Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Adventure travel
I have another alternative but it would require a great deal more personal investment than poles (although poles are a good thing too). After decades of active use my 55+ knees were shot and following two years of physio, gait analysis, shoes and inserts, knee bands, etc etc., surgery was proposed The recovery stats are terrible however. Besides infection risk, only 15% actually regain full pre-injury function while the rest are lucky to just mitigate further deterioration and then only for a limited number of years.
Long story short, I discovered barefoot running. Actually, gave up the barefoot part after one summer but it was critical for learning a neutral foot strike which I now apply to running, walking, and hiking. The pain and discomfort and now gone and, as a side benefit, endurance has increased significantly. I'll give a short sales pitch but there is much on the 'net and some good books. Your foot was designed to strike the ground on the padded balls, not the boney heel. Re-learning a natural gait, where you take advantage of leverage designed into our feet and legs rather than circumventing this system by crashing down on your heels, could be the means to eliminating many related injuries to bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles of the foot and leg. Do I sound like an evangelist? You betcha!
"Retired but not yet tired"