When New Year’s fitness resolutions are made, it’s unusual to see walking and hiking at the top of people’s lists. It may not be the most glamorous of New Year’s fitness resolutions when compared to the likes of hypertrophy, protein powderor sweating buckets in some swanky gym, but walking is the cornerstone of any good fitness regime.
If you’re planning on getting serious about walking and hiking in 2013, then here’s a guide to the essential gear you should look out for in 2013.
It’s a sign of the times that we’re starting a 2013 walking gear guide with a mention of a smart phone app. These days, you’re as likely to see a rambler peering into their smartphone screen mid-hike than you are to seethem with their head buried in an ordinance survey map.
As you become more serious about hiking, you’ll find that planning your routes is as much fun as actually completely them. Apps like MapMyHike offer a simple way of plotting and tracking your walks (it’s free too).Accuterra is another essential app for hikers. It allows you to download detailed, zoomable maps and has social integration.
When you hear the word ‘nanotechnology’, chances are your next thought isn’t ‘hiking boot’. Well, you’ll be surprised to learn that this pioneering science has infiltrated its way into hiking boot technology. Originally developed for military clothing to repel chemical agents, ion-mask technology adds an invisible polymer mask that repels oils and water, leaving your feet dryer and warmer than ever. So if you’re in the market for walking boots in the New Year, keep an eye out for pairs that have integrated this technology.
Whereas a good pair of walking socks can go unnoticed, a bad pair can go a long way to spoiling a walk, especially if they contribute to sore skin and blisters.
The difference between your average sock and a tactel one is the inner layer, which wicks away perspiration to the moisture absorbing outer layer.
Tactel socks are also ideal for road running, racket sports, gym work and cycling, so even if walking is playing a bit-part in your healthy new year, they’ll come in use somewhere.
Mike Smith writes for Hi-Tec UK; creating pioneering technology for hiking boots and walking socks.