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  1. #1
    SkidvonArk's Avatar
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    4 Mile Barefoot Hike With Fully Loaded Pack (last mile and a half in a light storm)

    So to start off with the "why?" I've been fighting with plantar fasciitis for several months now. Hiking was obviously exacerbating the issue so I decided to really buckle down and do some research. I've been treating it pretty aggressively since it was starting to look like it was going to put a serious hold on my hiking
    Using things like the Strassburg sock, frozen golf balls, and lots and lots of stretches I started to notice my feet felt a lot better when they were barefoot (most drs recommend NO barefoot and custom orthotics as the only cure). I started adding foot strengthening excercises to my regimen and started seeing a noticeable decrease in foot pain.
    Today I decided to give barefoot hiking a try to see if it would help my pain. I told myself I could put my shoes back on if it got too bad. I ended up hiking the whole thing barefoot and this is the first hike in months I've finished with no heel pain. Bottoms of my feet are a little tender and some foot muscles are sore from being used for the first time as they're supposed to but this is the best my feet have felt in a long time.
    Now I'm not going to make this a habit. I love my lone peaks too much and I don't think I could pull off backpacking mileage without some form of rock plate, but it's a definite light at the end of the tunnel and is showing me the stronger I can get my feet the closer I can get to backpacking again!

    Setting off


    One of the less rocky sections


    This felt amazing.


    Breaks over, time to cross the rocks.


    Another break putting my feet up in the Ridgerunner with my custom carbon fiber spreader bars from Ruta Locura and Dutch Beetle suspension!


    Pine needles offered temporary reprieve from the many rocky sections of the trail.



  2. #2
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Impressive!
    I has a bout with PF and then heel spur. Right foot.
    Did all the therapies...mainly stretching but sleeping with the proper night boot/splint seemed to finally cure me. Never did barefoot hiking but did tape it a lot and did Linville Gorge. Walking on flat hurt more than the hills.
    It will eventually pass. Keep doing all your therapies.
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

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  3. #3
    SkidvonArk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Impressive!
    I has a bout with PF and then heel spur. Right foot.
    Did all the therapies...mainly stretching but sleeping with the proper night boot/splint seemed to finally cure me. Never did barefoot hiking but did tape it a lot and did Linville Gorge. Walking on flat hurt more than the hills.
    It will eventually pass. Keep doing all your therapies.
    Shug
    My right foot hurt the longest, but a couple weeks ago I noticed it starting in both feet, hence why I became more aggressive at treating it. As my feet get stronger, the pain gets less intense. The night sock, frozen golf ball, and foot excercises are really what's made a difference for me. Just doing this hike proved I was moving in the right direction. I'll be a (literal) happy camper when I get to actually backpacking pain free again.

  4. #4
    TrailSlug's Avatar
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    Congrats on it getting better. Getting old sucks and in the last couple of months I've got a toe that burns like a match is under it. Went to the foot Dr. and he suggest custom orthotics . I pick them up Tuesday and hope this solves this issue for me. He said it was simply a worn out tendon in the toe and that I would eventually need to have surgery. He also told me to stop wearing flip flops as these were very bad for your feet.

  5. #5
    SkidvonArk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailSlug View Post
    Congrats on it getting better. Getting old sucks and in the last couple of months I've got a toe that burns like a match is under it. Went to the foot Dr. and he suggest custom orthotics . I pick them up Tuesday and hope this solves this issue for me. He said it was simply a worn out tendon in the toe and that I would eventually need to have surgery. He also told me to stop wearing flip flops as these were very bad for your feet.
    I know a lot of podiatrist recommend custom orthotics for something like plantar fasciitis. I read a lot of evidence saying that strengthening the feet is a better long time cure for it. Didn't want to be tied to orthotics and watch my feet become dependent on them. Your situation sounds a little more intense than mine so orthotics likely make more sense. I really hope they work out for you. Orthotics or not, being able to walk in the woods is it's own reward enough.

  6. #6
    TrailSlug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkidvonArk View Post
    Orthotics or not, being able to walk in the woods is it's own reward enough.
    I couldn't agree more. We hikers take our feet for granted until they start to fail us.

  7. #7
    Member tennistime99's Avatar
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    There's a hiker local to me that swears too much shoe is bad for you and defeats your natural design for walking... http://www.barefootjake.com/2016/08/...twear.html?m=1

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    SkidvonArk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennistime99 View Post
    There's a hiker local to me that swears too much shoe is bad for you and defeats your natural design for walking... http://www.barefootjake.com/2016/08/...twear.html?m=1

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
    I've since tried to move away from elevated heels and tight toe boxes. I've also been going barefoot a lot more to help let my feet flex and move to get them stronger. I have a pair of Lems coming for weekend/casual wear. Big challenge is at work since it's on concrete for 40-70 hours a week and steel toe is required. I've found some zero dropish shoes for that I'm trying but there's only so much I can do there. I don't think I could go full barefoot all the time, but I'm definitely seeing benefits to adding it into my foot care regimen.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    I don't know if I would hike barefoot, but I definitely prefer shoes with little or no heel lift, and I prefer a wider toe box. My current shoes are the Merrell All Out Blaze. Love 'em!

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Member -Sawg's Avatar
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    Did you find that you had to hike slower?

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