Sunday, 4 March 2012

The best way to travel far on foot................................. wear comfy footwear

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.
A keeper.

 These Merrel boots are the ones I use when scrambling in the lakes... and backpacking light.
another keeper.

 These leather Hi-Tec boots are fairly new but are ideal for muddy days on my local rambles.
Guess what...

Another Hi-Tec boot these are the ones I use in the summer when I wander through town to visit the Northwich Woodlands... very comfy for long walks along even ground but with a bit of ankle support.
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.
Same pair
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?


holdingmoments said...

Getting rid of good boots would be like getting rid of good friends.
Keep 'em Andrew. :-)

TexWisGirl said...

you're too cute, andrew. the imelda marcos of hiking boots. :)

hmmm. i have too many... wow. i really don't know. i'm a pretty simple gal these days. live a stripped down life.

Sandra said...

I am so happy i am back to see this post. I love the first two shots, just because they are great and very interesting photos. and i vote you keep them all, each one is for something different. and you have to remember the what if... as in one day you might not have the money to buy a new pair and you have enough to last a long long time. love the post.
now my thing is i have 30 boxes in the closet of shoes i will never wear again. my feet will not allow me to wear them but for an hour or so. they are the ones i wore to work and since i have retired 5 years ago they have not been worn. i got a pair down last week and gasped at the dust on them inside a plastic box. i really need to donate them and you may have pushed me to doing it

Bob Bushell said...

Great boots you've got.

JM said...

No Imelda Marcos here either, but I don't get rid of my collection! :-)

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Well now I don't feel so bad with all the gear I have. I have only two pair I use for hiking, the rest is for running and biking which really ups the number. My Gore-Tex Merrel are great and keep my feet warm and dry whether hiking or mountain biking in the winter. Being as I live in a drier climate I switch to a low-top running shoe design for the rest of the year. Only problem with them is the collection of burrs, stickers and such they get when walking through fields. I am looking into getting a pair of gaiters hopefully to solve that problem. Now you have me thinking maybe another pair might be in order. Hmmm...

Wanda..plain~N~simple said...

NOTHING... and I like it that way! Remember, I am WANDA..plain-N-simple. ;)

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

At the Parks, we used to be issued Sundowners~~really cool looking but the toe box is soooooo small! Killed me every time I wore them. We're now issued the Hi-tecs like you use for muddy day walks, and I love mine!! We have to wear shoes and boots that will hold a shine so I have front country shiny boots and suede backcountry boots. I have way more boots than shoes! Rock on!

Eva Ason said...

You can never have too many hiking boots/shoes, seems like you are well equipped there for every situation and weather...keep them! :)
There's nothing better than having GOOD shoes/boots when hiking.
I am very practical and love comfy shoes, I have more boots than shoes.
Have a great Sunday evening!

cieldequimper said...

That IS impressive!

Carole M. said...

what an impressive show 'n tell Andrew! All your walkers are so clean considering all the walking in the wet they've been through with you. I'm actually shopping today for a new pair and in your first photo I'd thought yes, something similar to your greys (front left), or the chocolate ones in front of them. Then you tell us that the greys are your all time favourites. They certainly don't look like they've been around all those years with so much trudging miles in them, you must have a good maintenance programme happening.

wildaboutwales said...

photos miles too many but!
these days I tend to blog then delete
When I came back from 7 years in Egypt I had 28000 photos and that was just on memory sticks and my laptop. god knows how many there are on the two hard drives I dismantled from my pc.
I have 12 blogs of which most ran out of space so had to make 5 new accounts with google and 3 with wordpress. one good thing is I have easy access to them all for references.
the other thing I had too many of was tools . before I went to egypt I sold the lot. big mistake as I am always looking for something I knew I had but now end up buying cos I need it.

wildaboutwales said...

Ps. what have you got on your feet now.
Just a thought!

Shaun_ShutterBug said...

Phew, can smell them socks from here...... only kidding, a nice array of footwear there Andrew. I bought a pair of berghaus not long ago as i wanted something a little more 'rugged' but i always find myself going back to my trusty old trespass boots.

Pantherka said...

Your post is great ... Andrew and you have beautiful shoes :-)

Helene said...

Absolutely all keepers! I have trouble getting rid of shoes...even if they are killing my feet. How silly is that! And I do have 3 pairs of sneakers..all the same style but, as they wear down, the oldest are used for gardening, the middle for walking to and from the parking deck, and the newest if I want to look 'smart.' I guess I have to run the risk of not looking to smart when I wear the other two pairs...LOL

Reena Walkling said...

You must keep them ALL Andrew. One just never knows when a certain pair may come in handy. I have the same "to many of" camera and travel bags.

Gary said...

What a great collection Andrew!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Anonymous said...

Great collection, and they all look comfy :-)
I have too many, and none to throw away - handbags! LOL :-)

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I just have one pair of heavy duty hiking boots and one pair of lighter duty hiking shoes.

I have one pair of running shoes for running, and a whole bunch of retired running shoes for knocking about in.

You can't beat Thorlos socks. I've been running for 20 years this year and I haven't bought a new pair in years. They just plain don't wear out.

I have a couple pairs of smart wool socks. They are ultra comfortable but don't wear near as well.

Susan said...

I really appreciate this post. I have discovered as I have been hiking more and more with my pup that I have to take the best care of my feet. I have good shoes, but they aren't doing the job. So I am shopping around for better. Thanks Andrew!

Susan Scheid said...

Such a fine collection, I can well understand how you must not part with any of them. And as for the Thorlos, they are the best, aren't they?

The Herald said..., with all that footwear you can have no excuses for not getting out and about and enjoying he countryside!

And the answer to your question...BOOKS, I've got mountains of them from Photography to Birds,wildlife,wild flowers,fungi,trees..etc.etc. My wife wants to know why so many, when they all repeat themselves?...[;o)

Mama Zen said...

When you get a pair of boots broke in just right, you gotta keep them!

Ruby said...

One can never have too many shoes :))) Keep them all. Ruby :)

Sallie ( said...

The thought of Imelda Marcos in hiking boots made me laugh! (I know that wasn't what you meant, but her name and your pictures conjured up a funny image!)....

I wouldn't throw a single pair of those away. I don't hike anything like what you do but I know how important good broken-in footwear is.

Deakin said...

I have a pair of Meindls exactly the same as those. Mine are still going, even the fabric laces are ok..I have worn them everywhere, 5500 metres in Nepal, around ski resorts, the lakes, etc etc, they will last longer than me!