Author Topic: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice  (Read 9180 times)

WalkAmerica

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Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« on: 13:43:25, 17/09/11 »
Hello all,
I'm new to the forum and hope you can help....Yes, it's the usual question about walking shoes, but with a slight twist, I couldn't find an answer on other posts so maybe you guys have the answer!
Myself and my husband set off to walk coast to coast across America in October, that's 3,000 miles (it seemed like a good idea when we first thought of it!), hopefully raising a bit of money for a good cause (I won't go on about that here as I know it's the wrong place).
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  We'll be walking mainly on roads, and walking boots just aren't any good, too heavy and inflexible for this type of walking we've found.  We're looking for a bit of advice on good alternatives.  They need to be waterproof, with good support, light and flexible.  We've been walking about 8 miles a day (to and from work) in London by way of training, in trainers but have found a couple of problems with this...
Firstly, none-too waterproof!  Secondly, not great support for our very tired feet!
Really hope you're able to help.
Lucy & Nick
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aljones27

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #1 on: 18:08:51, 17/09/11 »
Sounds like you would be needing some sort of goretex trailshoe...




I have some North Face Hedgehogs which I think are great. But, what is comfortable on me may not be comfortable on you so try before you buy. Go to a decent sized outdoor shop's boot department and they should have selection for you to try on.
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Willowisp

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #2 on: 18:46:28, 17/09/11 »
I highly recomend Inov-8
http://www.inov-8.com/Products.asp?PG=PG1&L=26


You would have to decide for yourselves whether you would get enough wear out of them though as no trainer will wear like a good walking boot.


I personally really like the complete lack of support you can get in some trainers as I subscribe to the body knows best barefoot philosophy sort off :S I like trainers with a lack of support :)


That may not suit you but some of these trainers have more support than others. Infact there are even gortex trainer boots now in this range. I would maybe even try asking for some freebies if you are doing it for charity.. You never know




Just an example image.. try asking inov-8 what they would recomend as alot of the treads in this range are made from sticky rubber that grips a charm but may be to fast wearing for such a monster trip



Anyhow good luck
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adam_madam

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #3 on: 20:28:24, 18/09/11 »
In my opinion there are only two shoes for the job:


The North Face Hedgehog's
Salomon Exit Low's


I am biased though, I have both, and walk only in these in all terrain and all weathers, apart from snow covered rocky paths.


Annejacko

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #4 on: 08:22:14, 19/09/11 »
As it's on road I'd go with something like this
 
http://www.brooksrunning.com/womens-walking-shoes/womens-walkingshoes,default,sc.html
 
but find a local Brooks stockist to try them and make sure they suit your gait.
 
They'll give you much more support and cushioning than something like Inov8 which are designed for off road running or walking. Inov8 are a love em or hate em brand. I did n't get on with them myself gave me horrible blisters :( . If they suit your feet they are a great off road shoe though.
Of course on road you don't need the grip that you get on a trail shoe. Personally I'd think the cushioning from miles and miles of tarmac pounding would be more of an advantage.
 
For waterproofing you could try wearing sealskin socks. Waterproof shoes can have some disadvantages if the water does get in from a deep puddle say they will not drain and will take ages to dry out.
« Last Edit: 09:04:58, 19/09/11 by Annejacko »
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WalkAmerica

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #5 on: 12:50:55, 19/09/11 »
Thanks for the advice guys - interesting thought about the sealskin socks as a waterproofing option, I hadn't even thought of that and will definitely check it out.
We're off to do some shopping over the next couple of weeks, to give us a chance to try some of them out before we buy anything, and time to wear them in before we begin, we expect to get through a few pairs during the walk though!
Thanks again, no doubt more posts will follow with a lot of questions as the nerves begin to set in!
Lucy & Nick
 

Willowisp

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #6 on: 21:23:36, 19/09/11 »

Feeling really funky stuff the padding and gait rubbish and read up on the growing Barefoot movement.
Basics being feet evolved over 1000's of years to be what they are and now more injuries are occurring than ever... Why?
Research is beginning to suggest he over padded over supported shoes ;)


Granted this isn't for everyone but I thought I would be a little controversial. I am currently running in a pair on shoes based around this theory and its taking a little getting used to (my poor calfs)

Or slightly more conventional looking but built around the same principals

There are a few others about out there.
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altirando

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #7 on: 00:32:58, 20/09/11 »
There was a guy running in the Great North Run last weekend as a celebration of his recently completed run across America. He must have a website somewhere and would certainly be able to give practical advice.

angry climber

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #8 on: 00:59:15, 20/09/11 »
If its all roads I would expect trainers for marathons would be good, New Balance, Asics, Saucony
Try this simple guide
 
There’s no single 'best shoe' – everyone has different needs. All sorts of things - your biomechanics, your weight, the surfaces you run on, and obviously, the shape of your feet - mean that one person's ideal shoe can be terrible for another person. We divide our shoes into three main categories (cushioned, stability and motion control); and three minor ones (performance training, racing and off-road). The first three are everyday options and are categorised essentially by your biomechanical needs; the second three are more specialised and you’d often only consider them as second shoes. The first step in finding your basic shoe needs is to try our 'Wet Test', below or, preferably, to visit a biomechanics expert or experienced shoe retailer. The Wet Test works on the basis that the shape of your wet footprint on a dry floor or piece of paper roughly correlates with the amount of stability you might need in your shoe. It will show you what features you should look for and equip you with the basic knowledge you need
 
The Normal Foot
Normal feet have a normal-sized arch and will leave a wet footprint that has a flare, but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a broad band. A normal foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls inwards slightly to absorb shock. It’s the foot of a runner who is biomechanically efficient and therefore doesn’t need a motion control shoe.
Best shoes: Stability shoes with moderate control features.
 The Flat Foot
This has a low arch and leaves a print which looks like the whole sole of the foot. It usually indicates an overpronated foot – one that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls inwards (pronates) excessively. Over time, this can cause many different types of overuse injuries.
Best shoes: Motion control shoes, or high stability shoes with firm midsoles and control features that reduce the degree of pronation. Stay away from highly cushioned, highly curved shoes, which lack stability features.
 The High-Arched Foot
This leaves a print showing a very narrow band or no band at all between the forefoot and the heel. A curved, highly arched foot is generally supinated or underpronated. Because it doesn’t pronate enough, it’s not usually an effective shock absorber.
Best shoes: Cushioned (or 'neutral') shoes with plenty of flexibility to encourage foot motion. Stay away from motion control or stability shoes, which reduce foot mobility.
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angry climber

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #9 on: 01:01:53, 20/09/11 »

sorry that never worked  ::)
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altirando

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #10 on: 14:42:56, 20/09/11 »
Just remembered there was a young woman Ffyona Campbell who walked round the world in stages but unfortunately got attacked for not admitting she accepted a lift in America when she was ill. Several books and I think there was a lot about footwear. Did a quick google and she seems to have a facebook page - she would certainly be one of the best sources for info on your sort of walking - beyond the experience of most of us here.  I would expect for all that road walking you would need some cushioning but a basic sole with torsional stiffness.
 
Actually, I have done America coast to coast myself - on the train. I remember that in sections such as Kansas the same sort of flat landscape went on for hours - must be soul-destroying (and sole destroying?) on foot.  Wouldn't fancy it myself. No chance of changing your challenge to one of the north-south wilderness treks - Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail.? What time are you aiming at? 200 days, average 15 miles a day?  The runner I mentioned was interviewed just before the GN Run, should be on IPlayer. He was raising money for charity too so should have a website - useful perhaps for route alone.

WalkAmerica

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #11 on: 22:08:07, 20/09/11 »
Thanks, I saw the same runner on TV too, nice to see it's not impossible!  Was planning to try and get in touch soon - I'll look up Ffyona too - we're trying to connect with as many people as possible as we figured their advice might come in handy!
 
We have 6 months to do it in (thanks to the length of visa) which at least gives us something to aim for, although ideally we would have liked 8 months so that we could put our feet up once in a while.  It'll be approx 20 miles per day 5 days a week........at the moment we're doing 8 as practice....so a fair jump but we're trying to get the balance right between training and ruining our feet before we get there.
 
We're set on crossing coast-to-coast - though neither of us are particularly sure why as we know it will be a little barren in the middle, although to look at the positives, flat = less uphill walking, my feet will be very happy (well ok, marginally less unhappy!). 
 
Thanks again for all the thoughts so far!
Lucy

Wurz

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Re: Long distance road walking - Shoe advice
« Reply #12 on: 13:27:40, 21/09/11 »
First off good luck!  I think most people doing this sort of thing go through 2 or 3 pairs of shoes.

I would also suggest using running shoes that are aimed at high mileage training as opposed to lighter racing shoes.  I would not use innov 8's they are great but a lot offer minimal cushioning and they are not particularly durable, the sticky soled ones will imho wear out very quickly on roads.

I would also not look at minimal footwear like the lighter innov8's of barefoot style shoes unless you have tried this out for quite a while.  Yes lots of people rave about it but all say it takes time to adjust to it and I don't think any of them are barefoot all day every day.  Personally I wouldn't want to start experimenting before a big trip.

Finally I would not use a goretex shoe either.  You will still end up wet but will not dry out as fast and when it's not raining your feet will sweat a lot more.  Plus the liners usually fail anyway.  Try walking in normal non-gore trainers but with decent socks, you end up a kind of "comfortably damp" just switch to dry socks at the end of the day.  In Mountain Marathons -  a lot shorter but still usually 30-50 miles over 2 days with permanently wet feet this isn't an issue for most copmpetitors.  If you need to walk around at the camp you put your dry sock covered foot in a carrier bag into the wet shoe.

I believe Ffyona whatsername was sponsored by Merrell so she probably wore and endorses them.