Monday, 15 July 2013

A guide to buying walking boots

As well as being a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, walking is a fantastic form of exercise.  It allows you to set your own pace and build up your fitness and stamina over time, often in beautiful surroundings.  To find out more about how beneficial walking is for your health, and to get some great advice on building your general fitness by walking and hiking, take a look at this handy guide.

Like all forms of exercise, walking and rambling is going to put pressure on the different parts of the body, particularly your feet and lower legs muscles.  That’s why it’s of the utmost importance that you take your time when you’re choosing walking boots, to ensure that you're wearing something that’s suitable for walking long distances or over difficult terrain.

Here's a few things you should be looking for in a pair of walking boots to ensure that you stay safe, healthy and comfortable on your walking adventures.


Support and Protection

Walking can take you on all sorts of surfaces and terrain, which naturally puts more strain on your feet than walking on surfaces like concrete or asphalt.  It’s because of this difficult terrain that your everyday shoes and trainers just aren't suitable.

When choosing boots, your buzzword should be 'support'.  After all, the reason you're wearing walking boots is to support and protect your feet.  Look for a design that’s high enough to support your ankle, as well as one that incorporates a protective rubber toe and heel-cap.  When you're walking, your heel takes the brunt of each step you make; having sufficient padding in the heel area is important for reducing the risk of injury.

The best walking boots use foam in their design for added support, so pay attention to product descriptions when you're buying boots, to see if they have this essential feature.


Material

As you're walking, friction and the heat released by your muscles can cause the temperature inside your walking boots to quickly build up.  You should choose boots that are made using materials like split suede leather, which prevent an excessive build-up of heat, and are waterproof.

Again, you should pay close attention to product descriptions and particularly look for boots that boast 'thermoregulation' technology; a feature that allows heat to escape.


Grip

You are reliant on your boots to provide adequate grip to the surface you're walking on.  Opt for a boot design with a treaded sole, made from an adhesive material like rubber or EVA, for optimum grip.  You should avoid designs with plastic or PVC soles, which are will be unstable when you're walking.


Weight

Obviously, a pair of walking boots aren't going to be the lightest footwear that you own.  However, you should do your best to look for boots that boast a lightweight design.  Having boots that are heavy and cumbersome will reduce your walking capabilities and the distance you can cover.


Use this guide as much as possible when you're choosing your walking boots, to ensure that you select a product that’s suitable for your chosen pursuit.  Millet Sports have a decent range of walking boots and hiking shoes, which includes all of the big brands like Merrel, Brasher and Salamon.

Remember to check the product descriptions of boots to ensure that the features you are looking for have been incorporated into the design.  If you do this, you shouldn't go far wrong with your choice.