go on a few short walks so you can identify any weak points in your feet. - by that I mean any areas on your feet which are prone to hot spots and or blisters. - getting blisters and letting them heal up toughens your feet up.
once you know where you are likely to get a hot spot you can tape it up, with zinc oxide tape or medical tape. that way you will be blister free.
as for boots well I bought a pair of lowas last year and I can't honestly say I'll be using another brand in the future.
Between now and the spring get out and about as much as you can, any footwear/sock combination that you can comfortably walk five miles in by March should be good for the fortyfour mile walk. Change your socks often and stop now and again to massage and dry out your feet. Good luck.
Thanks for all the replies,the terrain is footpaths, roads it's Keswick to Barrow seen some states the next day people not able to walk because of blisters etc,dont want to end up like that. What distance should i be walking in preparation?
Can I suggest you also think about your knees and hips too. Some exercises to strengthen the muscles around these would be good.
Walking on roads pounds your heels and knees something rotten. A pair of well padded trainers would be my choice for the road sections as I find walking boots too jarring on tarmac. Depends if you can afford to carry two pairs of footwear.
You will need to train for this to get your body (and feet) used to walking long distances. Get yourself into a regular walking routine of varying distances (this also lets you test footwear/sock combos) and set yourself a target of being able, approximately 3 weeks before the event, to complete 20 miles in a day, rest overnight and then do 20 miles the next day. That should set you up for the long haul when it comes.
hi prevention is always better than cure , tape your feet in prone areas if any develop, as stated walk as often as you can with a pack with gear in as you would on a walk , I had a pair af scarpa boots and within a week was on the hills , they are quite good boots, good luck with your walk
I did Wainwright's Coast-to-Coast way back when I wasn't a lardy git, and made the fatal mistake of not wearing in my newish boots enough before I set off. I paid the price after day one - horrendous, bloody blisters.
Fortunately, I had a lightweight pair of Goretex boots in my pack which I wore for the remaining 10 days of the walk (I gritted my teeth and swore a lot, too).
So, huge tip here - wear your intended boots pretty much every day between now and your walk, and wear them on your training walks - heck, I'd even sleep in the damn things, just to be safe.
Smaller tip - if you do get blisters and you've nothing to treat them with, a bit of sheep's wool - just find some on a fence, it's everywhere in the Lakes - and stuff it between your blister and your sock. The lanolin in the wool helps your blisters heal... worked for me, anyway.
Training walks? I wouldn't overdo it. Pack in a few good ten-to-fifteen milers with some hills just to help on the cardio stuff (and with a moderately heavy pack, just to build up some hip and upper-thigh strength).
On the day, drink plenty and go for slow-burn foods (porridge to start, oaty flapjacks for snacks) not instant sugar-rush stuff like mint cake - you're doing an endurance event, not a sprint, and all that sudden rush-and-dip you'll get from sugar-rich foods will leave you feeling lousy.
Most of all, enjoy your challenge - even the bits when it hurts... just grit your teeth, set your sights on a target and keep pounding away.
best of luck!
Make sure your feet stay dry.
It's when your feet are wet that the skin softens and blisters.
Avoid cotton socks like the plague, nylon too.
Thin wool or silk next to the skin works best for me, with a thicker pair over the top.
Light boots with a shock absorbing sole too.
Also have you considered walking poles?
I tried some out recently, walking up and down Vesuvius and was surprised at how much easier they made things.
to help toughen the soles of your feet up get yourself down the local chemists and get some surgical spirit.
daub it onto any areas of your feet which will rub ie soles, sides of toes , heel etc and it will help to form the necessary callousses to prevent blisters.
Something you need to consider is if you will walk with any weight on your back, your feet will spread more than usual and could end up rubbing in the most comfortable of boots in areas like the smallest toe.
Work out what you will be walking with then build up back pack weight over a sensible period of time with your chosen boots and socks combo. When and if it starts getting too heavy carry water that can be ditched easily so you don't risk picking up an injury.
Get out and test, test, test your kit! remember the "7 P's"
This also allows your skin to get used to the backpack rubbing too.
44 miles is serious mileage, so I would do some more research on specialist walking and endurance websites.
food ,drinks and 1st aid are provided at various checkpoints be carrying only waterproofs and a few bits.The walk is done by hundreds and has been over subscribed the last few years,raises thousands for different causes in the area.
A nifty little trick to soften the leather (if you choose that material for your boots), is to whack some saddle soap on them. Softens them up nicely for wearing in! But don't forget to put a bit of polish on 'em too.