Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's Take A Walk

Lately I've been thinking a lot about walking. Usually I don't think about walking, I just do it. But for some reason over the past couple of months my feet have been bothering me. At first I blamed my shoes. The problem started when I took an ancient pair of Keen hikers out of retirement. The soles are worn to nothing and the backs are broken down, making them perfect for gardening, but not much else.

You are probably wondering why I didn't just get new shoes. Well, I actually did have a new pair of Keens in my closet. But I was hoarding them. My reasoning was if I could avoid wearing them this winter when they would be exposed to constant rain and mud, and waited until the spring to break them in, they would be just right for the walk Kath, Melissa and I hope to take in September. I figured I could get through the winter by wearing my summer hikers on the dry days and my old beaters on the wet ones. I overlooked one very obvious flaw in that plan. We don't really get very many dry days.

By the time the holidays rolled around I had to admit there was a problem, and decided it was better to sacrifice my new hikers than my feet and knees. So a couple weeks ago I took them out and started wearing them. I wish I could report that the problem was solved, and my feet are happy once again. But they're not. The new shoes haven't made any difference. None whatsoever.

At first I was sure the company must have changed something about the way they make their shoes. After all, I've owned several previous pairs of Keens that fit like a glove. Then I read a post last Thursday on the Dovegreyreader blog (you might have to scroll down until you get to the post from January 15) and it suddenly dawned on me it isn't the shoes that have changed, it's my feet. I haven't entirely given up on my new Keens, but I have a feeling we might be parting ways. Has anyone else had a problem with their feet? And if so, what have you done about it? And if you have a suggestion for a good brand of hikers please share your discovery in the comment section.

I know it's a very boring topic for a blog post, but walking is a huge part of my life. It's more than simply a way to exercise and stay in shape. For me it's almost a form of meditation, and one of the main ways I connect with the nature that surrounds me. Now, to make up for such a boring post, I thought I would invite you along with me on today's walk. I have frequently blogged about hiking Teapot Hill, but the walk I most often take is down to the small community of Lindell Beach, nestled at the south end of Cultus Lake.


Fergus thought he was going with me, but I can't take pictures and hold his leash at the same time. Poor puppy.


Once I leave our cottage community I turn left and head down this road. I walk as far as the eye can see in this picture, then turn left again and head down to Lindell Beach.


It isn't as boring as it would appear thanks to these mountains on the right.


I pass this mossy stone hanging on the end of a pole.


And this picturesque wood fence.


At the end of the road that runs through Lindell Beach there's a path that follows Frost Creek. If I turned left it would eventually take me back to the cottages. But I turn right, towards the lake.


As I head down the path a junco lands in the bushes beside me.


When I get to the lake and turn towards Lindell Beach the morning fog hasn't quite burned off yet.


But the view up the lake is stunning. I especially love how the mountains and trees are reflected in the water.


Home again! You won't have burned any calories on this walk, but hopefully you enjoyed the scenery.

72 comments:

  1. But I did enjoy your walk. Fergus looks like he is glad to see you back.

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    1. Fergus is always happy to see me come home. The poor dog is never sure if I've gone for a walk, or have left for a few weeks. :-)

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  2. Hi Kristie, Is this what you think you have: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/mortons-neuroma.htm If so, I've had some experience with it. I loved coming along on your walk today. Fergus looks rather offended that you left him home, so please tell him I appreciate his sacrifice so you could get those wonderful photographs!

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    1. Thanks for the link, Cathy. I read it, and am not 100% sure that's what my problem is, but it could be. What did you do for it?

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    2. I'm pretty sure mine was caused by wearing "broken down" shoes while preparing for lots of company and then showing them around town (on my feet more than usual). Getting new shoes didn't help either. Eventually I bought inserts that I put in whatever shoe I'm wearing--the kind that provides more arch support. My husband had found one of those heated foot massagers (the furry kind you put your feet into) at Goodwill and that seemed to help. If I rub that spot on my foot it is still tender, but I can walk now without my foot hurting. Make sure your shoes don't squeeze your toes. I can't wear narrow-toed shoes now. I just read one of your comments below. When my foot first started bothering me, my hip joint on the other side started hurting soon afterwards. I was sure it was related. I couldn't walk up the stairs normally--had to always lead with the good leg. I went to an acupuncturist and after one treatment along my spine my hip began to improve and after another treatment it hasn't bothered me since. She couldn't help my foot though. So that's when I tried the inserts and then the massager after my husband said the massager helped his plantar fascia. I wear my crocs around the house, too (with socks during the winter) and I don't need an insert for them. I think because it's molded around my foot and gives it the support to keep the pressure off that nerve that is inflamed.

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    3. Thanks for this Cathy! One more question - what kind of insert did you buy?

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    4. I don't have the packaging any longer, but it was by Dr. Scholl. The heel portion cups your heel and the rest tapers off at the ball of your foot--it doesn't go all the way to your toes.

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  3. What a gorgeous walk -- and I can easily appreciate how it makes the meditative part easier. You know, as I got older my feet changed; not the length, still clown-feet long, but somehow the spread of them or something. It's like the bones spread out, the connective tissue between them or something. I still wear 9 narrow, so it's not that, but it's the arrangement of everything inside that 9 narrow.

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    1. Did you have a look at the link to to the Dovegreyreader blog and read her post on feet? It sounds like it is quite common for feet to "spread" as we get older. This was news to me. Although I have known a few people whose feet have grown in their adulthood. Diana's did after her pregnancy with Lucy.

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  4. If you're feeling pain through your arch and into your heel, esp. in the morning, it could be plantar fasciitis, very common as we age and also if you have high arches. I have it bad in my left foot. One of my friends is a physical therapist and she gave me some exercises that have really helped. The best one is before I get out of bed in the am, I push my toes backward to stretch out the fascia in my arch and hold the stretch for about ten seconds. Also rolling my foot around on a tennis ball while I'm sitting and knitting. :) Sorry you're in pain -- I hope you find out what's bothering you soon.

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    1. Sorry to hear you have had to deal with plantar fasciitis, Diane. I've had it a few times, but this seems different. And it's mostly when I am walking outside, which is when I'm wearing shoes. Inside the house I wear Crocs. (I know, ugly as sin, but oh so comfortable!) The knee pain started around the same time as the foot pain, and it tends to happen when I bend down, not when I'm walking. I'm fairly certain it has to be related to whatever has gone wrong with my feet though. You are way more coordinated than me if you can roll a tennis ball under your foot while you are sitting and knitting. :-)

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  6. Kristie, your pictures are lovely as usual! I enjoyed the walk.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the walk, Lisa! I guess you can think of it as vicarious exercise. :-)

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  7. Beautiful photos of your walk, such incredible scenery! I hate to say it and I am sure this will be unpopular but it could possibly be your Crocs. I have had a discussion about Crocs with a couple of physios and a pedorthist. They were all of the opinion that Crocs were not good footwear, citing lack of ankle, foot and arch support. evidently they can cause lots of problems for some people. Perhaps try wearing a pair of shoes/runners in your home that provide good ankle and foot support. No slippers either I injured my foot wearing flip flops once and if I wore my runner/walkers in the house too it felt a lot better immediately. If you have a foot injury you really need your ankle and heel stabilized and supported. Good proper placement of arch support is essential too. This might help your knees too. Maybe go see a podiatrist. Good luck'

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    1. Unpopular indeed! :-)

      Actually, I have vaguely wondered if it could be my Crocs. But that would be a surprise because Crocs have been my indoor shoe of choice for about 6 years now, and I've only just developed the problem. If things don't improve in the next couple of weeks I will switch to something else for inside shoes and see if it helps. And funny you should mention slippers. Remember those slippers I blogged about a couple months ago? The ones I finally sewed the leather bottoms on? I only wear them in the evenings and early morning, but I wonder if they have contributed to my problem. The timing certainly fits.

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    2. Kristie, whether it is the Crocs or the new slippers, I would support the suggestion that you try different indoor footwear. I have worn FitFlops for almost ten years now. They are not pretty. They are expensive. However, I have a winter version and a summer version, and I find the footbed pretty much ideal for my feet -- and I have had plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma in the past, plus a bulging disc in my lower back. I switched to a standing desk at home about three months ago, and the FitFlops make it possible for me to put in a full day's work, on my feet, without even thinking about my feet! They are on sale now, although this is the U.S. site:
      http://www.fitflop.com/sale-us/womens-sale-us/?sz=81 . Whatever you decide, I wish you happy feet!

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    3. Thanks for this suggestion, Kristen! I'll check out those shoes you have linked to. In the meantime, as of yesterday I've switched to wearing Birkenstocks inside instead of Crocs. In the past Birkenstocks have bothered my feet, but who knows. If my feet have changed, maybe they'll work now. I'm glad you have found a solution for your feet!

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  8. Thanks for taking us on this beautiful walk Kristie, it was stunning as your great shots showed us. I have to admit that I wear open sandals in the summer which make my feet spread and boots one size larger (to accommodate thick socks)in the winter, so my feet always have plenty of room around them. A consequenc of which means when I do wear a 'proper' pair of shoes they are very uncomfortable. I do think that my spreading feet/toes has made it difficult for other shoes to fit properly. P x

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    1. According to that post I linked to it might not just be the sandals and large boots that have contributed to your spreading feet/toes, Patricia. It is apparently also something that happens as we get older.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the walk! :-)

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  9. Beautiful walk Kristie, I wish I was out there walking instead of "working". I've had a problem with my ankle since I feel down the stairs two (!) years ago, and also plantar fascitis, which pains me particularly during the night. Strange, I know. My feet have spread, too. If I was you, I would maybe have your feet and knee checked out by a physiotherapist to see if there are any specific exercises you can do. I would also go to a hiking shop and get new hiking boots. Maybe a new make is all you need? Keeping my fingers crossed. xx

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    1. Two years is a long time, Christina. I've heard that abut ankles though - that they can take a long time to heal. If this continues I plan to go to an outdoor/sports shop and see if they have some suggestions, but the thrifty part of me wants to hold out a bit longer and see if I can make friends with the hikers I already have. :-)

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  10. Poor Fergus - he looks really sad not to have been able to go on such a lovely walk. I have pains in my feet which I think must be arthritis as I also have other sore joints (hips, knees etc). I rub Skye Meadowsweet lotion into all my joints every day (twice) and this helps a bit - it contains a natural anti-inflammatory. I have narrow feet and find it very difficult to get shoes to fit me. Last September, when I was on holiday, I went and got my feet measured and had a session of shoe trying. A lot depends on the last that the manufacture uses. Not every shoe in my size fitted me properly. In the end I bought two pairs. A couple of weeks ago I wore a pore of boots that have a bit of a heel (maybe 2" at most) and since then my knees have been very, very sore. I'm hoping I don't have ot go to the doctor about it. Needless to say, I'm sticking to flat shoes and boots now.

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    1. Fergus is always excited to go out, but he actually hates the walk to Lindell Beach, so had he been able to go he would have been a very sorry dog. Ha!

      Yes, there does seem to be a huge difference in fit within a single shoe size. Interesting about different shoe manufacturers using different lasts. It would be nice if there was a standard last for each size. I have the opposite problem from you. My feet are very wide. I hope your knees recover without a visit to the doctor!

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  11. The scenery was lovely thank you. As for problem feet well I've got two, one is bigger than the other not just in length but slightly wider. When I try shoes on, the right one is perfect and the left pinches my toes and is just awful. I welcome summer because I wear sandals which are fine but in the winter I stick to my my Ugg boots as my feet seem happy in them, though they're quite heavy and if i've worn them all day my knees start to hurt.
    Perhaps you should try a different make of walking boot, a lighter in weight pair may help your knees.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the scenery along my walking route, Jacqueline! Two different sized feet would be a huge problem. Do you ever end up having to buy two different sizes of the same shoe to make up a proper sized pair? Lighter shoes are easier on my feet, but the problem is for some of the walking I do I need something waterproof. It's hard to get hikers that are truly waterproof unless you get the sturdier kind. My lightweight ones are supposed to be waterproof, but the reality is if I wear them when it's raining my feet are soaked by the time I get home.

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  12. As always such a wonderful walk, beautiful sights and views.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you could join me on my walk. :-)

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  13. What gorgeous scenery on your walk, Kristie. I'd walk twice every day if I could go past that lake. I developed foot problems when in my early 50s, and my feet have spread with age. I have orthotics I wear for walking which help a lot. The podiatrist told me to always wear shoes in the house - I wear Naot sandals at home which are very supportive. Then I go out in dainty little shoes and sandals. The first problem I developed was heel spurs, but got on top of that problem (without surgery) by always having a decent heel which raises the heel a little to relieve the pressure. I cannot wear ballet flats. I also developed mortons neuroma, but again, by always buying shoes with plenty of width in the toe area, and no compression from the sides, I can prevent pain and irritation developing. I am very wary of shoes which press down onto the instep, which can set off pain while walking. Maryjanes with velcro are a godsend. Like most people, I have one foot slightly bigger than the other, and always buy for the bigger foot. If needed, an insert can go in the other shoes to take up the slack and make it comfortable. I am sure you will work it all out, and continue on your lovely walks.

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    1. Thanks for this, Patricia. I know it is best to wear shoes in the house, but to me it just doesn't feel quite right. My compromise is me wearing my Crocs inside. I'm not familiar with Naot sandals - I'll have to Google them. I think the width in the toe of the shoes is another thing I need to look for if and when I replace these. I do have wide feet, and probably should be buying shoes that are designed for such.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the walk!

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  14. Lovely walk, we do one every day, but I sure enjoy seeing the walks of others. My feet have widened as I've grown older so I always have to get a Wide in my size, and add the fact that I had plantar fasciitis a few years ago and I need to wear supports in my shoes I end up getting a pair about a half size bigger than I actually wear.

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    1. This widening of the feet thing seems to be very common! I had no idea until this past week that this actually happened. Sometimes it can be a problem finding shoes that come in a wide, but I think that's what I'm going to have to do in the future. I'm glad you have found a solution that works for you. As walkers, we need to keep our feet happy!

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  15. Wow, the lake looks stunning, what an amazing walk. As it happens, my other half has been having feet problems these past few weeks. He is blaming the cold weather, but I'll be interested to see what other people here think about feet. I really hope yours settle down soon, I know exactly what you mean about the importance of walking, I feel the same way about it. CJ xx

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    1. The lake is stunning, CJ. I never get tired of looking at it! I would imagine men would be prone to the same problems with their feet as women. Maybe have your partner read that post I linked to. She suggests a few specific brands of shoes that worked for her, and since you live in the UK you would have access to them.

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  16. No fun at all having troubles with your feet. My left foot was so painful a few weeks ago, and then I realised that I was wearing socks with slippers that I don't normally do, and when I stopped the pain stopped. I think that the socks were making my foot slip in the slipper and that was causing the pain because my foot twisted the wrong way. Anyway, no socks, no pain now thank goodness. I hope that you find the solution/new shoes for your feet and that all will be well again. Do take care of yourself. xx

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    1. I'm glad you were able to resolve your foot pain, Amy. I am amazed at how many of us suffer from problems with our feet!

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  17. I have no shoe advice but I love to walk too. I just wear sneakers but I know I will eventually need something more appropriate. You have such beautiful places to walk where you live. Thank you for taking me along.

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    1. Where you live you can probably get away with wearing sneakers year round, Jennifer. Not so here in the soggy corner of BC where I live! I'm glad you enjoyed the walk. :-)

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  18. Thanks for taking us on that walk -- you live in a beautiful place! As for feet, sorry to hear about that. I've not had any issues yet (I'm 41) but my husband who is quite a bit older than me has. Boots he wore for decades (Whites -- which are custom built for 'your' feet and those who have the money to spend say they are the best thing you can do for your feet) started to really hurt his feet as he got older and he no longer could wear them (well, he could have got another pair custom built but they are not cheap). He finds stuff that works okay, but he has way more trouble now finding comfortable footwear than he did when he was younger.

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    1. by the way -- i love that junco picture. very interesting composition there!

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    2. That's interesting about your husband, Rachel. It seems to back up what that blogger I linked to stated - our feet change as we age. It must have been very disappointing for him to have to give up his beloved White boots. It's funny how we get attached to our footwear. I'm feeling quite sad about my Keens.

      The juncoes were flitting about on the branches beside me. I stood still and waited for one to land nearby ,and sure enough, this guy did just that. There is something to be said for taking a proper camera out on walks. Usually I just have my iPhone, and I never would have got this shot with it.

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  19. It was a beautiful walk although I am sorry that your feet are bothering you. As we age our feet change, they get bigger, our arches drop it is sort of a pain.
    Hope you get new boots and they are perfect.
    Meredith

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    1. I'm glad you liked the walk, Meredith. Yes, the whole foot disintegration thing is a pain. :-)

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  20. Feet are funny things, aren't they? They hold us up our whole lives but we take them for granted until they start to hurt (voice of experience speaking!). After we moved into this house, which has concrete floors, I felt half crippled with foot and lower leg pain. Concrete is a very unforgiving surface. So, out with the sheepskin slippers and in with the lightweight, cushioned, supportive walking shoes. It took me two years to find some that suit me well but finally my feet and legs are happy again (mostly, anyway). I settled on Saucony Progrid Integrity walking shoes for wearing around the house. As for outdoor hikers, sorry, nothing to contribute! Boy, it does my heart good to see your beautiful photos of snow-less landscape and unfrozen lake! -- Ruth

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    1. I had a similar experience when we moved to Kamloops, Ruth. A huge area of the main floor was tile, and I quickly learned I could not go barefoot, which is what I normally would have done all summer. And you're so right. I've totally taken my feet for granted until this problem cropped up. I'm going to Google the Saucony shoes.

      I was thinking about you and your deep winter when I was taking those pictures yesterday!

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    1. He was feeling sorry for himself, but if he realized where I was going he wouldn't have been so upset. He despises the walk to Lindell Beach, and when I take him along I practically have to drag him all the way there! :-)

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  22. That is a lovely walk. I can see why Fergus wanted to go...although, he'd be happy to walk through a dump with you. So I should have said I can see why you go!

    My wife is wearing New Balance shoes now. She read they offer great support. She has a bone spur on her heel, tangled up with her Achilles tendon. I don't know if this happened because she had a habit of wearing worn out shoes or not, but she did. I hope your issue is easier to remedy.

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    1. You give Fergus far too much credit, Rick. He actually hates the walk to Lindell Beach, and had he realized that's where I was headed he wouldn't have been trying os hard to get out the door with me.

      New Balance are supposed to be very good, but I have wide feet and I find them to fit a bit narrow. I'm glad your wife has found a solution though!

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    2. That surprises me. I thought Fergus would be happy to join you going anywhere.

      About that pole (attached to the mossy stone), does it rotate to close the trail?

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  23. Gorgeous! Thank you for the trip! My walking scenes are not as beautiful as this, so I have to imagine them up instead :)

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    1. Thanks for joining me on my walk, Nicole! :-)

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  24. So beautiful and gorgeous !!! I also need to walk and take pics !!! I understand you !! Thansk for your stunning pics, I really enjoyed the scenary ! Have a lovely day and a wonderful newt walk !

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    1. I would love to see some pictures from one of your walks, Geraldine! I'm glad you enjoyed going along on mine. :-)

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  25. Hi Kristie, I loved sharing the walk in the pictures, very pretty place you live, thanks for sharingxx

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    1. Thanks for coming along on the walk with me, Michelle, and for visiting my blog! :-)

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  26. Thank you for taking us on the lovely walk. My feet have changed over the years and I made the mistake of buying the same size boots each time. When I bought my last pair the assistant persuaded me to have my feet measured again and got me to walk up and down a ramp to try them. The size and width were totally different from what they used to be and why my last pair were not as comfortable as they should have been!

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    1. I need to get my feet measured again too, Chickpea. I'm sure they have gotten wider, but I don't think they have lengthened. Hopefully you have things sorted out now and your feet are happy!

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  27. How I love seeing Fergus. Yes, Kristie, feet. I have no advice to offer, in fact I'm going to peruse your comment thread thoroughly to see if there are any good ideas I could use for my stiff old feet. I'm 58 now, and when I get out of bed in the morning, I walk like Frankenstein for a few minutes. EGAD, I don't like seeing this decline!!! Like you, walking is a meditation for me.

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    1. There have to be some answers out there. For those of who are walkers it is especially important to have feet that are happy. There have been lots of very helpful comments. Please keep me posted and let me know if you find something that works for you!

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    2. I had this first-thing-in-the-morning problem too - the pain and stiffness was on the bottoms of both feet. Dr advised me to flex my ankles several times before getting out of bed to loosen up. It has helped me a great deal and surely can't hurt to try something so innocuous....

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  28. my feet are very picky on what I put on them. I just bought a new pair of sneakers and I'm wondering if they are good enough. My old pair have worn tread so it's time to part. I have RA so I always have feet issues!! Good luck finding a pair that makes walking a pure pleasure.

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    1. I hope your new sneakers work. If they don't what this whole aching feet thing has shown me is, you need to stop wearing them sooner rather than later. :-)

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  29. I can understand why you didn't want to swop your boots! I have some timberland ones that fit like a glove but are very worn! My husband is always nagging me to replace them. I should take your experience as a warning! Your walk was stunning poor Fergus not joining in! It was frosty here this morning and we left Tavi at home too! Sarah x

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    1. It's hard to give up a pair of week loved shoes or boots. :-)

      The truth is, had Fergus known where I was walking he wouldn't have been begging to go out. He doesn't like walking to Lindell Beach, I think partly because we have to go along the road for a bit. Poor Tavi! I hope he is able to go out for a good walk tomorrow.

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  30. Wow! You live in heaven. I could never leave my dog behind because he loves walks more than anything in this world! Plus I couldn't bear to see his sad face in the front window ... plus he barks and barks if I walk out the door without him, and I know he's yelling "come back, you forgot me!!". But I'm not saying all this to make you feel guilty. But you sure live in a purdy spot Kristie, and I would love to walk that walk every morning!! Thanks for sharing :) Wendy x

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    1. You are lucky to have a dog that wants to walk with you wherever you go. Fergus is very picky about where he wants to walk, and he doesn't want it to be a long walk either. (I think he might have been a sloth in a previous life.) He especially dislikes the walk to Lindell Beach, so I didn't feel too guilty about leaving him behind. :-)

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  31. That cute little face at the window. And you left him behind? How could you? ;o)

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    1. It was easier than it looked. He hates the walk to Lindell Beach. :-) Plus, I can't take pictures when I have him on the leash.

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  32. I know I've said it before, Kristie, but your landscape is stunningly beautiful. Thanks for taking me along with you on your walk. I'm sorry you're having problems with your feet and I can sympathise. I've always had problem feet - very sensitive and flat as well, so buying shoes is a nightmare and I've never been a good walker. Sigh...

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  33. I can't make any suggestions about hiking footwear, but I sure can about "regular" house shoes or daily going-out shoes. Just over a year ago I was having a problem with every pair of shoes I own rubbing the outside of my baby toes nearly raw. I grew up in the country wearing shoes very seldom in the summer, so have always thought I have wide peasant feet. But this was getting crazy. I'm guessing that as I approach 60 my feet are changing. I tried a brand of shoe called Alegria. They come in many styles, are not cheap, but have solved the toe problem. They are wider at the toes, have great support and the soles are so cushy that I can wear them all day - and frequently do. Google them and see what you think.
    Chris S. in Canada

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  34. I wear insoles in a lot of my shoes, helps a lot.
    I have the same problem re: walking dog and taking photos. Generally the dog wins out as I don't often have time for two walks!
    Lovely photos.

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