Keep those feet dry with Sealskinz waterproof socks
Looking after our feet is so important and I am sure a lot of us do not appreciate how we take them for granted. Keeping the damp off our skin, for about two hours, in wet conditions is achievable with the correct equipment this gives us time to really enjoy the walk. Those with diabetes need to take even more care of their feet.
FAQ’s: What equipment do I need for Nordic Walking
Anyone who has walked with one of my groups for a while will be aware ( because of my moaning) that I have found it challenging to find a pair of waterproof shoes, that remain waterproof for any length of time. They all start well. Many of you may disagree with this statement, as I know some of the really expensive brands have worked for many of you. I have tried many different brands, some are better than others. The light, Gortex shoes are waterproof for a while and then I have found them to let water in, as soon as something penetrates the lining. Perhaps it is because I walk on many different surfaces, the stony tracks I use may cause damage to the Gortex lining. I have sprayed them, but this does not make any difference on this fabric, which is designed to stop water penetration, so the spray just runs off. These Gortex shoes are, however, really comfy and still a great shoe to wear for Nordic walking, as they enable the feet to expand. The toes can spread out and the foot can benefit from total flexibility.
For a reliable waterproof shoe, I believe they need to be leather, which can be inflexible and heavy. The Nordic Walking Technique requires a flexible sole with a good grip, so the Gortex brands are perfect for that purpose but may need a little help in the waterproofing dept. I will discuss the ones my clients have found not be waterproof in a different blog post. Maybe the problem is with me. This could be because I wear my shoes for several walks a day, so they become less effective for me. I would still recommend the Gortex shoes to be the ones of choice for Nordic, but sometimes you may need to add a waterproof sock for a fully dry foot. It is worth the extra cost.
All year I have been fed up with having wet and cold feet for a lot of my walks. This has ended up with me owning a pair of shoes for each walk, which needs days to dry out with newspaper for me to wear them a few days later. Even a light morning or evening dew on the grass can cause us to get wet feet very soon after starting to walk and this can make the experience a lot less enjoyable as you probably have to walk an hour with really cold feet.Once your feet get wet, they get cold and you can get miserable.
A solution to my problem
After hearing a lot about them, I decided to try waterproof socks. It sounds so weird to have waterproof socks, but they are a great invention and a worthwhile investment.These Sealskinz are 100% waterproof made of performance fabric which rapidly wicks moisture away. They are breathable and lightweight.
They keep your feet warm as well as dry and are nice and thick and also protect your feet from shoes that could blister. As we only walk for about an hour at a time so they can be worn for more than one walk before washing them. They do not smell, so can be used a few times, if they are removed at the end of the walk. A good idea is to have a change of socks and shoes in the boot of the car.
You may like to wash them by hand, but you must not have the water temperature hotter than 40 degrees, as this will damage the fabric. I usually turn mine inside out and soak overnight, before letting them drip into the sink by hanging them on the tap. In the morning, I peg them outside. I suggest you allow a couple of days for them to be really dry again if using this method. do not hang them on the radiator or iron them. You can also use the tumble dryer if set at a low temperature of 40 degrees, but just to be sure I am not damaging them, I choose to drip dry. Maybe I choose to hand wash them instead of a machine wash, as I like to fuss over them and treat them like a delicate item, as an alternative to throwing them in the machine. The time spent hand washing them reminds me of all the fun I have had wearing them, the people I have been with and the places we have walked together. It allows me to revisit these places in my mind for a few minutes, remembering the conversations I may have had or the views I have seen.
These socks are an investment and if only be used for Nordic walking, they will last you for a long time, making the investment worthwhile. I tend to use them on other occasions also as they are so comfortable, but I have bought a few pairs.
Be careful, as long toenails can damage the waterproof membranes, as can small stones, grit, sand, thorns etc. Add Sealskinz socks from Amazon to your list of equipment needed to make Nordic walking a more enjoyable experience. Sealskinz makes more than just socks. If you would like to buy yourself some of the SealSkinz socks, please purchase them from Amazon. They are fast, efficient and have a good returns policy should you change your mind.