Tuesday, January 23, 2018

75 days to go and my feet are killing me

Sexy, huh?  Working out with me boots.
In 75 days, I will be in Kathmandu.  Between now and then, I need to figure out how to get my feet comfortable for long days in my mountaineering boots.  They are not happy.  My feet logged roughly 200 hours in my mountaineering boots already and I forecast at least another 200+ hours before they feel like bedroom slippers.  The problem is that my feet just don't like to be constrained.  I wear Olukai flip-flops daily - rain, shine, snow, sleet, hail...you name it, I wear 'em.  Mountaineering boots ain't flip-flops by any stretch of the imagination.  Moreover, as I get older, my feet get more sensitive to being bound by closed-toed shoes/boots.  

Fancy "vapor barrier socks"
After photo of my feet.
One method I used recently with great success is vapor barrier socks.  What are vapor barrier socks you ask?  Well, they are simply plastic shopping bags.  I put the bag on my bare skin foot like this (see image above to the right) and my sock over the bag.  What does this crazy method accomplish?  One thing is does is it makes my feet sweat like there is no tomorrow (see image above to the left).  I collect about 200-300ml of sweat in each foot bag.  Pretty disgusting I tell you.  Also, the bags eliminate friction so I protect my feet from blisters.  All of these outcomes are good. 
Sock over bag.
What it doesn't do is protect my feet from the odd pressures that come from wearing a form fitting boot.  My feet ache after about 2 hours - no matter what activity I perform.  Walking, hiking, elliptical, sitting, standing....all of these activities eventually end up killing my feet.  They just rebel after 2 hours.  So, I am trying a few things to fix the ache. 
 
Oh, just in case you wanted to see what my feet look like after 2 to 3 hours in the boots with bags and socks....feast your eyes on that sexy foot photo above.  My feet are soaked and they are not happy.  Yes, I could be a foot model.

My plans are to break in my boots completely before I head out.  I want to have all my gear fitted, comfortable, and ready to be used without any attention.  If I am ready, I should be able to put on my boots without seeing my feet - essentially by feel.  I want my lacing system to be pre-set so I don't need to think when I lace them.  The lacing needs to be flexible depending upon my foot swell and comfort - laced loose when climbing in the morning to allow blood circulation and then tighter upon descent.  These are typical lacing changes for all types of mountain adventures.  All of these changes, however, require me to have well-fitted boots that don't hurt my feet.  My current pair are the "best" for my feet but still my feet ache.  I wish I could climb in my Olukai's.  




 Today is my day off.  I have until February 12th to build up more of a load and then I start a little higher intensity training routine (nothing terribly intense though).  Feeling great....ready to go.  Wish my feet didn't ache.

More in about a week.  Thanks for following along.