I'm preparing to do the John Muir Trail. I did a 13 mile hike yesterday (in the same hiking boots that I comfortably hiked to Mt Everest Base Camp). Towards the early part of the hike, my right arch started hurting and continued throughout the hike. Once I finished and got home, my right arch was sore and both of my arches were actually sore to the touch.
I had orthotics in my boots.
Any suggestions how I can prevent this in the future? New boots? New orthotics? Something else?
Thank you for your help and I understand that you are not providing medical advice.
Without a medical background, I'd invite you to think over a couple of questions and to try some modifications to see if the pain changes:
Did you use the orthotics on your base camp hike? My first inclination would be to remove the inserts and see if the pain returns on your next hike.
Have you been increasing other activities, such as walking, biking and/or running? You may have some overt, or sneaky overuse from other activities that could be contributing to the arch pain.
Have you had any major physical changes (e.g. weight gain/loss, loss or gain in fitness, pregnancy, chronic illness?) Physical changes in any part of the body can contribute to changes in your feet, which will impact the way those feet fit in your boots. At that point, a change in orthotic use, or even in the boot itself might be necessary.
Most importantly, did you wake up the next morning with the same arch pain at nearly the same intensity? If the arch pain is at the same level as it was when you finished your hike after sleep, I'd recommend making an appointment with a doctor ASAP. If you find that the pain in the arch disappeared, but reappeared in the heel, it could be an indication of inflammation of the long plantar fascia in your foot. If you were pain-free the next day, I'd imagine it would be an acute injury or pain that could be relieved from adjustments in footwear.
Definitely think about those questions, and then try the hike without your orthotics. If pain persists, contact a doctor, and hopefully you'll be hiking without pain soon! Happy trails!
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