From February to June I will be unplugged and offline, mental preparation for the final leg, so blog posts will be scheduled while I’m away.
During this time I will be introducing you to my sponsors, the businesses who believe in what I’m doing and have generously donated in kind.
Tonight I will start with the most recent sponsor who came on board this week.
I expected finding a good footwear sponsor to be easy. The brand exposure for an outdoor adventure footwear company sponsoring someone walking around Australia would have been exceptional but nobody responded to my sponsorship requests for years and then I ran out of money and could only afford thongs. It was hard and disappointing. Also very embarrassing not being able to name the brand I wore the hundreds of times people asked.
Thankfully I have been supported by a couple of good outdoor adventure companies, who were often mentioned over the years, Wilderness Sports Jindabyne and Columbia who helped with organising wholesale prices for shoes while I could still afford them. I have been through all kinds of footwear including heavy boots, ultralight runners, adventure sandals, sturdy trail runners and even walked nearly 3,000kms in sponsored orthotic thongs from Slappas. Not everything has worked, some caused injury and some were impractical. Being vegan I care that my shoes are ethical and animal cruelty free and I have specific foot shape/health requirements so this limited my options.
The next section of the walk takes me off the highway and into the bush and rainforests where I need a reliable and light weight boot which provides protection and foot support. I have also had severe foot pain for about 6 months, 3 months requiring rest and therapy and my physio has given me a list of specific requirements in a shoe to prevent future injury. I was so close to compromising myself and settling for a trusted backcountry brand of leather boot or trail shoe when I discovered the new Inov8 Roclite 325 boots.
It is perfect and meets all my requirements!
From the website;
“The all new RocLite 325 GTX, one of the lightest GORETEX boot in the world offers a high level of comfort for a general use trail boot with high levels of protection for the adventurer. Inov-8’s Sticky rubber sole delivers ample grip and durability, while the second generation Meta-Shank™II ensures natural movement with rock protection. Choose this shoe for a protective, natural trail running experience with the worlds best waterproof solution. This boot has become a firm favourite amongst the armed forces for it’s incredible light weight matched with a neutral dark grey colouring for moving quite and fast in less than ideal conditions.
- Upper: The updated highly durable upper made of a new denser weave mesh that delivers ample durability and breathability.
- Footbed: Comfortable and interchangeable, the Roclite utilises a cushioned 6mm innersole for comfort during long runs.
- Sticky rubber: A carefully blended Sticky rubber make up the RocLite sole, medium sticky compound is used to deliver traction and Grip over mixed terrain.
- Meta-Flex™ insert delivers a controlled but natural forefoot flex.
- Met-Cradle™ lacing cradles the forefoot behind the metatarsal heads to provide a secure foot hold while running up or down hill.
- GoreTex™ waterproof membrane built into the lining the shoe for total climate control in all conditions.
- Weight: 325gm (approx)
- Stack: 22mm Heel / 16mm Forefoot
- Drop: 8mm
- FIT: (S) STANDARD FIT
- Midsole: EVA
- Shank: META-SHANK II
- Footbed: 6mm
- Cleat depth: 5.5mm”
How does that sound? Well, it gets better!
I phoned for a quick chat about the new boot then wrote a sponsorship request and Barefoot Inc have donate 2 pairs which will be enough to carry me all the way back to Canberra’s National Lifeline HQ, the final 2,900kms of this looong lap of Australia. I promise lots of Instagram photos of these beauties in action later this year.
Thank you Barefoot Inc for your incredible sponsorship!