Shoes! Finally, shoes!

I think I’ve found them! I’m almost sure I have! I hesitate to say I’m a hundred percent sure, because I feel like I’ll be struck by lightning and blisters. Let’s just say I’m 99% sure. That feels a little safer.

New Balance light hikers, with Spenco memory foam insoles.

They came on Friday, and I wore them a couple of hours and got the dreaded ball pain. (That’s ball of the foot, mind you. I’m lacking in the other ball department.) I thought, crap, these aren’t the ones.

But I decided to wear them around the house anyway, to see if they might need a breaking-in period, since they’re a little heavier than what I’ve been trying. They started to feel good!

This morning I took them out for an 8- or 9-mile training walk. We went to… oh my god, did I just say “we”? I’m referring to my shoes as people? LOL. Yeah, so “we” went to a local park. It’s pretty much flat, and the part I walked was paved all the way. So it was a good foot-pounding. The last time I did that walk, in the failed Brooks Glycerines, I had the ball pain at a mile, maybe 2. Today I got as far as 3-1/2 or so before I noticed anything, and even that was more of a general bottom-of-the-foot soreness, as opposed to this stabbity ball thing.

I stopped and rested the feet for a few minutes, then got up and did the rest of the walk. (Note to self: Every hour, stop for 5 minutes, even if it’s right in the middle of the trail.)

Now it’s a couple of hours later. The bottoms of my feet are tingly, but not really achy. Bliss! And the greatest thing is that I have shin splints! No, really. That’s an issue that happens to me when I do a longish distance on sidewalk, and my typical walk is only 4 miles, so doubling the distance is a stretch. But the real reason it’s fantastic is that I got so much exercise that my shin aches, but the bottoms of my feet are only a little sore!

Yes! Yes! I feel like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. Yes!

New Balance, I love you. I also love Iniji toe socks and Thermasilk and Spenco. The bunch of you together, you’re like a party on my feet!

Now, the big issue is that I did that without a pack. That’s right, zero weight. I imagine the pain will increase when I use a pack. I’ll find out, because Wednesday I’ll be hitting the trail for a training hike in these puppies. I’ll try them with some up and down and a day pack.

Dropping weight is the key. I might try to do that 8-mile walk six days a week, if I can find the time. It’s a couple of hours. But that would reduce the weight of my ass, which would reduce the weight on my feet, which would give me some leeway to add it back to my shoulders.

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Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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