Canadian in Candia

July 30, 2009

My Giant Feet

Filed under: Clothes, Vibram FiveFingers — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 9:08 pm

I had very little clothes with me when I went to Canada from New York. So my mom bought me this lovely dress that would be highly appropriate for the event I was attending and for work. I was very excited. We went out for some lunch (and the food court at the mall had such marvelous options), but quickly realized that I had no shoes.

Now I don’t know if it’s apparent in my posts about the Vibram FiveFingers or the pictures of my puppy by my feet, but I wear a women’s size twelve shoe. I can sometimes squeeze into a size 11, but more often than not a few minutes of walking in those shoes leaves me near tears in pain.

Vibram FiveFingers in action

Size 12 shoes are not easy to find. Most stores barely carry size 11. If they have the shoe in size 10 it’s the only pair they have received. I end up having to do most of my shoe shopping on the internet (eg. Zappos) or I spend a great deal of time in my men’s sized running shoes. It’s actually a very good thing I like colours like blue.

I have the biggest shoes in my immediate family. This includes my in-laws, people of tiny feet. My father in-law wears a men’s 7 I think. That’s almost men’s kid sizes. Friends used to laugh that they could use my flip flops as snowshoes. I outgrew my dad’s hockey skates as a kid. When we rowed they sometimes had to replace the shoes in my seat with larger ones because I was uncomfortable. My shoe size has inconvenienced many people other than me.

Beavis and Cooper

And I’m only 5’7″ (and a quarter), so people sometimes don’t believe me when I tell them my giant feet dilemmas.

We did visit a store that advertised they carried shoes up to a women’s size 14, but the only pair that suited my needs was $500. My mom offered to buy them (I think she feels bad that somewhere along the way a faulty foot gene was passed my way), but I couldn’t justify spending that much money on a single pair. I always try to spend money carefully, even if it’s not my own.

So I ended up with a pair of flip-flops from Payless. Luckily my Grandmother’s funeral was only her children, their spouses, her grandchildren and some of her grandchildren’s significant others so everyone there was family and no one was looking at my shoes. But the mad dash around a dozen different shoe stores was beyond frustrating and without a really satisfying result.

Mind you, I may have giant feet, but no one has ever met me and immediately commented on how frighteningly huge my feet are.

July 13, 2009

Welsh-Dickey Loop

Filed under: Clothes, Dogs, hiking, Vibram FiveFingers — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 10:41 pm

We are still stuck on events from last weekend. We hiked the 4.5 mile Welsh-Dickey Loop.  It had been one of my first time hiking actual peaks in a while.  For a 4.5 mile hike the views were simply amazing.
View from WelshView from Welsh

View from DickeyView from Dickey

Also, being located in the Southern White Mountains (Waterville Valley region), off I-93, the loop is an easy drive from Boston. The earliest view point is probably a mile or so from the parking lot.

Welsh-Dickey Loop

The peaks are very ledgy. There are even boulders for my husband to play on. In the picture below he chose to Chimney above the trail.

Welsh-Dickey Loop

It’s a really nice trail for a family. Cooper loved the trails and the crowds.

Welsh-Dickey Loop

Welsh-Dickey Loop

Welsh-Dickey LoopWelsh from Dickey

The mountains had these pretty pink wildflowers all over them. I really should study native botany so I know what kinds of flowers I’m blogging about.

Welsh-Dickey Loop

I did all 4.5 miles in the Vibram FiveFingers. The bottoms of my feet felt great (which the large flat ledges probably helped) and I was mostly feeling the muscle fatigue in my upper shins. This corresponds fatigue from the extra use of my toes in walking. So I’d say the biomechanics experiment is working.

Welsh-Dickey Loop

June 15, 2009

FiveFingers Update

Filed under: Clothes, Vibram FiveFingers — Miriam @ 10:31 pm

Vibram Five fingers in action

I’ve been loving my Vibram FiveFingers so far. They are so strange as shoes. I can feel every rock, every stick and every puddle. I find myself having to pay attention to what I am stepping on or in all over again.

Vibram Five fingers in action

I mostly wear them to go walking in the woods with the puppy. This means I don’t wear them as often in real life because they often have leftover mud and dirt inside the shoes. They do dry very quickly though and seem to wash easily. Which is nice because I take them on all sorts of adventures.

Vibram Five fingers in action

When I do wear them out I always get a lot of comments. “Are those shoes?” “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” “Those are cute.” “Where do you find shoes like those?’

As for the biomechanics experiment aspect of wearing the shoes. I feel the plantar fascitiis less while I’m wearing the shoes, but it does sometimes act up afterward. The fact that I can feel everything under my feet makes me cautious, therefore pound less on my feet which probably helps. On the negative side the shoes seem to make my tarsal tunnel syndrome act up on occasion.

Vibram Five fingers in action

I feel very confident wearing them on rock. I feel like I stick to the rock better than with normal sneakers. I would love to wear them on some of the domes in Yosemite.

The funny part of wearing the shoes in the forest is that plant life can get trapped in between the toes.

Vibram Five fingers in action

May 2, 2009

Biomechanics Experiment

Filed under: Clothes, Uncategorized, Vibram FiveFingers — Miriam @ 8:35 am

My new Vibram FiveFingers

I have plantar fasciitis, badly.  I’ve had it for at least three years.  I’ve seen podiatrists, done physical therapy, spent too much money on orthodics that ended up breaking. I used to be a runner, I used to do 30+ mile long backpacks and now I feel trapped because I never know when it acts up how badly it will act up.  It can be crippling to a point that I can barely walk.

I need new orthodics, I’ve been putting it off because the last ones broke and still didn’t seem to help that much. They cost the cost of my deductible so I’ve been putting off finding a new podiatrist to make new orthodics for me. The other day I came across an article that claimed that running shoes can actually be harmful to your feet. I had been looking into the biomechanics of barefoot running for a while and the article made a lot of sense to me.

My new Vibram FiveFingers

So I bought myself a pair of Vibram FiveFingers as an attempt to strengten my feet and hopefully reduce my foot pain by allowing myself to walk in my natural gait.  They are pricey, but so far I’ve really enjoyed them. The FiveFingers are basically just a piece of vibram rubber protecting your foot from the environment. You can flex and spread your toes in a natural fashion and the shoe does not encourage you to run in a specific motion (as in striking heel rolling to toe).

There are people who run with them, but I think I’ll just start off with walking and maybe eventually some hiking.

I’ll keep you updated the progress of my experiment. Worst comes to worst I’ll go back to the podiatrist and get orthodics again.  And in the meantime, I’ll get lots of comments about my shoes.

My new Vibram FiveFingers

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