Hiking shoes

(058:  Unidentified flower in the wildflower meadow.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M and I are planning a trip to Colorado to visit with the newlyweds and to do a little hiking around Rocky Mountain National Park.  In preparation for the trip, I ordered new hiking shoes from NB Web Express.  I normally wouldn’t even think of ordering shoes online but these are New Balance shoes.  New Balance is one of the few trustworthy brands that come in extra (and extra-extra) wide shoes.  I’ve been buying and wearing New Balance shoes for years now, and got to the point where I could order them online because there is (or was) consistency in their sizing.  And whenever they recommended that you order a half size bigger or smaller, they were right.

My new hiking shoes arrived on Wednesday and were obviously not an extra wide no matter what was printed on the label.  I could barely get the widest part of my foot into the shoe and that took a great deal of pushing and force.  I realize hiking shoes should be a little snug.  This was beyond snug.  This was so tight my toes were squished on top of each other.

I’ve never had that problem with New Balance shoes.  Never.  I was disappointed.  And a little frustrated as there aren’t many choices in hiking shoes that come in an extra wide.  This particular style seemed my best bet in terms of the type of hiking we’ll be doing.  I’m trying to avoid boots because I don’t like wearing boots.  They’re uncomfortable to me.

The good news is that NB Web Express has free return shipping.  It’s quick, easy, and painless.  I shipped the shoes back yesterday.  The problem now is figuring out where to go from here.  New Balance doesn’t have the shoes I want (or need) in an extra wide.  Finding someplace around here that actually carries hiking shoes in an extra wide will present a challenge because I usually go to the New Balance store when looking for something that will fit my wide feet.

I’m sure I’ll figure something out.  I can always wear my old hiking shoes if need be (which happen to be New Balance hiking shoes).  It should be noted that this has not put me off New Balance shoes.  I’ll still buy my walking and running shoes from them.  As far as I’m concerned, they are the best.

I’ve been spending a lot of time outside lately.  The weather here in the Bogs has been amazing.  It started to warm up a bit yesterday and it’s expected to be pretty hot (in the 90’s) today.  The garden wouldn’t mind some rain.

Speaking of the garden, I often wonder why I struggle with myself over the weeding.  Once I’m actually in the garden, pulling weeds, I find it to be an enjoyable pasttime.  Hard work, yes.  But it slows down my thoughts.  Sometimes I reach a point where my mind is quiet and pulling the weeds is all there is.  Sometimes it’s cathartic and/or symbolic, pulling the weeds of my thoughts (believe me, my mind can get pretty cluttered with stuff that turns out to be nothing more than weeds).  It’s also great exercise.  I must remember all of that the next time I put off going out to the garden to work.

8 Comments on “Hiking shoes”

  1. krebiz says:

    Your weeding is my artwork. I sit and simmer and several hours later hoist my butt up and into the studio, and 5 minutes into think, “Man, this is the life!” Gawd knows why I need to agonize over it.

    I’m bummed about your shoes. Have you tried shopping in the men’s dept? I got hiking boots there- they were fabulous. 1.5 to 2 sizes down, usually. Works well for wide feeties like mine. To paraphrase David Sedaris, man feet don’t really look like feet, they look like states. Imagine if you got Montana-shoes!

  2. Bo says:

    It’d good to have some sort of weeding out process for your mind. Yours connects to actual weeding, how appropriate. I think I weed my thoughts by writing and especially journaling. Photography is my panacea–my calmer, my distraction, but it doesn’t do much as far as weeding.

    krebiz might have a good idea—my daughter has wide feet, not long, just wide, and buys her shoes in the boys dept. And an added plus-they are a lot cheaper too.

    • Robin says:

      Bo: You, Krebiz, and my husband are all thinking alike. I used to buy men’s sneakers back in the day (when Chuck Taylors were first popular). I tried on my husband’s hiking shoes last night just to get a feel for the width. Two sizes smaller and they would have been perfect.

      Writing is a good way of weeding too. During the brief period of time I practiced Morning Pages (from “The Artist’s Way”), I found it an excellent way of clearing my mind so I could start the day without mental clutter.

    • Robin says:

      Biz: LOL! What can I say? Guilty as charged? Except… I buy them because they fit my duck feet not because I think they’re cool. I’d buy Nikes if they fit as well. Or any other brand for that matter.

      Still, it was funny. Thanks. 🙂

  3. Norm says:

    Your time spent in the garden sounds like mine behind the lawnmower today. The mind ranges all over while toiling away at mindless tasks with the end result that you’ve accomplished something tangible while achieving a calm focus. Bonus!!

  4. Anna Surface says:

    Gardening and weeding—cultivating the soul. I bought new hiking boots recently and got them at a well-known boot store in my area. The hiking boots I got are the brand called ‘Caterpillar’… just like in farm equipment and tractors. LOL Men not women’s boots because they fit better. I have high arches so it can be difficult to find a fit that doesn’t kill the top of my feet. I have to have room for my feet to spread and each individual toe as I do not like to have my feet smothered.

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