourite, tried and tested, footwear:
The problem with wellies is they can be cold unless you invest in the boot socks and I have never found them that comfortable or flexible, especially if you are looking to do a longish walk. Some can also be quite heavy especially if you get those with a thicker sole with a good tread.
If you find this too then here is the answer. Muck Boots are light and are made of a 5mm CR Flex-foam (looks like neoprene). This makes them breathable but water proof and keeps your feet at a nice warm temperature. The bottom section of the boot is rubberised for extra waterproofing and these ones have a good tread to keep you steady. They are also easy to take on and off. They are without question the most comfortable wellies I have ever owned.
If walking shoes are more your style there are plenty to choose from. If you are likely to be wearing them with thick hiking socks it is advisable to go up a 1/2 size. When trying them on make sure your foot does not slide in them or you are sure to develop some healthy calluses or blisters. Too tight will bring similar results.
There are 3 basic styles:
- Shoes: very versatile, you can wear them as casual shoes or walking. If you tend to live in your shoes then this may be a good choice especially if you have feet that perspire a lot. They do not give any ankle support though and if you have narrow feet you may find they are not supportive enough on long walks.
- Boots: gives you maximum support and protection. The offer the maximum weather proofing. If you have naturally hot feet you need to choose ones that are breathable. These boot are made for walking, possibly not so much fro casual wear.
- Mid Boots: halfway between boots and shoes, will give you more support then shoes but not quite the protection of weather proofing as boots. After year of shoes, I’ve moved over to the Keen Mid Boots pictured above. They allow my feet to breath, keeps them dry when walking in a wet muddy environment, not restrictive when clambering over rocks and allows me to walk miles in comfort.
Things I look out for in a hiking boot:
- light weight
- must be made of breathable material
- thick soles with a good tread
- and finally, they must look good!
Look after your feet
Check out the range of Nahrin foot care products:
- Nahrin Foot Spray – helps control perspiration and odours. Spray on feet, socks and shoes before and after use.
- Nahrin Foot Bath Salts – refreshes tired feet and softens calluses before removal. Helps micro circulation which helps regulate perspiration
- Nahrin Foot Cream – moisturises and refreshes tired feet. Also ideal for hands which are subject to harsh environments
- Nahrin Foot and leg balm – cooling and refreshing for tired ‘heavy; legs
- Nahrin Artifit Cream – contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin. offers relief to aching joints and degenerative joint pain
Planning a long walk?
- Check the weather report with a reliable, local weather service.
- Wear thin layers so that you can adjust your temperature easily.
- Make sure your mobile phone is charged.
- If you are walking where mobile signals are poor, make sure you let a friend of family know where and when you are going and what time you are expecting to be back. Let them know when you are back.
- If you are going somewhere remote, go as a group.
- Take small energy bars with you and bottles water.
- Stick to sign posted paths and plan your walk before starting.
- Orientate your walk with easily recognisable, unique landmarks so that you can find your way back.
- If you are planning to be out after dark, make sure you carry a properly charged torch.
- Pace yourself and make sure that, if your walk is not a circuit, you allow yourself enough time to get back.
- Taking the family dog? make sure you abide by the countryside rules when walking in fields that contain livestock.
- If walking near cliffs or caves with pets, make sure they are kept on a lead. Many pet has been lost to these hazards.