Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes
I recently got the above photo from Ron. Ron is a 60+ guy who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee—after some 32 years of running.
What follows is his story about what the doc's had to say about how he should handle the news, and as you might guess, some FiveFingers came into the picture:
I call this my victory photo.
Last year, at age 60, and after 32 years of running, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the left knee. It hurt to walk, let alone, run. My general practitioner doctor suggested minimalist footwear as part of a program that included stretching and strengthening. [Meanwhile, both the] knee specialist and the physical therapist said to back off and use orthotics.
I took my general practitioner's advice.
Well, here I am a year later, relaxing at over 14,000 feet on the top of Mount Bierstadt in the Rocky Mountains. This was just one of several hikes I took during a 6-day vacation. I totalled nearly 35 miles of hiking and every step in my Vibram KSO Treks.
I proved to myself that I wasn't too old to make such a big change after 32 years of walking and running in the most expensive and most cushioned shoes. Of course, I still have osteoarthritis in the knee, but I am back at it, thanks to the therapeutic value stretching, strengthening, and minimalist footwear.
(I go barefoot alot, too!)
Fantastic to hear, Ron! And kudos for following your intuition and having success despite adverse conditions.
Hope you have many more successful hikes!