By Gill Stewart at
About this time of year, many people are dusting off their old trainers and walking boots and setting out on a mission – to walk faster and further than they have ever done before. I’m sure you all have a kit list for this epic adventure – for example a waterproof jacket, rucksack, sunglasses, flask of tea etc etc.
But one of the most important body parts we all neglect is our FEET. Many people buy expensive technical shoes and boots, but are they right for the job? Here are a few tips on what to look for:
Avoid cotton socks
Although nice and soft, cotton socks are useless for exercise. As your feet sweat, the moisture will sit in the cotton next to your skin which can cause rubbing, bad odours and a lot of discomfort. You can buy the most technical shoe – breathable, waterproof, all terrain but all these are useless if your feet are wet & steamy on the inside. Using the right socks is essential to increasing the effectiveness of your footwear and the X-Socks range has cutting edge technology to keep your feet, dry, warm and confortable. It may seem over the top but the technology in these socks is mind boggling and IT WORKS! The padding is perfect, breathability outstanding and they literally do fit like a glove – once you have tried them you will be a fan for life. We recommend 3 models:
Available in both Mens and Ladies styles, these socks are ideal for everyday exercise.
Sky Run – £14.99 – Ideal for running, bounding and more lateral movements
Trekking Silver – £19.99 – Longer Socks which are warmer and designed for longer distances.
As some of our Instructors will tell you, it is best to AVOID using MBT training shoes for Nordic Walking as they can be unstable on the foot roll, severely rub and cause blisters. The Springboost range of shoes do have an EXERCISE EFFECT like many others on the market but the difference is…….they produce a shoe that is specifically designed for Nordic Walking so you get two benefits with every step.
A good tread
Make sure your footwear has plenty of grip. Tennis shoes, indoor training shoes and casual shoes can actually hinder your walking style and are very slippy on wet ground. However, a full walking boot can be very heavy and cumbersome on flat ground so an all terrain shoe is ideal in most conditions. We recommend that your shoes should be at least water resistant and have a tread that grips on wet and varied surfaces. You also need a flexible bend in the forefoot so you can push off from the toes and good cushioning in the heel section.
Our favourite models from our Footwear Partner Springboost include all the right elements for Nordic Walking. These include the Tour and the Stride, which are very clever by design and help you to improve your walking gate, tone your muscles and give a more stable walking base. We have tested the footwear with our NWUK instructors with fantastic results, so chances are you will see them on the feet of those who Nordic Walk for lots of miles every week.