The number one accessory for a dog walker is a good pair of walking shoes or boots.
Walking shoes should be comfortable, warm in winter and waterproof in all seasons, and I mean really waterproof!
I like my walking shoes not too high on the ankle so that they do not rub against the Achilles tendon. This could cause constant pain when walking or even when resting after a day’s work. Having had various “shoe induced” injuries along the years, I was advised by a podiatrist to always wear shoes with modest heels. These give the arches of my feet support when walking. Since following his advice 10 years ago, I have not had any recurring heel or feet pain which can be crippling for a dog walker.
I also like my shoes to be of supple leather or supple material, light on the foot and with a flexible sole. My first pair of walking shoes were a disaster. A waste of £100! They were heavy and thick. I could not flex my feet inside the shoes and could not feel the ground under my feet. Walking up rocky hills in the Lake District wearing these shoes was very arduous, just not enjoyable and at time dangerous. I sold them at a car boot sale years later, as good as new, and for a tenner! Lessons learnt!
So waterproof, moderate heel, low ankle, flexible leather or material, are my criteria for selecting a new pair of walking boots.
This would be my selection:
I also always have on hand a pair of spare shoelaces, or even replace the original shoelaces on a regular basis just to be sure!
Another essential accessory to be added to my “feet winter wardrobe” are the gaiters. I don’t always want to wear wellington boots on wet and muddy days and prefer the comfort of good walking shoes. but I also like my clothing to be mud free and dry after the walk. Gaiters are ideal. They should be easy to fit, light to wear and quick to dry.
Gaiters exist in leather or polyester (Gore Tex).