Walking In The Peak District

 In Derbyshire walks

Ann and I have had a more uplifting time these past few weeks. There has been a big uplift in visitors to the Peak District over this period. On our runs and walks we always interject if somebody is looking at a mobile. “Do you know where you are going” is our usual opener and a chat then follows. It’s fascinating as people have come from Essex, Wolverhampton and the Cotswolds. We suspect that they are often ill-prepared for the routes here. If we suggest that a path is muddy then it means you have some difficulty staying erect. It’s those little sideways slides that gets most walkers. One foot goes walkies and you are lying on your side in an instant. It is also embarrassing because the mud is there, all down one side. Walking in the Peak District is a skill.


Most walkers unfamiliar with the Peak District believe that boots are essential. However, those vibram soles are rigid and hard, fine for mountaineering. They don’t grip well on wet grass and wet, slimy limestone. That hard sole touches on few spots. Fell and track shoes are more flexible and wrap themselves around the footfall much better. There is more contact and that means more grip. Likewise, bigger feet spread the load and are less likely to slide. Boots are also more rigid around the ankle and this seems to restrict movement. Consequently, a party of four older walkers we spoke to recently were in trail shoes. They reckoned that there was a movement against boots.

Walking in the Peak District

I know little about the movement of the ankle. I suspect that it is flexible and stronger than we suspect. However, wrapped in leather it cannot respond. A slip means that all the leverage is then on the shin and a strain or fracture is more likely. We have run for nearly 50 years on the fells and never had a break or a strain. Okay, perhaps we strengthen our ankles with constant execise and so are unusual. Perhaps the purpose of my article is to have an open mind. You need footwear that feels comfortable and not because somebody told you that boots are de rigueur for walkers.

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