March – Spring is in the air.

It’s a really encouraging sign that spring is on the way, with early daffodils staring to show, and crocus’ coming out in bloom, its reassuring that the drier, brighter days are just around the corner.

UNS Team Day out

The boys were ‘back in town’ last week with a bimble across the delightful Peak District National Park.

A little scramble up red brook and a subsequent wander over Brown Knowl coupled to a route back via South Head and Mount Famine was enjoyed by all, nearly as much as the pint in the ‘Royal’ afterwards.

1000Mile socks.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to trial these rascals to get a sense of just how good they are in keeping your feet warm and dry with their internal wicking layer of Tactel.

The write up below is the extract from the recent post on Inst’ highlighting my thoughts on the product. Its always important to ensure that alongside your sock of choice, you have a well fitted boot or shoe to enable a great walking experience without the fear of having to conduct feet maintenance half way through your expedition.

National Feet Week

National Feet Week takes place every year, and this year it from the 7th to the 13th of March.

As an avid outdoors type, it’s a great idea that we take good care of our feet, you never know where they are going to take you too!

What about your feet? Many people ignore common foot complaints or indeed serious pain rather than go to see an expert. Podiatrists are there to help with all manner of foot conditions and can usually help resolve minor issues quickly.

Where we’re coming from though, is the preventative maintenance of your precious feet, which should help you to avoid any serious complaints developing or spending time with your GP or Podiatrist.

Make National Feet Week a time to have your feet checked or to get that niggling issue sorted and make your feet your priority.

Things to consider: 

Nails 

Nails should be trimmed straight across without curving the corners of the nail as this can lead to ingrown toenails. 

Blisters 

Blisters, we’ve all had them and know how very painful they can be (they are basically a heat burn). Prevention is the key with blisters and dual layer socks are a great investment. (See the details above on the test drive of 1000Mile socks).

Friction on the skin surface is eliminated as the inner layer moves with the foot and the outer layer with the shoe. As with normal socks, it’s important to change them once they become damp.

The advent of a wicking inner layer (Tactel) is of great benefit in heat distribution for your feet, which should help reduce the likelihood of blister occurring.

If you feel a blister developing you need to stop walking immediately, remove your shoes and socks and examine your feet. Apply a breathable waterproof plaster or consider applying some material padding or cushioning.

Our blister plaster of choice is ‘Compeed’, I would strongly suggest having these in your rucksacks at all time for those ‘just in case’ moments!

Walking boots/shoes

Perhaps one of the most important questions is – are your boots/shoes comfortable?

There are so many good options to choose from, how do we know that we’re choosing the correct ones?

Many good outdoors stores have qualified staff that can help you to select the correct product for your foot type.

Purchase and wear new shoes well in advance to make sure that they are comfortable and do not pinch or rub. 

My boot of choice currently is Scarpa, and the walking shoe of choice is Meindl (watch this space for the road test on the Meindl Rapide GTX in May)

Insoles

A good insole will be helpful in the prevention of pain in the back, hips and knees and help to reduce impact related injury.

Sorbothane insoles are a fabulous option, which can fit snuggly inside the walking boot offering a little extra ‘spring’ in your step whilst walking, in addition to the reduction of impact across a range of differing trekking surfaces.

As we said before, do take care of your feet, you never know just how far they will take you!

Enjoy March

Chris and Martin

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