'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

27 October 2012

New Boots And Bow Legs

Ever since I tore my Achilles tendon in 2006 I've had shoe issues. Ankle high boots rub the repair and cause a lot of pain and my heel is very sensitive, requiring me to keep my shoes laced loosely and remove the left one whenever I can. I mostly go shoeless around the house these days. But, and isn't there always a but?

I'm also fairly bow legged. How bad? This bad.

Note please that I'm standing with my ankles together. I can put my fist between my knees. What that means is that when I'm on my feet for extended periods or walking long distances my knees ache if my shoes are loose or too soft. I need shoes/boots that keep my legs straighter and my feet flat to the ground. Enter a certain black dog who requires regular and lengthy exercise and it became obvious that something needed to be done.

Hi. My name is Angus. The big guy is talking about me. Can we go for a walk now? Can we? Can we? Please? Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!?

I've always been lucky when it comes to shoes and boots. I could wear anything. Walk into the Big Five, grab whatever is on sale for $19.95 in the right size and we're done. I didn't even have to try them on. Not any more. Lu and the DO are particular about their footwear and need to buy quality to suit their feet. Lu finally got it through to me. I need to do the same. My tennis shoes just aren't going to cut the mustard any more. I'm actually going to have to spend some real money on my feet. Sigh. Ok.

I went to the local sporting shoe store and perused the hiking boot rack. The proprietor is a nice guy and very knowledgeable. He recommended a pair, I tried them on and, wonder of wonders, they fit and felt pretty good. I plunked down 130 bucks (Oh, my aching wallet!) and walked out to give them the acid test. What did I buy? These.

My first pair of Keens. I was totally unfamiliar with the brand. By the way, exactly what color is Burnt Henna anyway? They're gray. Why can't they just call them gray? They're light, comfortable and the back is cut lower to give my Achilles a little more room. Hey, these might just work.

Angus and I put them to the test on the Cinder Knoll Trail.

Why is it called Cinder Knoll. Probably because the trail runs by this hill that's composed entirely of...wait for it...red cinder.

Almost certainly laid down by this nearby volcano.

The boots performed well. We walked about 2 to 2.5 miles on a rutted trail with some cross country. I felt the pressure on the outside of my feet as we walked due to the boots trying to straighten my legs and my Achilles was sore afterward but all in all I was pleased. These boots aren't just for hiking with Angus. I'll also be wearing them while doing work on the house. I need to stop wearing soft, loose, crappy shoes. These boots are a first step. As it were. I'll post long term and let you know how they do after many miles and hours.

Next week I'll do a post about the hike. I took a bunch of Angus pictures to share. And I know all of you really come here just to see the boy and I aim to please. I'm also in the market for a new camera. My picture taking sucks and it's high time I did something about that. Luckily my daughter has an actual degree in photography and is an avid photographer so advice is only a phone call away.

Boots and bow legs. Now that's entertainment!



Blue said...

I have a pair of Keen hiking boots and several pair of Keen sandals.

They are some of the most comfortable shoes/boots/footwear I have ever used.

They seem to last a long time, too, which is a good thing, given the price you pay for them...

I buy the waterproof sandals and wear them all summer. Great for kayaking and river walking.

I think you might just like them :)

Paladin said...

I've got jacked up legs too... Pigeon-toed as a lad and the brace between my feet to correct the problem was a little too ambitious. Now when i stand straight and lock my knees, I look like a stork in profile :)

I've had increasing problems with knee pain do to bad foot/knee alignment the past couple of years. It hurts me to drop serious bucks on boots too, but I'll give this brand a try and see what happens.

The DO said...

Heh. To throw yet another wrench in your "why don't they just call it grey" argument, the color listed is actually "Gargoyle"! Much fancier, no? Much more likely to make an elegant and sophisticated shopper buy their product. The burnt henna is that orangey-red laces and detail:)-

I know Mom loves her Keens. I've been really happy with my Brooks trail runners, though I've just about killed them. I'm actually on the look out for a new pair of tennis shoes, we will see what I fine. The trails here are nothing like the fun of Hurricane, and full on hiking boots are, sadly, unnecessary. We will def be looking to do lots of trails next time we are out!

Old NFO said...

Yep, another pair of screwed up ankles/feet over here... Too many years of flight boots. I like Merrells, but I'll look at the Keens, never heard of them to be honest.

Broken Andy said...

My whole family has Keens sandals. I didn't know they made boots. I'm looking for a new pair of winter footwear. This sounds promising.

Six said...

Thanks for the tip on the sandals Blue. I'll give them a try next Summer.

So far so good Paladin. I'll do a longer term write up as the miles pile up.

And here I thought it was the boots that were called Gargoyle. That's the color? Someone in their marketing department needs to be beat with their own Burnt Henna laces! Your mom and I are scouting all the trails we can find so next Summer we'll have lots of cool places to hike.

I think it really is a factor of wearing bad boots for so many years NFO. I loved my motor boots but they were really bad for my feet and legs. I liked my Merrels but they rubbed my Achilles too bad. The Keens seem to be working out well but I'll put them to the test as time goes by.

I didn't know they made sandals Andy. But if they're as good as the boots seem to be I'll be joining you and Blue in a pair next Summer.

agirlandhergun said...

Never heard of Keens,mbut I am totally brand ignorant. However, I do believe in buying quality footwear. Good footwear helps. It only your feet, but ankles, knees, back...gotta have it.

Six said...

You know it Girl. They seem to be good so far but I've got a lot of miles to put on them yet. I'd not heard of them before but that's mostly because I don't pay enough attention to my daughter and Lu. They both knew and had been trying to tell me for years. Hey, I may be slow but I do eventually learn.

LauraB said...

Oh, that is a good brand. I learned via a critical test - all day at a water park chasing young men around. Wait - that didn't come out right. Well, anyway, I had a new pair of their sandals and was certain it'd be blister city.

Nope. Not a single one. Sent them a nice letter, too.

As for good boots for gimpy feet, Sarge says his Lowa Zephyr's are the best. (His "chicken spur" isn't aggravated by them.)

I am in love with my uber fancy Zamberlan hiking boots acquired at the REI garage sale for far less than new. If you start looking for a really hard chargin' full leather hiker, they are definitely worth it - even full price.

Meanwhile, Keen? Damned fine shoe.

Six said...

Thanks to you and The Sarge for the tip Laura. I'm going to check both of those boots out.