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22 AUGUST 2018    


Hybrid walking? Fast hiking? Experience the comfort of a running shoe with the firmness of a walking shoe.

Do these terms ring a bell? Is there a link between mountaineering?
What trends do we recognize with the different brands?

"It is common knowledge that mountaineers are always looking for lightweight materials. Down to the smallest detail. When climbing a summit, every gram counts. With the arrival of modern synthetic materials, we see a true evolution in footwear. It is therefore easier to have less weight on your feet going upwards. The rise of trail running has certainly accelerated this process. Lighter materials from running shoes are more and more used in the production of hiking shoes. Also vice versa. We see that running shoes are being reinforced for certain circumstances with, for example, Vibram soles, kevlar elements or a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. Certainly a nice interaction between the two! "- Eddy, purchasing manager Runners' Lab

Walking is often associated with boring and old-fashioned. You couldn't be more wrong!
Due to the daily rush, the need for rest and relaxation increases. Back to basic. Enjoying nature during a walk in these busy times can really be a virtue.

That walking is not solely for seniors also proves the increasing number of walking events in Belgium. It is not for no reason that organizations such as Golazo, Sportevents and Think Pink organize more and more events for walkers. For example, the first edition of the Great Breweries Walking Marathon was an immediate success. Furthermore, because of the low impact walking is extremely suitable for injured runners. Therefor an ideal way to increase the strength and stability of your body.

Okay, the name does not quit cover the load in this case. We are aware of that. However what really is covered is our method and vision. Our goal is to let everyone enjoy their favorite sport or hobby, free of injury. That is why, since 1980, our shoe advice focusses on one specific item: the foot. Everyone has a unique dynamic pattern or type of foot. One person may have a narrow foot while the other person has a more wider foot. Our advisors use the same method when fitting walking shoes as with custom-tailored running shoes.

Walking shoes inspired by running and trail running shoes?
This will sound strange to many because walking shoes have remained unchanged for decades.
"Nowadays, a good walking shoe does not have to be a heavy brown leather shoe anymore. The first customers who came to that insight were also the courageous who ventured, for example, the 100 km of Bornem (Dodentocht) or the Nijmegen Wandel Vierdaagse. During these extreme distances and circumstances, keywords such as light and comfort certainly come to mind. "- Eddy

With current production technology, running, walking and trail running models easily merge. Add a little more grip to a running shoe, or ad a rock shield guard in the sole and a reinforced upper. Waterproof or water-repellent? And voilà. The hybrid walking shoe is born. Well, in theory it is a bit more complex than that but this category offers many possibilities. A walker can now enjoy the comfort and flexibility of a running shoe but with the firmness/sturdiness of a walking shoe. Besides, they are also available in beautiful colors.

Our hybrid walking range is mainly focused on the Belgian landscape. Ideal for paved or unpaved walking paths, cobblestones, tree stumps, etc. Why? Because the heavy models of hiking shoes you need in the Alps (or some rocky areas in the Ardennes) are usually unnecessary. Walking the dog or a weekend away? The hybrid walking shoes are multifunctional.

What should a walker wear? Here we start from the basics; a good pair of hiking socks, preferably Merino wool. Due to the moisture-regulating capacity, your feet will stay dry. And blisters will hardly get a chance. Just like with running, a walker dresses best according to the 3-layer system.
It is recommended to wear technical underwear (baselayer) as basic protection, to stay dry in all weather conditions. Depending on the outside temperature, a breathable and insulating 2nd layer will keep your body temperature stable. Is there a strong breeze or is it raining? Then add a third layer with a lightweight wind- or waterproof jacket. When walking, it is always nice to have a backpack (with soft flask or water reservoir) with you. The backpacks of Salomon or Camelbak ensure that you can comfortably carry all your belongings without the shoulder straps slipping down.

In our 4 stores experience is prominent. Every store is equipped with a 20-35m long test track so that the runner/walker has more than enough space to test shoes. Recently there has been a new test track constructed in the establishment of Zwijndrecht, where you can experience various surfaces (rock, log and gravel). There is a lot of difference between the types of sole. By testing a shoe on an irregular surface you are able to even better compare the comfort and fit between different types of shoe.

No idea what model you need for your next adventure? Visit one of our stores for extensice advice.

Would you like to have your current walking shoes checked? No problem!
Just take them with you when visiting our store so that our advisers can review your wear pattern.

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