Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hiking shoes and feet

Us after 4 days in the backcountry
Every time we go hike or camp or generally play outside, I learn something. That's one of the great things about being outside. Last Saturday I learned two important things.

We went on an urban training hike. Thankfully, Ottawa is beautiful and the rivers are close by.
Last time when we hiked in the mountains  I lost a bunch of skin on my heels. So, I thought I try wearing a pair of hiking shoes rather than my boots. I also carried about 45lbs on my back.

I learned that my hiking shoes do not give enough support to my feet when carrying that much weight (even if it's only 2.5 hours and we're walking on paved paths). Of course, my feet aren't as strong as they might be (last few years I've had occasion to see my physio about some foot pains).

I also learned that pain diminishes when moving in challenging terrain: we carried 50+ lb when hiking to Lake Colden, which took 4.5 hours for the 6+ miles and involved climbing over some huge boulders along the way. That must have been more demanding than this urban hike and yet the urban hike hurt more.

I think that is because when hiking on difficult, single track paths one's attention is on almost everything else before considering any pain one might feel. It's a different 'normal.'

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