Gear short: Gehwol Footcare

For the hillwalker their feet are their most valuable asset, particularly on a remote, multi-day trip where faulty feet could be much more dangerous than a painful limp back to the car. Think of it this way – cyclists have to keep their bikes maintained in order to function effectively – hillwalkers need to keep their feet in good working order in exactly the same way (well, not exactly the same way).   Launched in 1868, German brand Gehwol was founded by Eduard Gerlach after he left the Prussian army. Months of marching in appalling conditions wearing inappropriate footwear inspired him to create this range of footcare products, and I’ve been trying them out over the last few months. They aren’t cheap, but the 75ml tubes go a long way. And have you seen the price of bike lubricants?!


£6.99 per 75ml

This thick, oily cream is designed as a preventative – slather on a 1mm thick layer before hiking and  it forms a protective layer to help prevent blisters and rubbing. It seems to cope with immersion and stops the foot softening when wet and becoming susceptible to damage. It has a similar effect with sweat – reducing the output of sweat glands to stop socks getting overwhelmed. It’s like a microscopic liner sock – but one that smells particularly nice.


£6.99 per 75ml

At the end of a long day of walking the Extra footcream is a one-stop first aid kit for the feet, it revives tired feet, prevents calluses from forming and helps prevent infections. It absorbs into the skin faster than the Footcream and has an instant soothing effect. The ingredient list includes natural ingredients like eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender and thyme oils which help  with foot odour as well as giving your feet a good service at the end of the day. It’s like oiling your bike before putting back in the garage.

Salve for cracked skin

£7.99 per 75ml

This is more ‘medical’ than the other creams featured (hence the higher price), designed to solve the problem of dry, cracked skin making walking painful. It’s a mixture of essential oils, vitamins and bisabolol (from chamomile) which works to soften skin overnight when applied regularly.

Refreshing Balm

£6.99 per 75ml

This does what it says on the tube – natural peppermint oil and menthol gives a blast of refreshment to hot and achy feet and, again, makes them smell far better. It doesn’t have the maintenance function of the Footcream Extra, but if you’ve been on your feet all day – particularly in hot conditons – it’s wonderful.

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.