The wrong type of walking shoes can make your journey uncomfortable, tiresome and hurt your feet. Choosing the right type of footwear is essential to any walking holiday.
There are a few things to consider before you purchase your next pair of walking shoes; the arch of your foot, the length of your journey and the mixture of terrain are three key things that you will need to think about before your trip.
First things first, if you are buying new walking shoes buy them well in advance of your trip to try them out and break them in.
Where are you walking to?
The type of terrain that you cover on your walk will help you to decide what type of shoes to buy. For steep mountains and rough trails with loose rocks you will need to consider a good pair of hiking boots that will give your ankle support and protect your toes from blisters. Depending on the type of paths you intend to follow you may need to consider getting extra grips for the sole of the shoes.
For challenging routes, like the Kerry Way that takes you through the Black Valley and to the foothills of the MacGillycuddyreeks Mountain you will need extra support for your feet and may need to consider hiking boots instead of walking shoes. Where as for flatter trails of the Barrow Way and the Burren Way a good pair of breathable walking shoes with merino wool socks will suffice.
When are you going on your walking holiday?
With different seasons comes different weather patterns and this can have an affect on the type of outdoor gear that you will need to bring with you. Staying focused on footwear, you will need to consider water proof material and extra grip if walking in winter or spring. Remember that in Ireland you can still encounter rain or light drizzles of rain in the spring and summer months.
Most walking shoes on offer in reputable gear stores are light, waterproof, comfortable and have a low ankle grip.
Try them out on local walks and trails
Make sure to wear in your walking shoes or hiking boots. Your feet need to be familiar with their surroundings. If you are planning to go on any long distance walking holiday over the course of a few days then your feet need time to settle in.Buy shoes that mould around the shape of your feet for comfort and support.
Start by wearing your shoes on local walks or when you are walking home from a day at the office, this will gradually prepare them for longer walks.
Don’t forget to buy some good pairs of socks to go with your shoes. Socks with breathable material will help to keep your feet dry and prevent blisters after a long day on the trail.
Luckily you don’t have to spend all day researching the options and worrying about what type of shoes to buy, their are plenty of experts out there. If you pop into any reputable outdoor clothing store they will have experienced gear specialists to advise you on the best walking shoes for your next walking holiday in Ireland.
For more information on any of our walking or cycling tours you can contact one of our travel specialists.