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I operate a walking tour, this tour may be walked over a few different routes. Each route has its own particular terrain, but the length ends up being nearly the same: 12 KM plus minus 1.5km depending on the night and how fit the people are.

We may take a route with or without stairs (there are a few stair cases in the city) or route may involve uphill/downhill over cobble stones. I normally wear nice walking shoes that are never less than average+plus. I wear medium-thickness socks. We take breaks roughly every 1.5 km. I take supplements such as Vitamins and Minerals as well as protein shakes, etc.

I am not overweight at all and my BMI is roughly what I am supposed to be at, I do not smoke nor drink alcohol.

What is becoming an issue recently is that, My feet feel, what I can best describe as traumatized.It feels like the fatigue has set in and does not want to leave and my feet no longer feel rested. It feels like I have been running for ages all the time now. On top of that I feel the skin under my feet is becoming rougher everyday and applying OTC foot cremes and balms do not seem to do any good although they are not harming me.

Given that I have been this all my life in one form or an other, it is very odd that I have been feeling like this for about 2 months and can not get rest. I have been to doctors and bar something exotic showing up on a later complex blood panel I am very fit and healthy.

Unfortunately I am mentally fine as well, so the route cause is not depression. The reason I said, unfortunately is because, I rather be diagnosed as SOMETHING and start the healing process than just feel tired 24/7 and not be able to perform my job.

There is literally nothing else I can think of to add to this question. Please do share with me none medical opinion and suggestions about what to do.
These are some of the shoes I have ever worn. I will add fotos of the enter image description here enter image description here I will add more if I can take more fotos of them

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    Not clear what you mean by your feet "feeling traumatized". More than just tired and sore? I am not an expert on feet, traumatized or not, but my suggestion is a jacuzzi type foot bath, silky undersocks, and patiently waiting for your skin to toughen. IMO, the only way to get a benefit from skin creams is to buy stock in their manufacturers. But I am a cynic on skin creams.
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 20:26
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    In bare feet ;)? Perhaps you need better fitting boots, and more suitable for the walking you are doing. I walk a fair amount, sometimes that distance, but my feet never get traumatized. My feet and legs do get a bit tired sometimes, but a couple of hours after, I have forgotten. Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 21:02
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    Why do you assume foot creme is the answer? Since you say you do it frequently I would think your skin is used to it so I would be looking at what you are wearing. I notice a big difference between the merino over silk I wear on the trails vs a similar distance in ordinary athletic socks. Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 0:24
  • You have vastly improved your question! I still have several questions about your question: (1) Is is just your feet that are tired, (or feet plus legs) or your entire body? (2) How long does it take you to feel "normal" again? --- Fraction of an hour, an hour, hours, days? (3) If you are doing something else that is vigorous, that involves your feet -- for example, playing tennis or soccer -- do you feel the same trauma and tiredness as with walking? (4) If your tiredness is not just with the feet (see my question #1), do you feel the same with, e.g., working out with weights?
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 19:25
  • Continued from last comment: I ask all this, because I rapidly get tired doing something I am just tired of doing for the nth time, for example, grocery shopping, but am much more vigorous playing tennis. Also, if you present your problem too narrowly (feet) to your doc, he or she might overlook something else (for example, Lyme's Disease) if you are feeling tired all over.
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 19:30

2 Answers 2

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It would have been easier to discuss your problem if you had explained what you meant by your feet being "traumatized". There are two possibilities, as I see it: (1) your skin is sore and/or chafed; and (2) your foot muscles are sore.

For the first, I'd try silky undersocks, a Jacuzzi type soak after the hike, and, for bad chafes, a different boot. People use moleskin and other padding for chafes, but, really, if the boot fits properly, it doesn't chafe. Also, perhaps the skin on your feet will gradually harden with use.

If the problem is with the foot muscles, massage and/or Jacuzzi soak and/or something made for sore muscles such as Tiger Balm (a tingly salve) or BioFreeze (a roll-on tingly application) will help, but the problem could be the boot.

As for creams, I am a cynic about skin creams, especially those spelled "creme"; they probably charge more for the French spelling.

As for the boots, I have hiked for years over bad trails with a light running boot. I have strong ankles and so do not need a big, thick, heavy, over-ankle boot. It is possible that part of your problem is that you have too much boot; you say "walk", not "hike" or "backpack". Try something lighter than you are now using.

You also do not say what you are walking on. If you are walking on rocky trails, particularly if they are steep in places, a single hiking pole is a great help. (I like the Leki pole.) It is like an extra leg. (But two poles, are IMO, overkill unless the trail is steep and slippery.)

Good luck with your experiments.

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    I wouldn't draw any conclusions about "walk" vs "hike". Different variations of English have different preferences there and the use of km is a bit of a hint that the OP isn't American. But any load they may be carrying would make a big difference, as would the terrain (I've had shoes and boots that were otherwise identical, preferring the shoes for urban walking and the boots on rougher ground)
    – Chris H
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 5:40
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    And I take the opposite view on pairs of poles - if using them to ease things for my legs/feet, I much prefer to have 2 and find I settle into a rhythm better. One can still be useful, but more for things like pushing side vegetation, or if one side needs more help than the other. That's not to say that either of us is wrong, just to suggest broader experimenting
    – Chris H
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 5:47
  • CORRECTION: Original version of answer mentioned Icy Hot. I don't know why I said that. What I meant to say was BIOFREEZE. I edited the answer.
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 23:25
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    @ChrisH I think the one-pole vs two-pole people are doomed to fight it out until the end of time. I would strongly suggest people try it both ways and see how they feel. Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 4:15
  • I am sure not going to die on the hill of one pole instead of two poles. I was glad to use two poles descending a steep snow covered slope in the Andes -- not at all technically difficult, not at all dangerous, but would have been a long, wet slide on my rear end down. OTOH, there is nothing more ridiculous than seeing a person use two poles on a smooth, wide, level surface with zero exposure and no rocks or other impediments and no perceptible disability.
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 19:13
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When I look at the photos you provided of the shoes I feel you have a lot of options to improve.

These look like shoes you would wear for a day with little walking, maybe for a day in town where the ground is flat.

Before you spend a lot of money on creams I would suggest you go to a shop where they specialize in out of doors sports and try out several of their shoes and boots.

I love sandals and will hapily walk in a pretty cheap pair for a day in town but when I got my first pair of walking shoes I knew what I had missed so far. And going up into hills I started with boots which was a revelation again.
Tired feet and unhappy feet are almost always from shoes not fit for the work you put them to.

Oh yes, I still love sandals but the ones I am using now are built for serious hikes and I still change into boots for any hills and poor quality paths.

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  • It would be great if you could suggest some stuff about the fabric or the make or thickness of soles, I was offered these by the guys working at the shoe shop.
    – Max
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 19:48
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    for short-medium distances on what sounds like paved surfaces (no dirt trails, from what I read?), proper stability running shoes should be very confortable. Traditional hiking shoes or boots will have stiffer soles which can make walking on pavement less pleasant (that's a trade-off from having better traction and stability on rougher terrain)
    – njzk2
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 19:55
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    @Max, there is no magical 'this works' for shoes. It depends on what is available and on what your feet need, as well as on the road surface. My hiking boots are by the brand Ecco, supple boots with very good air cushions. 2 cm thick soles. My best pair of sandals have less than 1 cm thickness but almost as much cushioning effect. As njzk2 mentions in the comments above, good running shoes will do for many people, I do not own those.
    – Willeke
    Commented Aug 22, 2023 at 0:12

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