Author Topic: Complete Novice - Lyke Wake Walk. General advice and equipment tips?  (Read 1358 times)


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Hello all, first time poster and complete novice to any form of long distance walking. 

I've wanted to get into Hiking/walking for some time now, and an opportunity has presented itself through work.  Hoping to get some advice/tips on what gear to bring! 
We set off in around a month, so hopefully that's enough time to get some practice in and gear up. 

So first question - walking/hiking boots or trainers?  I'm getting conflicting advice on this, some say bring trainers, and a spare pair as your first will most likely get ruined going through the bogs. Others say definitely bring waterproof boots and multiple pairs of socks.

Chafing??  I imagine this would be an issue on such a long walk, how to avoid? 

Gear recommendations would be lovely


Pura Vida

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The answer is experience.
I've not walk the LWW but have experience. I would go with what I am comfortable with.
Arguments will be made for a light weight, trainer approach and equally others will argue for boots.
One thing for sure is that if you get it wrong you will have an uncomfortable time and that your feet will suffer for a long time as the Blisters heal.
I recommend going into a quality Outdoor shop, mid week, and ask to have footwear fitted to your feet. Feet come in different shapes and sizes as do boots/approach shoes/trainers.
In summer you could expect the bogs to be drier. I've not walked the LWW so I've no idea. Gaiters might be an option to slow down water ingress into your footwear but it will get in eventually if you are continuously through soggy bog.

Someone that I do know has a huge amount of experience on the LWW is Brian Smailes at Challenge Publications. His info is available online. give him a call.
Show a man a route then he will have an Adventure; Teach a man to navigate then he will have many adventures


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I haven't walked it either but the first third to half of it is the same route as the coast to coast which I have walked.

My memory of that section is that it's a very good path which would be fine to do in trainers.

Someone else will have to tell you what it's like after the Lion at Blakey.


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Several crossings under my belt, the most recent being in September last year. 

You don't say whether you're doing a supported or unsupported crossing.  If unsupported go light, especially if you are not used to walking any great distances with a backpack of any sort, backpack, headtorch, waterproofs, spare socks, food, liquid, first aid kit to include plenty of Compeed,  if supported, take everything you think you might need and leave it in the support vehicle to be got at at the earliest opportunity if needs be.

Not a complete idiot, bits of me are missing.


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On a long walk (though I don't do anything as long as the LWW these days) I find Boots blister stick really helpful.  You rub it over your feet before you put your socks on and it reduces the chafing which causes blisters.  I haven't had a blister since I started using it.  I suspect Vaseline would do just as well.  Some people with extreme blister problems use Gewohl foot cream, same idea but heavy duty, you can get it from Amazon.

Deanna B

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Hi, Iíve just joined this forum and I realise itís a year since you posted about doing the Lyke Wake Walk but really hoping you can fill me in on how you got on?
Iím a complete novice to long distance walking but the opportunity came along to join a professional, supported group in June.
Have excellent boots, socks etc. Have just bought poles - did you use any? Fitting lots of training walks in but still a long way to go!
The walk is over two days staying at the Lion Inn which will give me the incentive to keep going - I hear they do an excellent steak pie 🤣
« Last Edit: 15:06:04, 13/03/19 by Deanna B »


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Hi Deanna B welcome to the site from Lincolnshire.  If you are worried at all about the walk then you could try watching a few of the many videos on YouTube  about it and the various up-loaders who have walked it already. The 24 Hour Challenge is hard and not for a walking novice with little conditioning beforehand, but it can be done. Also there is no need to do it in the 24 hours if you are just there to enjoy yourself.
Too little, too late, too bad......


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First of all, welcome to the forum Kebabio.

I wore boots for many years for most of my walking. In the past few years I have shifted to wearing trainer style walking shoes for a lot of my walking but haven't abandoned my boots in harsher weather or conditions. I really wouldn't be without either. However, you deserve a straight answer. If I was in your position I would buy boots for this walk and with an eye to future walking. So straight answers:

1. I think you could probably wear walking shoes or trainers on this walk and, even if you get wet feet, get by okay.

2. My preference would be to buy a pair of relatively light fabric boots that have been shop fitted as they will do this walk well and allow you to complete walks on different types of terrain if you choose to turn walking into a more serious pastime.

3. Based on this experience, you can then decide whether you want to supplement these boots in the future with a pair of lightweight walking shoes or trainers and/or a more substantial pair of(and probably heavier leather or fabric) boots for venturing in to the hills or out in more testing weather.

Take Compeed with you and just grease your feet and enjoy it.

Deanna B

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Thank you everyone. My boots are leather Scarpa and very comfy. Merino socks with liners have been their weight in gold - no blisters! I do suffer from Golfers Vasculitis so it might be worth considering a trainer style walking boot.


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It is years since I wore boots and I would have no worries about doing the LWW in the Salomon XA 3D Pro's I have worn for the last few years. That said you will almost certainly get wet (and muddy) feet crossing the section over Loose Howe between the Lion Inn and Shunner Howe and as you are being supported it might be worth considering a change of footwear just for that section. You will be a long way into the walk by that time and should be able to judge how well your feet are holding out. There is a long section along an old railway track bed just before then and you might even find a change refreshing.