Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Hiking up the Style, with Leki Poles and Bogs Footwear

Holding a pair of Leki Hiking Poles and wearing Bogs B-Mocs boots
I've wanted some hiking poles for ages, because they are brilliant for reducing strain on the joints, particularly  downhill, and I felt they might help me to walk further and increase my exercise a bit. Fortunately, Leki at Open Air, who are experts in the field of walking paraphernalia, were happy to send me some to try out for free and find out what hiking poles can offer to support your trekking goals, big or small. Also in this post, the very latest from Bogs Footwear, who sent me some boots to try out that I think actually could be magic. If you thought walking in the rain wearing something resembling slippers was nothing more than a crazy dream, you may be surprised...

We were sent the Sherpa XL Anti Shock Hiking Poles to try and the first person to give them a test drive was Jade, because she's much more able to put them through their paces than I am. The part she found most advantageous when using the poles, was that you can get a really good rhythm going, which increases your cardiovascular activity, allowing you to get a really good workout. Obviously, you are using your arms more, so it's a more generalised workout for toning purposes too, because all the emphasis isn't on your legs. The poles also have really long handles, which is great for steep slopes as you can hold the poles lower down, and a Speedlock 2 locking system, which means you can adjust them really easily and accurately to your height, so that they are comfortable to use. They adjust from 72 - 145cm. Living on the edge of The Cotswolds, when you walk anywhere, you tend to find you are either going up, or you are going down. These poles make the downhill bit a lot easier, and, when you don't want to use them, they are very light to carry and fold up very small.

Girl modelling a pair of Leki Hiking Poles in a countryside setting

There is another really useful feature of these poles though, that I really wanted to share with you. If you have problems walking, like me, but you really want to increase your exercise, these poles provide a stylish and reliable alternative to a traditional walking stick. A lot of people don't want to use a stick, because they feel embarrassed, but I found these poles were perfect for providing additional balance support, whilst looking really professional and sporty. The Sherpa XL AS Hiking Poles also have a built in anti shock module in the tip, which provides additional 'give' when in use, further lessening the strain on the joints. If you struggle a little with mobility and want to increase your walking, these poles are a great idea. Being outside and getting exercise are two very important aspects of well being, so anything that encourages me to go outside more is definitely worth considering, without the worry of falling, or making anything worse!

Girl looking out at the countryside, holding a pair of Leki hiking poles

So, what's the story with my new magic slippers? Well, the lady who works with Bogs, who have provided us with fantastic wellies for review in the past, mentioned that they now sold B-Mocs Quilted Puff Boots, which are boots that are so comfortable, that they would make perfect slippers for camping, for night-time trips to the loo, etc. Fabulous, I thought, as having something you can quickly slip on that has a good, solid sole is perfect for camping, because even when it's dry, the dew from the grass will quickly seep through ordinary slippers in the early hours of the morning. So I was very excited to try them, but the interesting part is that, when I saw the picture on their website, I never expected them to be waterproof. When they arrived, though, they were clearly labelled '100% waterproof', which I thought was bonkers and decided to put them to the test. You can see from the images above, that our first test was to walk them through some dewy grass, and we were amazed to find that the water droplets remained on the surface of the boot. 

Close-up collage showing raindrops on Bogs B-Mocs

I felt this was a very promising start, but not conclusive, and I really couldn't believe they could be waterproof, because they were just so soft and comfy, nothing like a traditional welly should be. Normally, you sacrifice some comfort, because you need a welly to stay dry and you don't expect them to be soft and fluffy. Bogs produce a lot of stylish designs in their range, and some have fluffy interiors, but they are mostly still predominantly made of plastic material, so this could be a revelation. Further research was definitely need, though, and this time I meant business. Cue some of the worst weather we have had this summer and I had a plan. Such is my commitment to providing accurate reviews, I waited until the rain was bouncing back off the pavement and I went outside and stood in it. You can't really see it in the photograph, but this was really heavy rain. 

Woman in a red raincoat, looking up disdainfully at the rain.

And the conclusion is... they are totally waterproof! Not only that, but, despite all the lovely fluff inside, they did not make my feet all hot and sweaty, even though I wasn't wearing socks and it was still warm out. They have the Bogs trademark handles, too, so are really easy to pull on and off quickly. I love these boots and can think of so many occasions where they would be invaluable, besides camping. Obviously, they would make excellent comfy hiking boots, but would also be great to leave by the back door for when you want to peg out the washing first thing in the morning, or take out the recycling. The possibilities are endless. I am really looking forward to the Autumn, when I can where these all the time for walks in the rain, the elements of comfort, as well as the 100% waterproof exterior, mean they might just be the perfect welly. The science of wellies has just evolved and it is awesome! 

A Review of What's New from Leki Hiking Poles and Bogs Footwear



  1. you beat me to it, I was thinking about those waterproof boots for hanging out the washing when the grass is wet!

  2. I could have done with these when I went hiking up a glacier in Iceland, they would have been very useful!


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