Sunday, July 22, 2012

Unsolicited Product Endorsement

The trip began, as trips so often do, with a long slog through the airport. And then a long slog through another airport, followed by a relatively short airport slog on the far end.

Once in Portland, we walked to lunch, and then another sixteen blocks to Powell's book store. And that evening featured a roughly ten block hike to a restaurant for a bit of mix'n'mingle type stuff.

Now, this is a lot of walking, but should hardly be fatal for a not terribly out-of-shape adult human being; our ancestors probably walked farther just to find a really good rock with which to hit critters over the head. It was therefore a mystery why it left my feet feeling so tore up.

Sunday was spent pretty much entirely on my feet at the range, and that's, I guess, when the limping started. And the limping aggravated the old war wounds in my gammy leg, making things really dire by Monday morning's factory tours.

Just before we left the Danner factory store on Monday, I had my foot measured. Did you know your feet grow as you get older? That's right, the boots I was wearing were a size too small. And they were rubbing blisters, causing me to curl my toes and limp. As a result, what was supposed to be a "Run & Gun"-type shooting match turned into more of a "Shamble & Shoot" affair, with me never exceeding a sort of shuffling, wincing half-jog on any stage.

My first day home, Bobbi and I set out to fetch me some shoes that fit. Now, I realize that anybody who's known me for the past decade has only ever seen me wearing combat-type boots in basic black; they're as much a part of my uniform as the black ball cap, but I decided to try something new: Merrell Pace Gloves. In lavender, no less.

Oh. Emm. Gee. I've been wearing them since Friday morning (well, except when I'm asleep,) and it's the next best thing to going barefoot; you could stand on a quarter and tell if it's heads or tails. I walked to Zest for breakfast and hiked all over the Indiana World War Memorial yesterday with no ill effects. Being able to move my ankles and flex my feet as I walk has un-knotted my calf muscles and fixed the constant incipient cramping in the arch of my feet with the speed of a miracle cure.

Recommend.

40 comments:

TheSev said...

Heh. The problem was shoes.

There should be something funny about that.

Don said...

Personally, I'd have gone with the tacticool black and zipper.

blindshooter said...

Went for my annual checkup last week and complained to the Doc that my feet have been killing me. He's reading the results of my blood work from the week before and says he can see why, my uric acid is high and the kidneys are not working so well. After some discussion about my daily water intake he tells me that no matter how bad I hate to stop and pee I gotta drink water all day. Seems that when old age sneaks up on a person they can't tolerate self inflicted dehydration.
I'm glad your foot trouble can be fixed with new shoes/boots.

Anonymous said...

Roman arches last longer than human arches. As your arches fall, your feet become longer. PITA? No, PITF.

'Rat

Captain Tightpants said...

Does this mean we're going to seduce you to the dark side of the Five-Fingers style shoe next???

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Totally agree, though I always blamed the shoe sales dude instead of the *ahem* continuing aging process.

Recently had to scrap a pair of beloved 20 year old hunting boots, size 7 1/2, because I could no longer walk comfortably in them..

A NEW shoe store dude measured me properly and found *gasp* size 9 feet.

Duh! Big toes hurt much?

hooper said...

Congrats. Switching to minimal shoes not only cleared my own pains, but led me to *enjoy* running - something I never dreamed I'd say. Now I'm trying to find ways to go completely barefoot, which has me shamefully conceding that the hippies might have actually been onto something.

The Merrells are really nice shoes. They pinch off my little toe a bit (my feet aren't wide overall, but the toes are) but I love their laces.

Your feet and calves are going to be a lot stronger because of them, too. They can be quite the workout.

Anonymous said...

Ayup. When I was 22 I wore a 9-1/2. Now at 66 I wear an 11-1/2.

Yeah, I could probably water ski barefoot...

cap'n chumbucket

Reno Sepulveda said...

Can you really walk around in them with no socks? I mean without your shoes and feet getting really funky?

I hate wearing socks but concern for the people around me compels me to.

Scott J said...

Didn't know about the growing feet thing.

Explains why the Rocky Cornstalkers I bought almost 20 years ago intentionally a bit snug at the time are now not really comfortable.

Tam said...

Reno,

"Can you really walk around in them with no socks? I mean without your shoes and feet getting really funky?"

They are supposedly treated with a magic high-tech anti-funk compound, although I have not yet put them to the acid, as it were, test.

Reno Sepulveda said...

Thanks, I think I have the same growing feet problem and need some new shoes.

Will in Bama said...

That is interesting about the Merrell Pace Gloves. Merrell makes some great shoes, too. The "World Passport" model made by Merrell saved MY feet a few years ago and it is about the only shoe model I have bought since 2004.

Only problem is I don't think they make that model anymore. (sigh) And I wear out a pair of shoes every six months.

Eric said...

You left the Danner factory store empty handed???

Will in Bama said...

I have to add, though: I did not know Merrell made shoes like the Pace Gloves. They must be really light.

Tam said...

Eric,

Long story.

Tam said...

Will in Bama,

I've owned heavier socks.

Jason said...

I've had a couple of sprains due to hard living, and thought I was condemned to puffy ankles and general aches and pains for life. Tried out the Merrells a year ago. Took about a month of wearing them for short periods to learn how to walk properly again and get the muscles built up. It was basically physical therapy. Now I have three pairs, one in leather for nicer occasions. They don't have to look obnoxious to get the benefits.

Navigator said...

TAM

2 PAIRS OF HEAVY WOOL SOCKS WITH YOUR BOOTS ONCE YOU HAVE HEALED MAKE SURE
YOU HAVE ENOUGH ROOM STAY OFF THEM
LET THEM HEAL OR WE WILL BE REFERRING TO YOU AS "MS -HOP-A-LONG-CASUALTY"
FEEL BETTER!


BLIND SHOOTER

GOUT IS NO FUN ACTION STATIONS! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
YOU MIGHT WANT TO GO ON A MODIFIED VEGAN DIET NO DAIRY LEGUMES RED MEAT GAME TURKEY ORGAN MEAT DELI MEATS PORK PRODUCTS OF ANY KIND SHELLFISH MACKEREL SARDINES ANCHOVIES CATFISH
ASPARAGUS MUSHROOMS PEANUT OF ANY KIND CHOCOLATE COLAS BEER WINE SPIRITS WHOLE GRAINS EGGS OR FRIED
FOODS OF ANY KIND SORRY YOU MUST NOT INGEST ANY OF THE ABOVE ALSO HAVE YOUR DOC OR PHARMACIST REVIEW ANY MEDICATIONS YOU ARE TAKING SIDE EFFECTS CAN CAUSE GOUT DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW YOURSELF TO DEHYDRATE DRINK 12- 8 OZ GLASSES OF WATER DAILY ONE OF THE NASTIER THINGS ABOUT GOUT IS THE TENDENCY TO ALSO DEVELOP KIDNEY STONES YOU DONT WANT THAT PUSH THE FLUIDS!!!!! WHILST YOU ARE HAVING AN ACUTE EPISODE KEEP THE FEET ELEVATED YOU MIGHT WANT TO TAKE TUMERIC 2 CAPS EVERY 4 HOURS
BLACK CHERRY CONCENTRATE 2 CAPS EVERY 4 HOURS CELERY ROOT / SEED EXTRACT 2 CAPS EVERY 4 HOURS
THE ABOVE OVER THE COUNTERS YOU CAN GET IN A HEALTH FOOD STORE OR PHARMACY WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION
THEY HAVE NO SIDE EFFECTS AS COMPARED
WITH PRESCRIPTION NOSTRUMS FOR GOUT
BE ADVISED GOUT AFTER IT SUBSIDES
WILL RETURN WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT
YOU MAY HAVE TO ME ON A MAINTENANCE REGIMEN I SPEAK AS A FELLOW GOUT SUFFERER GREAT MEN OF HISTORY HAVE HAD GOUT IF IT IS OF ANY COMFORT TO YOU YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ DR FRANKLYNS PAPER ON THE SUBJECT

BEST OF LUCK

SINCERELY YOUR NAVIGATOR

Borepatch said...

Powell's is a spectacular book store. Between it and the restaurant scene (and I include the food vans in this), Portland almost makes up for the hippies.

Kit said...

I've been wearing pace gloves since 2009 when I got plantar fasciitis/achilles tendonitis from running a foot pursuit while carrying 20 pounds of gear. Those shoes will change your life. Not only that, but I feel all sneaky when I wear 'em because it's like wearing your bedroom slippers in public without anyone knowing. ;p

Heather said...

I started wearing vibrams. The kids at work say they make me look like a T-Rex, but they feel so good and really helped my knee trouble.

og said...

I'm kinda surprised you didn't opt for a pair of the Tektites, I been kinda looking at them for a while.

RabidAlien said...

Mrs.Alien has a pair of Vibrams that she's gotten used to and swears by. I've run across some stuff recently that talks about the benefits of going barefoot (specifically, barefoot running), and mentions that if you're not comfortable going barefoot, then get some of the toe-shoes. My concern (other than the price...can buy a lot of grub or ammo for the price of a pair of those bad boys...even though they are a good long-term investment) has always been the same as Reno's, my feet tend to get rather sweaty by the end of the day, and I'd rather not leave foot-shaped dead patches in the grass when I go check the mail.

Navigator...check your caps-lock. It seems to be on.

Able said...

Oh great! Thanks! I've always been a size 12 (UK, that's 12 1/2 US) and now you tell me they'll get bigger as I get older(er). I already have to special order (I get the soles laid down at Swan-Hunters).

Ah well. The thing I've long been really worried about is the fact that my nose and ears are going to keep on growing (cartilage never stops growing, you know), I have always had difficulty in high winds as it is (they act like the tail-plane on a 747 (I can go straight, with effort, but cornering is a no, no)

Sigh!

(My sympathy to the men at the range. Having your butt kicked by a girl in combat boots has got to hurt, but having it kicked by a girly in lavender Merrels.. well, that's just mean!)

Heather said...

@Alien: Price wasn't too bad - I worked the REI sales and stuff, got mine super cheap.

As far as the stench, my vibrams are machine washable. Works like a charm. Feet, of course, are also usually washable ;)

Critter said...

hmmm...might explain why my beloved Danners are a touch tight these days.

Lewis said...

Gots to take care of your parts, Tam. When we were younger, it was vanity that drove us to do it, now it's just fear of decrepitude. (Not as gloomy as it sounds.)

Ed Foster said...

Wally World Tennies. No arch support, one quarter inch of flexible rubber between me and the road, and enough splay room for the toes.

Three or four days and the achilles tendons felt fine for the first time in years, and the trick tendon on the inside of the knee feels rock solid.

It seems that the less crap we have between our feet and the ground, the better we are.

Fudgie Ghost said...

Tam: I traipse all around your hated Manhattan every day in Merrell Moab Ventilators. . . . the low ones. .and have for years now .the most comfortable shoe/boot I've ever worn. . .

Tam said...

Fudgie Ghost,

"in Merrell Moab Ventilators. . . . the low ones. ."

I got a pair of the high ones on the same trip. Haven't tried them yet... :)

Rabbit said...

My feet are flat. I've not had any indication of the slightest curve of an arch since I escaped the womb. Folks tried putting me in orthopedic shoes (birth control shoes, really) which would make any Carmelite nun proud. I'd have been more comfortable duct taping the boxes they came in to my feet and according to mom, would have achieved better wear. As an adult, the old GI jungle boots actually fit reasonably well as long as they were a narrow size 12. My width is somewhere between AA and AAAA. My brother got the real feet in the family, 11 D's.

I've had M.L. Leddy in Ft. Worth make riding/walking cowboy boots for me which were miraculous and not hugely cost prohibitive. Most of the time, though, I go barefoot or wear Tevas 10 months out of the year, unless social occasions require me to shield my prehensile toes. For "business casual" I wear a pair of slip-on Merrils passed to me from a dead man's estate or H.S. Trask laceups (buffalo hide. They'll go to any great grandchildren I may have). The only downside to barefoot around here is summertime concrete and asphalt temperatures and I really prefer a good crepe sole for stalking.

Mike said...

Tam -

Told ya so!

Glad the Merrells are working well for you - I love my Trail Gloves.

re: socks - the Smartwool PHD socks are *really* nice, and helps prevent 'da funk' of going barefoot

RabidAlien said...

@Heather: I have a hard time closing the door on the front-loader washing machine when I try. And I've never washed shoes before, either! LOL

perlhaqr said...

I wear Merrell Moabs as daily drivers. They're much nicer on my feet than the knee high boots are. ;)

NotClauswitz said...

My last pair of Sidi dirt-bike boots are size 14's. They feel like giant Italian loafers they're so comefy.

Ed said...

I have a pair of Merrell Pulse II mid height hiking boots. My feet were so happy in them that I bought a pair of the Merrell Pulse II low height hiking shoes for when I did not need as much ankle support. Comfy!

SympDogge said...

I have worn a pair of Merrell Sawtooth boots everywhere I have gone for the past two years. Merrell makes good'um stuff.

bob r said...

"Being able to move my ankles and flex my feet as I walk has un-knotted my calf muscles and fixed the constant incipient cramping in the arch of my feet with the speed of a miracle cure."

Not to discount the effect good shoes have but you might find this article by Mike Eades worth a few minutes. He relates his own experience with cramping and the effect of drinking water on same. Skip to the section headed "Hydration" if you don't find low carb diet related info interesting.

bob r said...

D'oh!!

I guess if one is going to recommend an article then a link just might be in order.