For 4 months now my feet, hips, pelvis and lower back have been dreadful. I’ve had niggly ball of foot pain before but nothing like this – trust me when I say it’s sodding agonizing to walk when the soles of your feet hurt! My hip sockets have also been painful….again. In 2014 I was diagnosed with Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome (I seem to collect syndromes like other people collect rare china!) and spent 9 months on crutches ‘resting’. It showed up again in the Autumn of 2016 like an unwanted ex and my crutches came out of storage. Last time my right hip/leg was the most sore and this time it’s been my left (my pain likes to move around just in case I get bored). My SI joint is also playing up after being really good for a couple of years now.
I had no idea what had set my lower body off and when you don’t know the cause of something it makes it hard to cure. I instinctively knew, however, that my feet were the cause of my hip, pelvic and SI pain so I tried 4 different kind of shoe insoles to see if they would help. This is on top of the half a dozen I’ve tried over the years from my Podiatrist, including custom made moulded insoles which actually made my feet worse, WTF?! In desperation, in December I spent £80 I didn’t have on some G8 insoles, which are used by cyclists. They come with customizable arch supports with 5 different heights which you can move around – an ingenious idea. They felt great but sadly didn’t help my foot pain. I even tried metatarsal pads, which were seriously uncomfortable and didn’t help either.
The only thing that had changed in the Autumn of 2016 was that I’d bought myself some posh new wellies. The Lake District is renowned for its rainfall and I live in wellingtons about 10 months of the year. For the past few years I’ve had Dunlop Blizzard, which are really comfy and snuggly warm due to their fur lining, but they only last a couple of years before they either split or the lining disintegrates. So this time I went for some stupidly expensive Muck Boots. They are the warmest wellies I’ve ever owned, look trendy, are totally waterproof (as against water resistant as cheaper neoprene wellies tend to be) and even with my 4 degree insoles in felt really comfy, if slightly snug on my right foot. I also thought that, being more fitted on the leg, they would be more supportive for my ankles which did tend to flop around in my previous wellies. I loved my Muck Boots but it turned out the feeling wasn’t mutual.
As my wellies were the only thing I’d recently changed, I went back to my old Dunlop Blizzards just to see if made any difference and to my absolute amazement within a few days my feet were less painful. I’ve now been back in my Dunlops for 3 weeks and both my foot and hip pain are 70% improved (my SI joint is still niggling away but you can’t have everything in life!). I’m gobsmacked that the Muck Boots, which felt totally fine, have caused such havoc.
Regular wellies, like my Dunlops, have wide feet in which your tootsies tend to slop around a bit. I have slightly wide feet (size D) when they’re measured and have to accommodate my insoles, so do need plenty of room in my footwear. Muck Boots are tight fitting on the leg and, unlike regular wellies, are also narrow in the feet fitting more like shoes. Although they felt comfy enough I think that when I walk my stretchy foot ligaments cause my feet to splay out considerably and there simply wasn’t enough room for that in the Mucks. Like my Podiatrist said, 1 or 2mm makes a massive difference to people with EDS where it wouldn’t bother the rest of the population.
I now have a £90 pair of brand new size 4 (EU 37) Muck Boots and an £80 pair of size 4 G8 insoles for sale if anybody fancies them!