The real advantages of hiking boots is they provide good traction, protection from rocks and sticks, and perhaps also some degree of ankle rollover protection.
These are great advantages in a trail environment, but are of minimal benefit when walking on a sidewalk or treadmill. And the heavier weight of most hiking boots ultimately makes it harder, rather than easier when walking on a sidewalk.
I'd recommend going with conventional athletic shoes explicitly designed for walking, although it is definitely worthwhile getting fitted at a speciality shoe store that better fits your foot shape and gait.
Fitness Minutes: (78,477)
3/31/13 3:56 P
As far as whether or not hiking boots will help, that depends on the terrain you are walking on. If you are on a treadmill or sidewalk, I would say don't waste your money. If you are hiking outside over a rough course outside, especially scaling elevation, then yes, you may want to try hiking boots. Another consideration is your size / weight and also your arches. The bigger the person, the more likely they will need shoes that provide stability and shock absorption. Do you know if your arches are flat, average, or high? Some shoe stores have a thermal imaging device one stands on for 10 seconds and then they step away and see for themselves, comparing their print against 3 depictions of what is considered flat, average, or high. You may want to consider going to a shoe store where the staff is really trained to assess your foot shape, size, arches, and your walking gait. The Road Runner is one such chain of stores. There are others. Look for stores that cater to serious runners and they can help you as a walker too.
I understand your love of walking / hiking. I share it. It is my favorite exercise. I have hiked all over the world from the Himalayas to the Alps to the Andes to the Rockies and many points in between. Still, you could try adding other types of exercise to your fitness plan if walking is causing so much discomfort. I do yoga and swimming and elliptical training. I should be doing weights more and will restart that soon.
I hope this helps!
3/31/13 3:18 P
Is there a reason you're walking so much? Unless you're training for some kind of endurance event, you really don't need that much cardio exercise daily. I'd scale down on the walking and add some strength training to your routine. Your joints might feel better because of it.
Hope that helps,
Fitness Minutes: (36,922)
526 3/31/13 11:00 A
missruth, thnx u for your reply. I do indeed go to the veterans hospital for needs as I am a 100% disabled vietnam veteran with ptsd, and exposure to agent orange spayed on the jungle to elimate hiding places for the viet cong and nva, however I do have heart disease and must exercise which includes 3,1 to 3.5 with small amounts of elevation on my treadmill. I fully understand your advice on the knees as I have read here on SP that they get pressure 2 1/2 times a body weight. The VA like any GOVERNMENT supported organization is hamper by money, so if it is cosmetic(except for accidents) or if you can live with something that is not disabling you then they most likely willnot address it. If they do address it is by protocol, all in all they take good care of me. I was just thinking that since hiking shoes have more cushion and support they might be better Oh yea, i would bet money that I have arthritis, everywhere
Edited by: VATRUCKER at: 3/31/2013 (11:02)
3/31/13 8:08 A
I did indeed glance at your SparkPage....
Could it be that you've got a bit of arthritis in your knees? You're a vet so maybe you go to the VA for your medical needs.... in my personal experience (which, granted, is limited to how I've seen some family members treated there) the VA sometimes isn't the greatest at diagnosing/treating things.
If it's arthritis, idk if a change in shoes is really going to help much. When you say "walk rapid"-- is it closer to a jog? A slow jog maybe? If you do hills-- downhill is harder on the knees. Higher impact activity puts more strain on the joints. A lot of people with arthritis in their knees avoid the higher-impact stuff. Biking or swimming or something is easier on the knees.
So I reckon I'd say maybe get checked out first and make sure there isn't a problem going on with your knees.
Fitness Minutes: (36,922)
526 3/30/13 2:41 P
U have but to read my spark page for backgound on my fitness level and physical condition. I am 66 next friday and walk rapid for 8-10 miles a day. My knees seem to want to hurt sometimes and I am wondering idf buying a good pair of hiking boots for the cushion would be the best choice for physical fitness endeavors. I have currently high cost acis, new balance and neither one seems to help, I use heel cushions tendon support. So with all that said please respond with helpful advice, please glance at my spark page first to gert the entire picture of my condition and must do exercise routine