Putting My Best Foot Forward

The AT has already humbled me, and I haven’t even started.

It’s been a minute since my last post, to be honest, I’ve been in panic mode over an old foot injury.

It began with my shakedown hike through The Whites a few months ago. I started hiking with high spirits, my gear in order, and my old dog Gracie Lou by my side.


Then, six miles in and halfway up a mountain, the universe decided to remind me that I’m not indestructible. I felt a sharp pain in my right foot, a familiar pain, distinctly reminiscent of mile 10 in a previous half marathon I ran. I clearly remember my foot breaking…but I kept running…then didn’t go to the doctor afterwards. We’ll chalk this up to a rookie move.

So halfway up the mounting and instantly in agonizing pain, I begrudgingly turned around, took off my boots, put on my Chacos, and walked back down – all the while stringing together the most eloquent rant of profanity that has ever been created.

I quit my job.
Sold almost everything I own.
And I can’t even make it 6 miles.

I felt defeated, but by the time I reached the bottom, my foot no longer hurt. That debilitating pain seemed to be completely contingent on my shoe choice. For a moment, my screams of profanity turned to joyous cheers for Chacos and whatever beautiful angels create them.


When I came back to Texas, I went in preparation mode. I made an appointment at the podiatrist and started looking at alternative footwear.

Fast forward two months later and I’m on the right track to the trek. (Yeah, that was a pun) I’ve got anti-inflammatory pills for the hike, I’ve been doing physical therapy every day, and training with my new ortho insoles in TRAIL RUNNERS. No more boots for this NOBO. I’m now back to worrying about which pasta side I should eat vs if my foot is going to fall off before I even leave Georgia.


Take care of your feet ladies and gents. For that matter, take care of your entire body and mind. That’s what it’s all about.

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Comments 3

  • Chili : Jan 26th

    It’s sort of embarrassing to admit this, but I had some footwear problems on a section hike in the Whites last year. My right foot was hurting really bad and felt like my shoe was limiting circulation. I know that my right foot is ‘slightly’ larger than my left, so while I was out there, I chalked it up to that fact.

    About a month later, I ended up in REI shopping for a new pair of hiking shoes. I asked an employee if I could try on a few pairs, and she asked me what size I needed. Since I own different shoes in a few different sizes, I had to check. My right shoe was a FULL SIZE (10.5 vs 11.5) smaller than the left! No wonder it hurt! And I felt pretty stupid that I never checked!

    So, I returned them, since the offered to take them back due to the mismatch. I didn’t however, find a pair that I liked. I returned them anyway, right off my feet (I wore them into the store… the only shoes I had with me that day, lol) and walked out in my lime green Injinjis.

  • Chris : Jan 26th

    ever since i walked my first 20 miles in my trial runners i never had any thoughts of going back to boots for my NOBO. Hope that foot holds up see you in GA soon.

    • KT Saunders : Jan 29th

      I’m right there with you! Glad to hear others have made the switch successfully. See you out there!


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