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Dry Food


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Essential Footwear Tips For Dog Walkers From Cotswold Outdoor


cotswold outdoor and forthglade

Walking our dogs is one of the most important parts of keeping our four-legged friends happy and healthy. And with so many types of walking boots available, and such a variety of features to choose from, it's important to know what it all means before choosing your footwear. Having the right boots for your adventures with your dog will ensure you stay supported and comfortable for many years in the outdoors. The experts at Cotswold Outdoor have put together a guide on how to choose dog walking boots and keep them performing at their best for as long as possible.

Cotswold Outdoor Footwear Fitting 

Your walking boots or shoes will be your adventure companions for many years, so it’s really important they’re right for you. Different types of footwear have different benefits to suit various activities: for example, lightweight shoes for fast-paced hiking or trail running, compared to extra durable, crampon-compatible boots for winter mountaineering. 

Book a footwear fitting appointment with a specialist at your nearest Cotswold Outdoor store.

dog walking boot fitting cotswold outdoor

Why Book a Footwear Fitting? 

A well-fitting boot will keep you comfortable all day by supporting your ankles on ascents and descents, ensuring good grip on uneven terrain and absorbing the vibrations from your footsteps all along your foot. Footwear which doesn’t fit properly can leave you at greater risk of fatiguing quickly, getting injured or having your adventure ruined by the dreaded blisters.

Cotswold Outdoor footwear fitting appointments can help here, too. They start by finding out what you love to do in the outdoors, before fitting your perfect pair of boots – and the right socks to match – so you’re prepared to experience your outdoors in comfort for many years to come. To check the fit of a pair of boots or shoes you have at home, you can follow their boot fitting guide.

Read on to discover more about finding the right fitting boots and how to properly care for them. 

dog walking environment

Your Walking Environment

Walking boots are made with a specific environment in mind. Characteristics such as sole stiffness or ankle height will vary depending on the terrain and conditions. If you stick to well-trodden and predictable paths, opt for a lightweight boot or shoe with a reasonable amount of flexibility. In less challenging terrain, flexibility is good as it helps your foot move naturally and can aid your comfort on longer journeys. If you intend to tackle uneven or very steep terrain, you'll need a more rigid boot with good ankle support. Stiffer soles will give you a stable platform to stand on, and a higher cut will support and protect your ankles.

dog walking footwear

Choosing The Right Socks 

A quality pair of socks will feel comfortable, provide cushioning to high impact areas, wick moisture away from your skin, offer good circulation and help to maintain a consistent and comfortable foot temperature. Like footwear, there’s no one sock that does everything. Instead, you are going to want a range of different socks in your kit list for different activities or help you adapt to changing climatic conditions.

Durability Is Key 

You may think that as a dog walker you won’t be taking on much technical terrain, and so don’t need the kind of durable walking boots that regular hill walkers prefer. But think of it this way: you’re out there at least twice every day, which means that in the long term you’re clocking up as many miles as, if not more than, the average weekend hiker – which means durability is everything.

Many dog walkers fall into the trap of picking up a less expensive pair of walking shoes, with the idea that it’s cheaper to keep replacing every six months than investing in a sturdier pair. But in reality, quality boots last far longer which saves you money over time, especially if you care for them properly (more on this below).

All that said, there’s one exception: if you’re only walking for short distances, and waterproof boots for dog walking is your main concern, a pair of wellies is the footwear for you! 

Choose Breathable & Waterproof Technology

Most boots are lined with a waterproof membrane, which is useful for not only weatherproofing your boots but also allowing you to cross streams on your adventures. But, to avoid soggy feet, you don’t just want to keep the wet out; you need to let it out too, otherwise your boots will be full of sweat and condensation. In other words, you need your boots to breathe. GORE-TEX walking boots are particularly good at allowing sweat vapour to escape, but many different and effective waterproof membranes are available to suit everyone.

Another thing you can do to keep the wet out is to use a gaiter: a waterproof cuff that goes over the top of your boot and fastens around the lower leg. This helps prevent water running down into your boot from the top as you walk through rain, snow or wet grass. They are also particularly useful when walking over scree or loose gravel, as this type of terrain can flick into your footwear.

walking boots

Prolong The Life of Your Walking Boots

Keep Them Clean

The most important part of prolonging the life of your outdoor footwear is keeping it clean. This means that, after every walk, you should try your best to remove the mud from your shoes and leave them to thoroughly dry. If you’re in a hurry, avoid drying your footwear near a heat source; instead, use boot bananas to speed up the drying process.

Take advantage of Cotswold Outdoor’s 60-second footwear protection service to give your footwear a further lease of life. The professional-grade treatment extends the life of your shoes, providing protection from water, dirt, UV and more - available in all Cotswold Outdoor stores.

Deep-Clean Regularly

As well as protecting your footwear in-store, we recommend that dog walkers should thoroughly clean and reproof their walking shoes or boots once a month to keep them in the best possible condition. You should have a backup pair of shoes, or even just some wellies, which you can wear for dog walks while your shoes are drying after being reproofed.

Find out more from Cotswold Outdoor on caring for your boots here.

For inspiration on adventures with your dog, visit our Canine Community.

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