View Full Version : Advice needed from the real experts before

06-29-2004, 23:35
I need advice from the real experts---the AT hiking community before I enter the health care service (and as a cook in that kichen I would prefer so solve my problem here!!)
On this weeks section hike I woke up to intense pain in my left heel...kinda like what we called 'stone bruises' as kids. The pain took a couple of miles to walk off and felt like a case of planta fascitis I had 10 years ago.
The boots I was in I been in for the last 150 or so AT miles, only difference was a new pair of super thick SmartWool Mountaineer socks.
Any thoughts would be appreciated, next week off we are doing the roller-coaster section and I would prefer to be heel pain free.
Thanks in advance for any insight.
I've had many pains on the trail but this is a new one and has me stumped.

Lone Wolf
06-29-2004, 23:44
2 years ago I began a section hike from home. 8 miles into it I had intense pain on the inside of my left heel. So bad I couldn't walk. Long story short, sucked it up for a few weeks then went to a Podiatrist and he poked and prodded and said "plantar faciitis". Do these stretches and it will subside and go away. I went to MRO in Damascus and bought a pair of SUPERFEET. The pain went away immediately! No s**t. Didn't have to do no dang exercises. Get some SUPERFEET inserts.

Jack Tarlin
06-29-2004, 23:47
Your feet might have been un-used to the new socks, but I doubt this was it. I think there's an excellent chance this was a passing pain that could well be nothing. On different days your feet, heels,ankles, knees, etc., will feel differently. Doesn't mean there's anything seriously wrong with you.

Possible suggestions: Talk to a foor specialist to see if you need a custom insole or orthotic; as we get older, our feet change and have different needs in terms of support, care, etc. If you don't want to see a specialist, consider some sort of padded store-bought insole or gel heel-pad that will bring some sort of immediate relief to the affected area.

If pain here (or elsewhere) is persistent or continual, you should of course see a doctor immediately.

Best of luck.....have a great trip.

06-29-2004, 23:55
I am using Superfeet L.Wolf and today at home I worked all day (physical work) in a pair of waldies with only minor pain and by the end of the day it was not even a chicken wing.
I know what you mean L.Wolf about planta fascitis, back years ago when I had it I had an old orthopedic surgeon friend who we boardsailed with twice a week on Watagua Lake, when I told him about the plantar fascitis he said 'Robert, be a man', which was his way of saying quit whining about it there is nothing you can do but suck it up.
Jack, roger that on transient pains and of course I'm hoping this is that-next time out though I'm already thinking about going back to thinner socks.
In your debt as always.
P.S. the superfeet were in another pair of boots before placing them into the Vasque Breeze

06-30-2004, 05:47
i also use "SuperFeet" inserts in my boots...

havent had any problems during normal walking/hiking.

but, as i get older, & continue to hike/backpack...i have to stretch those muscles every morning,...or i'll come down with knee or shin or even heel problems. ( i had some heel "dis-comfort" on my recent section-hike with "the Model T crew" in May 2004-Clingmans to Hot SPrings)...Model T tells me it was my overly quick going downhill to Mountain Moma's for those fabulous CHEESEBURGERS! :D

SGT Rock
06-30-2004, 06:48
I gotta ask if you were speed hiking or anything before? There is the possibility that you simply injured your fot and didn't feel it at the time, then feeling came back later. I get foot pain and sometimes use a technique called "pound it into submission" which means the feet get to the point they just quit sending the pain message. Occasionally I will get off a hike and my feet will hurt like all get out a day or two later like I injursd it somewhere, but I can never recall exactly when I injured it. All I can figure is I must have strained a tendon, bruised the arch, pinched a nerve, or whatever, and that my foot was already into the mode where it didn't bother to tell me anymore at the time it happened. I an not talking about numb feet at all. I got numb feet on a hike before from very hard boots that were a little to small, and this isn't the same thing. The fact that you were able to walk it off is what leads me to belive this.

Pencil Pusher
06-30-2004, 07:20
Interesting stuff, here's a link: http://heelspurs.com/_intro.html

06-30-2004, 09:02
This may not be a problem, but it helps to have had the boot fit with the Superfeet in. My boot fitter explained to me that the Superfeet prevent the feet from stretching and changing sizes. So you could end up with slightly more volume. Just something to consider.

The Scribe
06-30-2004, 10:52

I got off the couch this winter, lost 35 pounds, started hiking this spring and feel great. Except I would have heel pain the next day for a day or two. Not a specific point of pain but the heel in general. I first noticed it when I would walk more than 4 miles (either on the treadmill in the winter or on the roads when it got warmer).

Things must be looking up because this week I did a 10-mile day hike in the Whites, covering Eisenhower and Pierce and yes I was sore and tired when I was done, my heels ddn't hurt at all this time. :clap :jump


07-01-2004, 23:46
Well its not like I sit on my ass all the time, every other day we are doing something aerobic -bike or hike- and alternate with trips to the gym for the resistance thing...the boots have done well for over 140 AT miles, I still cant believe it is the thicker socks....hell the heels are still sore even today..we discussed plantar f. tonight here in the cage-I hate steroids especially when thinking of them being shot into the bottom of my foot and knowing it is only a temp. relief.. and you would have thought this crap would happen post The Priest and Three Ridges and not little McAfee/Tinker....regardless the Roller Coaster is next week one way or the other.