Getting fit for hill walking

brynpoeth
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby brynpoeth » 2 Sep 2017, 8:18am

One can waterproof them, but there are a lot of bogs in Wales

I am lucky, I will be staying at the same place the whole time, I will take three pairs of shoes so I can leave them to dry. Should help avoid blisters too as each pair has different rubbing points :wink:
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brynpoeth
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby brynpoeth » 2 Sep 2017, 11:47am

Any suggestions for things to do on non-mountain days on the North Wales coast? I know the area quite well, but I am sure there are interesting thins I do not know of ..

I want to visit the Little Orme and Bodnant Gardens, the art gallery in Llangefni (Kyffin Williams). I have been on the Rhyl Miniature Railway and the Great Orme Tram (there is a cable car there too)

What have I missed?

Diolch i bawb
Cycling? Of course, but it's far better on a Gillott.

Flinders
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby Flinders » 12 Sep 2017, 9:14am

Tangled Metal wrote:................. Similarly they might not have as good shock absorbing foot bed, which with dedicated hiking boots also help to fix your heel into the heel cup. This stops heel lift which is a major cause of blisters. That's my concern since I've never had good fitting work shoes. Unless you pay good money that is. If you're paying out for good work boots then hiking boots can often be bought at similar prices as good work boots.

Just my opinion, if they work for you that is all that matters. Try to thoroughly break them in before your trip to check that out.


I have had many boots over the years, and every time the person fitting has gone on and on about heel lift. And every time (bar one pair which weren't too bad) I've ended up with boots that rubbed my heel bones. I have narrow feet, which means that most brands of boot don't fit me at all, so my choice is limited.

With my most recent pair (a better width fit) I have been experimenting. I think that I have been lacing too tight in the lower foot to prevent heel lift and that this actually made the rubbing far worse. The new boots allow the lacing to be made different in tightness on the foot relative to the ankle. I have found letting the foot lacing be a bit looser, allowing lift, means I get less problems on the heels, but I can still lace the ankle tighter for support when I need it (rough ground or downhill).
I am finding I need to adjust my lacings during a walk for the best results...

I think the obsession with not allowing heel lift is the source of my heel problems- it's caused me to lace my foot down too tight.

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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby Vorpal » 12 Sep 2017, 9:28am

My feet are wide at the balls and narrow at the heel, so I have a nearly impossible task to find any sort of shoe without heel lift. I just do what I can to minimise it and wear socks that are thick at the heel, and throw them out when they wear there, because that is always the first place my socks wear out.

I've never gotten blisters there from walking boots.
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pjclinch
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby pjclinch » 12 Sep 2017, 9:57am

In my big winter boots, stiff for crampon use, if it's pre-crampon stage I use them unlaced (tuck the loose ends in to my yeti-gaiters). So loads and loads of heel lift, but no blisters. An old pair of telemark boots I had skinned my heels something rotten, even though notionally they were a good fit with minimal lift. Conclusion: it's not obvious what will work.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Sep 2017, 11:37am

I've recently had an email from a forum member who is preparing for a hill walking holiday in England using a version of the MickF method, but instead of a concrete-laden trailer, it's rucksacks filled with encyclopaedias. Not my specialist subject. :oops:

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pjclinch
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby pjclinch » 12 Sep 2017, 1:06pm

Based on the two examples I attended, Universities with earth science departments have a tendency for geology students to be somewhat over-represented in the mountaineering clubs.
There have been occasions where conversations run like this...

"Hellfire, what have you got in here, rocks?"
(in bemused voice) "yes"
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby Vorpal » 12 Sep 2017, 1:20pm

pjclinch wrote:"Hellfire, what have you got in here, rocks?"
(in bemused voice) "yes"

:lol: :lol:
I've done that. My cousin and I used to collect and identify rocks.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Tangled Metal
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Sep 2017, 4:50pm

We used to sneak rocks into each other's rucksacks in our group. The goal was to see how big a rock you can get away with. You'd be surprised at the size we got in one sack. You'd think you'd notice a rock taking up about 10 litres of rucksack capacity!

The best thing I did for heel lift and blister prevention at the heel was to switch to fell shoes. They're more likely to be found in half sizes and the ones I got had a kind of heel pocket that fitted perfectly. It was likely this and the low weight that made it work for me. Trouble was that being American firm they redesigned their shoes almost annually and then stopped selling them over here. I got possibly the last pair in my size in the country.

profpointy
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby profpointy » 12 Sep 2017, 5:45pm

brynpoeth wrote:Any suggestions for things to do on non-mountain days on the North Wales coast? I know the area quite well, but I am sure there are interesting thins I do not know of ..

I want to visit the Little Orme and Bodnant Gardens, the art gallery in Llangefni (Kyffin Williams). I have been on the Rhyl Miniature Railway and the Great Orme Tram (there is a cable car there too)

What have I missed?

Diolch i bawb


Dinorwic slate mining museum is absolutely fantastic

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pjclinch
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby pjclinch » 13 Sep 2017, 6:24pm

Tangled Metal wrote:
The best thing I did for heel lift and blister prevention at the heel was to switch to fell shoes.


Terminology care needed here. "Fell runners" might be thought of as possibly the same as "fell shoes", and the former are great for soft and gooey conditions, with a deep studded outsole and no midsole to speak of to keep your foot lower and less likely to turn. The idea is that as it's soft ground you don't need cushioning that's usually in a midsole, and this makes them Not Much Fun on paths and rocky outcrops. The canonical example is the Walsh PB. Some people do use them for hillwalking, but I'd suggest they're not the best for that.

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Tangled Metal
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby Tangled Metal » 13 Sep 2017, 10:12pm

Fell shoes / fell runners, whatever you can them they're light shoes with typically 3 to 6mm underfoot with minimal cushioning. They have a variety of possible treads depending on use from deep tread for mud / grass or less tread for rocky ground. Alternatively a more general use tread. There's more cushioned versions available as well as the "bare foot" versions with 3mm underfoot without any rise from forefoot to heel.

As far as lack of cushioning goes these don't necessarily need it for soft and rocky ground. I happily went without cushioning for anything from short walks to long challenge walks up to 50 miles on road and off road. I also went backpacking with them often. For about a 6 year spell I only used these fell shoes.

You might think you need cushioning for hill walking but what you think is needed is possibly based on marketing spiel and conformity. The stiff, cushioned hiking boot and even modern footwear has weakened feet. By switching to fell shoes I had at most 6 months of my feet feeling tired after my longer walks. After that I'd strengthened my foot sufficiently.

Even before that stage the light, fell shoes were a lot better than boots for me. I have always turned my ankle, possibly a weak ankle. With boots I learnt the higher cuff never stopped the turning of the ankle but when I did go over it stretched and damaged the joint more. On switching to fell shoes I noticed two effects. First I went over as often initially but after a few seconds walking it off all pain disappeared with no real damage with boots I'd have damage to the ankle that resulted in swelling and pain for a week or two.

The second factor with fell shoes is how the lightness allowed me to catch myself before I fell over like a sack of spuds resulting in pain and damage. Foot placement was better too meaning less cases of turned ankles.

This is my experience of fell shoes. I've had discussions with ppl on hill walking sites before about this. Ppl vary from true believers in lightweight footwear through to those convinced high cuff, rigid boots are best when broken in (or your feet are broken in). I'm in the middle with the view that you need to find your best footwear for a given activity. I now wear heavier boots, although lighter than my boots from the days I first got seriously into hill walking.

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pjclinch
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby pjclinch » 14 Sep 2017, 8:37am

Tangled Metal wrote:Fell shoes / fell runners, whatever you can them they're light shoes with typically 3 to 6mm underfoot with minimal cushioning. They have a variety of possible treads depending on use from deep tread for mud / grass or less tread for rocky ground. Alternatively a more general use tread. There's more cushioned versions available as well as the "bare foot" versions with 3mm underfoot without any rise from forefoot to heel.


Inov-8s product give a clear distinction between "trail running" stuff with a little cushioning and an aggressive sole....

Image

and "fell running" stuff, with next to no cushioning and an aggressive sole...

Image

The latter really isn't much fun on anything that isn't soft.

Tangled Metal wrote:As far as lack of cushioning goes these don't necessarily need it for soft and rocky ground.


It doesn't have to be cushioning, just some way of spreading the pressure from e.g. pebble size stones. A stiff sole, like a walking boot, does this very well, but a soft, thin sole doesn't. And with radically studded thin soles the studs themselves give you a set of pressure points that reduce comfort where they're not biting the terrain, and much like knobbly tyres on a road you actually get less grip. The slight cushioning and less radical studs of the trail runner make a very useful comfort difference on paths and rock, but they're still very much designed for "off road" and will do mud at least as well as boots. They're also light and fast drying and I think a lot of people would enjoy their days out in the hills more than they do in boots if they wore the like, but the more radical fell runners are the running equivalent of the full-suspension downhill MTB, and those aren't actually the best for single-track and XC riding.

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mnichols
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby mnichols » 18 Sep 2017, 9:55pm

Just got back from my walk up Ben Nevis which I did without any training other than cycling.

I went up on a Saturday which I mention as it was relevant. The trail was very busy, which meant that I was mostly in a line of people going up, so you travel up at the speed of the slowest person in front of you as there isn't room to overtake due to the line coming down. This means you can't get in a rhythm or stride, and it takes longer than you might otherwise. Luckily, or unluckily the weather turned bad with snow and high winds so many people turned back and the line thinned out.

Going up was fine, the cycle training seemed to stand me in good stead for this. Coming down was very tough on my quads and calves and I'm still aching two days later.

A couple of other things that I noted/learnt that were different from cycling: I'm used to having everything to hand, and when things were in my back pack I didn't eat or drink enough as I couldn't be bothered to keep taking it off - this was also difficult in the line. If I was doing it again I would use my Mountain Biker hydration pack, and a bum bag slung around my front with my food in. I also didn't take many photos as my camera and phone were also packed away and not easily accessible.

Secondly, the trail was very rocky which meant I had to look at every step and stick placement. This meant I couldn't enjoy the view. If I tried to look at the view then I was at risk of slipping, so instead I would have to stop, look and then resume

Thirdly, many of my cycling clothes were transferable: I wore thermal bibs underneath my waterproof cycling trousers, cycling base-layer, with my waterproof jacket and socks. The only walking specific items I had were my boots and sticks.

I wasn't trying to go fast, just get up and down and it took me 5 hours which apparently is a respectable time. I only mention this as it seems relevant to the question about whether specific training is required

I enjoyed the trip. It was very challenging and I think complementary to cycling. I hope to do more in future

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pjclinch
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Re: Getting fit for hill walking

Postby pjclinch » 19 Sep 2017, 4:57pm

mnichols wrote:
A couple of other things that I noted/learnt that were different from cycling: I'm used to having everything to hand, and when things were in my back pack I didn't eat or drink enough as I couldn't be bothered to keep taking it off - this was also difficult in the line. If I was doing it again I would use my Mountain Biker hydration pack, and a bum bag slung around my front with my food in. I also didn't take many photos as my camera and phone were also packed away and not easily accessible.


I would suggest that rather than taking gear for a tedious line, you plan the trip to avoid a tedious line. CMD arete and a less busy day, for example.

It's easy enough to pop a bottle holster and camera bag on a rucksack belt.

mnichols wrote:Thirdly, many of my cycling clothes were transferable: I wore thermal bibs underneath my waterproof cycling trousers, cycling base-layer, with my waterproof jacket and socks.


I work the other way around, so not surprising it's bi-directional.

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