Any hikers/backpackers out there?

Discussion in 'Home, Auto, Hobby and Computer Tech' started by Gator515151, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Gator515151

    Gator515151 Well-Known Member
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    Not sure if hiking is considered a sport but it is one of my favorite past times. For years I have enjoyed my Saturday afternoon (outside of football season) romps in the woods and even occasionally do some Appalachian Trail hiking. Being retired now I am planning on spending some time on the AT this summer and have been doing some local hikes to get ready.

    Now to my question. About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with type2 diabetes. The past year or so like many diabetics I feel some numbness in my feet and they are much more tender than in the past. My hiking shoe of choice has always been Merrill moabs, super comfortable and an awesome shoe however lately the moabs tend to cause cramping and soreness in my feet after 3 or 4 miles on the trail. Moabs have a very hard sole and are not as flexible as some other shoes. Monday I decided to switch shoes so I bought a pair of New Balance trail runners. Yesterday I took them for a 3 or 4 mile test hike. Much better results but still some cramping late in the hike. If I can't do 8 to 10 miles in a day there is no sense in me going back up to the AT. Has anybody else experienced similar problems and do you have any suggestions? I'm thinking frequent breaks but I hate to be sitting on my ass when there are miles to be made.
     
    • Gator98MD

      Gator98MD Senior Member

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      I am not an ardent hiker but a couple suggestions I would make is, and I am sure you have already done this, but get professionally fitted for your hiking shoes/boots as it may help. If different fittings and shoes dont help the pain, consider discussing with your doctor about potential neuropathic pain meds that are available that may attenuate some of the diabetic neuropathy pain you have. You may not like taking meds, but if they improve your quality of life, it may be worth it.
       
      • Sec14Gator

        Sec14Gator Well-Known Member
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        Sorry to hear about your predicament and I really don’t have any propose solutions, but any miles on the trail are better than none. We should have a hiking thread, similar to the fishing thread. Hiked a bunch of cool places, but my favorite has been Cascade Canyon in the grand Tetons. It’s a manageable 9-10 mile hike. We even dragged the whole family out with us, kids, grandparents and all.

        13528C6A-03F6-425C-BF23-7FE9E4A6BAAF.jpeg BE8183EC-AA09-4870-AA74-13D83A939CCC.jpeg 7FBF3737-C90E-42F5-83E6-D4D1DED00D5A.jpeg 178A616F-BFDD-4DB0-AE58-DA23C5E63DC1.jpeg
         
        • Gator515151

          Gator515151 Well-Known Member
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          Thanks, I was kind of hoping you would chime in when I posted this. I have not really had any of the sharp pain normally associated with neuropathy but do have numbness in the soles of my feet and toes which after a few miles turns to cramping. Never had this until a year or so ago. Am I probably correct assuming it is probably due at least partially to neuropathy?
           
          • Gator515151

            Gator515151 Well-Known Member
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            Beautiful pictures Sec14 now you make me want to go out west hiking. Never hiked west of the Mississippi. Have done a couple hundred miles of the AT and did a wilderness canoe trip in Canada's Quetico Provincial Park. Awesome trip.
             
            • Gator98MD

              Gator98MD Senior Member

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              With your history of Diabetes, it is the most likely explanation. Taking magnesium supplements may also help the cramps and there are topical agents for your feet that may help. There are compounding pharmacies that can whip up a number of topical preparations for this type of pain. Just ask your doc about options.
               
              • Slug

                Slug I fcuking hate people.
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                Stay away from hiking in the ME.
                 
                • GatorJ

                  GatorJ Hopeful
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                  5A28E820-94BC-4682-992E-E70F4B0284B0.png Here are the ones that I got. Really good ones.

                  KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot,****ake/Brindle,13 M US

                   
                • BMF

                  BMF Bad Mother....
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                  The issue w/ the NB trail runners is they are not really "hiking" shoes - they are trail running shoes. And the biggest issue I could see is they are not water proof.

                  For background, I used to be an avid runner/racer (I used to run 3,000+ miles/year and still run 1500+, w/ a marathon PR of 2:58). I've hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail (and many of the other trails around there). If you're only doing east coast hiking the non-water proof shoe may not be an issue. I wear running shoes when I hike (mostly) and have had Merrill's. If you're doing any seasonal hikes in colder weather where there is a chance to get your feet/shoes wet that's not a good thing. Just my two cents.
                   
                • BNAG8R

                  BNAG8R ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ mind, ⭐️ ⭐️ body
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                  I was a rabid hiker a few years ago, hiking throughout middle and East Tennessee, some AT time, and have done 3 smaller, and one big hike in the Grand Canyon. I did a 20 mile hike with a pretty famous long distance walker (Robert Sweetgall) who was big on stopping every two hours, taking off shoes and socks, massaging your feet for circulation, wiping them down with an ammonia rag, and then applying liberal amounts of corn starch to avoid blisters. I’ve never had a blister since (he also taught me to wear shoes as loose as you possibly can). The complete airing out and massage might help you.

                  I lost about 30 lbs training for a rim-to-River and back hike in the GC...it was a life changing experience. Need to get back to training, this might be my motivation. Thanks!
                   
                  • Gator515151

                    Gator515151 Well-Known Member
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                    I love the Merrills and still wear them a lot for everyday use I just need a softer shoe. Merrills have a rock hard sole and will probably still be my choice for rocky terrain. I just need a softer shoe, I understand there will be drawbacks to trail runners, in addition to not being waterproof they won't take the wear and tear Merrills do but the softness and flexibility might be a good trade off. I did notice yesterday they weigh about half what the Merrills do which also made a difference. I'll probably experiment around with different shoes before any serious trips this spring.
                     
                  • Gator515151

                    Gator515151 Well-Known Member
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                    Thanks maybe frequent breaks might be worth a try. I'll try that next time I go out......this is the kind of input I was hoping to get.
                     
                  • BNAG8R

                    BNAG8R ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ mind, ⭐️ ⭐️ body
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                    This guy was pretty amazing. Long history of heart disease in his family, so he took to “spreading the word” about a healthy lifestyle, and ended up doing two 10,000+ mile treks around the country, connecting with schools all along the way (that’s how I met him). Turns out, he was walking across the Brooklyn bridge in a media event with a big throng of people, and attending that day was the screenwriter for Forrest Gump (and became the inspiration for Forrest’s cross-country running scenes). Cool, (but kinda weird) dude.

                    Just read that he passed away at 69 last year..seems that you can run from heart disease, but you can’t hide.
                     
                    • AnObfuscator

                      AnObfuscator Well-Known Member
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                      So, if you like the sole of a trail runner but need the support of a boot, I suggest the boots I just picked up:
                      Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Hiking Boots - Men's | REI Co-op

                      They are built like a ruggedized trail runner. They're very comfortable, are super lightweight, have an outstanding lacing system, and have a slightly more "giving" sole that feels more like a trial runner.
                       
                      • Gator515151

                        Gator515151 Well-Known Member
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                        Carlos Alverez's son used to post every now and then over at Gatorcountry. He had hiked all three the AT, the PCT and the CDT trails and also kayaked the entire length of the Mississippi then down the Gulf coast to the keys. Quite an adventurer.
                         
                        • Sec14Gator

                          Sec14Gator Well-Known Member
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                          I'd highly recommend it if you can get the travel in. What you can't see from these pics is the sheer scope of the mountain faces on each side of us. The camera phone just cant capture it. The closest comparison I can make is that the canyon was like walking down a NYC sidewalk, with the stream in the middle the equivalent of the road. The rock face rose so steeply and as close as walking next to a 70 story building. The pics only capture a wide view of what is in front without capturing what is immediately surrounding you. There are a lot of great hikes out west, particularly in the Rockies (and Canadian Rockies), though so many more too.
                           
                        • BNAG8R

                          BNAG8R ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ mind, ⭐️ ⭐️ body
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                          I’ve done both Merrill’s and softer soles, and the thing I found is that the merrill’s were better if your trail has a lot of rocks (which is prevalent in the smoky mountain trails). After 4-5 miles on rocks with soft soles you start to feel every damn rock and it’s like a stone bruise party. I did soft soles for the GC and it was perfect - 18 miles without an issue (for my feet at least).
                           
                          • NVGator

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                            KEEN makes amazing hiking boots, shoes and snow showing boots. I’ve had a few different pairs and still have one. Really durable and comfortable.
                             
                          • GatorJ

                            GatorJ Hopeful
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                            I wanted to buy those. Have a friend who has them and says they’re the best hiking boots he ever bought.
                             
                            • stephenPE

                              stephenPE Senior Member
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                              I read that guy's cool book about hiking the AT and then the other one about the Pacific Trail, made the movie with the woman. I dont hike but canoe now. Sort of hiking on small bodies of water and rivers.........
                               

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