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  #21  
Old 03.06.2011, 11:44
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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Certainly it is...and the vibram crowd are just a bunch of contrarian hippies.
I'm about as far from a hippy as you can go. I do what feels right. If I thought it was a load of crap - and then after trying it I still thought it a load of crap I wouldn't do it. The fact is it works.

When I first started running (7 years ago) my ankles were weak - but after plenty of trail running (and plenty of sprained ankle) - my ankles now have the strength to take pretty much whatever is thrown at them.

I wouldn't tackle a tough alpine route without support - but a (non-muddy) hike on Wanderwegs doesn't - so that covers an awful large number of options.

Merrell offer a huge range of shoes for all types - I'm the first to admit the minimalist shoes might not work for everyone - but a low cut shoe might be the right tool for you to strength the ligaments round your ankles.
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  #22  
Old 03.06.2011, 11:48
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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I'm about as far from a hippy as you can go. I do what feels right.
Same here...I for one, can't befriend myself with vibram shoes as I need some sort of support and cushioning. I understand, that with gradual practice I might be able to walk/run in them...but the sheer notion of being almost barefoot prevents me from further trying.
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Old 03.06.2011, 11:49
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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What about if your ankles are already buggered, though?

Surely some support can be justified in such a situation?
Back to nature will strengthen your body. Aches and pains disappear within a few weeks. Pinky promise.
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  #24  
Old 03.06.2011, 11:50
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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I've got a really weak right ankle after a couple of very bad sprains in my youth. It has never really recovered, and even slipping off a kerb results in agony and obscenities.
Have you ever had physical therapy for your ankle? I've damaged mine thrice and the exercises with the thera-band recommended by the therapist really helped. Putting an ankle in a cast of some sort, and not fixing the base problem, is rather useless.

The third time I injured it I was walking on a red-white trail with normal walking boots at a pace which didn't suit my fitness level. For anything other than red-white, I use normal shoes without ankle support.
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Old 03.06.2011, 11:50
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

The route we took yesterday, in case it's relevant, is the horrible one between Au/Quinten and Weesen on the Walensee. It starts off innocuously enough, nicely trampled gravel paths winding their merry way up the side of the mountain, but soon turns into a gnarly-rooted, damp-rotten-leafed, pointy rock and sheer cliff nightmare, alleviated only by steel cables here and there by which one might haul oneself up the most difficult (and terrifying) bits.

I love walking, and used to enjoy a good 12 - 15 mile stroll back in England, but when it involves hugging the side of a cliff face, scrambling over rocks or clutching steel cables to get to the cold bottle of Suuremoscht waiting at the other end, it stops being a pleasure and starts resembling "sport".

Not my cup of tea at all.

Can someone please persuade Mathnut to recognise the inherent beauty of the Linthebene before one of us breaks an ankle?
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Old 03.06.2011, 11:50
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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Back to nature will strengthen your body. Aches and pains disappear within a few weeks. Pinky promise.
..but we mostly walk on concrete and our bodies weren't designed for that. That's why I believe we need cushioning.
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Old 03.06.2011, 11:54
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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If they are leather tops you can stretch them, and oil them with Johnson's baby oil.

Otherwise have you considered adding a layer of material so the boot doesn't rub your skin, or even not doing the laces up so tightly?

If that doesn't work, take DB with you and he will just have to carry you after 90 minutes, just like your parents did when you were tiny.
It doesn't feel as if they are rubbing (no hot spots or blisters), more of a bruised feeling, as though they are simply way too tight. They aren't, I don't think - I can easily stick a finger down the boot-top and slide it most of the way around - but that's how it feels.

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When you say 'ankles' do you mean the ankle bones, or the leg (sort of hand width) at the top part of the boot. I nearly always get slightly 'swollen looking' legs after a day's hiking but it doesn't hurt - at least, not much. Compared with my shins after playing hockey in my youth....
Yes, that's it, the leg just above the ankle bone. The ankle bone itself is all right in these shoes (though not in most pairs I tried on.) After a long walk my legs above the boot do look swollen, legs at the top part of the boot are purply red 3/4 of the way around (everywhere except the front) and painful to touch. It takes about three days for the tenderness to subside to where I'd dare put the boots back on.

I know my fingers swell up during a long walk so no surprise that my calves would too. Maybe I just need to stop every hour or so and loosen the shoes a bit?

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how far are you walking?.. what terrain ?

any distance, or un-even paths you want to look at a good stiff upper..

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/3...for-Women.html
Yesterday was the longest we've done for a while: 3.5 'Swiss hours' (we did it in 5.5, my dawdling skills are legendary) above the Walensee. Au-Quinten-Weesen if you're familiar with the region. Steep 300m ascent, ground uneven (most 'steps' are actually rocks or tree roots) and then a gentle downhill slope the rest of the way. It was worth it but ohhh my ankles.

And you can scratch the bit above where I said they don't actually look bruised the next day, this time they are.

A more 'normal' walk up till now has been about two hours, on more or less flat ground, e.g. start at Schwanden and walk down the Linth as far as we care to. Trying to branch out from that a little bit this summer though.

When I first moved here my colleagues would invite me out on some of their weekend day trips ("there's a cog railway, you can catch that up to the second-to-last stop and then walk the last 300m with us.") I invariably managed to twist an ankle on the downhill stretch, and finally somebody suggested I "might want to consider" buying some proper shoes. It's worked a treat, I haven't twisted an ankle since but these 'bruises' or whatever they are are killing me.

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From what I can tell, you're either not used to walking for 90min. or the shoes do not provide enough support to your ankles and therefore allow lateral movements which can strain your ligaments.

If I were you, I'd make sure to double sock it, get one of those fancy therapeutic socks that athletes wear or maybe tape your feet (also like athletes do). If you're still feeling sore after taking preventative measures, I'd look for some new shoes, as clearly the ones you just bought do more damage than good.
It's the whole way around the ankle (I keep saying 'ankle' but as Longbyt says, actually the leg just above the ankle)... if it were ligaments wouldn't I be feeling it just in one place, front or back or wherever? Dunno.


I'll get some hiking socks and report back. Have been walking in thin gym socks on the principle that added thickness = more pressure on poor ankles. Maybe more pressure is what I need though? Doesn't make sense but I'll give it a go.
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  #28  
Old 03.06.2011, 12:06
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

That path is the one myself (and a couple of other board members) have run - although we started in Walenstadt. The terrain from Garadur (sounds like a location from Lord of the Rings) to Josen is the toughest of the route.

I'd argue you really don't need ankle support on that path - BUT you might want good tread.

A way to look at it is this - if you have 2 structures one very rigid - one soft and forgiving. You hit them both against an immovable object - one will shatter - one will bend round the object.

Sticking your foot and ankle into an overly supportive boot/shoe makes it harder (or impossible) for your foot/ankle/knee absorb the movement and make minor adjustments. The stiffer you are - the harder it becomes.

Minimalist shoes may not work for everyone - and I don't advocate them for everyone - but learning about how the body's biomechanics work is useful for everyone.

LIB - I thought the concept of minimalist shoes/barefoot walking and running crazy - especially on concrete/hard surfaces. But once you get the knee bend, the midfoot strike and the cadence right - it feels so much more natural.

Mathnut - just above the ankle? Front/back/inside/outside? It could be achilles or lower calve related? The whole area is an impressive biomechanical example of a system working in synergy. If 1 part goes out of balance it can cause chaos elsewhere.
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  #29  
Old 03.06.2011, 12:06
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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I've got a pair of nice, apparently comfortable walking boots (felt extremely comfortable in the store, still do whenever I first put them on) but after about 90 minutes of walking it starts to feel as though the tops are bruising my ankles. I never get actual purple-the-next-day bruises, but ankles are sore and "bruised-feeling" for several days after.

I assumed I just needed to break the shoes in and/or toughen up my ankles a bit, so have been wearing them to work occasionally as well as weekends. Been doing that for several months though, and it's not helping. I just come home with sore ankles every time.

Hiking in low shoes isn't really an option as I have fairly weak ankles... will invariably put a foot wrong on a stone at some point, turn an ankle and be limping for a week.

Again, I've absolutely no complaint with how these fit my feet, in fact they're some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn apart from this ankle business, so if anyone has any suggestions that don't involve several hours traipsing round shoe shops (again) looking for a new pair, I'd be especially grateful.

Or is this just normal, part of the expected pain of long walks over rough Wanderwegs? Am I too late to the game, having spent all my skeletally formative years in a flat country wearing low-cut sneakers? (High-tops always hurt my ankles and so I never ever wore them... fashion or no fashion.)

Thanks for any advice you can give me.
put on a thick pair of socks and go running in them to break them in.
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  #30  
Old 03.06.2011, 12:18
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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Maybe I just need to stop every hour or so and loosen the shoes a bit?
When you stop to eat, you may wish to remove your boots and socks, plus elevate your feet for 20 minutes or so. This could help.

Does this picture look similar to what you're experiencing?
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  #31  
Old 03.06.2011, 12:50
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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The route we took yesterday, in case it's relevant, is the horrible one between Au/Quinten and Weesen on the Walensee. It starts off innocuously enough, nicely trampled gravel paths winding their merry way up the side of the mountain, but soon turns into a gnarly-rooted, damp-rotten-leafed, pointy rock and sheer cliff nightmare, alleviated only by steel cables here and there by which one might haul oneself up the most difficult (and terrifying) bits.

I love walking, and used to enjoy a good 12 - 15 mile stroll back in England, but when it involves hugging the side of a cliff face, scrambling over rocks or clutching steel cables to get to the cold bottle of Suuremoscht waiting at the other end, it stops being a pleasure and starts resembling "sport".

Not my cup of tea at all.
We did that the other day and thought it was brilliant and a really good hike (I had heard Assassin singing its praises several times so had to take the family).

Anyway, me, my 8 month pregnant wife, my six year old were all wearing trail walking shoes. The two year old was wearing boots but I did put him in the backpack for the steep bit.
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Old 03.06.2011, 13:11
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

MN, can you link a pic of the boots you are using?

Hiking boots can be laced all kinds of fancy ways, so that they are snug in the right places and loose in the right places. I have a beloved old pair that always felt great and I wore them often enough that they are on their second set of soles, but now on the occasions that I wear them (far less often than before) I have to fiddle around with the lacing to find that sweet spot again, otherwise I have the same ankle pain you are getting.
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  #33  
Old 03.06.2011, 13:18
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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After a long walk my legs above the boot do look swollen, legs at the top part of the boot are purply red 3/4 of the way around (everywhere except the front) and painful to touch. It takes about three days for the tenderness to subside to where I'd dare put the boots back on.
Probably it is just a blood stasis, but you might want to get this checked at your GP for oedema, as this can lead to thrombosis?
(Especially if you take hormonal contraceptives.)
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Old 03.06.2011, 13:35
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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It's the whole way around the ankle (I keep saying 'ankle' but as Longbyt says, actually the leg just above the ankle)... if it were ligaments wouldn't I be feeling it just in one place, front or back or wherever? Dunno.
I'll get some hiking socks and report back. Have been walking in thin gym socks on the principle that added thickness = more pressure on poor ankles. Maybe more pressure is what I need though? Doesn't make sense but I'll give it a go.
Oh, ok..in that case I believe it's muscular. I'd assume, it's because the boot arches your foot to a level which you aren't used to as yet and therefore, it might be a simple muscle sore. If you have different insoles, you might want to take out those that are in your boots and replace them with flatter ones.

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LIB - I thought the concept of minimalist shoes/barefoot walking and running crazy - especially on concrete/hard surfaces. But once you get the knee bend, the midfoot strike and the cadence right - it feels so much more natural.
Hmm, alright...I might have to try out the virbams. Is there a place where they rent/loan em out?

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  #35  
Old 03.06.2011, 14:19
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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..but we mostly walk on concrete and our bodies weren't designed for that. That's why I believe we need cushioning.
That's your opinion, but basically you're wrong. The body adapts to whatever surface you're on. Care to look at how little cushioning pro marathon runners have in their shoes?
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Old 03.06.2011, 14:21
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

I expect all the ones who had trouble because their feet didn't adapt just gave up running marathons.
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Old 03.06.2011, 14:23
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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That's your opinion, but basically you're wrong. The body adapts to whatever surface you're on. Care to look at how little cushioning pro marathon runners have in their shoes?
No, I don't care to look. You can hardly compare pro-athletes with regular joes. Also, simply take a look at the plethora of running shoes available in stores and you'll see how well cushioned most of them are.
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Old 03.06.2011, 14:41
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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The body adapts to whatever surface you're on.
May I ask how long does this take?
(I am not flaming, serious question)

I've tried the vibrams, running on asphalt, and ended with sore shinebones and achilles resting for one month on the sofa, and taking metamizol.

I tried slowly adapting, only running for 5 minutes a day, two days rest, 5 min running etc.
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Old 03.06.2011, 14:46
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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May I ask how long does this take?
(I am not flaming, serious question)

I've tried the vibrams, running on asphalt, and ended with sore shinebones and achilles resting for one month on the sofa, and taking metamizol.

I tried slowly adapting, only running for 5 minutes a day, two days rest, 5 min running etc.
I'm no expert, but maybe you could start with simple strolls around the block until you get comfortable with.
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Old 03.06.2011, 14:55
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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No, I don't care to look. You can hardly compare pro-athletes with regular joes. Also, simply take a look at the plethora of running shoes available in stores and you'll see how well cushioned most of them are.
Amazing - back in the 70s they were saying the same thing about cars with seatbelts

Cushioned running shoes came about primarily because Bowerman thought the way to get people to run faster was to lengthen their stride - the easiest way to do was to ditch a mid-foot strike and heal strike instead - the same way we walk.

The problem with that is that the ligaments and tendons were unable to store energy in the way they should when mid-foot striking - meaning running became more strength based.

Anyway, back to the heal strike, landing on the heal hurts - a lot - especially if you had sod all cushioning - so cushioning came in "Hello Nike Air". Once you cushion the back - people wanted the mid and front cushioning. And with all that cushioning you have a very wobbly platform where your foot can't feel the ground - the answer was support - and you you had mid-foot support - and then a million combination of support/cushioning. And throughout that time the injury rate increased

But, as I said, minimalist shoes aren't for everyone - and you need to learn about the bio-mechanics and barefoot technique before you should hit the road in them. Heal-striking is out the window - instead a 1-2-3 strike of mid-toes-heal (light touch) - always with bent knees.

I'm not the only one on here who can now run minimalist (you can't call it barefoot unless it really is) for around 50-60 minutes.

My advice - is hook up with some of the minimalist/barefoot runners on the forum - and understand how to run.
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