Tuesday, August 18, 2020

blog setup and foot-testing

I haven't set up a new walk blog quite yet. It'll be titled Kevin's Walk 4 when it appears, and it might actually be done on Squarespace, where I think I can buy my own domain name (bighominid.com, of course—it still hasn't been taken), which might be nice. After the walk, I might create another BigHominid's Hairy Chasms blog, also on Squarespace, and probably at the same URL. We'll see. The clock is ticking down for Blogger: we users are all supposed to switch over to the new Blogger interface by the end of this month, which sucks balls. Hell, I have have a new Hairy Chasms up by early September, before the actual walk, which will take place in either late September (like last year) or in early to mid-October.

Today, I'm wearing my old size 12s from last year, just to test out their feel and remember what it was like to wear them. The shoes I've been wearing for the past few months, my New Balance size 13s, haven't been perfect. I have days during which they perform fantastically, and I have days when they pull, press, and tug at my feet in all sorts of uncomfortable ways. Overall, I'm not happy with the 13s, and I'm thinking I might drop down to a size 12.5. A couple months ago, I finally took the step of actually measuring my feet to see how much they've spread over time... and they still seem to be around a size 11. Go figure. I have no idea what's going on, and no idea what this means. Size 11s, at this stage, feel tight. There's no denying that. Size 12s are manageable, although there's a bit of side-squeeze around the toes, and size 13s—on a very good day—are loose and comfortable.

I'm trying to figure out which shoes to order for this upcoming walk. My size 13s aren't really that worn down despite months of use, but it's been inconsistent use, over short distances—nothing like walking to Busan and averaging 26-27 km per day. I definitely want to scale back on the shoe size, but I'm debating over going with size 12 or size 12.5. The latter is an unknown quantity; size 12 is "the devil you know." That said, 12.5 may be the way to go: a slightly looser fit, but without the weird pulling and tugging of a size 13. Size 12s crush my toes a tiny bit, and last year, after I Leukotaped my right pinky toe, that toe-crushing factor was multiplied inside my shoe, and there was plenty of pain: hundreds of kilometers of it. So now, while writing this paragraph and thinking out loud about the issue, I think a size 12.5 shoe is the safer bet.

But I just checked Amazon, and Amazon doesn't sell 12.5s in my preferred model. Shit. In fact, after looking at other New Balance shoes on Amazon, I see that none of the models come in a 12.5 Damn. Upshot: I need to take a few more days to think this through, and maybe to find another website that has 12.5s and can mail shoes to South Korea. I might pay a bit extra if I'm not using Amazon, but that may be worth it.

One hitch: ever since my stress fracture healed, the bones of my right foot have felt... different. When my right foot rolls forward as I walk, I can feel pressure in the pads at the base of my final two toes, as if the metatarsals, when they healed, somehow curled in slightly. I'm a bit worried that too much pressure on those bones might result in another stress fracture, so I'm now starting yet another dieting regime (on the assumption that weight loss = less overall pressure on the feeties), and I'm going to be doing some test walks to see how my feet handle longish distances. One massive walk that I can do would be a round-trip out to Bundang and back: that would be over 50,000 steps. A real test would be to do such a walk both Saturday and Sunday so I could get an impression of what two harsh days in a row might feel like.

Anyway, wish me luck. Now that I have the boss's go-ahead for a walk to Busan, things are starting to come together. There's less to prepare, the third time around, but there's still much to be done before the walk even begins. Stay tuned!


John Mac said...

Looking forward to another vicarious journey!

I struck out in my online buying experience. Three of the four pairs I ordered didn't even fit. Partly because the seller didn't bother sending the size I ordered. Still, I like to try the shoe on first. I've discovered that not all size elevens are created the same.

Kevin Kim said...

John Mac,

I can't say I've batted a thousand when buying shoes online, but I've gotten some decent shoes that way. Here in Korea, finding shoes in my size is a real pain in the ass, and the one time I tried buying large shoes close to Namdaemun Market, the shoes turned out to be painful as hell... a fact I didn't discover until I'd worn the shoes for a few days. Sometimes, it's impossible to know what's going to work and what isn't.