Walking this week has been a little more challenging than normal.

A previous injury came back to haunt me and slowed my progress once again.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I ended up with a twisted ankle back in week 8 but as my legs, feet and joints are in good shape I recovered quickly from this injury or so I thought.

It turns out that I hadn’t fully recovered and my ankle began to deliver sharp shooting pains as I walked. After a few days of pain the thought came to my mind that perhaps I had caused some more damage to my ankle so I dropped by my physiotherapist friend for some advice.

After another session of prodding, pushing and twisting, I was told that the pain was most likely being caused by uneven support provided by my boots. As my ankle is still a little weak from the injury, the lack of support was causing the joint to twist slightly as I walked and that movement was causing the pain I had been feeling while walking.

Inspecting my boots

When I returned home I carefully examined my boots to see if they had indeed stopped providing the support required. I cycle through three different pairs of boots with each pair being suited for different terrains and weather. I quickly found the culprits. It seems that my trusty mountain boots have taken quite a lot of bashing over the past 4 months.

Despite being heavy boots designed primarily for winter in the mountains, I have been wearing these boots more often in recent months due to the poor weather conditions. The main signs of wear were evident on the soles with the lugs being fairly worn down around the heel and ball areas. There were also signs of wear inside the boot as well especially around the ball area. With this level of wear and tear it is time I retire this pair of boots to prevent further injury to my ankle.

So with old boots swapped out, I headed back out walking and after a few days I began to notice an improvement in my ankle and thankfully the pain has lessened significantly as I write this post.

Walking boots or shoes?

Many people have ask why I don’t opt for light weight walking shoes instead of boots and the reason for my choice is down to the kind of walking I enjoy. I like clambering over things. It is as simple as that and to make sure I prevent injury I wear boots. I find that shoes don’t give me a sufficient level of support I require for my challenge and the ground I am covering. I do own a pair of walking shoes but I tend to wear them when I am camping and need to rest my feet overnight before hitting the trail the next day.

Walk Fifers

At the end of April I was fortunate enough to be asked to assist Gary and the team with our latest free workshop for walkers. The topic for this workshop was introducing the use of a GPS device to beginners. The weather was perfect for getting out and about and everyone who attended the workshop had a great time.

It was really nice for the team to meet more people from the Fife walking community and it was interesting to hear how they found the Walk Fife website and how they use it. As a result of conversations I had throughout the morning, I have more of an idea of which direction people would like to take Walk Fife as we further develop the website, workshops and activities.

Week 18 Lessons

The main lesson I took away from this past week was the need to carefully monitor the condition of the footwear I am wearing to help complete my challenge otherwise I may be at risk of an injury that may bring my challenge to a premature end. In some ways I am glad my ankle played up and made me pause and find out what the problem was but in other ways I could have happily done without the pain.

Walking on…

This coming week is going to be busy for me in terms of work commitments but with the lighter nights coming in I am hopefully going to take advantage of them and head to the trails in the evenings instead of heading out during the day.

If you have any questions about this challenge or anything Walk Fife related, then please drop me a email at sean@walkfife.com or direct message me through my twitter account @SDMakin.

Catch up with you again next week.

Happy Walking!

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Week 17 of Sean’s 4000 Mile Walking Challenge - Walk FifeWeek 19 of Sean’s 4000 Mile Walking Challenge - Walk Fife