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Feature Entry: If You’re 'Walk'en to New Orleans' You Need Walking Socks
Walking while on vacation serves two historical antecedents. First, many vacationers want to sight see and walking is often the most convenient way to see the sights. Second, individuals tend to eat more while on vacation and walking is an important way to burn the extra calories.
The MoneyWalker follows several blogs and on-line interest groups, one being TheTravelzine@yahoogroups.com. A recent thread allowed discussion of the importance of good walking shoes including walking socks. Wrote Stef from Chicago:
Hello Gail and Fellow Walking Ziners:
Gail is correct, socks are “extremely” important. I have worn Thorlo's for at least 20 years. They come in many versions for all activities: walking, running, hiking, Tennis, etc. Thorlos may be a bit expensive, but boy are they fabulous! Once you
examine them for each sport you will understand the science behind the design
and structure each sock has for each exact sport or exercise.They are made in
Statesville, NC, and dedicated to the science of socks. http://www.thorlo.com/
Stef, in sunny sweltering Chicago
ChicagoAs it turns out, the MoneyWalker owns a pair of Thorlos and they are expensive. I found them to provide very good comfort but no more so than my Wigwams or high end Nikes. Still the resistance was too much, I opened Thorlo’s website to have a peek. I found a treasure of an information piece called “Why Walking Thorlos? More Protection…More Walking!” http://www.thorlo.com/ws6/why_thorlos.php?activity_id=12 A few of the highlights follow, the MoneyWalker's comments are in parentheses:
- “More walking for us is more life.” (The more we walk, the longer we live.)
- “Walking is not only the best exercise you can do, it’s what our bodies were ‘designed’ to do.” (Walking is a safe natural exercise.)
- “Walking Thorlos (or any high end brand of walking socks) are designed to help protect your feet from the damaging forces of impact, shear and blistering when exercise walking.” (Quality walking socks helps protect joints.”
- “During heel strike, when the heel makes contact with the ground the outer edge touches first. The muscles, tendons and ligaments of the foot relax, allowing the foot to flatten, to adapt itself to non-uniform surfaces, and to absorb the body's impact which is as much as 1-1/2 times the body's weight at normal walking speed.” (A proper functioning foot that fully relaxes at heel contact is important to prevent falls.)
- “Given the significant range of motion through which the foot goes during walking and running, it is understandable that placing this dynamic appendage in the static environment of a shoe inherently limits the foot's functionality.” (Speaks to the importance of well engineered walking shoes and socks to mitigate the modern practice of wearing shoes rather than walking barefoot.)
- Shearing, “Shearing forces occur when the metatarsal bones glide over layers of the plantar fat pads and skin that are not moving in the same direction as the bones. This creates a situation in which the fat pads become inflamed, and over time, degenerate.” (Well designed padded socks help prevent shearing, blistering, and fat pad degeneration.)
- Moisture, “Moisture retained by socks inside the shoe softens the skin of the foot and makes it more vulnerable to blistering.” (A well engineered walking sock wicks moisture away from the foot.), and finally,
- Plantar fat pad protection, “After the age of about 40, many people experience a loss of as much as 50% of the plantar fat pads that protect the bottom of the feet. This fat pad degradation is primarily the result of shearing forces from walking on smooth, unyielding man-made surfaces, and is exacerbated by poorly designed and poorly fitted shoes.” (Walking socks should provide textured padding to support the foot because of the wearing away effect of the aging process.)
As Stef said, “Walk on!” And if you are walking in the humidity of New Orleans, select a well padded socks that wick the moisture.
Journal Entry: Current weight and money found.
Current Weight = 174.2 lbs
Money found since last posting = $7.19, $1.44 average for five walks.