Gadling Gear Review: Cushe Wildrun Shoes For Women

shoes, cushe, wildrun, walking, travel shoesAching dogs are my biggest complaint after a long day out exploring. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have the right pair of shoes when you’re traveling. I will not (I don’t care what anyone says) sacrifice comfort for fashion when it comes to footwear — though really, with my personal, uh, style, that is not an issue.

Good shoes for travel matter a LOT and you should pick yours carefully and err on the side of comfort if you must choose. I’ve been wandering about in a pair of Wildrun shoes by Cushe and my dogs, they’re liking it. They’ve also passed the airport test and are cute enough that I wore them with nice trousers for an office appearance without getting the stink eye. (Caveat: It helps that I’m from Seattle. Everyone expects us to always look like we just got back from the summit of Mount Rainier.)

What do I mean by “the airport test?” I mean they’re easy to get in and out of at the security checkpoint. They’re lace-ups, but they’re a hybrid of a lace-up and a slip-on, meaning you don’t have to untie them to get in and out of them. There’s a quick release gripper on the ties so if you need to cinch them down you can. But the shoes are also stretchy so you can slip them on and off quite easily.

I spent a 24-hour trip to LA in these shoes and they stayed comfortable for the entire trip — which included a shocking amount of walking for LA. It’s because they’ve got a memory foam insole. It’s really spongy and soft. My feet felt great after roaming the sidewalks of Westwood (and I’ve been walking downtown Seattle in them, too).

The uppers are a combination of Neoprene (Cushe says it’s EVA) and leather. I can’t speak for their breathability; I’ve not been in hot places with them on my feet, but they’re great in foul weather. They’d make a good beachcombing shoe if you’re not worried about getting a little damp around the edges, and you can use them in a pinch as a hiker or a runner — the sturdy Vibram sole means they’re grippy and supportive.

And hey, bonus: I like them. They’re kinda cute. They come in a nice weathered brown; I got the black. They fall under what I call “good enough” for casual, cleaned-up wear, meaning I’d wear them with a skirt or a nice pair of pants and could probably get away with it — they don’t look like running shoes or sneakers.

Sorry, guys. I looked; Cushe has some other styles but I don’t see a direct analogy to this in the men’s line. Ladies, get a pair directly from Cushe, they’re $105. These plus a dressier pair of something strappy, and you are set for almost anything.

Video: Canyoning in the Pyrenees, Spain

Thrill seekers will love the unique and adventurous sport of canyoning. This activity, which involves traversing throughout a canyon, combines different techniques within the experience, including hiking, swimming, abseiling, scrambling, climbing, and more. The ideal canyons used for canyoning often include narrow gorges, flowing water, and various drops that must be navigated.

Want to see for yourself what canyoning looks like from the point of view of the adventurer? Check out this video:


Woman killed by cows serves as warning to walkers

killed by cowsA woman has been trampled and killed by cows yesterday on the outskirts of Cardiff, Wales, the South Wales Echo reports.

Marilyn Duffy, 61, was walking her dog through a farmer’s field. It’s believed the cows were frightened by the dog and attacked. Cows are calving at this time of year and can become easily frightened by dogs or even lone people. Farmers say it’s best to give cows a wide berth and if they come at you and your dog to let your dog go. The cows will generally chase after the dog and the dog can easily get away.

Since many public footpaths in the UK pass through farmers’ fields, this incident serves as a warning for walkers planning on enjoying the countryside.

I myself was nearly attacked by cows. While hiking the Hadrian’s Wall Path two years ago, the path took me over a stile into a field and up a low rise. When I get to the top I saw a large herd of cows and their calves standing not twenty yards away. The rise had hidden them from view until I was almost upon them.

The biggest one started bawling with a noise that sounded like a mixture of a moo and a roar. I backed away as the cows lined up between me and the calves. More of the herd started mooing angrily and cows from other parts of the field started converging on me. I moved quickly but calmly away, which is the best thing to do with an angry animal that isn’t actually attacking. They held their ground, still braying, and the rest of the herd joined them to make a long line facing me. Even after I got a couple of hundred yards away they still turned their line to face me as I went the long way around the field. If they had moved closer, I would have hopped the fence, even though it had barbed wire on it.

At the other end of the field was another stile with a sign saying, “COWS WITH CALVES. ENTER WITH CAUTION”. Farmers are supposed to put up signs like this, but they’re supposed to put them up on all entrances to their fields. It’s not clear from the news reports if the field where Marilyn Duffy was killed had warning signs.

[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

London’s South Bank, walking through old and new

South Bank
London is a wonderful, vibrant city. Like all big cities, however, it can be a bit overwhelming. A good way to get a bit of room and fresh(er) air is to walk along the Thames Path. This path extends 184 miles from the river’s source in the Cotswolds almost to the sea, and offers some much-needed open space as it passes through the heart of London.

For visitors to the capital, the most interesting stretch is less than a mile long, between the Tate Modern and Borough Market on London’s South Bank. On this easy stroll you’ll pass a medieval palace, tourist traps, London’s best farmer’s market, and much more.

First stop is the Tate Modern, formerly Bankside Power Station. This massive building houses a huge collection of modern and contemporary art. It stands on the south end of the Millennium Bridge, a cool-looking span of metal arching over the Thames. St. Paul’s Cathedral, a 17th century landmark that recently finished a decade-long restoration, stands at the north end of the bridge. This juxtaposition of old and new is a constant theme in London, especially along this stretch of the river.

Walking east along the Thames Path, the next stop is Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This meticulous reconstruction of the original, minus the rats and plague, has an excellent cast of actors who perform The Bard’s plays as well as others from his time. The theatre is a semicircle facing the stage. Prices vary depending on the quality of the view, but all prices are reasonable. You can even stand in “the pit” for the peasant’s price of only £5 ($8)!

%Gallery-128678%Continuing east, you enter a narrow lane called Clink Street. This is an old part of the city. The original Globe stood not far from here, and the famous Clink Prison was on this road. Being put in the Clink was often a death sentence, what with the filthy conditions, bad food, and occasional visit by the torturer. You can learn all about it at The Clink Prison Museum, a delightfully cheesy tourist trap that does for medieval history what South of the Border does to Mexico. It’s tacky, it’s superficial, it’s embarrassingly stupid, but it’s all so ridiculous you can’t help but be entertained. I mean, who wouldn’t want to pose for a picture with your head on a chopping block while your kid threatens you with a foam axe?

Next comes the remains of Winchester Palace, pictured above, owned by the Bishops of Winchester. Built in the 12th century, most of it has been lost over the years but one wall with a magnificent rose window remains. This bit survived because it was incorporated into the wall of a warehouse for many years. London has a way of building on itself.

More touristy goodness comes a few steps further on at the Golden Hinde, a full-scale replica of the galleon Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world in 1577-80. More than just a floating museum, the boat is fully seaworthy and has circumnavigated the globe just like its predecessor. There are often school groups and birthday parties taking over the ship so it’s best to check ahead before showing up.

Within sight of the Golden Hinde is Southwark Cathedral. The oldest parts date to 1206 but it underwent a major remodeling in 1836. Part of the exterior are made with flint nodules, their peculiar color giving churches built with them the nickname “puddingstone churches”. The interior is inspired by the French Gothic with an elegant altar screen dedicated in 1520. There are numerous interesting bits here, including a monument to Shakespeare, a chapel commissioned by John Harvard, and a display of some archaeological finds that suggest this was once the site of a Roman temple.

Last stop is Borough Market, a massive farmer’s market that opens every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Londoners flock here to buy all sorts of fresh food as well as luxury imports. There are plenty of stalls that prepare meals you can eat on the go, and wandering through here is a great chance to people watch.

So if walking through museums has made you weary, get out in the sunshine (or cold drizzle) and walk along the Thames Path!

Philadelphia cracks down on texting and walking

texting and walkingPhiladelphia has taken what most savvy travelers would call a “safety” issue and turning it into a legal one … sort of. The city is issuing warnings to pedestrians who walk down the street and text or play on their smartphones.

The practice, while annoying to other pedestrians and motorists who may suffer from your lack of paying attention, isn’t illegal, but highly discouraged.

“Pedestrians may be reminded to be more aware of their surroundings; however, there are no citations issued by the PPD for texting while walking,” said Rina Cutler, Philadelphia Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Public Utilities, in a statement obtained by NBC Philadelphia.

The only offense for which one can receive a ticket is jaywalking.

The city is using grant money to fund the cost of increased enforcement.

What do you think, friends of the City of Brotherly Love? Should texting and walking be a ticket-able or warn-able offense? Will you be more cognizant of your texting behavior when you next visit Philadelphia?

[Flickr via Ed Yourdon]