Walking: where to start

If there’s one thing the lockdown has proven, it’s that anyone can go for a walk. Just put one foot in front of the other and off you go! Of course, walking is most fun when you’ve got the sun in your face and a mild breeze pushing you along, but there’s no reason to let cold and rain stop you from heading out for a stroll around the neighbourhood — or a little further afield.

 

Whether you prefer a short hike in the woods or a challenging trek through the mountains, the right preparation and the right hiking shoes, clothing and accessories will help you get the most out of every route. On top of that, just half an hour of walking a day is enough to give your mind and body a real boost: walking improves your condition, helps you sleep better, lowers your stress levels and lifts your mood! If you feel like giving it a go, this page contains inspiring tips, practical expert advice and a handy checklist for your first hiking adventure.


A walk a day: what’s stopping you?

I don’t have the right hiking shoes I don’t know any nice walking routes I don’t like walking without a purpose I don’t have any suitable hiking gear I’m in poor shape  I don’t like walking through rain and cold
I don’t have the right hiking shoes I don’t know any nice walking routes I don’t like walking without a purpose I don’t have any suitable hiking gear I’m in poor shape  I don’t like walking through rain and cold

No worries, we know what you mean!

Still, starting out walking is easier, more comfortable and better for your physical and mental health than you think.

In fact, we bet you’ll be itching to get your boots on by the end of this article.


Quickly find what you’re looking for


The best hiking outfits

Whether it’s a stroll around the neighbourhood or a day hike through the woods: anyone can go out and walk. Of course, you’re bound to enjoy the experience even more with a suitable, high-quality outfit.

With the right hiking shoes, clothing and accessories, you’ll be ready for anything nature throws at you!

Women’s hiking outfits
Men’s hiking outfits
Kids hiking outfits

Frequently asked questions

Why is walking good for me?

How far should I walk every day?

Which hiking shoes do I need for walks in my neighbourhood?

I have wide feet — can I still find a pair of hiking shoes that fit me?

How long does it take to break in my hiking shoes?

What is the difference between trainers and hiking shoes?

What are walking poles good for?

What is the difference between low and high hiking shoes?

How should I tie the laces on my hiking shoes?

How do I make walking more fun?


Q&A with our staff

Wietse & the Mullerthal Trail

 

“There’s a whole different world hidden away just a three-hour drive from Brussels”

 

Age: 31

Job title: Outdoor expert at A.S.Adventure

Lives in: Scherpenheuvel

What is your favourite hiking route?

Why is this route so special to you?

Who would you recommend this route to?


Robbe & the Transardennaise

 

“I always pack my hiking shoes for a city trip or weekend away”

 

Age: 25

Job title: Trekking department head at A.S.Adventure Schoten

Lives in: Wijnegem

What is your favourite hiking route?

Why is this route so special to you?

Who would you recommend this route to?


Trail essentials: Wietse’s three must-haves

Thermos flask

“A double-walled flask keeps your water nice and cool, and with ultra-light models, like those of Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen, weight is no longer a concern. If you run out of water on the way, simply find a friendly local to help you top up! Alternatively, try to find the local cemetery: they usually have a tap available.”

Litter bag

“The ‘Leave no trace’ principle applies out in the wild: if you bring something with you, you must take it back with you as well. A lightweight, watertight bag is ideal for carrying energy bar wrappers and banana peels until you get back home. You could even do your bit for the planet by picking up other people’s litter along the way!”

Binoculars

“While you’re in the great outdoors, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some local wildlife. If you do spot an interesting creature, it’s always better to observe them from afar without disturbing their habitat. Compact, lightweight binoculars with 8-10x magnification and a 20-40 mm objective lens are the perfect way to get a nice and stable view.”


Smart tips to keep your feet dry

Treat your shoes

With a water and dirt-repellent spray, you can reduce the amount of moisture your shoes absorb without affecting their breathability.

Wear a good pair of walking socks

Technical walking socks not only insulate your feet and act as shock absorbers, they also drain any sweat to keep your feet nice and dry.

Do not use old newspapers

If your shoes get wet, stuff them with plain kitchen roll — the ink on old newspapers damages the membrane — and leave them to dry at room temperature. Alternatively, you can dry them using a heating element.


Walking at work: break the sedentary habit!

We all know the scene: we’re done working before lunchbreak and we’re queueing in the self-service canteen before sitting down around a table with our colleagues to eat lunch. Later on, in the afternoon, we find ourselves on a rock-hard but stylish design chair, in a meeting room with no daylight. For many office workers, sitting down indoors has become a hard-to-shake and unhealthy habit — even though there are plenty of ways to get up and get moving, even while we’re at work!

 

How about spending your lunch break outdoors, surrounded by fresh air? Going out for a stroll enables you to catch up with colleagues in an informal setting: walking side by side without having to look each other in the face removes certain barriers and makes ‘tricky’ subjects much easier to discuss. On top of that, the extra shot of oxygen to your brain will help you start your afternoon’s work feeling fresh and bright. In other words, a walk is the perfect remedy for that dreaded afternoon dip! If you’re working from home, you could arrange to go for a walk around the neighbourhood at the same time as your colleagues, catching up using a video chat app on your smartphone as you go.

In fact, there’s no need to wait until your break to stretch your legs. If you’re completely stuck dealing with a tricky problem and you can’t see a way out, or if you simply want to pick your colleagues’ brains for a moment, you’ll soon realise that arranging a meeting while walking boosts your creativity and reduces your stress levels by serving as a relaxed setting to find the most innovative solutions. Escaping your computer or smartphone screen for a little while allows you to relax your cognitive brain functions and recharge your focus. In brief, that ingenious solution you need might be a stroll away!

 

Oh, and as a nice little extra, walking boosts endorphin levels in the brain, which instantly improves your mood. Perhaps that grumpy colleague in Accounting could do with a nice little walk?


Three rail-to-trail destinations

If walking along the same path through the woods and fields on the edge of your town is getting a little tedious, make the most of public transport to expand your horizons.

These stunning nature reserves are just a short stroll away from Belgian train stations.

Start: Blankenberge station

Distance to nature reserve: 3 km

 

Why visit: ancient pastures stretching across 1,400 hectares offer an oasis of peace just a stone’s throw away from the crowds on the beach. Uitkerkse Polder is a unique ecosystem in which water and grassland play the main role. A wildlife spectacle is always guaranteed thanks to the hundreds of thousands of water birds, such as pink-footed geese, that spend the winter here.


Start: Poix-Saint-Hubert station

Distance to nature reserve: < 1 km

 

Why visit: there’s something to lift the hearts of true nature lovers all year round in this 100,000-hectare forest in the south of our country. In autumn, this is the place to be to hear rutting stags bellow. You’re also never far away from a trail: this forested massif is criss-crossed by no fewer than 1,500 km of signposted routes.


Start: Heide station

Distance to nature reserve: 1.8 km

 

Why visit: this section of the Grenspark Kalmthoutse Heide nature reserve harbours a unique combination of woodland, heath, fens and sand dunes that are all teeming with rare fauna and flora. A brand-new, 11-metre-high watchtower offers uninterrupted views over one of the largest heathland areas in Flanders.

Start: Blankenberge station

Distance to nature reserve: 3 km

 

Why visit: ancient pastures stretching across 1,400 hectares offer an oasis of peace just a stone’s throw away from the crowds on the beach. Uitkerkse Polder is a unique ecosystem in which water and grassland play the main role. A wildlife spectacle is always guaranteed thanks to the hundreds of thousands of water birds, such as pink-footed geese, that spend the winter here.


Start: Poix-Saint-Hubert station

Distance to nature reserve: < 1 km

 

Why visit: there’s something to lift the hearts of true nature lovers all year round in this 100,000-hectare forest in the south of our country. In autumn, this is the place to be to hear rutting stags bellow. You’re also never far away from a trail: this forested massif is criss-crossed by no fewer than 1,500 km of signposted routes.


Start: Heide station

Distance to nature reserve: 1.8 km

 

Why visit: this section of the Grenspark Kalmthoutse Heide nature reserve harbours a unique combination of woodland, heath, fens and sand dunes that are all teeming with rare fauna and flora. A brand-new, 11-metre-high watchtower offers uninterrupted views over one of the largest heathland areas in Flanders.


Dive into our full range of walking gear

Walking shoes

Category A-low
Category A-mid
Category B
Category C
Lifestyle shoes
Trail running shoes
Sandals
Insoles
Laces

Clothing

Jackets
Fleeces
Pulls
T-shirts & tops
Shirts
Trousers
Shorts
Skirts
Dresses
Base layers
Socks

Walking accessories

GPS Navigation
Sports watches
Daypacks
Hydration systems
Drinking bottles
Binoculars
Walking poles
Walking guides & maps
Sun hats

Skin care and protection

Sun protection
First aid kits
Foot care
Insect repellent

Essentials for walkers

If you’re thinking about hitting the trail on a regular basis, you need a complete hiking outfit tailored to you. Walk this way!

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Flexible and lightweight

Walking shoes
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Weather and wind-resistant

Walking coats
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Wrap up warm

Walking fleeces
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Light and airy

Walking T-shirts

Popular hiking brands


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