A love for trainers, gear and gadgety stuff

A love for trainers, gear and gadgety stuff

I am a gear freak. There you go I’ve admitted it.
Whether it’s a gadgety mobile phone, an extensive collection of running equipment or a few sets of outdoors trainers, I’m a sucker for some new features or the latest innovation.
Which is why I was dead chuffed when Fitness Footwear asked me to road test the latest North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR trainers. So here’s a picture from last weekend’s Sunday morning dog walk in Blean Woods proving that the North Faces are suitable for climbing up dead tree trunks to impress your small children with your tree climbing prowess.
For the last year or so I’ve been wearing a pair of Karrimor trainers which have seen better days. They get daily use for dog walks, including trips to the beach, woods as well as just day-to-day out and about wear. They’ve done a winter which included a fair amount of snow, mud and rain.
The North Face Hedgehogs are a step up from the Karrimors – here’s the tech spec straight from North Face themselves:

  • Waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex® Extended Comfort Range membrane
  • Abrasion-resistant, bomber synthetic nubuck and breathable sandwich-mesh upper
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Northotic™ ergonomic footbed
  • Lightweight, compression-molded EVA midsole
  • Heel X-2 O2™ air pod
  • Injection-molded TPU shank plate
  • Exclusive lightweight Vibram® rubber outsole

I have to admit some of those specs mean absolutely nothing to me at the moment. What’s most important to me is that, four days in, they’re very comfortable and are waterproof because of their Gore-Tex membrane (although I’ve not had a summer rain shower to test out that quite yet).
North Face Hedgehogs
I’m planning on giving the shoes a good road test over the summer – daily dog walks, a caravan holiday and generally using them for getting out and about.
(disclosure: free review pair of North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR trainers supplied by Fitness Footwear)


I work with technology-centric businesses as an interim Chief Operating Officer (COO), consultant and advisor. I created the B3 framework® for scaling technology businesses and I write a newsletter called Build for leaders who are building brilliant companies.