Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Feet and legs hurt
Display Avatars Sort By:
Casey Balza
(equals) - F
Feet and legs hurt on 09/07/2011 18:19:29 MDT Print View

I just got back from a multi day trip where I backpacked two 25 mile days in a row and usually by mile 10 on day one and mile 1 on day two the bottoms of my feet hurt with every step. Also I noticed my hamstrings begin to hurt as well.

I was wondering if this is the natural process of becoming a stronger long distance hiker or if I need more support...trekking poles...different shoes....?

The shoes I used were a cheap pair of running shoes.

How do I stop the pain?

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Feet and legs hurt on 09/07/2011 18:35:57 MDT Print View

Sounds normal to me unless you're conditioned for that kind of travel. If you're a weekend warrior like most people, you can expect this kind of result with higher mileage. You can either start walking 20+ miles every day, keep your daily mileage on weekend trips lower, or become one with the pain. :-)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Feet and legs hurt on 09/07/2011 20:28:09 MDT Print View

"The shoes I used were a cheap pair of running shoes.

How do I stop the pain?"

I think the answer is quite obvious. Get some decent footware.

--B.G.--

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: ouchie on 09/08/2011 07:49:25 MDT Print View

I think the obvious answer is to build some strong legs and feet! Fortunately this is easy, walk more.

(This is assuming it was a "darn that hurts but I can deal" sort of pain, given that you finished your trip. It's certainly possible to hurt yourself pushing too hard. Gotta discern between different types of pain.)

Even with the best training, my soles and hammies still hurt upon occasion. It's just at mile 30 rather than mile 10.

Casey Balza
(equals) - F
Feet and legs hurt on 09/08/2011 08:51:33 MDT Print View

Yeah it was a pain that I could deal with. I just started hiking faster because it hurt the same if I went fast or slow. I used to only do 10-12 mile days, this was the first with the 25 mile days. Thanks for all the feedback guys. I'm glad to hear that it is a normal thing and that it will get better the more I hike.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Feet and legs hurt on 09/08/2011 09:20:45 MDT Print View

I just got back from a multi day trip where I backpacked two 25 mile days in a row and usually by mile 10 on day one and mile 1 on day two the bottoms of my feet hurt with every step.

Can you be more specific?

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
bottom of your feet hurt? on 09/08/2011 15:27:51 MDT Print View

Hamstrings seem like the normal pain of pushing your muscles. If the bottom of your feet hurt that sounds like a problem with your shoes. There is some muscle in the arch of your foot that can get sore with being on your feet all day, but the pads of your feet have no muscle. It sounds like you were bruising them.... that is not a "good" kind of hurt.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Feet and legs hurt on 09/08/2011 16:41:02 MDT Print View

We can only work within the confines of the vague data you gave. Just being bluntly truthful. My recommendation is to look up a picture of foot anatomy and try to narrow down what hurts. Arches? Heels? Toes?

From what you did give, I'm betting it's normal getting used to it.

Casey Balza
(equals) - F
Feet and legs hurt on 09/08/2011 18:38:09 MDT Print View

The pads of my feet don't hurt. The pain is more internal like actual muscle or tendons. It feels good even to massage it, so I am assuming now since I have been off my feet for two days it is just normal wear and tear. I'm going to go to REI and see if I can find out if my feet need some better support and get inserts or something.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Feet and legs hurt on 09/08/2011 18:52:08 MDT Print View

The pads of my feet are almost always tender after a long day in the back country and I walk 50+ miles a week on asphalt in the front country. When it happens varies a lot by terrain though. I recently did a trip that covered 30+ miles and over 15k ft elevation in one day. My feet were less tender and I didn't notice them until much later than another recent trip that was pretty flat and only covered 15 miles in a day. It also depends a lot on what you're walking over. Golf-ball sized stones, roots, solid rock, padded duff, etc. will all impact your foot in a different manner.

Please don't let someone at REI who knows little about the foot sell you overbuilt and over-supportive footwear to combat something that's perfectly normal.

Edited by simplespirit on 09/08/2011 18:54:45 MDT.

Casey Balza
(equals) - F
Feet and legs hurt on 09/08/2011 22:15:12 MDT Print View

I'll take your advice Chris. I just got an employee pass to the Columbia Sportswear store so I'm going to get some Montrail trail runners. :)

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Feet and legs hurt on 09/12/2011 12:28:59 MDT Print View

Even when I was hiking the PCT and in the best shape of my life, my feet were killing me at the end of a 25 mile day. I usually felt fine the next morning. Two 30 mile days in a row wiped me out. Now, two years later, my feet hurt every day all the time. So take it easy. You're doing too much!

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Feet and legs hurt on 09/12/2011 13:07:59 MDT Print View

You could still provide more detail, but I'm going to guess your plantar fascia is sore. That can be caused directly and indirectly. It can be caused directly by your feet not being strong enough. Being overweight or carrying a lot of weight can cause you to shift weight towards the ball of your foot and make this problem worse. You can consciously change your gait so that you carry more weight on your heel. It can also be caused indirectly by your posterior chain. The posterior chain includes your calf, hamstring and glute muscles, and some others. When they're tight, they'll pull the entire chain and eventually pull the plantar fascia. Stretching the plantar fascia helps alleviate the pain, but that may actually be a bad thing since it can allow your foot to be more flexible than it should be. I'm not saying don't stretch your plantar fascia, but I think it's much better to stretch the other muscles. I can understand if you want to use arch supporting insoles on long hikes, but you should avoid using them on shorter 'training' hikes so that your foot has the opportunity to get stronger.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
naproxen sodium on 09/12/2011 14:35:25 MDT Print View

ie aleeve. take one every 12 hrs (I do at bedtime and wakeup time). advice from a friend who is an ortho. prevents the muscle aches and pains.

but yes, you do "strengthen" over time. If I go a long time without a hike and then get out, even for a short trip, I do notice the aches come earlier than when I'm out every to every other weekend.

also being a daily runner can help as well.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
work up to ..... on 09/14/2011 21:35:48 MDT Print View

It's a huge difference, 10 miles vs. 25 miles. You gotta work up to those kind of days. And you need footware for the conditions you are in. A good pair of trail runners will definitely help, but conditioning is key. I'm surprised that no one mentioned the gym. Do some work there that will help your feet to get stronger and your legs as well. Ten miles is a long day for many but twenty-five would kill most. I know I can't do that. But you did it and survived. Good for you. Now get some fitness, a good pair of shoes, and enjoy it more next time you do it. And work up to it so it's not so tough.

Also, read some PCT trail journals and you'll get an even better idea of what's required to do big miles. I'd recommend Erin's blog. If you Google Erin's PCT blog you'll find it. Good luck.

Casey Balza
(equals) - F
Shoes were the problem on 09/14/2011 22:37:23 MDT Print View

I went for a hike earlier today with some hiking boots I had and wow what a huge difference. I think the old running shoes I used on my long hike was the problem. I could feel every rock and stick with the running shoes and with the boots it was like armor on my feet. With new shoes I think 30 mile days will be fine. (I am in shape...I not a fatty...)