I’m not a clever man, nor a particularly driven person. I’ve jumped from job to job without finding a career that I really love. What I have had is my love for the outdoors and my stamina in walking. I did have this, for years the miles just whizzed by. That was until the Summer of 2022 where my right foot decided to not be my friend and developed Plantar Fasciitis. This delicious ailment sends shooting pains up my heel. It is a truly debilitating condition.
In the last entry on my site I spoke about what I’ve tried and the insoles that have helped/hindered. I was going to speak a little more on some insoles that…I think worked for me. Ultimate Performance F3D insoles.
The insoles themselves you cut down to size, similar to Superfeet. They have a memory foam top layer, and then some gel shock absorbers on the heel point and the forefoot joint. They are however quite thick and as such remove some of the volume of your shoes.
I try to embrace any and all opportunities. Much like the film Yes Man, I try to take advantage of things (Not quite to the level of Jim Carrey in the film). A good friend of mine who runs Druthianoutdoors wanted to head to Snowdon. I did my Mountain Leader in North Wales, but never summited Snowdon, therefore I agreed to the trip.
We parked the camper a few hours from Snowdon, then headed off early in the morning. A rarity was that the sun was shining and there was a view-the entire drive their and indeed the ascent.
The vistas emerged as we wound our way through the valleys to the north. Parked up we prepared for the day.
I used my Lowa Zephyr boots, getting a little old now, but the most comfortable for my foot condition. I used some thick merino blend socks (Bridgedale) and tightened up my boots. The walk, although not that treacherous, would test my foot, and the insoles. I did notice that with the socks and the insoles my boots felt significantly smaller than I liked. Snug was an understatement. I had no other boots, and so the walk began. Despite there being a stream of visitors the views were staggering. North Wales in known to be wet, with views presenting themselves seldomly. There was an incredible amount of elevation, so uphill all the way (No shi** Sherlock). This meant my feet were a little more bent using mid foot articulation in the climbing. The path started as tarmac, soon became gravel, then was rocky and more technical.
Halfway up the Mountain we stopped for some coffee. My Jetboil and Cafflano were the envy of many passers by, fresh ground and brewed coffee with a view that was quite simply staggering. The foot so far was holding up. The boots still tight, but no issues.
The climb continued, we passed up through a very steep gravely section, then headed to the summit….and the cafe. The summit had a long line which depressed me, there was also rubbish. so sad to see people not caring about our environment.
We refuelled and started to descend. The boots were ok still with no issues except the slight snugness of them. Heading down the mountain I could definitely feel more stress on my foot, and I did notice my lateral support -left to right- really struggled. Almost as if my foot had no feeling, a numbness. Stepping from rock to rock whist walking took all my attention. Any lapse of concentration meant I slipped as my right foot appeared to have no strength at all.
Half way down the mountain, the views were still smiling at us. My foot however wasn’t. I felt in my left foot ( the healthy foot) a hot spot in the centre of my foot, central to my arch. This concerned me, but as I was on the back leg heading home I just carried on. But did notice the heat on my arch. After several hours of walking we ended up back at the van.
I whipped off my boots and was shocked to see there was no marking on either foot. The hotspot didn’t exist and my feet were fine. They ached, my right more so, but they were fine. I believe the hotspot on lefty was due to the insoles not being cut quite small enough, and so the middle of the insole was popping up and causing me discomfort. An easy fix.
My feet, despite taking a kicking took me to the top of Wales. The insoles I think helped me out. I like them. They are large though and remove space for your toes to wiggle, perhaps this is why they worked so more. Either way I would recommend them, as I would of Snowdon. A stunning place with views that will take your breath breath away.