For six months or so, I’ve had a pain in my left heel.
I first chalked it to a deep bruise that wouldn’t heal, but lately non-podiatrists have told me it could be plantar fasciitis. It’s also likely that my foot problem is a symptom of the inexorable slide toward oblivion that awaits us all.
On that happy note, I was recently in the market for a sturdy pair of shoes with superior heel support. My choice for years has always been between running and hiking shoes, mainly because they seem to hold up better given my girth. A website called hypertextbook.com includes a page that, citing a research paper on pressure versus force, says a 200-pound man exerts 20 pounds per square inch. I weigh about 230, and suffice it to say, every one of those pounds has seemed like they resound in my heel with every nearly step.
I glanced at an unusual pair of running shoes at a local sporting gear store. With a gigantic heel, they provide incredible support for that part of the foot, an employee informed me, but at $150, the pair was not supported by my wallet.
I decided to go back to a pair of hikers from Merrell, the outdoor apparel company. A previous pair stood up well, and the Moab Ventilator is built with “full bumper protection at the toe and around the heel,” which “means your feet stay comfortable even after you’ve been out for hours,” according to the company’s website.
Augmenting the new pair with some insoles for even more support, I hiked the Rim trail in Snowmass Village, walked around Aspen for my job and was edified by the lack of pain.
The shoes are great, sturdily built with good traction.
Sadly, the hurting heel was only dormant. It still hurts, I still think it’s a bruise, and I’m still determined to outlast it. On the other hand, maybe a podiatrist could provide a fix for my ailing hoof.
Does a vacation with a couple of months in a hammock, daily foot massages and the gentle application of exotic ointments come in prescription form?
Get Your Own
Merrell Moab Ventilator,
$89.99, Sports Authority