Footwear by Footskins moccasins saved my knees!
Ok so that might be a bit dramatic but let me tell you this story real quick. About a year and a half ago I was getting desperate. My knees would always start getting pretty painful even after a short mile or two hike in the woods. Hills made it worse, and living in mountain country, it certainly is hilly!
A few years prior I was out jogging and all of a sudden both of my knees started hurting, so I stopped and walked home, which was not fun. It hurt! So after a few weeks of resting, icing and heating my knees, I went to the doc. He tried different things, gave me a diagnosis of a tendon issue, tried different shoe inserts, and the list goes on and on! So after two years of this and still not being able to go for extended hikes in the woods (which is my life!) I was desperate for anything.
Around this time the Barefoot running craze was in full bloom. I looked at the design behind those goofy Vibram shoes with the individual toes…..they look silly but boy did the idea make sense! A bigger toe box that is actually shaped for a foot to fit into rather than a fashion statement. There is no ‘Slope” to the sole of the shoe, allowing my foot to sit flat on the ground which is kind of how our anatomy is designed isn’t it? Are we SUPPOSED to walk around with our feet and an angle all the time?
Anyway so I was convinced. I went to a local sporting goods store and got myself a pair of Merrell Barefoot runners to try out. Now these are like the Vibrams but without the funny cut out toes. Everything else is, well, barefoot. My feet were in a state of joy immediately! I had no period of adjustment or anything, from day one I was in heaven!
So now what about hiking?
I wanted something that would protect from abrasion and the weather more than minimalist tennis shoes. I searched and searched and found Footwear by Footskins moccasins, made in the USA with real cowhide or deer tan leather. They cover and support my ankle like I wanted and the construction looked rugged, like I would be needing. The soles are heavy duty with several layers of cowhide leather and a bit of padding to make walking the rocky terrain comfortable. So I ordered me up a pair!
I did add Shoe Goop or Futuretread to the bottoms of my new Footskins to protect from mud, water, and other weather as well as the excessive abrasion my wilderness hiking and bushcrafting would subject them to. Plus it’ll help keep my feets dry. This stuff is basically rubber tire shavings mixed with Barge Cement and painted on. Pretty nifty!
I’ve had them now for a year and I am glad to say that my knees are close to 100% after wearing just my Footskins and the Merrells.
After a year the Footskins moccasins have withstood everything I’ve thrown at them without a problem. Rain, mud, sharp volcanic rock, thorns and more, they have taken it and still look and work great with no signs of wearing out. The comfort is fantastic. I have super sensitive feet and walking rocky mountain trails with these on is not only comfortable, it allows me to feel more “one” with the trail and with nature. I can feel she shape of the ground. I can sense what I am stepping on. I can move silently in the woods. Just a few weeks ago I tracked mule deer for an hour and moved within 20 yards of them undetected! The rare times I pull on on my old hiking boots I feel like I have 2×4’s strapped to my feet!
I will let my video do the rest of the talking. I hope you enjoy both the review of Footwear by Footskins moccasins and also my talk about why I wear them. Thanks!