I enjoy getting outside and going on a nice hike as much as possible. Unfortunately I live in the city and getting to the mountains or the countryside isn’t feasible on a daily basis. So I have developed a program I like to call Urban Hiking. It’s a combination of power walking on sidewalks and pavement mixed with some dirt and grass surfaces. I do my best to find hilly areas in my neighborhood and use school playgrounds and parks as well. Now of course it is not the same as hiking through a heavily wooded forest but it is a much better alternative than not hiking at all. My hikes usually last between 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours. To help tune out the sounds of the city I stream my favorite tunes through Pandora while hiking. This puts me in the zone much like I feel when I’m hiking in the mountains.
Aside from good music, you need reliable and comfortable gear when hiking. For me that means comfortable hiking boots or shoes, warm clothes that are non-restricting and when it gets cold, a nice pair of gloves and a cozy hat. Out of all the gear I just mentioned the hiking boots and the hiking shoes are the most important. If your feet don’t feel cozy and well supported you might as well just stay home. There is nothing more that can ruin a hike like a pair of aching feet. I have two pairs of hiking shoes: one is an insulated/waterproof ankle high boot and the other is a waterproof flexible yet supportive fitness sneaker. Recently I had to replace my fitness sneaker because it got so worn out from usage. It lasted a solid 2 years so I can’t complain.
I decided to go with a fitness sneaker from a company called Ahnu. The sneaker is called Sugarpine and it is both waterproof and breathable hiking shoe and fitness sneaker in one.
Now one thing that everyone should realize is that you cant buy a new hiking boot or sneaker and go out on a big hike right away. It is really important that you break in your new footwear. My suggestion is that you wear them around the house for a couple of days before going outside with them. Let your foot get used to the new shape and form of the shoe/sneaker. If you have stairs in your house go up and down them wearing the new sneakers. Do some jumping jacks or jog in place while wearing them as well. Loosen up all of the laces and then pull them tight again.
After you have done this for a few days then take them for short walks outside. I suggest to start with 20-30 minutes walks. And practice wearing them once every 1 or 2 weeks. Challenge yourself with hills and declines and make sure you get onto a variety of different surfaces. Your feet may be a little bit sore during this adjustment period but eventually they will get used to your new footwear. When the time is right get them out onto the big trails and see how they do with a 3 to 5 mile hike. If your new shoes fit properly and you took the time to break them in your feet will definitely thank you. Have a great hike!
Disclosure: Sample was provided to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and mine.
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