Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!


29th July 2020

Over the last few years, I have been pursuing the low cost route when it comes to everyday footwear. Working from home means that there is no need for the smart casual approach that I took for workday clothing when I used to work in offices. A far more casual one predominates now.

The trouble with cheap footwear is that it can wear out faster. Some of the offers you see promoted by retailers appear to be seconds, items that did not meet quality standards for a full price item. This might have explained how I acquired a pair of Regatta boots from Matalan at a price far below the recommended retail one. Within months, they began to wear heavily. Even then, I retained them for a few years before giving them away.

A pair of Karrimor trail shoes acquired from Go Outdoors also began to discolour within weeks of delivery and eventually their soles began to wear until a hole appeared in one. Even then, it took me until Easter of this year to dispose of them and that meant throwing them into the bin while the local shoe bank was closed as part of the pandemic lockdown.

These has been supplanted by a pair of Hi Gear trail shoes bought from Go Outdoors for around £10. However, that involved a trip to Stockport to replace what was delivered with the correct item. Quite how I was sent a pair of ladies’ boots remains unknown but I overlooked it given that it was the first time that there had been a misdelivery.

These how are wearing but it is the insoles that have succumbed and a pair of Superfeet items formerly occupying the aforementioned Karrimor shoes have been pressed into service to address this because the Hi Gear ones otherwise remain in reasonable external condition.

Even so, my mind did turn to complementing them with something more durable. Cheap items that wear out more quickly are not so good for the environment when the disposal rate consequently increases. What I also was wanting were a pair of trail shores without waterproof lining. Sweaty feet need more breathability, especially indoors, and that is my reasoning. Some may go with sandals and I have done so for a while, but I prefer a fully enclosing shoe. For outdoor use, having added waterproofing remains my preference since it always helps in a damp climate. That has meant a doubling up of footwear types.

Merrell Moab Adventure Lace

Notwithstanding their earlier misdelivery, I tried Go Outdoors for a pair of Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator shoes. What actually arrived though were Merrell Moab Adventure Lace WP ones. These include waterproofing but I kept them anyway since I fancied having an extra pair of shoes that I could use when the weather came wet and I wanted to keep my travelling curtailed given the wya of the world at the moment.. Sending wrong items like this cannot do wonders for stocktaking and it must have a similar effect on getting repeat business since I now am less likely to buy from Go Outdoors.

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator

Still, the sizing was right and the shape suits my feet so I am not complaining. The Vibram sole unit feels stiff and supportive and there is a shaped footbed as well. All in all, I will get on OK with these. The same comments apply to the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator shoes that I latterly ordered from Amazon so I am now acclimatising two pairs of shoes when I had planned only to get one.

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