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Dieting & exercise

Walking boots and clothes: advice please.

(62 Posts)
Fennell Sat 15-Apr-23 16:44:28

I’m trying to exercise more. In the last 2 months I have managed an average of 10,000 steps / day.

Now I would like to try some longer walks.

Can you help with the right things to wear / to avoid.

I am sure v good walking boots (waterproof) is a good idea.
Fleece and a waterproof?
What about trousers?
And is a stick/s good...I am not really sure I want to use these walking things...

I would much appreciate help.

Patsy70 Sat 15-Apr-23 16:58:52

My daughter is doing the CoppaTrek challenge (100k over 5 days) in June, raising money for breast cancer, and has bought Merrell walking boots, which have been recommended to her by fellow trekkers. I’ve found Nordic poles a great asset, and they too were recommended. Waterproof jacket & trousers and fleeces would definitely be needed. Good luck, Fennell.

Casdon Sat 15-Apr-23 17:13:45

I’d go to an independent shop to buy boots, and get them properly fitted by somebody who knows how to do it. Mine are Brasher, and very comfortable on me, but it’s even more important to have your boots fitted to your own feet than normal shoes.
Berghaus waterproofs are excellent, and last for years, not cheap, but whatever you choose go for breathable, and make sure you get one that’s long enough.
I’m not bothered where I buy fleeces, I’ve found they are much of a muchness, Mountain Warehouse or Cotswold Outdoor usually have a good selection.

J52 Sat 15-Apr-23 17:26:15

Both Merrell and Brasher are very good boots. Ours have Gortex which is breathable waterproof membrane . Mine have Vibram soles, which lessen the impact on your ankles.
As others have said go to an outdoor sports shop and get the boots properly fitted.
As for poles, I think they can be a good idea, but when we were been hill walking in Italy they guide didn’t like poles, as they can get stuck in crevasses and cause problems for the user.
Layers are always best, t shirt, fleece and lightweight waterproof jacket. A good make is Berghaus, but Mountain Warehouse do ones just as good.
Happy hiking.

Siope Sat 15-Apr-23 17:32:29

A lot depends on the type of walking you plan. Assuming, however, you’re not starting with remote high level fell walks, start with the basics.

Go to a reputable outdoor gear shop or three and ask for advice about the most appropriate footwear for what you plan to do and when. Try lots on and walk about on them - a good shop will have a ‘hill’ for you to test footwear on.

Don’t forget decent socks.

A wicking top of some kind is nice but not essential, same for walking trousers.

You can spend a fortune on walking clothes - please don’t until you are sure you are going to keep it up, and also what kind of walking and weather you will be doing.

To start, a reasonably priced water- and wind-proof jacket, with a two way zip, a decent hood, and good pockets will be fine, along with a cheap pair of waterproof overtrousers.

Hat and gloves are handy. A lightweight water bottle is, for any distance, a good idea.

There is a difference between Nordic walking poles (designed oddly enough for Nordic walking and walking/trekking poles for general (including hill) walking . I don’t use them, but friends find them helpful for downhills more than up. They are worth trying anyway to see if they suit you. Using one is common.

Maps and ability to read them are a good idea if you’re going to places you don’t know.

As you decide more about what type of walking you want to do, you can add to your equipment.

AreWeThereYet Sat 15-Apr-23 17:35:16

A good rucksack is a must for me - waterproof, not too big or heavy, needn't be expensive but comfort is a must. Rubbing across shoulders gets painful.

What you carry depends on when, where and how far you are planning to walk but I often carry some water/food, map/guides, glasses (to see the map with 🤣) and/or sunglasses, lip salve/sun cream (depending on weather and length of walk), small box of plasters, phone for emergencies, house keys, car keys, gloves and hats that are take off en route. Much easier than having pockets loaded down with stuff and I like to keep my hands free.

Missedout Sat 15-Apr-23 18:22:29

I notice Siope tells you not to forget decent socks. I always wear a pair of thick walking socks over a pair of my usual thin ones. This means that my walking shoes are slightly larger than my daily ones. The thick socks help to protect my feet from blisters and add to my foot comfort. When you buy your walking shoes/boots make sure you wear socks when you try them on.

I have a pair of leather walking boots and some Gore-tex shoes. I prefer the shoes, they are lighter, the boots can feel tight round my ankles and not so forgiving on stony ground. Also the walking shoes have an orthotic insole which adds to my comfort.

Before going out walking, I always struggle to decide what to carry and what in. The weather can change in an instant. I agree with AreWeThereYet about the rucksack for longer walks. Certainly, keeping hands free is also essential for me.

I notice that others have mentioned walking poles. I have a pair of very lightweight, telescopic poles. I rarely use them but if the walk is likely to be muddy and steep, I attach them to a rucksack. Going downhill is definitely worse.

I'd also advise you to put the app "What3Words" on your phone. If you need to call emergency services, What3Words will identify your location to within 3 square meters.

I also have an app on my phone that identifies birds from their song.

Enjoy your walks - its an excuse for taking some high calorie treats with you too!

Septimia Sat 15-Apr-23 18:31:13

AltBerg boots, especially if you can get to the factory shop in Richmond (Yorkshire).

AreWeThereYet Sat 15-Apr-23 18:34:43

I also have a lightweight walking pole that I attach to my rucksack when the weather has been bad. I don't use it often but it has come in useful even on flat heath lands where the paths have got very boggy or there are slippery down hill slopes.

Fennell Are you planning longer urban walks round the roads close to home or more rural walks?

Patsy70 Sat 15-Apr-23 18:46:16

Don’t forget to wear the new boots in before you venture on a long hike! 🥾🥾

Casdon Sat 15-Apr-23 18:59:16

On socks, I find the double layer walking socks work better for me than two pairs, my inner socks ride down if I wear two pairs, because it’s harder to pull them up than it is one pair of double layer ones. They aren’t expensive, and are also good inside your wellies when you’re in the garden in the winter.

MayBee70 Sat 15-Apr-23 20:25:11

Talcum powder on your feet helps to prevent blisters. And good socks are essential.

Greyduster Sat 15-Apr-23 21:32:36

Lots of good advice on here. Don’t compromise on boots. I have walked in the Peak District for years and have Meindl Pro boots - very hard wearing, lightweight and absolutely watertight. They come at a cost but will last for years. I can wear mine all day and not feel as if I have them on. Scarpa and Salomon are good too. I’ve always gone for Bridgedale midweight merino socks. I bought some for my GS when he did his D of Eds and he agreed they were very comfortable. I agree with those who say have your boots fitted by a professional. They should make sure the footbeds are right for you too. Walking poles can take around forty pounds of pressure off your knees when going downhill and are great in muddy (or snowy) conditions. I would say get some with handles that are not likely to make your hands sweat in the summer. It sounds like a small thing, but it can make them uncomfortable to use.

Grannybags Sat 15-Apr-23 21:37:38

I love Merrell walking boots. I can wear them straight from the box without any painful wearing in.

I agree with all the above re layers, wicking tops and proper walking socks etc.

A stick is good if you are planning to walk hills. It helps to protect your knees both up and down steep hills

mumofmadboys Sat 15-Apr-23 21:53:39

It's a good idea to vaseline your feet before long walks - prevents blisters. We did this daily while walking the Coast to coast from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay (192 miles) and avoided blisters.

Mancjules Sat 15-Apr-23 22:00:07

Go for Gore Tex on jackets and shoes if u want to be fully waterproof. Proper hiking socks too as they hug your feet. A small waterproof rucksack is handy. Merrell shoes and Berghaus jackets are my go to.

Fennell Sat 15-Apr-23 23:52:26

Very helpful. Thank you.

Thinking more on this after having read responses, I think walking shoes with ankle protection is my first thought. I do ‘t at this stage envisage fell walking but I will locally encounter muddy / hilly patches.
Is this a good distinction to make?

But I then hope to progress into more adventurous walks.

3dognight Sun 16-Apr-23 03:37:55

Lovely you are getting into walking.
I’ve tried several makes of expensive boots, and the one I find the best in terms of ankle support, waterproofing in mud and rain, non slip in all conditions. They are Meindl.
I think it’s true to say I’ve learned not to wear clothes I’m going to get too hot in. Walking warms you up, so go for light layers, also a bobble or beanie hat that covers your ears from wind, also tidies away your hair from blowing in your eyes.

Grammaretto Sun 16-Apr-23 04:47:43

I joined the U3A walking group.
The walks are twice monthly, 5 to 7 miles exploring fairly local areas.
We share cars, we take picnics, we go out in all weathers and learn what to wear and where to buy it, from experts grin

My own boots are Merrill waterproof, lightweight. My daysack is also lightweight and I like poles which protect from falls and help weight distribution.

Madgran77 Sun 16-Apr-23 07:58:11

Really important to have good proper walking socks preferably with few seams. Otherwise blisters can be awful

Re boots Brasher are excellent. I have walking "shoes" which are boots really but dont come too far up ankle. However if you feel your ankles need support boots are best.

Waterproof breathable walking coat is worth it with plenty of pocket choices is good too. When I can I avoid a rucksack and pockets (usually deep if a good coat) are good for that!

silverlining48 Sun 16-Apr-23 08:16:55

I have been walking for years, rarely spend a lot on the gear, and havnt heard of any of the brands mentioned up thread.
I usually get my walking footwear from Aldi and they last as long as any other make. My jacket and trousers fromMatalan still going strong after 15 years; it works for me.
Two sticks keep you up straight rather than one which doesn’t.
Happy wandering, it doesn’t have to be expensive and it’s a joy.

Sago Sun 16-Apr-23 09:55:22

We are keen walkers we try and do at least one hike a week, usually about 15k.
As we are fair weather walkers I have a Regatta jacket, it was from a charity shop with the labels attached, £5 and perfectly adequate, I have mountain warehouse leggings and good socks and boots.
The socks are important, buy them first and take them to try on boots.
I always make sure my ankles are protected from tick bites.
I never walk without a stick.

Farzanah Sun 16-Apr-23 10:04:30

Another vote for Alt-Berg boots. Look for premier retailers whose skilled fitters will spend time fitting and ensuring you get boots that are right and comfortable for your feet.

Summer and winter walking need different kit. I am a great fan of Paramo for winter waterproofs, which you can reproof as necessary. I pay a lot for my gear. Buy cheap buy twice!

MiniMoon Sun 16-Apr-23 11:41:12

Best hiking shoes I ever owned were by Grisport. They had really good ankle support but were on the expensive side. I had them for years.

Greyduster Sun 16-Apr-23 11:58:15

One thing to add, the more expensive brands of boots and shoes usually come in half sizes too if fitting is an issue. Cheaper ones don’t.