First Walk: Trying Out my Walking Boots

Photo by me!

Tried my walking boots that I’d bought but never used a few years ago. They are lightweight and good for narrow feet like mine. The laces also anchor at certain points making them easier to tie.

My feet went in OK which is a good sign as sometimes I have issues with my toes folding under my feet (which is excruciatingly painful). I have no control or strength in my toes to keep them straight.

Tightening them was a little tricky with the laces but this is in part because they are brand new so the material hasn’t become supple with use yet. I ended up with a very tight right foot and a sightly looser left foot round the ankle.

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Training: My Feet

Photo by Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Comfortable feet is crucial with a firm fit to avoid blisters. Given the pounding they will take my feet are the thing I need to look after the most.

I need to find a good pair of lightweight walking boots. It’s important they are lightweight because I don’t push off with the ball of my feet, I lift with my legs. Fully able people put 60-80% pressure through the ball of the foot, I put 5-10% through the ball of my foot. This puts a huge amount of pressure on the heel so another critical feature is cushioning for the heel.

This is perhaps the trickiest part for me and the most crucial bit of kit for me to get right. I have made bad choices many times with footwear and always paid for it dearly. You get this wrong, you’ll be miserable all day, and in the worst case, stop any further walking.

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West Highland Way: I Need to do Some Training!

Photo by Me!

Obviously I can’t go from no terrain walking to walking 21 miles just like that. The problem is not just physical strength but stamina, wear on my feet, and mental discipline.

Mini Cycling Challenge

So, to get me going I have decided to do a virtual cycle ride from Lands End to John O’ Groats. It’s 1083 miles which I plan to complete over 80 days. I’ll be using an exercise bike and tracking the miles electronically using the Conqueror Challenge app on my phone. I will need to ride every day to make it work. To begin with I need to cycle for half an hour each day and over 30 days work up to an hour a day.

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