So up to this point (the middle of August), our trip had been self funded, and both our gear and our pockets were starting to look pretty thin. Carl got a call from his old employer asking if he'd be interested in a few days of work, and so we easily decided to head to Dublin for a few days.
While there we both got new footwear. It was also a great time to meet up with a few friends and do basic things like import all our drone footage and write blog posts.
Buying gear is always an exciting, annoying, and tricky outing. Everyone loves new gear, it's shiny and strong and often looks cool. However, that also means that you've worn your boots so much that they are perfectly moulded to your feet (or, in some cases, your feet have moulded to them) and anything else you try one will feel alien. And lastly, no matter how many reviews you read, or how intensely you stare at it, it's very hard to know if it really is the right thing for you.
When changing our footwear, we both decided to go for something new. We both changed brand from what we had been previously wearing, and moved into lighter footwear too - shoes that were half a trail running shoe, half a walking shoe. The lightness was magical. and they were definitely grippier than our worn out soles. We walked two trails in them, and both decided that we had made bad choices. Carl's were slightly too roomy, less supportive than his previous shoes, and wearing away faster than his previous pair. My shoes cracked at the side (lovely wet feet again), and I realised I really preferred boots, just to be able to step in deep puddles and not worry about it. Both of us also felt that the shoes weren't designed for walking long distances with heavy packs. Our bags are roughly 15kg each, and if each bag was 3 or 4kg less I think the shoes would have been more comfortable. Instead we dealt with a lot of burning soles.
But we're not here to shame brands that didn't work for us personally. After the Dingle Way we both admitted that we had to go back to the drawing board and find better footwear. I ended up ordering a pair of boots I had been considering for years online, and since getting them, have fallen in love with them - they are the Salomon Comets. Super lightweight (for a boot) and incredibly sturdy sole. Carl, having loved his Merrell Moab shoes (they're all he's worn for the past 2 years) has decided to try out the mid version of the shoe. His verdict is still out.
Since that trip to Dublin, we have set up a Patreon account, which lets people support us by pledging money each month. A huge thank you to our current Patrons whose support means the world to us!
Our Patrons: Carolyn O'Dwyer, Paul Meagher, Jen Carey, Werner Lange, John Healy, Renate Lange, Seanie Ryan, Chris Deering, Delia Lange, Stephan & Erika, Peter Clarke, Patrick Berry.