The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Shoes for LEJOG (Part 1)

I’m going to start by stepping (pun unintended) back in time by a few months.

Back in September I bought a new pair of walking boots. I’d spent over a year experimenting (somewhat less than successfully) with lightweight footwear (namely Inov8 Terrocs and Salomon XA Pro). I really wanted to like the lightweight option, but it’s still something that I’m working on. So, the time had come for a new pair of boots.

Having given my spec to a nice boot fitting chap in George Fisher (who restored my faith in the store after a couple of less than promising experiences there) I came away with a pair of Scarpa ZG10s. It was only when I came to put them on in a lay-by on Honister Pass an hour or so later that I realised that they were rather off the mark on the ‘lightweight’ bit of my spec.

However, they proved to be goodly and comfy and although they were expensive I feel sure that they’ll prove to be hard wearing.

When I finally turned my mind to LEJOG footwear my starting point was that I didn’t want to lug boots as heavy as the ZG10s up the length of Britain, but that I wanted something a little more supportive of the foot than my slipperesque Brasher Superlites.

Having spent months surveying all of the options, I finally bit the bullet whilst in the Lakes a couple of weeks ago and bought my LEJOG walking boots. The choice was pretty obvious. As the ZG10 had proved to suit my feet, I went for the notably lighter Scarpa ZG65s.

It’s early days. I’ve only walked 20 miles in them so far, but early indications are promising (except for the colour; what is it with manufacturers of girls’ outdoor gear? Light blue just doesn’t seem to be a sensible colour for walking boots. I’m already modifying them to mud coloured).

That’s not the end of the story though, as I’m toying with a dual footwear strategy on the Big Walk.

To be continued...

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