If planning to go on a walking holiday, finding the right shoes can make the difference between an enjoyable trip and a blister-blighted disaster.
Picking appropriate footwear is essential, and should be considered at least a month before a trip to allow for breaking-in time.
Picking footwear that suits the trip
The choice of footwear depends on the type of walking holiday being prepared for.
If planning a light schedule over easy terrain in good weather, lightweight walking sandals may be all that are required.
These will be suitable for leisurely hikes and shorter walks in warm weather.
For medium-range terrain and longer walks, lightweight walking boots that provide ankle support are ideal.
If going on a summer trip, boots with breathable fabrics will protect the feet from damp and blisters.
If intending to go on long walks on lighter terrain, good-quality trail shoes should be sufficient, but if wanderings lead across rocky areas or muddy ground, walking boots are preferable for the ankle support they provide.
Tackling challenging countryside, mountainous areas or treacherous trails in bad weather?
Heavy duty men’s and ladies walking boots are essential to protect the ankles and give solid grip in all situations.
Good ankle support is essential, and walking boots must fit perfectly- with a bit of room for swollen feet- and be comfortable enough to wear all day.
Preparing for the trip
Buying walking boots the day before the trip is a recipe for disaster.
Walking boots take time to break in, and often require insoles to make them fit perfectly, so purchase boots at least a month in advance to see what else will be needed.
Start off by wearing them around the house to get an idea of where they chafe or rub, and select insoles based on the findings.
Once the boots have been worn for a few days, taking a few shorter walks in them to get used to them and start to break them in is always recommended.
Half-hour walks should be enough to get started, and expecting a few blisters while getting used to the new boots is realistic.
Once a few shorter walks have been completed, the next step is to try longer hikes to road test them and finish the breaking-in process.
Ideally, once it is time to depart on the walking holiday, the boots are ready for anything, ensuring that feet are comfortable, dry and pain free.
Image by Tim Dobson, used under the Creative Commons license.
I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters has deeply affected my view of travel. Read more...