All girls love shoes right? Well my love for shoes is a little bit different to the average girl.
I love all things walking, running, waterproof and mud stomping shoes! Give me a pair of chunky kick-ass leather boots caked in mud over some sexy sandals any day.
The thing is though a pair of converse is no good for a water-logged field, and whatever the weather I think all dogs deserve a good run, so I’m not going to avoid places just because they’re muddy. Plus if you’re going for a long walk it’s so much safer to be in a pair of walking boots with good ankle support, good grip and will keep your feet dry all day.
So here is my list of favourite footwear that I’ve found work for me, as someone who likes to go on muddy and sometimes long, hilly walks with an active dog. Of course everyone has different feet and mine are quite wide, so these brands may not suit everyone, but they’re what I’ve found work for me.
These Karrimor walking boots were my go to brand of walking boots for about 6 years! I wear boots at least 5 days a week so they only used to last me about 6 months before they’d be splitting at the seems, but they’re not hugely expensive and they are SO comfy. I’ve found the high leather boots are the best for ankle support and ‘waterproofness’. They take a little bit of getting used to if you’ve not had high ankle boots before, but once you’re used to them you won’t go back!
Meindl Gomera GTX
Like I said I’ve been using Karrimors for aagggeesss, however Ash has been telling me to get Scarpa boots for a while as you get so much more out of them. It turns out Scarpa boots are too narrow for my feet but what I have found instead are these Meindl boots!
They are mega mega comfy and hard wearing. They claim to be waterproof, and I think they are, however because they’re a soft leather they do absorb the water and the outside stays damp for quite a while, although I’ve not found the water to seep inside yet. Regardless they are so far surviving much better than my karrimors and they took me up and down Snowdon recently.
These tall, leather equestrian style boots crept into fashion last winter and you’ll see a lot of people walking around cities in varies styles of these type of boots. Most of them don’t have a spec of dirt on them, a bit like the pristine white Range Rover the wearer of the boots climbed out of, however the ones I buy and wear will survive a tramp through a muddy field and a shallow stream. Whether you’re mucking out horses or walking the dog I find these kind of boots great for keeping your feet and trousers dry, plus they are pretty stylish too! Practically stylish.
My first pair of country boots… I popped in to my local equestrian store and after trying a bunch of boots on these were what I came home with. They are so comfy, waterproof, strong and quite wide fitting which is good for my chunky calves. I had them for about 2 years before the lining wore out and they started leaking.
After 2 years of my Dublin boots I decided to replace them with some Ariats. My friends Ariat boots have survived for so much longer than my Dublin ones so I’ve gone for them this time. At first they didn’t feel right for quite a while, not uncomfortable, but just not quite right. However now when I put my feet in my Dublin boots they feel awful. They’re a little narrower (or maybe my legs have got wider) but they look great with a pair of comfy skinny jeans and so far they’re been waterproof and tough. I think they’re a little smarter than the Dublin’s too which makes the great for those occasions when you want comfort and protection but a bit of style also… such as a music festival held on a working farm.
I have two pairs of trainers; trail shoes for agility as they have good grip for short sprints and turns on grass and sand and then some comfy running trainers for jogging along pavements.
If you’re running around a sand arena or a field after a mega fast collie then you need a decent pair of trainers. (Although close friends of mine will tell you that I don’t actually run… I do my best but what I think is sprinting is actually quite a crappy jog). I found these in GoOutdoors and they’re alright for what I need, with good grip and great comfort. They’re not waterproof which is a bit crappy when it’s raining, plus I still slip if the grass is wet, but they’re better than some and I’ve not fallen over yet, plus they didn’t cost the earth.
I’m sure you all want to see a photo of my grotty trainers right?! These are my road running trainers which I picked up out of a sports shop about 4 years ago when I first decided I’d go for a run. It was definitely a good idea as they are so lovely and comfy and make running nice and cushioned. I’m sure there’s fancier and more expensive running shoes out there but these do exactly what I need them to.
I may not have tried hundreds of brands but what I have tried I have worn to the bare bone and further, and when I say they are comfy I mean they are comfy for a 7 hour walk or for a 30 minute jog, up mountains, through streams and mud and soggy equestrian centres. So they really have been put through the mill and come out on the other side.