What to Wear
Walking clothing need not be specialised or expensive. However, you do need to wear clothing appropriate to the walk. Please read the advice below. The walk leader may ask you not to accompany us if you are not adequately prepared.
Most Important – Footwear
There are two types of walking boots and shoes: walking boots made from leather, and walking boots made from fabric. Gortex linings are recommended as the most waterproof.
Hill walking boots have a hard-wearing sole unit to give support and strength to your feet and to provide torsional control as you walk. These are usually made from high-carbon content rubber; Vibram being the market leader. Anti clogging soles are common in hill walking boots, where the sole is designed to avoid a build up mud and dirt.
Your walking boots should fit perfectly with walking socks on, and a liner sock should not have any negative effects on space within the boot as they are very slim. We advise always having spare socks and suggest that walkers wear everyday shoes to the walk in order to protect car interiors when lift sharing. Some walkers prefer walking sandals in summer. Wearers should be mindful of ground conditions as well as stings and bites!
Bags and Backpacks
Carry whatever you are comfortable with as long as it holds sufficient food, drink and clothing. Backpacks should be robust with a waterproof cover. Shoulder bags are not recommended.
A good quality waterproof jacket – not just showerproof – is essential. A cheap, lightweight cagoule will do the job but if you plan to do a lot of walking, consider a jacket made from breathable material.
Waterproof trousers or over-trousers are a good idea, and gaiters will protect your socks and trousers from rain and mud.
Look after your waterproofs carefully. Washing them incorrectly can make your jackets and trousers less waterproof. Waterproofing will also wear out over time. Some fabrics can be re-waterproofed – always check the label before washing.
Several thin layers are more useful than one thick layer, as warm air gets trapped between the layers and provides insulation. This also means that you can add or remove layers as your temperature changes. Fleeces are great at providing insulation and are quick to dry.
Tracksuit bottoms or everyday casual trousers are fine for the average walk. Jeans are not recommended. If you’re going to be walking regularly, specialist walking trousers are best. Synthetic trousers are popular as they are lightweight, quick-drying and often have multiple, zipped pockets. Shorts are fine in good weather but long trousers offer better protection against brambles, nettles and ticks.
Head and Hands
Wear or carry a warm woollen hat in winter and a sunhat in summer. Remember to use sun-cream on bare skin, especially if you’re out walking for long periods, as sunburn can occur even on cloudy days.
Insulated gloves are important in cold weather, especially for those who have circulation problems. To walk comfortably with good posture you should be able to swing your arms freely, and your hands will break your fall if you stumble so putting your hands in your pockets is not recommended.