We all love a walking challenge.
We love strapping on our thermals and our walking boots and going on a long hike, whether that be with friends or family, or even just our beloved pets.
But 2022 has seen the birth of a new walking challenge that trended across the popular social media channel, TikTok. If you’re not aware of it, it was the #victorialinechallenge.
It all started with the #victorialinechallenge walking challenge
Simply put, this trend was seeing multiple creators document their journey of trying to walk the entire Victoria line in London.
Since starting earlier in the year, it has driven more than half a million video views. But it is Gabrielle Abordo, 22, who goes by the username Gabrielle Xsara on TikTok, that has amassed nearly half of that entire viewership.
We loved her content and videos so much that we had to reach out to her, to see how FootActive could help her in future walking challenges.
Yes, you read that right!
The numbers behind the UK's newest walking challenge
It’s an incredible challenge Gabrielle is taking on and as a result, we have done a little bit of digging to see just how gruelling it is going to be.
Turns out… what started off as a TikTok trend has now become one of the UK’s most difficult walking challenges.
Our research showed that the length of all the tube lines combined amounts to 316.5 miles (497.3km) crossing 428 stations, which would span the width of the UK at its widest point.
Obviously completing the challenge would ensure that you’re getting your steps in, too.
For the average male, it would take 699,781 steps, while for women it would take 737,128* to complete all of the London lines.
The totals, alone, amount to over 20% of the step count a person would make a year if they were to stick to the recommended 10,000 steps a day health guidance.
|Name of line||Length of line (miles)||Length in kilometres|
|Hammersmith & City||15.8||25.5|
|Waterloo & City||1.5||2.5|
How does this compare to the other UK walking challenges?
Although the London Underground walking challenge has risen in popularity over the course of 2022, it has to be considered one of the most gruelling walking challenges in the UK full stop.
Here’s how it stacks up against some of the most popular:
|Name of challenge||Length in miles||Length in km|
|Scottish National Trail||536||864|
|TikTok Walking challenge||316.5||497.3|
|Coast to Coast Trail||192||309|
|Pembrokeshire Coast National Park||186||299|
|The Hebridean Way||156||252|
|John Muir Trail||134||215|
|South Downs Way||100||160|
|Jurassic Coastal Path||95||153|
|The Teesdale Way||92||147|
|Bob Graham Round||66||106|
|Gower Coast Walk||43||69|
|Welsh Three Peaks||17||27|
It is worth pointing out that the London TikTok challenge does fall short of the world’s longest walking challenge - the 14,000 mile epic hike from Cape Town (South Africa) to Magadan (Russia).
What’s next for Gabrielle?
While completing all of the lines is on Gabrielle’s agenda right now, she is also looking at what other challenges she can complete next, with walking all the London bus routes a possibility.
Speaking about the response online she has since completing the #victorialinechallenge, Gabrielle said: “I never expected it to do as well as it has done and is still doing! So many people have commented wanting to see more walking challenges, whether it's more train lines or bus routes. It’s been hilarious seeing the response. A lot of people were saying we were crazy for wanting to do it.”
She added: “I really want to walk a bus route next, that’s been on my agenda for a while. Even with different walking paths and areas, I just love a good walk! My friend and I are planning to do another challenge that we’ve seen next, but it was more specifically focused on steps so that should be interesting.”
How to protect your feet during long walking challenges
Just like any walking challenge, they undoubtedly take their toll on an individual’s feet. We recently covered how to prepare for walking marathons in a recent blog, but this is what FootActive’s Director, Will Munro, had to say:
“There is a misconception that walking is easy, steady, and an activity that is not strenuous for the body. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Walking for long periods of time or over long distances takes its toll on our bodies, especially our feet and ankles which can swell and become sore. Uncared for, it leaves walkers open to developing Achilles tendonitis and tenosynovitis or rupturing an Achilles tendon.
“One of the most important tips to consider whilst training to walk a marathon is to build up your mileage steadily.
“As you’re competing at a slower pace, you may be tempted to cut training times short and bump up your mileage up too quickly. The strategy behind any great walking training plan is to build endurance cautiously and increase your pace in a relaxed manner.
“There are other things that will help. Stretching is an obvious one, but one area that people do neglect is clothing and footwear. Having the correct footwear and clothing will make all the difference when you are training for big challenges like these.
“Make sure to pick clothes that fit you comfortably, as you’ll want to avoid any possible chafing. Bear in mind that running shoes won’t bode as well as walking shoes.
“If you’re planning on walking the entire marathon, opt for shoes that have less cushioning and greater flexibility than running ones. Comfort and support of the foot arch are key and arch support insoles are a great go-to in order to negate the risk of sustaining injuries.”
Recommended FootActive products
- FootActive Sports - A high-impact advanced orthotic arch-support insole for all types of different sports, this insole offers maximum comfort and shock absorption. The perfect accessory for injury prevention.
- FootActive Comfort - our NHS-approved premium arch support insoles are created to help reduce plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis as well as heel, knee, and back pain. A medium-density insole fit for everyday use, it’s also perfect for anyone with flat feet.
- FootActive UltraLite - the necessary arch-support insole for any outdoor activity. A runner’s dream.
- FootActive Casual - a 3/4 length orthotic, the Casual is an easy and cost-effective solution to heel pain, knee, back pain or tired, aching feet and legs. The 3/4 length allows it to hit shoes with a narrower toe.
The length of the London Underground lines was sourced and confirmed across multiple sources, initially in miles before translating to kilometres.
Once established, we were able to work out the average steps it would take for the average UK female and UK male. According to the Office for National Statistics, the average heights of both are as follows:
- Male - 5ft 9in
- Female - 5ft 3in
By using this calculator, FootActive was able to work out that the average male would make 2,211 steps per mile and females 2,329 steps per mile. Our final totals were made by timing that figure against the miles to walk all the London Underground lines. Using males as an example, this was 2,329 x 316.5 = 699,781.5.
The lengths of the other most challenging UK walks were sourced from here.
Image (3 + 4) credit: Shutterstock