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How are those working out for you?

Post #2 in the “What I Did Last Summer” series:

JMT feet

“One of these things is not like the others…”

I’m not trying to get you to wear Vibram fivefingers shoes.

I am certainly not trying to convince anyone here that they are attractive.

I’m not even sure I love them as much as owning three pairs suggests.

But they are a darned good conversation starter in most situations, and especially on a High Sierra trail where a good, sturdy boot is considered a smart choice by most.

The two most common comments made by passing hikers?
“How about those Giants?” (said to my sister, in reference to her hat- we were in Northern California, after all) AND

“How are those working out for you?” (said to me, in reference to my shoes.)

I did try to mention, after saying I was quite happy with them,  that I have put in my time preparing my feet for this trip. I didn’t want anyone running out and buying these as their “hiking shoes” unless they were wearing them everywhere else, as well.

I was fairly confident starting out, as I’ve spent three years wearing minimalist shoes AND I’ve taken two much shorter and easier backpacking trips successfully wearing fivefingers. I did, however, bring an extra pair of shoes, just in case I needed something else (and to placate my dear mother, who was worried about me). After the second day, I realized my feet were pretty tired, and I wondered if this had been a good idea after all. Then I listened to my companions, and realized that everyone’s feet were tired. By the fourth day, there was quite a bit of blister care going on in the mornings and evenings, but not by me. By the last day, when nearly everyone had at least one blister, I was sort of amazed to find that my feet really were doing great, though tired, even after going 70 miles on a lot of rocky trail.

So, all in all, I’d say they worked out just fine.

Which wouldn’t amount to anything, because who cares what shoes you wear?  Except that I translate it to mean that my feet are getting healthier. Being able to do the miles, and the rocks, without a hard sole and supportive upper, means my feet are working the way they should. They’re stronger and more flexible, and consequently they are moving blood around through all of the tiny little muscles, feeding oxygen to the foot-cells. The nerves are sending messages to the brain, allowing me better balance.

So if this sounds inspiring, and you’d like to get your own feet in shape, either for a big hike or just for a healthier you, check out this post, this book, and this online foot course, or look for my next live, in-person foot course coming up in November!

They did it!

**And a big shout out to Peggy, who also wore minimalist shoes for The Whole Trip, but whose shoes were a bit more discreet and didn’t beg for attention like mine.



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