Oh My Aching Feet! Cobblestones, Comfort & Flight-induced Cankles
Veronica obviously doesn't get the term glamping! GypsyNester.com

Yup, it's time for another women "of a certain age" post from me. So far I've overshared about stray hairs, arm flaps, botox, and mammograms - so why stop now, right?

This time it's about my feet and cankles - yuck, I know, but it's life and if I don't overshare, who's going to?

I started to notice a change in the way my feet were acting about the same time we decided to take off on our nomadic lifestyle. The problems weren't harsh, so I ignored them.

It wasn't until we were visiting my brother in California that I was forced to take a good look at the changes my barkin' dogs were undergoing.

Riding around in BAMF, I had my bare feet up on the dash when my brother, Jeff, blurted out from the back, "What the hell is going on with your foot?" (Having no filter between thought and mouth runs deep in our family)

Prior to the blurt, I didn't think that little hump on the side of my toe was that noticeable, and it wasn't hurting me (yet), so ignoring it was not a problem for me at all. Thanks Jeff, I love you, but you will always be my obnoxious little brother.

After a quick Google session, I found I had a bunion. Really? I had heard of them, but only in the context of old folks (of which I couldn't possibly be one of), complaining of their existence. So I read up on living with bunions, reduced high-heel wearing, started buying shoes with more support/ less-pointy toes and toted around little pads along with me in my backpack to use on heavy walking/hiking days.

Easy enough.

Dang you cobblestones!
Dang you cobblestones! But so worth it in the Czech Republic

But recently, I've begun to notice that when we are visiting cobblestoned, historic cities that I get a burning sensation on the balls of my feet when walking on surfaces with little give.

My feet are getting older and my natural padding ain't what it used to be.

Because my feet were aching, it was affecting my entire body, causing collateral pain.

This would not do at all.

I started to pay even more attention to the shoes I was wearing, and though progress was being made, I had yet to find the magic bullet (and I adamantly refuse to don the vanity-smashing orthopedic shoes).

It became time to face facts. Things were seriously out of whack.

My makeshift padding solutions to avoid blisters and the further angrying of my buddy the bunion were getting out of control.

How Thorlos socks work
Not being a scientist, I can't properly explain
the science of how Thorlos work, so click here
if you are interested learning more

The band-aids, bunion protectors and lamb's wool were slipping around, wreaking havoc in my shoes and barely working anymore.

Enter Thorlos. My magic socks (Thorlos aren't simply socks -- their creators prefer engineered foot protection -- so, shhhh, don't tell them I call them magic socks!) have changed my life!

All of my newly exposed, boney, old-lady-feet issues are now covered by these magic padded socks!

This butterfly loved my Thorlos in Costa Rica!
See - told ya they were magic! This butterfly even thought
so on a hike in Costa Rica!

I've worn my Thorlos while hiking, biking, walking - and I can't believe how much better my feet feel. I've quit wearing anything else.

And because there are different Thorlos for different activities, all I have to do is slide them on and the padding stays just where I need it. YAY!

A Note on Flight-induced Cankles

On our way home from Japan

I'm not sure if this is a global "certain age" issue, but air flight-induced cankles (the swelling of ankles to the point of not being able to distinguish one's calves from one's ankles) have joined my repertoire just recently, so -- for me at least -- it's yet another fun aging milestone.

I was shocked at the girth of my ankles after our looooong flights to Asia and Australia. I am pretty diligent about keeping my feet and legs moving during flights, whether it be in-seat (seatmates love me for this!) or by walking and stretching in the aisles, so the cankleage came as a unwelcome surprise.

Luxuriously sprawled on a plane

Upon arrival to our destinations, I had to hunt down diuretics (I hate taking pills and, as it turned out, diuretics are not sold over-the-counter in Australia) and massage helps, but who wants to put a halt on their travel fun to deal with a cankle rubdown?

So I broke down and bought compression socks at the airport on our way out of Brisbane and they worked like a charm. But they were ugly, black, old-ladyish, uncomfortable things that pinched the top of my calf and left gad-awful marks up and down my leg. I was grateful for the cankle relief, but there had to be a better alternative.

My new magic socks - Thorlos!
I'm multi-talented! Showing off my cankle-fighting
Thorlos on one foot whilst artfully hiding my bunion
on the other

So I contacted my new BFFs at Thorlos and asked if they carried a compression "sock" (and yes, I was sure to imply the quotes!).

They do not. But, after carefully listening to my needs (and my whining about my discomfort with traditional compression socks), they were able to suggest their Uniform Support style).

They worked! They were comfy, had all of the Thorlos padding, AND I arrived at my next destination blissfully cankle-free.

Note: I am glad that I tried both traditional compression socks and my magic socks, however. I have a feeling that cankles are not a-one-size-fits-all situation and experimenting with what works and doesn't work for me was important.

Veronica, GypsyNester.com

We received our Thorlos for free! And we're so glad we did!

YOUR TURN: Do you have foot-related traveling issues? How have you solved them? Share your tips!

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