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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone experience similar symptoms following extremely challenging hiking

    I got back 5 days ago from a hiking trip on the AT with my daughter in New Hampshire from Hanover to Lincoln. The second last day, we hiked over Moosilauke together, and on the last day (July 15th) I hiker alone over the Kinsmans.

    The night after Moosilauke, I woke up at 3 AM and my feet were hot and felt swelled up. I put on compression socks and that helped. I hiked the Kinsman the next day in the compression socks also.

    5 days later, my feet are still bothering me. This only happened once before and that was in July 2018 when I also hiked in the Whites. Between then I hiked several times including 20+ miles days and no issues. It is like the Whites bring it on, but nowhere else.

    I am also experiencing general itchiness. Has anyone experienced symptoms like this? If so, how long did they last? Otherwise I am in very good health. I am 49 and not on any medication. I exercise nearly every day, but not getting any younger.

    My wife is concerned that this is indictative of a bigger issue. The last time it happened it went away in a few days. It has only been 5 days but it seems worse than last year. Please let me know if anyone else goes through this. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    The whites are lot bonier that most of the AT (except for parts of PA). If you use trail runners the cushioning is less than normal boots. When I start my summer hiking it does take a few long hikes before my feet toughen up.

    An off the wall question is if you are on statins for cholesterol? It can cause swelling of the feet.

  3. #3
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    I wear Keen hiking shoes. My feet took a beating of course, but came out Ok. The swelling seems to be from excess blood. No, I am not on statins or any other drugs.

  4. #4

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    I occasionally get exercise induced vasculitis. It might be what you have. https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/exe...ed-vasculitis/

  5. #5
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    Here is an update: It is now a week exactly since I hiked (16.4 mile slackpack over the Kinsmans in NH). The swelling and general strange feeling in my feet has gone way. I think that I have a mild case of Peripheral Edema. So far only the Whites are difficult enough to bring it out.

    I even wore calf length compression socks on this hike and still got it, but not until I went from hiking to a 2 hour car ride. BTW: The hike was awesome and I really enjoyed it.

  6. #6

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    I had something similar happen a few years ago, without the itchiness (as far as I recall).

    It was the last day of a week long hike. I finished the Smokies (nobo) and walked the gravel road back to big Creek ranger station for a total of 19 ish miles for the day. I'd had the same pair of Keens for a few years and about 500 trail miles.
    I think the foam rubber mid sole breaks down before the tread wears out, because I remember feeling each rock I stepped on, and my feet hurt that day, and both feet still hurt one week later, and one foot hurt for two weeks.

    I've done a few other 19+ mile days since then, with newer boots, with no problem - but this last trip a few weeks ago, my feet started feeling every rock again. I didn't get the sore (bruised?) feet this time, but I think it's time for a new pair of boots before my next trip.

  7. #7

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    I would also suggest that you sleep with your feet elevated when hiking. You can pitch your tent on a slight incline & sleep with your feet elevated that way (you will get used to it), or put your feet up on your gear at the bottom of your tent, or do both. Additionally, you should take a long lunch break (or more than one break during the day) and take off your hiking shoes and prop your feet up on a tree, backpack, shelter wall, or whatever. You'd be surprised what a difference that will make.

  8. #8
    Registered User kestral's Avatar
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    I have definitely had this. Didn’t know the proper terminology, with one particularly bad episode, my GP thought it could be cellulitis (bacterial infection of skin and sub skin layers) and put me on a course of antibiotics. I think this could progress to cellulitis quite easily. Anyway, it resolved in a few days.

    When in doubt, I try to err on the side of caution. Antibiotics can be overused, but they have also saved many lives.

  9. #9
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    Good discussions all around. I personally don't think it is a good idea to remove my shoes during lunch but wait until the end of the day. Sleeping with feet up and raising feet are excellent suggestions and something I will add to my daily routine.

    I would suggestion that others look into compression socks, they helped to keep the issue in check while hiking. One thing I noticed is that my feet started to bother me during the long walk along the paved bike trail that I had to walk on for 3/4 a mile to the Flume parking lot.

    It is not my shoes, they are still in good shape with less than 250 miles on them. My feet still feel very protected on the rocks. The Keens were a big upgrade for me over my Merrill Moabs which I used to wear.

    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. (Missing the AT from my cubicle in Florida)

  10. #10

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    FWIW I recently had swelling of the right foot during the heat wave the following day after a fairly routine and easy 6-mile hike. Swelling went down after a couple of days but it was a little concerning. I figured it was something temporary so I didn't see a doctor.

  11. #11
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    Not applicable to the OP but applicable to the symptoms. This symptom happens for many folks on statins, Zocor was the worst but newer varieties also can do it. I used to plan on wearing one size larger shoes for a day or two after a hike until I figured out what was going on. I had other far worse symptoms so I am off statins. A miracle drug for some but not all.

  12. #12

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    Taking the boots off at lunch break does wonders for drying out the socks!
    The boots may dry a little, too, if they are put in a sunny spot.
    Remember, dry feet are happy feet (as far as blisters go).

  13. #13

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    Possible damage to the nerves in the feet from the stress of hiking. Road walking puts more stress on the feet than walking on trails.

    I’ve often wondered if trail runners, when worn on pavement, cause more damage to the feet than softer, more pliable running shoes. The trail runners I’ve owned were very uncomfortable on road walks.

  14. #14
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    Possible water retention in the lower legs, possibly due to excess salt/sodium. Look at the sodium content of your food. Normal/optimal non-exertion level should be <2500 mg/day. You can do that in one meal if you're not careful.

    TW
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

  15. #15
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    Maybe completely unrelated, but, I've had issues with my feet due to wearing calf length compression sleeves. In my experience, obviously not the same as many, many other people, I find compression socks and especially calf length compression sleeves to cause all kinds of both nerve and circulation problems in the feet including some minor long-term nerve damage.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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