I am at my happiest when out walking in the countryside.
Whether it's to watch wildlife, hill walking or just a leisurely stroll with my camera the one thing I have learnt over the years is that if I want to travel far using my legs I have to look after my feet.
I have been through the palaver of having to break in new leather boots and getting blisters in the process.
The reason behind this post is that it wasn't a day for taking images outside... it's been on and off showers all morning so I haven't taken the risk of getting my camera soaked. A walk without taking images gave me the chance to put in a few extra miles.
Arriving home I was putting my boots away when I thought... do I really need all this footwear?
It's been well over fifteen years since I last had blisters on my feet cause by walking boots. Modern materials and waterproof membranes have enabled manufacturers to use thinner leather and synthetic fabrics to make lighter breathable waterproof footwear which is comfortable straight out of the box.
Over the years I have accumulated quite a collection of leisure footwear... not quite Imelda Marcos but do I really need six pairs of walking boots and shoes.
My old hill walking boots bought in the late 1990's are still going strong made in Germany by Meindl they are Gore-Tex lined and are ideal for the rough rocky paths on the mountains of Wales and the Lake District.
These Merrel boots are the ones I use when scrambling in the lakes... and backpacking light.
These leather Hi-Tec boots are fairly new but are ideal for muddy days on my local rambles.
These live in the boot of the car.
These sit by my front door... and to be honest should have been thrown out ages ago... but are Sooo!! comfy even if they do appear a worn out.
The lining has worn through inside but I can stroll along all day wearing these.
These are the replacement shoes for the ones above... and do get worn if I want to look a bit smarter.
The best hiking socks I have ever used are made by Thorlos..padding were it's needed and they last for years. They help keep your feet dry... wet feet mean blisters.
Best for snow and water.... the good old rubber wellie.
I also have an old pair of Adidas X-trainers in my shed for gardening.
A quick question... what do you have too many of but still need to keep...just in case?