The Gear Guide for Walking

It could be mere curiosity, it could be interest as more people I’ve talked to have been getting out walking in the elements, but let’s be honest: it’s probably that Christmas is a few short weeks away and people are getting desperate. Either way, I’ve been getting a bunch of questions from people on gear. From general questions on what types are good for particular situations to specific brand and item recommendations, people have asked what works and what doesn’t.

Before I get to the more specific recommendations, let me answer a few common questions up front:

Q: Why do you have multiple versions of the same items? Two hoodies, for example.

A: In a couple of cases it’s pretty simple: it’s good to have more than one t-shirt, for example, merino wool or no.

But in cases like hoodies, hats, jackets and so on, it’s a different tools for different purposes thing. Aside from things like t-shirts, underwear and so on, I don’t have duplicates of the same item, I have slightly different versions. Even subtle differences in the weight of a midweight hoodie versus a heavier weight option make them better or worse options depending on conditions.

Q: Isn’t all this gear expensive? How do you fund it?

A: It sure is, and the answer is over time. The number one rule for me, at least, is simple: if I already have something workable, use that. I got my hard shell, for example, as a Christmas present in 1998, my soft shell is 15 or 16 years old, and my down coat is 11 or 12 years old – and all three have been repaired at least once by the original manufacturers.

The clothing I’ve needed to add, meanwhile, I’ve bought slowly and tactically. A hoodie one month; t-shirts another. A quarter zip and gloves later. And with rare exceptions, it’s all come out of my own personal corner of our budget so I’m not impacting our household finances at all. Other strategies include shopping at outlets (all of my Patagonia gear has come from the Freeport outlet, for example), birthday or Christmas presents, waiting for sales and other discounts (speaking of, if you want 20% off any of the Woolx stuff mentioned below, click here), or buying things used.

It’s taken a year and a half, but I now have almost everything I could need for the conditions I’m most likely to face and the gear I’ve bought should last a long while – with the notable exception of my shoes. Those wear out faster than anything else, alas, and I look at them basically as an unavoidable expense.

Q: Do I need a bunch of gear to get going?

A: Absolutely not. When I got started, almost everything I was wearing was cotton and the running shoes I was using were four years old. You’re better off just getting started with whatever you have on hand. As walking’s grown into a steadier habit for me, however, I’ve chosen to invest in things that both make me more comfortable and make it possible for me to get out in conditions that would otherwise be problematic. But when I got started, it was soft pants, a Carharrt hoodie and my insulated work gloves that were more leaf than leather.

As Arthur Ashe put it, “start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”

Q: Isn’t this a lot of gear? I don’t use this much when running, skiing, etc.

A: Right, but you don’t generate nearly as much body heat when walking, so in cold temps you may need to compensate with more clothing than you would otherwise.

Q: Why do all of this? Isn’t it miserable? Can’t you just walk on a treadmill or something?

A: It might seem odd, but some of my favorite walks have been the ones with the worst weather. There’s nothing that makes you feel more alive – or more appreciative of bourbon-infused scratch cocoa – than trudging around in a blizzard for a couple of hours or nearly getting blown off the bridge. Sounds weird, but it’s true.

Q/A: This one isn’t a question I’ve gotten from one of you, obviously, because no one’s read this yet. But it anticipates a question. When I go on clothing sites, things are typically laid out as base layers, mid layers and so on. I’m not using that organizational structure below, because depending on conditions, a base or mid layer could be an outer layer or an outer layer an inner layer. I don’t find that way of sorting things helpful, personally, so I’m just referring to things as jackets, hoodies, vests and so on and instead sorting by conditions which is how I plan myself. Your mileage may vary, of course.



You’ll need a headlamp. There are more powerful models, but I use this Petzl. It’s bright enough to get me through trails in the woods in full dark, and more importantly is rechargeable so I’m not constantly cycling through batteries – here’s the battery by the way. I wish it charged via USB-C rather than micro-USB, but that’s about my only complaint.


Rain Coat

You may read that and think, “duh.” But I was literally dumb enough to go out for months wearing an old raincoat where the water repellent was peeling off like the paint on a hundred year old house. I finally replaced it with a Patagonia Torrentshell and that’s been excellent. More waterproof than my old one, more breathable and it has big side vents for when it’s warm out.

Rain Pants

As I was telling coworkers this week, this was the biggest game changer for me. Even after upgrading my raincoat, in heavy rains I’d be dry up top but soaked below the waist before I even got down to the main road. To the point that my pants would get so waterlogged, my shoes would fill up with water and overflow. Eventually, with a big storm forecast to drop multiple inches of rain during my available window during the day, I went out and got rain pants – Grundens Trident. I wish they had side pockets, but otherwise they’re great and keep my legs and my feet dry.

Waterproof Footwear

I could have gone the waterproof trail running shoe route, but instead I killed two birds with one stone and started incorporating my Hoka Anacapa hiking boots. They’re almost as lightweight as my regular running shoes, but they’re waterproof. Between the coat, pants and boots even in heavy rain I can stay 90-95% dry, which is a massive improvement over this time last year.

And it beats waiting two or three days waiting for regular sneakers to dry after they get soaked.


I don’t bring along a bag every walk, particularly those of shorter duration, but the more layers I have on or the more uncertain the weather is, the handier it is to have a bag – and more particularly something tiny and light that you don’t notice. This LL Bean bag is tiny, ultralight and cheap. I’ve used it to carry everything from discarded gloves to stripped outer layers to trailside trash to the beer I shotgunned trailside after completing my annual mileage goal. It’s perfect for what I need it to do.


If you’re going to walk when there’s ice, you need cramp-ons. Just trust me on this. The Yaktrax are not only Wirecutter recommended, they were Mainer approved when I asked around. They’re a bit hard to get on while wearing gloves, but it’s not too difficult and it beats the hell out of falling.



Obviously. I’ve had a pair of black black Ray-Bans for fifteen years or so, and when they broke I went out and bought exactly the same glasses – much to the chagrin of the more fashionable member of our household. So you probably don’t want what I have. Just make sure you have something to protect yourself.

Something that’s hopefully more fashionable than what I have.


I’m no expert on this, but as I saw a video in which a guy had to have part of his ear removed because he didn’t wear it, it’s probably a good idea. If you’re going to be anywhere near the water, make sure to pick something reef safe.



I wear my Sox hat, obviously, and you should wear one too. But anything that keeps the sun off your head and shades your eyes a bit will do. Bonus points if it shades your ears, otherwise sunscreen (see above).


Don’t worry, I’m not going to put up pictures of my underwear. I used to wear cotton oxford cloth boxers, but cotton being cotton I’ve now swapped them out for these merino boxers from Woolx. They’re great; breathable, wick moisture and are comfortable.


My shorts are a set of ordinary black Nike nylon shorts and an equivalent Under Armour set with a Williams logo on it. If you’re an Eph, you can get the latter set here. But it doesn’t really matter; shorts are not something I’ve felt a need to invest much in.


I wanted to solve two problems with my t-shirts. First, I was tired of picking out different shirts every day, so I wanted all of my t-shirts to be exactly the same (you might notice a theme here). Second, I wanted them to be merino wool rather than cotton so they wouldn’t chill me in winter. After evaluating shirts from Wool & Prince, Woolx and Taylor Stitch I eventually settled on the latter because they’re slightly cheaper and because they’re almost entirely merino, as opposed to the others which incorporate more synthetics.

The wool t-shirts are fantastic in cooler temps, and while I sweat through them in summer, that’s no different from cotton. I wear these Merino Tees, then, year round and just rotate through an identical set picking up a new, identical fresh one every day.


As I explained it to someone a couple of weeks ago, these Balegas are socks for people who hate socks. They’re easy on, easy off, they’re low profile enough you forget that you have them on and they’re excellent at resisting foot stink. Like the t-shirts, I’ve got a bunch of these and just cycle through them.


I’ve already talked about this a number of times, but the tl;dr is that I’d never heard of Hoka’s before reading a recommendation for them on a Fleet Feet review. I’m now on my sixth pair of Bondis. If you’re looking for a heavily cushioned shoe, and in my opinion you should be, you won’t do any better.


Glove Liners

When I started out walking, and it was cool but not cold enough to wear my ski gloves, I tried to find something that worked. I tried my work gloves, as one example, but those either had holes in them or the insulated set proved to be too warm. Eventually I ended up getting a set of Ibex merino glove liners. These killed several birds with one stone: first, they provide enough warmth to keep my hands mostly warm for cooler temps. Second, they serve as replacement liners for my ski gloves which are so old the liners have worn out. Lastly, in both scenarios, they have touchpad fingers which allow me to use the touchscreen on my phone without completely taking off my gloves – which is huge in the winter.


When I started out, I just wore whatever winter hats I had available – and that will work. But if you’re putting in a lot of mileage, and sweating, you might find that your forehead gets irritated and even breaks out in some light acne. After reading a recommendation online, I switched to this Minus33 100% merino hat, partly on the theory that its antimicrobial nature would be better than polyester alternatives but mostly because I was already sold on merino. This hat is soft and warm, and perfect for all but the coldest temps.


Out of all cold weather clothing, I probably wear a vest the most. Indoors, outdoors, whether it’s over a t-shirt or as an additional layer under a jacket or on top of my 1/4 zip, I wear a vest all the time. For years that was an Ibex, and their Shak vests are fantastic, but having had luck with their their hoodies and preferring the lower cost, I got this Woolx vest when I needed a new one. It does exactly what I need it to do, and is exceptionally lightweight.

1/4 Zip

If it’s not windy, the Minus33 1/4 zip is an excellent layer on top of my t-shirts. I’d never had a 1/4 zip until Kate got me one last Christmas, but they’re hugely versatile. It provides lightweight warmth, even in passing showers, and if you get too hot while you’re out, you can unzip the top, roll up your sleeves and be perfectly comfortable.

Lightweight Hoodie

If it’s a little toward the cooler end of the spectrum, if there are higher winds or both it can be nice to have a layer slightly thicker than a 1/4 zip that has a hood you can pop up for colder spots. For this I have a Woolx Boulder hoodie. It’s lightweight enough to wear indoors in houses (like ours) that are cool – and it’s great for flying in – but it shines on walks that are cool but not cold, and as mentioned if the wind kicks up you can throw on the hood for an extra layer of warmth.


When people buy clothes for me it usually doesn’t go well, but early in the pandemic Kate got me a set of these “athleisure” UGG fleece pants – I know, I know – but they’re really excellent. They provide the warmth and ease of movement of sweatpants, without the irritating tight bottom cuffs that leave your ankles exposed in cold temperatures. Can’t say enough about them, and they’re great to fly in as well.



Surprisingly useful, buffs or neck gaiters are great for keeping your throat and neck warm, and optionally your face as well. I’ve got two: a synthetic one I got from my Flyathlon-running BFF Andrew Todd which is great for cool temperatures, and then a slightly thicker merino one from Woolx. Which one I choose depends on the outside temperature.


When it’s too cold for the glove liners alone, I bust out a very old set of Patagonia ski gloves. They wouldn’t be enough on their own, because as mentioned the liners are shot, but the combination of glove liner and outer gauntlet style glove is great for colder temps.

Heavyweight Hoodie

The midweight hoodie is great up to a point, but is thin enough that it can’t handle legitimately cold temperatures. For that, I swap in my heavyweight alternative, the Woolx Grizzly hoodie. It’s the heaviest weight merino hoodie I’ve found, and is perfect for colder temps either on its own at the higher end of the range, or with underlying base layers if it’s colder than that. This plus the 1/4 zip, for example, is great combination.

Soft Shell

As mentioned at the top, my soft shell is an old Patagonia jacket – so old, in fact, that the label has rubbed off and I can’t tell which model. But basically the soft shell is a thin insulated layer with a mostly windproof and water resistant exterior. If there’s wind, rain or both, then, that makes the hoodie unsuitable, I throw on the soft shell. It gives me similar warmth but is better protection against wind, rain and snow.


Nothing fancy here; anything long and reasonably thick from Smartwool will do.



While the Minus33 hat I have above is excellent, it’s not all that heavyweight. When it’s really cold, then, I throw on a heavier weight merino hat from Ibex. It’s a little scratchier than the softer Minus33 hat, but a lot warmer for cold temperatures.


No specific recommendations here, just wear whatever ski goggles you have on hand.


When the winds are high enough to cut through the buffs, I swap in a scarf – or what Skida refers to as a “bandana.” It’s got windstopping material on one side, and fleece on the interior, and it’s excellent at keeping wind off your face. Be aware, however, that if it’s cold enough, like anything else that is absorbing water vapor from your mouth in frigid temperatures, it will eventually freeze solid.

Long Underwear

Eventually I’ll replace this with a merino equivalent, but for now when it’s really cold I throw on synthetic long underwear – an old set of Patagonia long johns.

Hard Shell

By far the oldest gear I still have is an old North Face ski parka. It’s a hard, waterproof shell that is a great outer layer in deep cold, high wind or very wet conditions. It doesn’t get used all that much, fortunately.

Down Coat

Another old Patagonia outlet find of indeterminate model, I only crank out my down coat if it’s legitimately cold – single digits or below zero. And even then, only if I’m not going too far, because it’s too easy to overheat while wearing thick down. Still, in deep cold over short distances, this is the easiest way to stay warm. I often don’t even have to wear anything more than a t-shirt underneath it’s so warm.

Snow Pants

This will be a new addition to my arsenal this winter, as I wouldn’t have fit in my old snow pants a year ago at this time. They fit now, fortunately, and it’ll be nice to have them back and available for the same conditions that might necessitate my hard shell.


  • Books: Walk enough and you’ll want some audiobooks. Your local library is your cheapest route, but if you’re looking to give someone a present Audible gift certificates have worked well for us.
  • Headphones: I switched from Jabra’s to Airpod Pro’s after my brother got them for me last Christmas. There’s been no real difference sound-wise, but the Airpods are much better at relaying notifications from text, Slack and otherwise – except, oddly, I can’t get them to pipe in updates from the Workout app on my Apple Watch. Speaking of.
  • Watch: If you’re going to be walking long distances, you’re going to want to track that somehow. Both for motivational purposes as well as monitoring and managing your workload. The Apple Watch has worked well for me. While it’s battery life is abysmal relative to other fitness trackers from Fitbit to Garmin, it makes up for that by doing a bunch of things well. Whether or not an Apple Watch is for you, however, you’re going to want a tracker of some sort.


Quick thoughts thoughts on merino vendors:

  • Ibex: the brand rebooted a few years ago, and they haven’t quite duplicated the old gear, but it’s high end merino wear aimed mostly at athletes and seriously outdoor types. Good, but pricy.
  • Minus33: the Carharrt of merino brands. Low(er) cost, workman like items.
  • Taylor & Stitch: higher end clothing brand that also has some nice merino items. Bonus: two of the founders are Mainers!
  • Woolx: specifically aimed “weekend warrior” types rather than high end outdoor athletes. More economical.

Even More Walking Questions

Before I get into the questions, let me just say up front that I’m sure most of you are probably tired of hearing about walking by this point. It is, after all, just walking, and I’ve already written about it multiple times. At the risk of beating a dead horse, however, I am still getting questions every time I talk about hitting some milestone or other. And if I’m getting questions from some of you, it seems at least possible that there are others of you who had the same question but didn’t feel up to asking. Which is why I want to make sure not just to answer those questions, but to do it in a way that makes the answers available to anyone who wants them.

It also belatedly occurs to me that the people who are tired of hearing about walking probably just didn’t click through to read this in the first place, so maybe the entire above paragraph was unnecessary.

Regardless, the following are questions I’ve gotten publicly and privately from people who want to know more about walking, how it can fit into your life and so on. And as always, if there are other questions not answered here or in prior discussions, drop a comment and I’ll either answer it here or queue it up for a future post.

Q: How do you carve out the time in your day to take dedicated, intentional walks?

A: This or some variation of it is the most common question I get by far, which makes sense. Walking is intrinsically less efficient than alternatives like running and therefore takes more time to achieve similar results.

Tl;dr: it’s a big time sink.

I’ve talked about this before, and there are a variety of tactical approaches, the summary of which are:

  • Get up early in the morning (or late at night, potentially)
  • Breaking up a long walk into small walks
  • Work while you walk
  • Walking during work hours and making up the work at night

All of which is true. But the longer answer is that like anything else, you carve out time by making it a priority.

This was the problem I had with most prior workout routines. I’d do well for a time, but eventually I’d get busy, demotivated or both and my habit would slack off. And when I eventually had difficulty motivating myself to get to the gym and lift or to get out for a run, I’d get down on myself for not making the time for those activities.

The good news is that I’ve never, not once, had this problem with walking. Hot or cold, rain or shine, walking has been easy for me to do because it’s motivating for multiple reasons. I like getting outside, I feel good getting my work in, I enjoy listening to a game or an audiobook when I don’t have conference calls or talks, and even on days when the weather is miserable there’s a sense of adventure. Walking out in single digit temps or in the middle of a monsoon has a way of making you feel alive in a way that working out in a gym never did for me.

So the real answer to the above is that I choose to make the time for walking because I genuinely enjoy doing it.

Q: I know you walk for, what, two hours? Is that the bare minimum?

A: Absolutely not. The two hour mark for me was nothing more than an artifact of my goal to walk 40 miles a week for a year. In two hours, I can – depending on conditions – walk just under seven miles or so, which is roughly the distance I need to hit six days a week to hit a 40 mile goal. So first, the two hour thing is nothing but an arbitrary number of mine.

Second, annual goal aside, I’ve tried to walk more than two hours regularly because it helped me lose more weight faster. You very probably have less weight to lose than I did/do, so two hours may well be overkill in your situation.

Third, I’m privileged to have a job in which the hours have some flexibility to them. I’m not a doctor making rounds, for example, so if I’ve got a two hour window between meetings I can pop out for a walk and make up the time later that night or listen to a work call or conference talk. That’s not a common arrangement, so two hours may well not be feasible for you, at least all at once. This is particularly true for the parents of infants and toddlers I’ve spoken to: you’re doing great if you can get yourself out of bed in the morning, so cut yourself some slack. I didn’t really get my walking going until my kid was in kindergarten every day.

My best recommendation when people ask this question is to forget about the time: just go for a walk. When I started, some of my walks were literally 15 minutes. If walking is something you enjoy, you’ll find a way to make it work with whatever your schedule is and you will very likely walk more over time than you do when you start. But the important thing is that every bit counts, and that there is absolutely no “bare minimum” to hit.

Q: Could you share your walking routine, e.g., do you go a certain distance every day, at a certain time?

A: The funny thing is that outside of my routes, as I’ll get to, I don’t have a routine. It’s funny because in general, I am highly routine oriented. I have routines for everything: what I do with my wallet and car keys when I get home, how I get my daughter out the door in the morning on my days to drive her, when and how I get to the airport when traveling. And so on.

As much as I’d love a routine for walking, though, and hope to have one someday, it’s just not feasible right now given my work schedule. Instead, I have a “take what I can get approach.” Every Sunday I look at my work calendar, and try to determine what my windows are.

It helps that I don’t commute any more, and it also helps that I don’t have to get in a car and drive to start my walks – I literally just walk out our front door. But basically I look for pockets in my calendar where I have a two hour open window, or a window with one to many briefings in which I’m not required to participate verbally. A lot of days, there isn’t such a window and instead I get up at 5. But if there is, I look at my queue of briefings, talks to listen to or even posts to write (walking can be very good for thinking through arguments and cases to be made) and slot those in if necessary.

But basically my only routine is “how much time do I have?” Some days it’s less, some days it’s more. When we had four day work weeks this summer, for example, and my daughter was in camp, I’d walk for four or more hours. Short or long, however, it all adds up.

It has been helpful to me, however, to have default routes that match my available window. I have one route for an hour, another for an hour and a half, another for two and so on. This helps keep things simple: my available window dictates my route and I don’t have to think much about it. I don’t have a single routine, then, but I do have a standard approach depending on my schedule on a given day.

Q: How do you deal with work pressures?

A: There are a couple of different angles here. Most obviously, with respect to the general pressures of business, helping to run a company and so on, walking is nothing but beneficial in that regard because it reduces my stress. On the days when I’m dealing with, say, a difficult person, the best part of my day is putting on my shoes, putting on an audiobook, walking out of the house and forgetting said person exists for a while.

Where walking and work becomes more difficult is the zero sum nature of time: while you can do some types of work while walking, at some point the two compete for your time. There’s no simple answer to this. There are strategies as mentioned above to working around your particular schedule and available windows or time, but there’s only so much you can do. If you’re working sixty plus hours a week, for example, something has to give – that time has to come from somewhere.

The only thing I can tell you there is to think carefully about your priorities, and ask yourself where your own health stands in that equation. If you’re working so much that you can’t fit even a half hour of walking in, it might be worth asking whether your schedule could use some adjustment.

Q: You live in Maine, right? Do you walk year round? How do you deal with weather?

A: I do live in Maine, and I do walk year round. Some of it is acclimation, obviously: we’re used to cold weather up here. But most of it is clothing. As mentioned before, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.

Here are ten things I’ve learned about how to dress for bad weather:

  1. Layering: it’s a cliché, but it really is all about layering. If you wear a thick coat, for example, it’s a binary on/off switch. That’s not ideal. Between the variability in the weather you’ll be walking in and your own internal temperature as you walk, layering affords you the flexibility to take layers off to cool down or put them back on to warm up. Or, as is the case frequently with me, add rain protection if Poseidon realizes you’re out and starts dumping on you.
  2. Storage: related to layering, the ability to add and subtract layers is dependent on having somewhere to store them. Because most of my walks are a half day or less, however, I don’t need or want a big heavy pack, so instead I carry this LL Bean ultralight pack when I need to carry extra layers. I barely notice it’s there, but in the case that I need to hurriedly throw on raingear or have somewhere to stash gloves I no longer need it’s perfect.
  3. Fabric Weights: one of the things I’ve invested in over time is different weight fabrics to give me more options depending on conditions. I have two different hoodies, for example: a midweight and a heavyweight. The former is better for cooler days as I won’t overheat, the latter is preferable when it’s actually cold. Similarly, I have two different winter hats: one that’s lighter weight for most cool/cold weather, and a heavy, thicker hat for when it’s legitimately freezing. The more conditions you encounter, the more apparent it is that one size – or fabric weight – does not fit all.
  4. Fabric Material: when I started walking last fall, I would go out in cotton t-shirts, cotton boxers, my cotton Carharrt hoodie and my insulated leather work gloves. This was fine until I started sweating, and then it got cold, fast. These days basically everything I have from socks to underwear to t-shirts to hoodies to hats to gloves is merino wool. It wicks moisture well, doesn’t stink after I’ve sweat in it and keeps me warm even when it’s wet. But merino isn’t good enough for some conditions, which is why I have raingear (as I’ll come back to), a soft shell (for cold and higher wind), a hard shell (for heavy wind / snow) and more. The point is that over time I’ve assembled an arsenal of different clothing options to protect myself from whatever weather I’m facing, but I’ve put more thought into what it’s made out of than I used to.
  5. Weather: speaking of weather, knowing what it is and what it might be is absolutely critical to dressing appropriately. It’s not enough to know the temperature; you need to pay attention to windspeed, dew points, humidity, “feels like” temps and so on. All of these will help you make an informed decision about the appropriate level of clothing for a given walk. Oh, and pay attention to thunderstorm warnings. Hearing a massive boom of thunder overhead while you’re out walking isn’t all that fun.
  6. Cramp-ons: this isn’t complicated: if you’re going to walk in the winter, and it gets cold enough to freeze where you live, you need cramp-ons. They’re awkward and not fun to put on, but after breaking my ribs last winter I’m not going to have to learn that lesson again. Take it from me: unless you enjoy not being able to cough or roll over in bed, you need cramp-ons. These are what I have.
  7. Raingear: when I started the only raingear I had was an old delaminated raincoat. This kept me dry under heavy rain conditions for around ten minutes. My lower half, on the other hand, had no such protections and would be soaked immediately – to the point that my shoes would fill up with water and overflow. Over the past year I first remedied the raincoat situation by getting a new one (Patagonia Torrentshell) and then invested in a pair of rain pants (Grundens Trident). Between those and my waterproof Hoka Anacapa boots, I can walk in a heavy rain and remain mostly dry. This is useful in all conditions, but is particularly important when it’s cold. Being cold is one thing. Being wet and cold is miserable.
  8. Shoes: the more and the further you walk, the more that you’ll care about your footwear. When I got started and was carrying more weight than I am now, I was worried about foot injuries in particular. So I Googled “best cushioned running shoes” and Fleet Feet recommended a brand I’d never heard of before – Hoka – so I bought a pair. Six pairs of Bondis later and I’m sold. I love my Hokas so much I went out and replaced a not yet worn out pair of Salomon hiking boots with the aforementioned Anacapas because I wanted the same cushioning and light weight while hiking that I got while walking. Whatever you end up getting, however, my own experience suggests that cushioning is a good thing. I once walked about seven miles in flip-flops and got plantar fasciitis as a result and struggled with it for months. Two plus thousand miles in Hokas later and I haven’t yet had a repeat.
  9. Headphones: I was gifted these, but the Airpod Pros my brother got me for Christmas last year have been very helpful. Unlike the Jabra headset I had previously, the Airpods will read out Slack messages or texts to me, for example, while I’m walking so that if there’s something urgent I need to weigh in on while I’m out I’m made aware of it.
  10. Apple Watch: one last minor item: if you have an Apple Watch and you’re out in the rain, be aware that if your raincoat gets wet, the soaked material can pause your workout without alerting you. The solution is to either pull the sleeve up beyond the Watch so that there’s no contact – which works fine if it’s not cold – or to have a sleeve or glove layer underneath to prevent the wet coat from making contact with the Watch screen.

Hopefully all of this has been helpful, but as always, if there are questions that I didn’t get to, feel free to drop them in a comment or post them to me in some other way and I’ll answer them when I can.

Cheers, and happy walking.