I love to hike. I fell in love hiking while I was living in California. I hiked with a good friend, Lori, on my maiden hike in the state to the top of Mount Montara. (You can read about that hike HERE.)
For a first serious hike, it was rough. It was over 8 miles with about 4000 feet of elevation change. I remember my feet were hurting so bad.
Fast forward over 5 years, and I am now hiking almost every single day, accumulating hundred of miles each season.
Guess what, my feet are still hurting!
There is a basic amount of pain that you can expect from hiking mountains. Mine is exacerbated by the poor mechanics of my feet. I had surgery in December 2019 on my right foot. It has helped a bit. Now my left foot is screaming after each hike so much so, that I ice my foot for about 30 minutes after each hike.
On top of all of that, one of the more obvious things that can happen as a result of hiking is that your hiking shoes wear out. That adds to the pain.
In California, I retired a pair of hiking shoes that I had for 11 years. TBH, I did not hike in them for that long, but I did own them that long and I wore them on my occasional hikes. However, after going all in in CA, they got worn out and the result is that my feet were beat up each time I hiked.
After 11 years, I had to retire those shoes! (see pictures below)
I am thinking about them today because I am retiring the next pair of shoes. They served me well over the past seasons, but they too, are tired. They are probably hurting as much as my feet hurt.
I overworked them. I took them through dirt, mud, rivers, rocks, scree, and all manner of weather. They endured and carried me through some amazing outdoor experiences and gave me great pleasure during my hikes.
Because I have weird and wide feet, I tried a new brand, Fila Travail 2 Extra Wides.
What I love about the shoes I just retired is that they did not pinch my toes together. Most shoes do. Another thing I like about them is that they are economical. I like them much better than the $170 pair I bought and stopped wearing.
Today, it is out with the old Fila’s and in with an identical BRAND NEW PAIR! Naturally, I am excited about the new pair and at the same time, I am very grateful for the pair that is going up on the shelf in the garage.
I am excited to get up in the morning tomorrow and put on the new kicks and take them for their inaugural journey. I will be kind to them…this time. After tomorrow though, ALL BETS ARE OFF!
One more memory with my old shoes. The summit at Wheeler Peak in NM a few weeks ago. 13,100 feet and happy as clams.