We are delighted to introduce the latest concept in Nordic Walking PAWS! Lesu paws are the brainchild of NWUK Instructor Tug Wilson who has always been a pioneer of Nordic walking – one of the first Instructors in the UK he quickly went on to be one of the first to deliver the NWUK programmes and then one of the first to plan trips and breaks for his growing band of regular walkers from South and East London.The former Paramedic and his wife Bibi are passionate about fitness, wellbeing and rehabilitation and they offer innovative classes that include a range of equipment from balance beams and tyres for dragging! This approach has led to a keen eye for detail when it comes to Nordic Walking equipment too and frustrations with the typical rubber paws found on NW poles Tug says “The Lesu ‘Boot’ design arose from daily issues when out Nordic Walking:-
- Having to remove my paws on certain terrains and popping them back on again
- Getting dirty hands when removing paws
- Having to align the paws every time they are put on or if they have swivelled round (especially difficult for newcomers)
- New paws can be worn out very quickly if not aligned correctly
- Typical Paws can get lost down drains etc
- Replacing the paws can be costly for regular Nordic walkers
- Although pole lights and clip on lights are available – I think it makes sense to have paws that light up in urban environments or when winter walking.
So Tug set to build the LESU – a unique paw that is brightly coloured, grips at any angle and has an LED light up version that flashes when the light is low and the paw is in use!
Being Tug, every element of the paws have been vigorously tested and various compounds tried ” Some were super grippy but wore out after 40 mins and others would have lasted years but the grip was not right ” he says. The injection moulded material used has now been tested on all terrains, London streets, Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor, South Downs, Jersey, Inca Trail of Peru and Seville and Carmona, Spain. It was never taken off for spike use, had a firm constant grip which could be trusted and was found to have more stability on rough terrain due to a greater surface are being in contact with the ground.
“We even did a comparison test from July to Dec and the difference was huge when used constantly on hard surfaces. A Garmin forerunner was used to measure distance which totalled 564 miles. I think the Lesu boot has at least another 1000 miles of wear remaining, the colour is still strong and the LED are still working – the traditional paw is loose and quite worn down. I would estimate the average ‘club; Nordic walker does one session per week, covering between 3- 4 miles, during the year approx. 144 – 193 hours per year so hopefully, this comparison test shows the improved design and function of the Lesu boot over other makes.” says Tug.
The flashing lights are a great advert as well as a safety feature – Housed in a separate sealed waterproof unit with a battery life of an estimated 10,000 hours, these little gems also have a photo cell which means they operate at dusk at dusk, eliminating the need for a switch, and to stop constant flashing a movement sensor only allows the led operation when the pole is planted.Tug explains his inspiration below…
“The LED system came from an idea where my niece walked past me showing off her new trainers which were flashing led lights every time she stepped , I bought her replacements so i could cut away the heel to see how they worked, however it was not until several months later I found a pair where the technology had improved so much that I could house it in a ‘Boot’ for a pole.” He says.
At NWUK we applaud innovation and appreciate the time and passion that Tug has put into the Lesu paw so you will be seeing us ‘flash’ past you at events around the UK in our brightly coloured paws! We have even been promised some purple ones!
Tug has offered that all NWUK Instructors can have two for one on their FIRST order of Lesu paws ( max order 4 pairs) This is to allow you to test them and allow your clients to do the same – Call Lauren on 0333 1234 540 to order but hurry as we have already sold out of some colours of the non LED ones!. You can view the paws here NWUK store
How’s this for a Testimonial?
DAVID QUILLAHUAMAN MESCCO is an ANDES MOUNTAINS TREK LEADER and INCA TRAIL EXPERT GUIDE
I met Tug Wilson for the first time July 2015 when he brought his walking group (MTNordic walkers) to Peru.I was his guide for 12 days in which time we not only visited many Inca sites, but also successfully completed the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu.
The Inca trail is now one of many walking routes where ‘paws’ must be attached to nordic walking and trekking poles, no spikes are allowed due to the erosion the trail will suffer.
This is good for the Inca trail, however it can mean a loss of grip at various sections due to the con-stant changes in terrain, Tug had brought a pair of his Lesu ‘boots’ to use on the trail, I had never seen them previously as he explained he had recently designed them and was using the expedition to Peru as part of the testing
I found them to be ideal for the surface, they proved themselves to be ‘all terrain’ did not have to be adjusted like many others i have seen and gave a firm confident grip on loose dirt, rock and all of our many steps we have.
The first night at camp came as a surprise to not only myself but the porters who work for me, spot-ting tug Nordic walking with the led’s now flashing form dusk showed not only a modern and different design, but for the safety aspect they were invaluable , something I would like all of my future groups to use as when the sun sets we have total darkness and they would be of great advantage to myself and other guides.
I am happy to have been part of a team testing this new product and i am looking forward to being able to use them in Peru very soon.
I wish Tug success in his venture and future ideas he told me about.