Shoes, Sections and Shadows – 15 July

Somebody asked for a summary of our shoe experience.

With Trevor in his new shoes today I can report that we are now both on our fourth pair.

We started out with our Alpine leather boots – these were pairs we have hiked in before and we wore it to (roughly) quarter way. It was good for us to have boots we were comfortable with in the beginning, if on top of all the other challenges we had to worry about new shoes life would have been tough. In hindsight though the day in and day out wearing of those heavy boots may be what caused the numb toes we have been struggling with since week two.

In Damascus Trevor bought Merrils (spelling?) – according to me a size too small. He walked with these shoes for almost a quarter of the way but he was in agony, his toes being crushed together. I was wearing my Solomon boots, also an old pair and they worked well.

Around the midway point Trevor switched to Altra Loan Peak 4 trail runners: the young people tend to wear trail runners. He bought it from an outfitter in Font Royal who patiently explained the pros and cons of different shoes. It changed his life on the trail. For the first time his feet were pain free.

In the mean time, because my Solomons were my Camino shoes and my day hiking shoes while living in Cape Town, they didn’t last for too long. After a month or so I replaced them with the same model. Initially all seemed well but when it became very hot they started crushing my toes. Maybe my feet were very swollen or maybe my feet grew (some people claim their feet grew up to a size and a half on the trail) but I was really hurting.

Trevor then gave me his replacement mail order shoes and ordered himself another pair (which he is wearing today). I’m as happy with the trail runners as he is, so between the 2 of us we are on 8 pairs so far.

The way I think about the trail there are 4 sections remaining. One is to get to Hanover, a town close to the Whites. Two is the Whites themselves, sound as if it will be tough, but beautiful. Thirdly it is the southern part of Maine and lastly the 100 miles in Baxter State Park. Four sections seems finite, and I can handle a finite number of sections.

There are some shadows in my life, mainly to do with loved ones of people I’m close to being in bad health. It is hard for me to not be able to just be there for a phone call, a cup of coffee, a hug. These are the times where the fact that the world is digitally a global village just ain’t good enough.

Other than that all good on the Holmes front. We did a 28km day with numerous ups and down. Trevor said he enjoyed the day but I found it a bit boring. Maybe because my mind is now set on The Whites, it’s time to get there!

The only exciting part of the day was to see Mountain Goat again, we thought he would be miles (and days) ahead of us but he took a double zero to go to Manhatton so we got to see him again! It’s always such a pleasure to bump into somebody you thought you wouldn’t see again. Like old friends, which is odd because it is actually merely acquaintances….


One thought on “Shoes, Sections and Shadows – 15 July

  1. You should send these pics to the manufacturers so they can use it as an advertisement!! 😉 Remember to add the ‘mileage’ ….


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