I can’t wait to use my Hedgefrogs on my next walking holiday in Andalucía, Spain

Weary from research and from trying on a range of lightweight footwear, I had almost reached a decision. I had found a nicely fitting Gore-Tex trekking shoe which promised me comfort and dry feet; however, they still weren’t quite what I had in mind. My goal was to purchase some footwear that I could use to walk on mountain trails and cycle in comfortably for long distances. They should be capable of drying quickly after getting wet, and they should be very breathable for hot weather use. Having just returned from a walking holiday in Las Alpujarras, Andalucía, I realised that my current footwear didn’t make the grade. The weather was a lovely 20 - 22 degrees Celsius, perfect for hiking, and I found my walking shoes made my feet too hot so that I ended up with blisters.

If you are not familiar with the Alpujarras region, it can be found nestled below the Sierra Nevada mountains of Andalucía, just to the east of Granada and the Alhambra. Characteristic of the area is a series of irrigation channels and fast flowing streams that cross the mountainsides providing much needed water for the small fields supporting vines and almond orchards. Well, it was into one of these particular irrigation channels that I had to leap in pursuit of my rucksack containing my passport. This wasn’t just a spur of the moment decision to test the waterproofing of my walking shoes: it was essential action. I was pleasantly surprised that the rucksack, caught within seconds of disappearing in the rapid flow, remained dry inside but my walking shoes were saturated and remained so for hours.

So back to the shopping… After visiting many outdoors shops I was now perplexed by a whole range of conflicting advice. One assistant had advised a lady to purchase boots for a one-off 12 mile charity walk. Questioning her further, to ascertain the season, he asked what time she would be doing the walk and the lady replied, ‘In the afternoon.’ ‘Wear sandals’ was the most sensible advice I heard for trails in hot weather and even the most seasoned backpackers tackling the Rockies or Sierra Nevada, Spain, in summer time will also advocate the same. Having had the enormous pleasure of living in the foothills of the Himalayas in Sikkim, India, I noted that the locals wear flip-flops for their entire hill walking expeditions. I happily survived in trekking sandals living at 5500-6000 feet, save for the occasional stubbed toe. They were lightweight, breathable and had the advantage of allowing you to see the leeches as they crawled onto your feet. But that’s another story!

…and there they were, on a shelf, tucked in amongst the sandals, radiating functionality and beauty: the Hedgefrogs by North Face. They are a hybrid between a sandal and a shoe and can be used on trails or for river and sea-based activities. Having dual-traction and multi-directional lugs they provide bite on both wet and dry land. Hedgefrogs will be perfect for walking in Las Alpujarras where I can opt for walking across the short log bridges or paddle through the streams to cool my feet from the lovely Mediterranean sunshine.

The best advice I can give you is to explore the idea of trekking sandals, or indeed Hedgefrogs, and then to seek out the most hospitable hotel in Las Alpujarras, at Bérchules. The owner, Alejandro, is waiting to book you in at the Hotel Los Bérchules on the edge of this beautiful white village. There you can choose from different meal options and select self-guided walks from the diverse walk’s menu or alternatively you may wish to treat yourself to the full-board guided walking holiday package. Book now for the most perfect walking holiday in Andalucía at Hotel Los Bérchules.