.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Better indoors today............with some new gear to review........

I think it started raining heavily sometime during the night but it hasn't stopped yet! I keep looking outside to see if the thick white cloud has lifted a bit, but it hasn't!

{Rain glistening on the patio furniture}

Time for the gear review then!

I was very impressed by the number of walkers I've met recently who have started wearing lighter, open-type trainers, even when carrying a rucksack and having long days out. My old trainers are well past their best and never did have a good enough sole for serious walking so I did a bit of research and came up with these.

{My new trainers}

My Keen boots have definitely been the most comfortable footwear I have ever used for hiking. They are quite warm in hot weather being made of leather and a full boot type height. I had a good idea that Keen would be a good way to go for a pair of new trainers.

I bought a pair of Keen McKenzies which are advertised as a cross between a sandal and a shoe. They have a kind of sturdy mesh top with synthetic filled in bits, and the usual Keen sturdy toe protectors. The laces are not tied but pulled and tightened with a plastic thing. They are lovely and wide to fit my spade-like feet. I've worn them around the house, for a few shopping trips and for one more serious walk. So far, so good!

{Close-up of the lacing system, and the mesh}

The soles are extremely grippy, even on wet rock. Because the sides let in a lot of air, they are also very cool to wear. My feet hate being hot, when they tend to swell and become very uncomfortable. This seems not likely to happen when wearing these trainers. They may let in some grit but that's not too great a problem.

{Showing the sole, and rubber toe bumper}

I have been wearing them with short walking socks.  I went for a size larger than I might usually get for a trainer, which enables me to wear the thicker sock without any tightness.

Nothing to complain about then? Only one thing, the insoles that came with the shoes are soft, pathetic things that gave me no support at all. I have replaced them with new insoles, specially for walking, which support my high(ish) arches and cushion my feet a bit.

{Keen McKenzie trainers with replacement insoles}

The walk I did was up into the forest here where I have often ventured before.  The ground was very dry, sandy and a bit loose, but there was no slipping. A light shower of rain made some of the rocks wet, and still no slipping. Even walking down the steep incline back home there was no discomfort or slipping. I wasn't carrying a heavy rucksack but that's not unusual for alpine day walks. The temperature was around 25 degrees but my feet stayed cool and comfortable. Any water droplets from some wet undergrowth dried off very quickly.

I'm impressed so far. Anyone else tried these, I wonder?


Alan R said...

Just starting to catch up on my reading.

They look good and should be comfy being tongue less. I like the toe bumper. Ideal.

Laura said...

Hi Alan - They look strangely chunky but when I'm wearing them they feel light and cool. I intend to use them for all my walks while I'm here in the Alps - so I'll be able to post an updated review at a later date.....