Buying a good pair of boots that fit you well is a key component to having a good adventures in the block-blocks. So this blog is some advise on boot selection. Over the next few months I'll offer my advise or opinion on buying gear for those getting into either hunting or back country travel.
You will be amazed at how fit you can get just by going for a few walks. Then in time extending those walking times and maybe carrying your pack with just a few kg's of weight.
So in order to get walking fit you need a good pair of footwear. Ideally buy a good pair of sturdy boots, whatever you choose, have it in mind of the places you intend to go to and will these boots be suitable.
A suitable pair of boots is required on this type of track walk. 54km in them.
Good ankle support can be very useful if you have not strong ankles. A good Vibram sole that has good grip is a good thing. Gore-Tex lined (which means they are waterproof and will wick sweat away) is important as they will keep your feet dry and warmer in certain conditions. The boots need to be supportive and comfortable.
Don't just go into the first sports shop and buy the first thing the sales person shows you (I'm going to say this about everything) Try different types and styles on. Not every boot is the same.
My Salewa Mountain trainers. Ideal walking boots that could go off the trail if needed.
Remember your feet are what are going to get you there and back so it's worth spending abit more and buying a good quality pair of boots as opposed to some that are perhaps made in china and are on special. Those boots just might not last too long and you might find they fall apart once they get a bit of action under their soles.
To be fair there are lots of different companies 'Out There' that manufacture good quality boots and they could range in price from $300 to $1000 or more. Over the years I've worn all sorts of boots, from very Hi-tech expensive leather Meindl boots which are a more off trail alpine boot to now a more multipurpose off/on trail boot based around that $400-500 mark.
My Salewa Ravens, Hi-Tech boots that are built for off the trail Alpine work.
My latest boots and I have two pairs, one for more alpine off trail work in the Salewa Ravens, which are a heavier constructed and stiffer boot and another lighter less stiff boot for more walking tracks in the Salewa mountain trainers. Both great boots for their types of use. For the new comer in track walking the Salewa mountain trainers are a good choice in my opinion. But hay, that doesn't mean they are the boots for you, shop around.
So let's say you've brought new boots. Wear them in, start doing those walks with those boots on so that your feet get used to them and they mold to the shape of your feet. Get used to them. Look after them, clean them, wash away dirt or blood let them air dry and you will get years of use out of them. For someone like me a pair of boots might last a year or maybe two but for you that's just getting into walking they could last 10 years or more if you look after them.
The Salewa Ravens, around 800km of use. Still in great shape and well looked after.
As mentioned I'm using Salewa and for me they are great. There are other good reputable brands 'Out There' like Salomon, Keen, Scarpa, Lowa, La Sportiva, Asolo, Hi-Tec, Crispi, Zamberlan, Meindl. This is just a few that in my mind are good quality boots, I'm sure there are others but remember buy ones that will be used for the types of conditions you will be using them for.
For example a heavy duty pair of Lowa or Meindl might not be as good a choice as a pair of Salewa or Salomon for track walking which is what you are planning to get into. This could be because the first two are constructed to be used in tougher conditions and are probably built heavier where as the other two are lighter for easier track walking use. A pair of the first two might weight 850grams per boot, as opposed to the track boots could be 450grams per boot, nearly half the weight. So easier walking in lighter boots uses less energy so you won't get tired as quick.
If your heading into this type of country good boots that are fit for purpose are essential.
Whatever you decide on buy, buy good quality boots, you won't regret spending a bit more if they fit well, are comfortable, give good support, grip well and are water proof. Money well spent in my opinion.