All posts by Tallington Lakes

My name is Chas; and time spent in the mountains, rivers, lakes and sea; is time well spent. I thought I would gather useful information, from our experts, for those who like outdoor activities such as water sports, snow sports, walking, climbing etc. Having 'had a go' at many of the sports, myself, I see things from the customer's perspective! I trust the articles help, enjoy!

Does The Walking Boot Or Shoe Fit?

As a Podiatrist, I regularly talk to my patients about shoes and footwear fitting and every new patient that I see has their feet measured, so I am acutely aware that a large number of people, across all genders and age groups, are in incorrectly sized and poorly fitting shoes. A review of the evidence on shoe sizing and fitting published in 2018 in the Journal of Foot & Ankle Research confirmed that, ‘a large proportion of the population (between 63-72%) are wearing inappropriately sized footwear based on length and width measurements’. The evidence also demonstrates that, ‘incorrect footwear fitting is specifically associated with foot pain, poorer overall foot health, painful hard skin and even ulceration in older people with Diabetes’. There are also differences in the fitting issues between men and women, which I regularly see in clinic. Women are statistically more likely to suffer foot pain compared to men and whereas more women wear shoes that are too narrow (50% of women compared to 34% of men), men wear shoes that are too long (31% of men in comparison to 13% of women).

There are lots of reasons for being in an incorrectly sized shoe. Sometimes this is because of a lack of facilities to measure and fit shoes properly (such as a Covid-19 pandemic!), but it is also the case that footwear manufacturers often don’t offer enough range of sizes, especially half sizes in length and width fittings at the forefoot. This often means that it is necessary to go up in length to get more width or down in length to get a narrower shoe. However, this is hurting our feet and contributing to problems such as bunions, toe deformities, thickening of nerves between the bones of the forefoot, blisters and hard skin, some of which might not be correctable, therefore, knowing the true size of your feet and then getting a shoe correctly fitted around it is vital, especially for more active pursuits such as hiking and running.

Another aspect of shoe fitting is the function of the shoe. If your foot is sitting in the incorrect position in the shoe, the technology in the sole that is designed to stabilise, cushion, flex (or not flex) during a certain part of the step is not interacting with the correct part of your foot and, subsequently, the rest of your skeleton. The upper of the shoe or boot will also be interacting with the foot in the incorrect places meaning that more rigid or too flexible parts of the upper may either irritate prominent parts of the foot or allow the foot to move around in the shoe too much.

Therefore, here are my top tips for finding out your true foot size and getting into the correct shoe!

  • Have your feet measured! The team at the Tallington Lakes Pro Shop have all the tools to do this and Podiatrists like myself will often measure feet as part of our practice. The Society of Shoe Fitters also has a register of qualified shoe fitters such as myself.
  • Buy your shoes from a shop and not online if possible (especially for new models or types of shoes) – walking boots / shoes and trail shoes / running shoes should always be tried on. Only order online if buying exactly the same pair as what you have already
  • For active shoes like walking boots and trainers, make sure there is a maximum of 15mm and a minimum of 10mm from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe. For less active shoes, this can be a maximum of 10mm and a minimum of 5mm
  • Try to make sure the widest parts of your forefoot (the width from your big toe joint to your little toe joint) are not painfully compressed or spreading and falling over the sole of the shoe as this means the shoe is too narrow and you may need to get a specific width fitting
  • Make sure your foot is not moving around in the shoe – when your foot moves, your shoe should move with your foot and not within it. If it does then the shoe is too big (either too long, too wide or too deep)

There are countless ways that I use shoe technology and fittings in clinic every day to treat pain and improve function, but the tips above are a great starting point and may prevent or relieve your foot pain!

Nicola Blower
Walkrite Ltd
BSc(Hons), MChS, MFPM RCPS(Glasg), MSSF
MSK-Specialist Podiatrist

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Maier Lulaka Bermuda shorts – Review

I was brought a pair of the Maier Lulaka shorts as a gift prior to my annual trip to the Lake District and from the moment I put them on I loved them! I am very particular about my clothes and often struggle to find something I feel comfortable in, however these have definitely become a staple in my wardrobe!

The mSTRETCH pro 4 four-way stretch not only means these are super comfortable but allows for ultimate freedom of movement. While scrambling up some rocks through some of the trickier parts of my hike I had unlimited stretch to ensure I had the best foot holds, the only thing that held me back was my own flexibility!
Thanks to the Dryprotec when it rained I hardly noticed it on my legs, not like normal shorts that stick to your skin, these dried extremely fast, which was especially handy after my dog jumped in some puddles then jumped at me!

The stretch doesn’t stop at the waist like many others on the market it carries on to provide the perfect fit, especially when coupled with the easy lock belt. The four pockets provide plenty of storage to stash your snacks or essentials, and again you hardly feel these thanks to how stretchy the shorts are!

To summarise, these shorts are fantastic for all activities, will ensure you are comfortable, and look great!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Goodbye blisters – buying the right walking footwear

With more and more people enjoying the great outdoors we’ve answered some of your questions on buying the right walking footwear.

Q: I haven’t done a lot of walking at all in the past but during lockdown I started to explore the local countryside a bit more. Could you recommend a walking or trail shoe for footpaths in the local area in inclement weather? I don’t think my trainers are going to last much longer.

A: One of the most important features to look out for in a walking shoe is the GORE-TEX liner (or equivalent). This enables your foot to breathe freely, allowing moisture to escape while at the same time ensuring moisture doesn’t get in. A good sole with plenty of grip, for example a Vibram or Michelin, means you can feel confident stepping out in all weather: ice, rain or mud, you will have a stable base. 

A mid high boot is a great compromise between a boot and a shoe, for example the Salomon X Ultra 3, the Scarpa Terra or the Altberg Malham if you’re after a traditional looking boot. These boots provide more support around the ankle joint without the high cut protection needed for more adventurous hikes. They also offer better cover from the great British weather than a walking trainer would.

Q: I do quite a lot of dog walking but prefer not to wear a walking boot or welly if possible because I find them cumbersome. Could you tell me what to look for in a year-round walking shoe?

A: A good quality walking shoe will protect your feet throughout the year. During the summer months a breathable shoe is important to ensure your feet don’t sweat too much, which can lead to a soggy sock and blisters. Through the winter you will want a waterproof shoe, especially if you’re walking through wet grassy areas. A GORE-TEX liner (or equivalent) again is a must. Lastly you will need a good quality sole that will be suitable for tarmac footpaths as well as fields. You need a suitable grip when it’s wet or icy and a Vibram or Michelin sole is perfect for this.

If you wanted a shoe that will offer the support of a walking boot but without the bulk then the ON Cloudrock is perfect as it is so lightweight and allows you to roll through your foot with ease. They really are like walking on clouds and definitely worth a try.

Q: I like to walk a lot (including weekends in the Peak District, Yorkshire etc) and I would like to buy a new pair of proper walking boots. Could you please advise me on the most important elements to look for in my new purchase and how much I should realistically be looking to spend?

A: As an experienced walker, and walking in what can sometimes be uncertain terrain we would certainly recommend you invest in a high ankle walking boot. This ensures more protection is given around your ankle joint reducing the risk of twisting or rolling over as you walk. Due to the uncertain terrain where you are walking, especially with the renowned British weather, ensuring the boot has a good sole, such as Michelin or Vibram, will mean you have great grip on hard pack, loose, wet or icy terrain. You will want a boot that offers great waterproofing and breathability, again GORE-TEX (or equivalent) is the perfect membrane for this. 

We’d recommend a Superfeet Trailblazer comfort insole as this will support the arch of your foot to stop any pronation, supination or collapsing of your arch. This will mean your foot will tire less keeping you going for longer. Finally when it comes to socks, a good quality pair of walking socks will help with comfort and moisture management. 

Within our range our synthetic boots start at £150 while our leather, more traditional boots (some are handmade) are up to £240. The price shouldn’t be your focus point, however, because it is more important to get the right fit so you are less likely to experience pain or blisters.

Q: Our two daughters (10 and 12 years old) really love walking with us but I don’t want to keep spending a lot of money on new walking footwear as their feet keep growing. Will they be OK in their trainers for the moment or are there some low budget alternatives?

A: Obviously it depends upon the terrain you are walking on and the length of the walk, but even so because your children’s feet are still growing, they are still changing and forming. So although it may be tempting to save money on walking boots and buy trainers instead they don’t offer the support and protection that a pair of walking boots will. Ultimately this can lead to damage which can last a lifetime. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that some brands have affordable children’s boots like the Scarpa Terra Kids at £80. Would you buy a low budget pair for yourself? If not, why wouldn’t you treat your children’s feet the same?

Q: Can you recommend a particular type of sock to best avoid blisters? Everybody talks about merino wool but I have also heard bamboo socks are good?

It’s not necessarily what the sock is made of that makes the difference – it’s how they fit. A poor fitting sock, whatever it is made of, will give you blisters. Look for ones specifically made for your left and right feet and with a heel cup. Some socks also come with an arch support. 

At Tallington Lakes we recommend Falke and Stance socks. They are tried and tested and we feel they offer great cushioning and support where it’s needed, ensuring a great snug fit. Merino wool is great to have in a sock because depending on the ‘weight’ of the yarn they will keep your feet warm while wicking away moisture. Bamboo yarn is similar to cotton yarn in its properties so it can hold the moisture, which can rub but, if mixed with other yarns it can work in socks. We have found merino or synthetic fibres work the best to give good temperature regulation and comfort. 

Q: How should I care for my leather walking boots to get the best out of them for many years?

After each use, especially when it is wet and muddy, you should give them a rinse in fresh water to get all the mud and dirt off before leaving them to dry. DO NOT let them dry near a fire or radiator. Instead stuff them with old newspaper and allow them to dry slowly. Drying too quickly will ruin the leather. Over time you will need to add waterproofing wax to the leather. We recommend NIKWAX waterproofing wax for leather. This ensures your feet stay dry and your boots stay breathable.

Written in conjunction with Active Magazine and first appeared in September’s issue.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Ronix Vault Wakeboard – Review

I’m really happy with my Ronix Vault wakeboard (2019). I’m finding my jumps and landings are much cleaner, and easier. I love riding this wakeboard and it looks great – I want to be on the water more than ever!

What’s great about the Ronix Vault board is whether it’s your first time getting up on a wakeboard or you’re an advanced level rider it’s an easy board to ride, it’s really stable, and will adapt to any situation you put it in.

This wakeboard is perfect for all levels of riding and feels awesome on the water. The amount of effort you have to put in to getting up on the water is minimal and it’s easy to use and manoeuvre.

Ronix classify the Vault for beginner or intermediate riders. It has a nice wide platform and a 3-stage rocker design to help give you that extra boost and launch you off the wake.

A cool feature to this wakeboard is it’s asymmetrical rail line that makes cutting and caving a breeze. The fins are different on the heel side to the toe side. On the heel side the fins are a little shorter, little shallower compared to the toe side that run longer which helps the toe side to be really stable, helping build confidence on the toe side edge when jumping the wake, giving you a nice clean take off and landing. Also built into the rails on the backside edge a little bit sharper over rail helping to hold the edge all through the wake.

Jaiden enjoying his Ronix Vault wakeboard at Tallington Lakes

This is a perfect wakeboard that helps build the riders confidence. the wakeboard is made from a foam cord with a fibre glass wrap its a solid board. I would highly recommend this board for all ages and all levels of wakeboarding.

Jaden – Tallington Lakes

To view our wakeboard selection why not pop in store or visit our website!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Montane Women’s Claw Shorts – Review

After buying these lightweight, breathable Montane women’s Claw shorts for hot sunny days at work, the last thing I expected was to be wearing them out on the water every evening! After one wakesurfing session in them I’ve fallen in love, and not for the reasons you’d expect. From a trail short I expected a loose comfy fit and maybe some moisture wicking properties, but I was not prepared for how quickly the shorts dried – they were dry within minutes of getting out the water!

The Aeroflyte stretch fabric made them really comfy both in and out of the water and also protected my legs from sunburn! The inner mesh lining not only helped wick away the moisture but also once dry, felt and smelt fresh and ready for another wear.

I have NEVER worn a pair of shorts so comfortable, lightweight and effective. Perfect for any lifestyle whether you’re off on a trail adventure or simply a sunset surf!

To see our full range of Montane outdoor clothing, click here.

Charlotte (Ski Instructor)

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Wordsearch Outdoor Brands

Presently with the COVID 19 situation you cannot wander through our well stocked Pro Shop and check out the wonderful outdoor brands.

We want you to stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives until we can have fun, again, in the great outdoors.

So here’s a little wordsearch to remind you of some of the brands existing and new we stock – download PDF here.

And why not have a peak online while you are here!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Salomon Quest 4D 3 Gore-Tex Walking Boots – Review

Walking – hiking – is an extremely popular activity to #getoutside and a good, well fitting pair of walking boots or shoes is a must if you want to enjoy the experience!

I’ve been using the Salomon Quest 4D 3 Gore-Tex walking boots for nearly a year now. I’ve worn them over a variety of terrain, in different seasons and weather, and I have to say I’m impressed.

I chose a walking boot because I wanted to protect against the likelihood of an ankle injury, particularly on uneven terrain when carrying a heavy pack, which you do not get from a walking shoe. The Quest were both supportive and comfortable whatever the terrain. They’re relatively light-weight too, so all-in-all I was happy I had boots that were made for walking!

On the warm sunny days the Gore-Tex breathable membrane worked well with my foot-to-boot interface, commonly known as a sock, to keep my feet comfortable. Yes my feet got warm but not too sweaty and hot as the socks wicked the moisture away from my foot and through the breathable membrane of the boot.

In contrast on wet autumnal and spring days, and the occasional river crossing, the membrane and gusseted tongue kept the water out. Obviously if the puddle, stream or area of water is deeper than the height of your boot you will get a wet foot, but anything else your foot was dry!

These boots were made for walking!

So what were they like to walk in? I found the fit nice and snug, with great heel hold. The lace locker eyelets ensure you can get the foot secure before finally tying up around the ankle. They are also set back from the other eyelets to help secure your heel into the back of the boot. At first, having been use to walking shoes, this felt a bit restrictive but once underway the support was very comfortable and reassuring.

Traction was good thanks to Salomon’s Contragrip sole and lug (tread) pattern whether footpath, rocky terrain, or muddy woodland. They even performed well in the snow!

The boots come with OrthoLite insoles, however I did replace these with Superfeet’s Trailblazer Comfort insoles to tailor the fit more specifically to my feet – making them even more comfortable and my feet less tired.

Why not check out our range of walking boots and shoes, and take advantage of our boot fitting service.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Atomic Vantage 97 Ti Skis – Review

I had the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti skis for a week and used them in varying conditions on piste which was hard packed and icy in the morning with soft spring condition snow in the afternoon. And after a dump of over a metre of snow I used the skis off piste too.

The first thing I noticed was how surprisingly light they were for 180cm ski. However these were the widest skis I had ever skied on so I was a little concerned about how they would react.

I shouldn’t have worried as they were excellent: high speed carving turns were a dream, very stable with great acceleration out of the turns. It was like being on rail tracks.

Shorter turns were also very easy and controllable. Just get in the rhythm and you are bouncing from edge to edge which seemed to take the skiing to another level.

Moguls were great fun, bashing the tops off and sliding down the back. Due to the sidecut I did not try the fall line route.

When on off-piste powder it was exhilarating, just like floating on a cushion of air.

The heavier slushy stuff towards end of the day was never a problem. The skis coped really well.

I really enjoyed skiing on the Atomic Vantage skis. They never let me down but to get the best out of them you have to work them and not be a passenger. By being aggressive with your skiing you will get so much out of them.  They really are a dream for an advanced skier.

Thanks Dave (Ski Instructor)

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

On Cloudventure Trail Running Shoes – Review

As an avid Canicross and adventure runner I look for a trainer that not only provides great grip across multiple surfaces but also supports the foot and is comfortable to wear.

I trialed the On Cloudventure trainer for 3 months, during this time I certainly racked up the miles and put it to the test with trail running, Canicross and quick lunch time runs through the local park.

From the first run I felt a complete different experience from my normal trail trainer The foot placing was different because of a slight increase in the heal rise to my normal trainer;  this put my foot in a freer more comfortable position in the shoe and resulted in my running gait being more open and increasing my average pace.  It also reduced leg strain and after running my legs did not feel so tired and tight.

Grace loves to run!

When running Canicross we run across all types of terrain from crossing farmers fields, waterlogged river paths to forest tracks, all of which are quite uneven and slippery. As you can imagine whilst running with a dog pulling you, you do need a good grip on all surfaces.  The Cloudventure sets your foot position down so  you feel that more of your foot is in contact with the ground providing you with a sure safe ‘put down’.  The grip is second to none on all off road surfaces.  Making this in my option and experience a great trail running trainer.

I have used the Cloudventure to run on a harder surface with some road running and whilst it is perfectly OK for a short period, this would not be my go to trainer for road running. But if you are looking for a trainer that can take you across multiple terrains in one outing this is would be the trainer I would pull out of my bag first. 

In fact I loved the Cloudventure so much when the trial came to an end and I was set to send the trainer back I purchased the trainer as I did not want to give it up!

Thanks Ross

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Planks Bro Down Black Snow Mitt – Review

After years of testing and trying numerous different gloves and mittens I am happy to say I’ve finally found my perfect pair, the Planks Bro Down snow mitts! Not only are they a simple design but the glove liner within ensured all my fingers kept snug and warm whilst looking as though I was only wearing mittens. The 10K waterproofing and breathability meant my hands stayed dry all day and didn’t get too hot or sweaty whilst the quilted insulation kept them snug and cosy even when it was sub zero! They were easy to adjust and the glove leashes were great for when we stopped for a drink as I definitely couldn’t lose them.

I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking for a simple but effectively designed pair of mittens!

Charlotte (Ski Instructor)

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather