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Hello and Help!


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Hi there,

Completely inexperienced hiker here, set out on the Nakasendo route from Kyoto to Tokyo in Japan eleven days ago, precisely because it's famously not too challenging a route, so I thought it would be a good start (although it is very long).

I'm now coming up to half way through, and while I'm really enjoying it, I've been suffering from excruciating foot pain after about the 15km mark every day since about the second day, which makes the end of each day a real ordeal.

I'm absolutely fine in terms of fitness, weight, health etc., I've bought special shoes with specially recommended insoles, my pack isn't too heavy (10kg), there's no visible damage to my feet and after a few hours rest they feel completely fine.

Yet despite all this, every single day I get a burning ache in both feet after about 15k of walking that gets worse and worse until often I'm hobbling the last few kilometres (I'm doing 20-25km each day).

I've tried cutting down daily distances, carrying out various stretches, increasing rest frequency and duration, lying down and putting my feet above heart level every hour, taking rest days, and even doing a day or two without my pack. However, nothing seems to stop the onset of the pain. 

I would have written it off as teething troubles, but it's been happening pretty much exactly the same way since very early on, and doesn't seem to be affected by all my attempted counter measures, and although it's not getting better, it's also not getting worse (which is good because it's extremely painful).

I've read plenty of accounts of other people with little or no experience doing far longer distances than me each day on this same route, and I've done plenty of long distance walks in my time (although nothing longer than two days).

However, being an idiot beginner as I am, I'm fully prepared to find out that I'm doing something wrong/missing something glaringly obvious. Just wanted to reach out to some experienced people, even if it is to get told I'm a starry eyed fool who should have prepared properly. 

Any and all advice gratefully received, and nice to meet you all!

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have you ever used these shoes before?  If not, I would call them the prime suspects?  Might be worth trying to purchase an inexpensive pair of replacement shoes and try them for a day, to see if it makes a difference???

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How are your feet? 

Hopefully it's your shoes. I think it's more likely your feet. Feet are complex and most people don't do anything to prepare their feet for walking 25k. Our bodies adapt to things and hopefully your feet are becoming conditioned to walking all day and don't hurt as much. Newbies are always blaming their gear for them being out of condition. Give your body time to adapt. If the pain continues, see a doctor. I had to see a podiatrist when I started hiking a lot.

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