Tuesday, October 13, 2009

There is Hope!

A few of you may have been reading my blog from the beginning, and may remember one of my very first posts where I showed a picture of the bottom of my foot after a run. Here is a link if you wish to see an incredibly gross picture. Don't click if you do NOT want to see an incredibly gross picture!

For those of you who do not know the blistery saga I live with on a regular basis, here goes: I blister very, very easily. I can't run more than about 20 minutes without blistering. I cannot hike up a mountain without blistering within the first 10-15 minutes or so. In order to avoid blistering on a daily basis, I wear floppy, loose, and/or unsupportive shoes, because achy feet are easier to deal with than blistery ones.

People, I have had ENOUGH of this. ENOUGH! I want to climb a mountain! I want to go for a 5+ walk in the woods on a beautiful Autumn day without getting a blister the size of a quarter (this happened a couple of weekends ago) on the back of my heel! (I couldn't put on regular shoes for a week, when I finally cut the blister off because it was getting too cold for flip flops)

I did some research, and found the company up in NH that seems to be quite popular for custom hiking boots. However, my research also revealed that the boots take A YEAR of heavy use to break in, and let's face it... that would probably take several years for me, because of the blistery thing. So, I kept looking. I found another company that is in Vermont, and the woman in charge talked to me for a long time on the phone, explaining her process and listening to my various complaints and concerns. She sounded great!

So, yesterday, I headed out to VT (gorgeous drive, too cloudy for a lot of pics, though, bummer) to get my feet measured for some custom walking shoes and hiking boots. I was very impressed with the exhaustive nature of her examination of my feet. She told me things about my feet I have been trying to tell doctors for YEARS... that attempting to 'correct' the pronation in my feet just causes more pain and discomfort, and that they are just supposed to BE that way. Terry told me that I DO have an arch, and that my foot hasn't 'fallen' into pronation over time, that this is just the way my feet are meant to be. So, the blistering happens in highly supportive shoes because my feet are being forced into a more upright position that they do not like, and they fight the shoe to tilt back inwards, into their natural position.

She told me a bunch of other interesting things about my feet, such as that my heel is the size of a size 10 foot, but that my feet are only size 8 1/2, meaning the front of my foot is even smaller than an 8 1/2. Also, that my arch does not spring like a shock absorber like it is supposed to. And that my foot does not spread out when I stand up, like it is supposed to. And that I have a very flexible ankle, but very inflexible plantar muscles. And that my ankle bone is 1/2 inch higher than the upper average limit for regular peeps. She said the walking inkblot looked like that of someone with a VERY high arch, which is not what anyone would ever have guessed, just looking at my feet. She said she'd use the inkblot to stump people if she ever got the chance.

Anyway, she will now make a custom last, which she will use to make me some hiking boots and some walking boots. If they work out, I will probably look into getting a couple more pairs... maybe some sandals for summer, and maybe some more heavy duty walking shoes, for times I'm tromping around in the woods but not exactly hiking up a mountain? Or maybe some running shoes? Who can say.

At any rate, the idea of getting to the top of a mountain without a blister is highly exciting to me, and makes me mist up a little... cross your fingers for me!


knittingknirvana said...

I am excited for your renewed hope! Please keep us posted on how this goes. If it works I would love to get her info. I have the worse time finding comfortable shoes.

Liz said...

Wow you have very unusual feet indeed! Looking forward to seeing you with happy, blister-free feets!

Peldyn said...

I am sending super-threader vibes for non ouchy/blistery feet!!!!

jane said...

So I made the mistake of clicking on your link that led to your sad looking foot...that looks painful! My dad is a big hiker and he always buys custom hiking boots. He literally hikes every day. I cringe to think of what his feet would look like if he didn't have those boots. Good job letting everyone else know about them.