Grubs Stand up to the Nordic Walking Technique Test

 Discover shoe in Fuchsia and Mint

Discover shoe in Fuchsia and Mint

Nordic walkers are really fussy about shoes at NWUK, and our requirements are pretty simple…

Number one priority is COMFORT! We want to be out with our poles at every opportunity on all types of terrain so we need supportive, lightweight shoes with great cushioning.

 

Second priority is WATERPROOFING WITH BREATHE – ABILITY!Soggy and/or sweaty feet will affect the experience of even the shortest of walks and one thing that we have learned over the years is dry feet = happy walkers!

 

The third element is very specific but vital for Nordic Walking and that’s a sole that is flexible enough to get a great HEEL TO TOE FOOT ROLL. Part of good Nordic walking technique is to hit the ground with the heel of the foot and to engage the whole foot in a rolling action that finishes with a push off from the toes as you propel forward with the pole on the opposite side. The key things a shoe needs to provide in order to facilitate this are good cushioning for the heel strike and great flexibility through the mid foot to the toes.

 Vibram’s ROLINGAIT system increases the fluidity of motion reducing discomfort in the lower limbs even after hours of use.

Vibram’s ROLINGAIT system increases the fluidity of motion reducing discomfort in the lower limbs even after hours of use.

This month we have been testing GRUBS Discover Shoeswhich have built in ‘RollinGait’ technology and a unique Stabiltiy Cradle which positions the foot deep in the sole. Tested by a panel of key instructors, our original concern that the sole was chunky sole were soon replaced with a “WOW that really helps to stabilise the foot.” They are also extremely comfy and the shoes really do enable brilliant Nordic Walking technique! 

 

Tested by six instructors – the shoes have ranked higher than any others we have tested for Nordic Walking.

 

Here are a few of the reviews ……………………….

 WATERPROOF! HYDROFUSE technology is lightweight, highly breathable and very waterproof.

WATERPROOF! HYDROFUSE technology is lightweight, highly breathable and very waterproof.

Sam Armstrong from Derbyshire trialled a pair of brightly coloured Fuchsia and Mint shoes and rated them out of 10 – here are her conclusions:

Comfort - 10 

Laces – 10

Sole and RollinGait technology - 9

It took a few hours to get used to the RollinGait but once adapted to it I was hooked. I loved the fact that it encourages the lemon squeeze effect and heel strike. It’s not got a 10 because I would like to see a deeper lug. Although saying that they performed well on the Adventure walk and there were slippy conditions under the leaves and sandstone rocks.

Mid sole – 10, they were like wearing slippers outdoors but with support.

Waterproof – I’ve now fully tested the shoes in wet, damp and muddy conditions. They were really tested out on an awful muddy peak district walk and I have to say performed brilliantly, absolutely superb!

My feet stayed warm and dry and they didn’t slip or feel insecure at all whilst I supported less able members down a slippy bank. So top marks for the lugs!

Weight 10 – Super light but still feel very much a solid shoe.

Uppers – Hard to score on this one, as I’m not a fan of the colour and neither did it go down to well with my walkers, however, I did mention that they came in Charcoal too. They were all very curious about the shoe and if it had been in grey they wouldn’t have noticed it as much.

In all I like the fabric, the flexibility of the shoe and the control that you feel you have with it. A super snug fit to the foot, very secure with the lacing system. They are also warm and cosy (if that make sense).

Conclusion, I love them!

 The DISCOVER’s Derby lace system allows for a custom fit.

The DISCOVER’s Derby lace system allows for a custom fit.

Janine Lewis an instructor who is based in Reading who trialled the Black and Yellow version says:

These shoes were made for a lot of fun and serious walking! The company name alone, Grubs, lets you know that they are a no nonsense shoe for our wonderful British weather and terrain.

Over the last seven days I have played on flint-stoned canal paths, slippery wet grass slopes, wet chalky hills, huge puddles, tarmac paths, woodland trails with hidden roots under slippery leaves. The tough rugged soles with decent grippy rubbery cleats really did keep me up right and dry.

The shoes are wider than I am used to but with their unique lacing system I could tighten them to get a comfortable supportive hug within the shoe. There was a slight crease from pulling them tight but this did not rub on my upper foot. 

 Space in the toe area for orthotics and the TPU overlay protects your toes.

Space in the toe area for orthotics and the TPU overlay protects your toes.

The shoes are also a neutral foot bed which was more practical for the heel to toe rolling through action of Nordic walking. You walk with a stronger foot placement. I did not need to resort to adding my orthotic soles in and comfortably walked up to 12 miles each day without foot ache. There was sufficient suppleness through the top of the shoe to flex as I moved through to the upright movement of heel to toe, almost on tip toes, especially comfortable going up the hills too.

I wore different socks each day from merino thermal socks to athletic thinner running socks. I had no foot movement due to the lacing. I find with some shoes that are wider, I have to wear thicker socks that can often cause friction blisters. Not the case with these.

 HYDROFUSE technology is lightweight, highly breathable and very waterproof.

HYDROFUSE technology is lightweight, highly breathable and very waterproof.

The shoe was almost similar in style and look of the lower foot bed of a wellie. This made them very waterproof. I have still not managed to get wet feet despite jumping in puddles.

The heel grip was high and snug and didn’t rub. The ankle area was cut low and again, no rubbing. I have long feet with a skinny heel area, so although I was in a broad men’s shoe size 9, I did not feel like I was walking in oversize heavy shoes. 

The foot bed has a solid innersole, which I initially thought would feel hard and harsh on the sole, especially If I was walking on gravel. The rubber sole seems to disperse the piercing effect of the small stones.  

These shoes are a good alternative to leather shoes as they are lighter in weight. They are a different style to the trail shoes which are also low profile but often narrower. The shoe style didn’t have excess stitching on top which often deteriorates and splits with the constant upper shoe creasing.

It’s a thumbs up from me for these shoes. Solid, supportive, warm and waterproof, Oh, and in my favourite duck-yellow!”

 DISCOVER Charcoal Black

DISCOVER Charcoal Black

Ian Northcott from Bromsgrove had a Charcoal and Black pair to put through their paces and here’s his opinion! 

I have used these shoes for a few days now. Wow (apart from the white sole) they are fantastic.

Comfort - 5/5 

Waterproof - 5/5 

Colour - 2/5 

NW Friendly - 4/5

Indoor Gym friendly - 4/5 

Running Friendly - 3/5 

They are brilliant, I want another pair!!!

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Ashley Sandy from Wiltshire said:

They are really comfortable and flexible – they are great for NW on the flat with an even surface. I can really squeeze the lemons with them.

They are waterproof and dry which is great at the moment – the colour is not great and the mint colour got dirty really quickly.  

On hills they are OK again if the ground is even but as they are a bit wide for me – they were less supportive when walking on rougher ground or uneven surfaces because I could feel my feet moving around especially around the toe box which is pretty wide. However they are so comfy otherwise that I will try them with some insoles.

 Nordic Walking Fans love Grubs!

Nordic Walking Fans love Grubs!

Finally Lucie Cormack and Gill Stewart from HQ have been testing the shoes on a variety of walks from long and slow to fast paced workout walks and the verdict is that they perform well on both and definitely seem to reduce fatigue in the legs and aid faster paced Nordic walking. 

Lucie commented:

They are incredibly lightweight yet robust with a great grip and I just seem to want to walk faster when I wear them!

So we think that’s a pretty good thumbs up from the Nordic Walking UK experts!

Winter walk Sandside to Arnside and return

 The Langdales viewed from Sandside

The Langdales viewed from Sandside

The view across the Kent estuary area of Morecombe Bay has to be on of the most exceptional in England and it draws visitors from all across the country. As the days grow shorter and the weather closes in this is a great area to get out and walk for a couple of hours and its accessible for walkers of all abilities.

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Starting at the Ship Inn at Sandside we took the start geo-trail along the old railway line and crossed over the road and headed to the beach. This area is an SSI, so please keep to the path which in this case is the embankment on the old railway line to Arnside. Being a disused railway it is Flat and dry even in the worst conditions, ideal for ramblers and dog walkers alike and benefits additionally from tree cover. It’s easy to pick up a good pace along this stretch and time rushes by due to the amazing views that keep you company the whole way.

 GRUBS MIDLINE 5.0 is perfect for winter walks.

GRUBS MIDLINE 5.0 is perfect for winter walks.

The embankment leads you to Arnside station where you cross via the foot bridge and walk into Arnside and along the promenade overlooking the viaduct. Historical trains are run along here until the autumn and we were lucky to catch site of one such train thundering across whilst we were there.

 LMS Jubilee class 5699 Galatea steams across the viaduct at Arnside.

LMS Jubilee class 5699 Galatea steams across the viaduct at Arnside.

Mid afternoon the cloud parted as the light began to fade and we made our way back along the old line back to Sandside. Some fantastic sunsets set off the scenery magnificently.

 Sunset with Arnside viaduct in the distance.

Sunset with Arnside viaduct in the distance.

The MIDLINE 5.0 boot performed superbly on the muddy coastal stretches of beach as well as being exceedingly comfortable the whole of the walk.

 MIDLINE 5.0 RRP £79.95 from www.grubswarehouse.com

MIDLINE 5.0 RRP £79.95 from www.grubswarehouse.com

No More Cold Feet - Thanks To Grub’s

With the cooler weather making an appearance, boots to keep your feet warm and cosy are essential and for Gem Kingaby, she has definitely found the right pair for her.

Gem, based in Pembrokeshire in Wales, suffers with really cold feet, even during the summer weather, so it was important to find a pair of boots that not only kept her feet warm but were breathable too. 

Working at a trail riding centre as a trail leader and also the photographer, the boots endure seaside walks, trekking in mud and then back to the stables to muck out the horses, and to Gem’s delight the boots from Grub’s are up to the task!

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The Grub’s range of boots has various features to enable the boots to withstand whatever they are up against, such as the Nitrocell™ cushioning foot-bed to ensure comfort and insulation; several different styles of sole to offer superb grip and the Super-Dri™ lining to keep feet dry.

Gem commented: “I adore my Grub’s Boots as they have kept me going for a while now and withstand quite a lot of abuse because of my job which includes mud, sand, sea, muck and everything in between!”

“I have no issues walking in the boots as they keep my feet warm and dry and are super comfy, so this winter I am 100% ready, as I know my Grub’s boots will keep my feet warm.”

Continued Gem: “I can’t wait to buy another pair as there is so much choice and variety and different colours – it’s nice to be spoilt for choice.”

Frostline Autumn Winter 2018/19 colours are new in

 Ocean and Scarlet

Ocean and Scarlet

Two new seasonal colours have just hit the shelves of a Grubs retailer near you.  with the darker nights of September just around the corner the new Frostline in Scarlet will brighten up the evenings and set off the turning leaves of autumn. Ocean blue is a beautiful mid shade that is very popular this season and Grubs doesn't fail to add that sparkle of colour.

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Also new for this season is an update to our perennial favourite Fuchsia, A much brighter shade than before the new Fuchsia is available now from all good Grubs wholesalers

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Event Rider Completes Epic 100km Walk for Charity

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Claire Fielding, eventing ambassador and supporter of Grub’s Boots, is no stranger to throwing herself in to challenges, and recently she completed one of her biggest tests to date, walking 100km in under 24 hours for Tom’s Trust.

Tom’s Trust was set up in memory of a young boy called Tom Whiteley who sadly lost his fight to cancer in November 2010, he was only nine-years-old. 

With hard work and dedication the wonderful charity funds Clinical Psychologists to support children with brain tumours, something Claire holds close to her heart.

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In September 2013, Claire’s five-year-old niece Phoenix, was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent major brain surgery three days after the consultation. 

Phoenix has also endured 18 long months of chemotherapy, but the tumour unfortunately keeps making an appearance and over the recent school holidays underwent six weeks of proton therapy. But this brave little girl isn’t giving up without a fight and is now 10-years-old.

Claire decided she wanted to raise money for the charity that has helped the family during the difficult times and aided other poorly children.

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The amazing staff at Tom’s Trust working alongside the Brainbow Trust at Addenbrooke’s hospital, Cambridge, have been brilliant.

And what task did Claire choose to challenge herself and raise money for this wonderful cause? 

The South Coast Challenge – a 100km walk/jog in 24 hours!

This spectacular walk with stunning views started on August 25, 2018, at the seaside town of Eastbourne with the beautiful trek along the costal path over South Downs Way and finishing at Arundel.

Claire endured rocky paths, hilly climbs and complete darkness as it was a 24 hour walk, whilst carrying all her supplies in a backpack.

There were plenty aches and pains, but not from Claire’s feet as she wore her Grub’s Discover Shoes which helped with support, as the feet sit deep into the sole, supporting the arch and cradling the heel so there was no discomfort.

The shoes are also waterproof so Claire’s feet stayed dry with the morning due on the grass when she came to finish her epic challenge.

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Said Claire: “I finished the walk in under 23 hours, which I am so pleased about as all my training in the lead up to this event has paid off.

“This was a great task for me as I love walking anyway, but I knew The South Coast Challenge would be a whole new level, and I needed something I could really throw myself into and help raise money for this wonderful charity, and for my beautiful niece who inspires me every day!”

To donate visit Claire’s Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clairefielding10or visit the charities website to make a donation www.tomstrust.org.uk

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21km coastal walk in Discover walking shoes.

 DISCOVER in Charcoal/Black RRP £119.95

DISCOVER in Charcoal/Black RRP £119.95

It was a beautiful sunny day with a brisk north westerly wind so we decided a low level walk would be preferable. The tide was out for the next few hours so we set out to walk around Blackstone point. We started out at the Ship Inn at Sandside walking west to Arnside via the abandoned railway line, this was easy going in our Discover shoes. We arrived at Arnside via the railway station and decided to have lunch at the Albion.

 Wide open expanse of Morecombe Bay has to be one of the most desolate yet beautiful areas in the UK.

Wide open expanse of Morecombe Bay has to be one of the most desolate yet beautiful areas in the UK.

We set off for the walk proper following the coastal path to Blackstone point. This is easy a first but turns into loose rocks and screw as you approach the point. Our Discover shoes came into their own; the Vibram Sphike soles gave sure footed grip thanks to the XS-TREK rubber compound.

 Blackstone Point, Heysham in the distance,

Blackstone Point, Heysham in the distance,

The STABILITY-CRADLE of Discover kept us upright and protected our ankles over the rough terrain. Once around the point the going got much easier as scree gave way to the wide open sands of Morecombe bay and we could pick up the pace around Park Point to Far Arnside. At this point we left the beach and the wind to cut across country back towards Storth. A short stretch of road leads through Holgates Caravan Park to Arnside Tower (pictured) and through Middlebarrow Wood to the railway line.

 Arnside Tower

Arnside Tower

We followed the Railway to Black Dyke. Here we crossed under the line and headed through the valley towards Hazelslack Tower (another ruined medieval tower) a gentle walk up hill through wood lined fields brought us back into Storth. We had a great day and didn’t feel the distance thanks to our footwear. Thank you Grub's boots even Daisy the cocker enjoyed it!

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Former International athlete Steve Kenyon Discovers New Zealand

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I have been wear testing the Grubs Discover shoes for sometime now
and I have to say I think they are great.
I have been wearing them since March, took them to the other side
of the World when we visited our son who lives in Wellington NZ
the first photo was taken on Somes Island ( with Wellington in the background)
brand new first time on,we walked roughly 8 miles that first day the shoes were
very comfortable and supportive.
 

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I continued to wear them for all our walks for the 4 weeks that we there.
Back home I generally walk 3 times a week with the dog, on varied terrain
including Winter Hill (before the recent fires)  crossing streams etc (2nd photo)
they are still as comfortable and supportive as they were on the first day.
I have worn different brands of walking shoes in recent years
but the Grubs Discover are by far the best that I have ever worn.
I am a former International athlete and among some of my achievements are
3rd 1979 New York Marathon
1982 British Marathon Champion
Winner 1985 Great North Run ( 3rd photo).

Steve Kenyon.

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Grub’s Discover Shoe Sara Walker, equestrian journalist

At first sight, I have to admit I thought these shoes looked a little odd. They’re like trainers - but on steroids, with a built-up, chunky sole. I thought they’d feel a bit chunky once on, but actually I was very pleasantly surprised. The sole didn’t feel raised or chunky at all, in fact, I felt I had a good connection with the ground and could ‘feel’ the path when walking over uneven ground. They were extremely comfortable, and in fact the first time I wore them I walked eight miles in them with no discomfort or rubbing at all – they didn’t seem to need any wearing in. 

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I chose my usual size, which is a five, and they fitted very nicely. The backs are just high enough to support your heel, without making them a pain to get on and off. I have unusually high arches to my feet which can sometimes result in shoes rubbing against the top of my foot, but there was no sign of that with the Discover Shoes. I’ve now worn them in rain and mud and can report they’ve been completely waterproof. I think these wouldn’t be robust enough to use on the yard in the winter, but they’d be fine in summer if you weren’t riding. Where they really come into their own, though, is for walking – whether it’s a quick trip across the field or a more strenuous scramble. 

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So far, I’ve been wearing these shoes almost continually for about three weeks and they still look fresh out of the box (OK, so with a little added mud!). They’re not cheap, but this is the price I’d expect to pay for decent quality walking boots and I think these shoes fall into a similar category. I’m expecting these to see a lot of wear during the summer months.

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The Weekend Warriors and Chilli Pepper Dog Discover the Difference

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Instagram hit Chilli.Pepper.Dog and her owners Jessica Knowles and Tim Featonby (also known as The Weekend Warriors) tried out the Grub’s Discover Shoe, to see if it was up to the test in conquering the English countryside and keeping up with Chilli. 

Here is what Jessica said:

First looking at the Grub’s Discover Shoes they seemed smaller, not as durable and quite frankly a posher version of a trainer (which any dog walker would know in autumn/winter, just won’t do). Lugging your feet around in the sloppy, wet mud, feels like a workout in itself, so we were dubious if they would be up to scratch. 

We popped them on and ventured across as many different terrains to put them to the test. The last thing you would want is to come home with wet socks and blistered feet. But to our surprise we skipped across the fields and the mud merely licked the sides of the shoes and didn’t penetrate our socks at all.

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The next part of the journey was through a low stream and again, the water just tickled the sides not making any lasting impression inside our shoes. 

We then climbed over some stiles thinking they may be too rigid and inflexible to help us shimmy across, but again, it was easy. 

A stoney path followed up to the hillside and we thought we may have found a weakness…but again the extra thick sole ensured that it didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

We were impressed with how understated such a functional shoe could be. With your everyday walks you use your everyday items; dog lead, collar, whistle, poo bags, treats etc.  We were impressed with these shoes so much so, now Grub’s will be added to the list as a no brainer. Taking the dog out for a walk suddenly became a whole lot easier without having to contend with the usual clunky, bulky, boots or wellies.

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These will not replace our trusted wellies in winter, however they certainly will replace them in autumn, spring and summer to make future expeditions with the pooch are a walk in the park.

Overall these shoes are great all-rounders because they are light-weight, comfortable, breathable and waterproof!

12 Miles of North Yorkshire in my DISCOVER shoes by Tim Smith

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Last weekend I did a 12 mile walk in North Yorkshire, the weather was glorious and the views spectacular. Whilst my feet were cool and dry everyone else in team was far too hot in their walking boots, I, however had never been so comfortable thanks to my new Grubs Discover shoe. 

I had worn the shoe the occasional day around the garden, in the office and to my boot camp sessions, however they were relatively new when I embarked on the 12 mile walk around Middleham. They took absolutely no wearing in as they were comfy from putting my first step forward which is always a worry when wearing new shoes for hiking. 

The lightweight shoe was indescribably comfortable; as I am an avid walker I have tried lots of different footwear whilst on my travels. These trainers were so comfortable it meant I could, without even noticing walk at a faster pace in a more relaxed way. I didn’t complain about my feet all day!

With the fantastic weather reaching 26°C over the weekend, I was so pleased I decided to wear the lightweight, breathable show instead of my typically heavy, bulky walking boots. The breathable Discover allowed my feet to stay cool, dry and most importantly comfortable all day.

The terrain was a little wet and muddy in places however all it took to get them clean was a couple of wipes with a damp cloth. The last thing you want to be worrying about when out walking in the beautiful countryside is getting your shoes dirty, so next time I wouldn’t think twice about this knowing they can be easily restored to looking new again.

 Middleham Market cross

Middleham Market cross

The support the shoe gave me was great, I felt confident and stylish in the Black/Burst colour shoe. Brushing past sharp rocks and stones didn’t seem to phase the tough snag resistant outer fabric either. 

The derby laced opening meant I could adjust the fit whether this be a tight snug fit or to loosen it up when we stopped for a quick lunch break. 

All four of my friends that joined me on the walk were envious of my comfortable shoes and all now have a pair on order!

Tim Smith