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my workout regime is somewhat idiosyncratic but tends to produce good results. it also, very occasionally, leads to mystery pain. as background, i have a series of one or two hour loops from my office. when i can steal an hour or two, i go out for a walk. i always carry a backpack, varying the size and amount of weight depending on how i feel, what the hills are like in the loop i'm doing, whether i have a trip coming up. i also vary shoes - from fivefingers to trail runners on up to a pair of limmer standards - and clothing depending on the weather, because this is a four-season endeavor. consequently, i rarely if ever experience foot pain, pack bruises, or other symptoms of a long layoff from hiking. at most, my legs might get sore because no matter where i go in or near washington DC, i'm not going to find a nice 3000+ foot vertical gain hike.
today, i did a two hour loop carrying a 50 pound pack. wore the limmer boots w/smartwool socks and a thin wicking liner. an hour into the walk, the ball of my right foot started to feel sore. after another 45 minutes, it went from sore to really bothersome. at that point, i stopped, swapped shoes, and continued back to my office in the pair of fivefingers (spyridons, if you care) that i happened to have stashed in my pack. i walked (carefully) the rest of the way, and though my right foot was still a little tender, it didnt' bother me nearly as much as it did while i was wearing the boots. my left foot feels fine, no pain at any point. more peculiar, these boots are several years old and haven't bothered my feet since i broke them in.
i generally subscribe to the theory that the simplest explanation is most often the correct one. my theory is that i laced up my right boot too tightly, and this affected how my foot was striking the ground when i walked. if anyone is familiar with limmer boots, they make it very easy to lace them tight and keep your foot seated very securely. that is a wonderful thing for preventing toe bang on downhills.
has anyone experienced something like this? any alternate explanations i might consider? I'm sure i will think about how i lace these boots up the next time I use them, but that probably won't be for at least a few days...and i want an answer NOW!