WALKING THE DOG // choosing the right footwear for every terrain

Dog walking - choosing the right footwear for every terrain. Main shot of Frankie on lead.

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Nine weeks ago we brought home Frankie, the miniature dachshund puppy, and we’ve been infatuated with our hairiest family member ever since.

His arrival tipped our lives upside down. I’m sleeping less and cleaning up more, but his fuzzy little cuddles make it all worth it.

It’s also meant we’re spending a lot more time outside, as we often head to one of the nature reserves near where we live for long walks through the woodlands.

After spending a large chunk of this year essentially confined to the house and back garden, we’ve all loved getting outside. Except, it left me with a rather curious problem… being in hibernation meant we hadn’t updated our wardrobes in months.

I had no outdoor shoes!

All I had were flip-flops and my gym trainers, but there was no way I wanted to ruin those in the mud and muck of the English countryside.

Then there were my beloved UGGs. I’m from New Zealand, where sheepskin boots are part of the unofficial national uniform. Again, I wasn’t about to soil my beloved foot warmers.

Luckily, I remembered the Keen boots I’d been sent the previous year for my trip to Iceland. These little beauties dealt with the ice and snow of an Icelandic winter with ease, keeping my tootsies dry on the black sand beaches and protecting them from the sub-zero temperatures.

Icelandic black sand beach
Choosing the right footwear for every terrain - Keen boots on Iceland black sand beach

Back in the UK they proved to be just as handy – they were strong but lightweight, and totally waterproof. They’re really comfortable too, with enough flexibility and grip to make light work of those woodland trails.

When Frankie gets bigger and braver (he’s still a wuss and starts shivering uncontrollably when he has to go outside) we’ll get him out on some more rugged walks and really put him through his paces.

Frankie on leash in woods

There are some great rural trails nearby, where you can pull on your rubber wellies, tromp through the muddy fields, then thaw yourself afterwards with a hearty pub lunch by a roaring open fire.

Does it get more English than that?

We’re also lucky to have loads of beautiful National Trust properties on our doorstep. These are more suited to a relaxing stroll; a pair of regular trainers – such as my trusty pair of Nike gym shoes – are perfect for gentle walks (although, if you plan to venture off the public paths you may want to consider a pair of Nike shoes with a thicker sole, for added support and comfort).

With footwear now sorted for all situations and terrains, I’m looking forward to getting out and exploring the English countryside, with family and Frankie by my side.

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