Photo of and from Erick @dogfoot_trailing ,
currently training for the CDT
Te Araroa Trail Run (NZ)
Tom and Maddie are attempting to set a new Fastest Known Time for the 3000km route stretching from Cape Reinga in the north of New Zealand to Bluff in the south.
These new ArmaSkin Ambassadors hit the 1000 km mark on the morning of day 19 and have since put another 134 official trail km under their boots!
You can follow them on Instagram The Adventure Gene , and if you are keen to see their current position here is a link to a map on their website that is updated every 20 mins!
As can be seen by these pictures, New Zealand has been providing some wet and muddy conditions despite it being Summer.
While they've achieved a pace of approximately 50km per day, the North Island terrain is typically flatter than the South Island so there is some particularly tough going ahead. The grit and determination of these two experienced runners will certainly be tested in the coming weeks.
And of course, what else would you expect on a trip to New Zealand than hillsides of sheep!
“Friction Blisters of the Feet:
A New Paradigm to Explain Causation”
One of ArmaSkin's resellers, Rebecca Rushton of Esperance Podiatry and Blisterpod, is a well credentialed expert on blisters. In fact she has recently co-authored a paper titled “Friction Blisters of the Feet: A New Paradigm to Explain Causation”. Rebecca Rushton, BSc(Pod); Douglas Richie, DPM
The paper proposes a new understanding of what causes foot blisters.
A paradigm shift, in simple terms, is a fundamental change in the underlying assumptions or the basic concepts of a particular theory or framework. It's like a change in a very basic model that frames our understanding of something.
In the context of foot blisters, the traditional paradigm or model was that they were caused by heat, moisture, and friction. This model focused on external factors and the interaction between the foot, sock, and shoe. Prevention strategies based on this model typically involved managing these factors, for example, by using moisture-wicking socks or well-fitting shoes.
The new paradigm, however, suggests that blisters are caused by repetitive shear deformation within the skin itself. This is a significant shift in thinking because it focuses on internal factors - the movement of the foot bones and the resulting shear forces within the skin layers. It suggests that the key to preventing blisters lies in managing these internal shear forces.
In simple terms, when you walk or run, your foot bones move up and down. This movement is transferred to the skin which is comprised of many layers, causing the layers of skin to stretch against each other. This sideways stretching is called “shear.” If there’s too much shear, the layers of skin can separate and form a blister. This is the new paradigm for understanding how blisters form.
This shift has important implications for the design of socks and shoes, as well as the strategies used to prevent blisters. At ArmaSkin we are reassured by the paper because it suggests that products which are designed to reduce internal shear forces, could be more effective at preventing blisters than those that simply aim to reduce heat, moisture, and friction.
This new understanding represents a paradigm shift because it changes focus from managing external factors to understanding and managing the internal biomechanics of the foot. It opens up new avenues for research and innovation in the prevention of foot blisters.
In light of the new paradigm presented in the paper, ArmaSkin liner socks in our opinion address the key factor causing blisters. By having a Low external coefficient of friction, the outside of the ArmaSkin sock, which is in contact with your outer sock and in turn shoe means it can slide easily against your outer sock. This reduces the internal shear forces because it allows the foot to move independently of the shoe.
The new paradigm could have significant implications for both gait analysis and shoe design.
**Gait Analysis**: Understanding that blisters are caused by repetitive shear deformation could lead to new approaches in gait analysis. By studying the specific movements and forces involved in walking and running, we could gain insights into how these contribute to shear forces within the skin. This could potentially lead to recommendations for gait modifications or training techniques to reduce these forces and prevent blisters.
**Shoe Design**: The new paradigm could also influence shoe design. If shear forces within the skin are the primary cause of blisters, then shoe design could aim to minimize these forces. This could involve designing shoes that better accommodate the natural movement of the foot bones, or using materials that reduce friction between the shoe and sock. It may also influence shoe sizing decisions.
However, it's also worth noting that individual factors such as foot shape, gait, and activity level can vary widely, so what works best may differ from person to person.
In conclusion, the new paradigm presents exciting possibilities for both gait analysis and shoe design, and could lead to significant advancements in these fields and open other possibilities:
1. **Material Science**: This new understanding could drive innovation in the materials used for socks and shoes. Researchers could develop new fabrics or materials that are designed to minimize shear forces within the skin.
2. **Biomechanics and Physical Therapy**: Understanding the role of shear forces in blister formation could influence the field of biomechanics and physical therapy. Therapists could use this knowledge to better treat patients with recurring blisters and could potentially develop exercises or techniques to reduce shear forces.
3. **Sports Science**: In sports where foot blisters are a common issue, this new paradigm could lead to improved training methods and preventative measures. Coaches and trainers could incorporate this knowledge into their strategies to keep athletes comfortable and performing at their best.
4. **Prosthetics and Orthotics**: In the field of prosthetics and orthotics, understanding the role of shear forces could influence the design of prosthetic limbs and orthotic devices. This could lead to more comfortable and effective designs that minimize the risk of blisters and skin irritation.
These are just a few possibilities. The new paradigm presents an exciting opportunity for research and innovation in various fields related to foot health and comfort.
Please let us know what you think about this new approach to blister causation.
Congratulations to Rebecca Rushton for advancing thinking on blister prevention.
You can view the full paper at this link
Yukon 2020 and beyond!! (Arctic USA)
We are delighted to report that long time ArmaSkin Ambassador Art is not only going to attempt to complete the last leg of his oft interrupted Yukon 2020 endeavour to canoe the length of the Yukon River, but has added an intriguing additional step out leg once he is in the Arctic.
Here's the latest from Art.
"I'm excited to be making final plans to return to the Yukon River to complete my Yukon 2020 expedition to paddle the entire length of the Yukon River from one of the source lakes, that's a journey of 2020 miles/3,250km. My put-in will be Pitkas Point in Alaska, only 100 miles/160km from the Bering Sea which is where I was forced to retire due to storms last year. After I reach the Bering Sea, a local fisherman will retrieve me in his motorboat and bring me back upriver to the fishing village of Emmonak.
I'll be using ArmaSkin socks to protect my feet in a cold and wet environment to be the oldest person, at 73, to paddle the entire Yukon River in an open canoe.
As of a few hours ago, it was officially decided that immediately after completing the Yukon River expedition, I will proceed northeast to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada where I'll join the Northwest Passage Expedition. Led by Guinness World record holder Leven Brown, the "Last Great First" expedition will attempt to complete the first ever ocean row of the entire Northwest Passage. Like me, they were stopped last year due to unsafe weather conditions. In fact, since 2020 the expedition has experienced identical delays and weather problems as my Yukon River expedition. The team has approximately 1,000miles/1,600km remaining to row in a westerly direction. I was thoroughly humbled to have been invited to join such a prestigious expedition."
Both of these activities are costly. If you'd like to show your personal support for Art you can do so via his GoFundMe page for Yukon 2020, Or if you'd like to step up a gear you can be a recognised sponsor of the Northwest Passage expedition (start at $1,000USD) you can go to their official page.
We are looking forward to seeing what surprises the Yukon still has in store for Art, and if he can finally complete his Yukon amazing adventure.
Training in the ice and snow (Alberta Canada)
ArmaSkin Ambassador Kaylyn is a serious contender.
Based in Alberta Canada, Kaylyn is regularly clocking up the km in sub zero temperatures!
Her immediate challenge is a half marathon called the Hypothermic Half in February!
With this recent training run of 21km in 1:52:37 there's no doubt Kaylyn is in the hunt!
Recent blog post: Hidden secret of the hiking shoe.
After a recent experience of being forced to replace the insole of a recently purchased pair of hiking shoes, we dug a it deeper into the topic of Insoles.
Here's a link if you'd like to see what we found about the "Hidden secret of the hiking shoe"
Serenity at Sanitorium Lake (VIC Aus)
Ambassador Tracey show's here why hiking is one of the greatest pastimes!
"If there is one place to help lift my mood and soothe my senses, it's here, and it's on a day like this."
Such a serene location.
This location is know as Sanitorium Lake (Mt Macedon/Geboor Wurrundjeri Country). In the 19th century, the cool climate of the mountain was thought to provide a perfect environment for tuberculosis sufferers. The lake was created in order to supply water to the sanatorium that was established for patients.
The very last OxFam Trailwalker! Melbourne.
If you'd like to be part of the very last OxFam Melbourne Trailwalker. 2024 is the year. Sign up now to get on the trail, with your team mates, for an unforgettable challenge.
Find out more here: https://trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/
Over the year's ArmaSkin has helped many get through the challenging 100km in 48 hours without blisters. If you have signed up, drop us a line including your Team's registered name and we will give your team a super discount to support your journey.
Rim County Charm (Arizona USA)
It is always great to hear from long term friends of ArmaSkin.
Recently K-Lee posted a positive review about ArmaSkin on Facebook.
And we did a bit of digging and found that K-Lee is the creator of a neat small business Rim County Charm
If you are in the US and looking for a special gift for a friend please check out K-Lee's store.
What's in store for 2024?
Our lead picture is from ArmaSkin Ambassador Erick. He is hoping to start his thru hike of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (in short Continental Divide Trail, CDT) this April/May.
The CDT is a United States National Scenic Trail with a length measured by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition of 3,028 miles (4,873 km) between the U.S. border with Chihuahua, Mexico and the border with Alberta, Canada.
The CDT follows the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. In Montana near the Canadian border the trail crosses Triple Divide Pass (near Triple Divide Peak, from which waters may flow to either the Arctic Ocean (via Hudson Bay), Atlantic Ocean or Pacific Ocean).
If Erick's PCT video reporting is anything to go by, we are in for an entertaining treat of magnificent scenery and frank and humorous commentary.
AND, if you have big plans for 2024, how about dropping us a line telling us what you are doing (email email@example.com).
We'd love to be able to share your journey with the ArmaSkin community.
Notice of Price Increase
It is not something we like doing, and in fact haven't done so since January 2019.
But, we need to advise that as of 1st March 2024 the Recommended Retail Price of ArmaSkin liner socks will be increasing to $49AUD per pair.
So if you wish to beat the rise now is the time to visit our store. And, of course, use the reader's discount code below.
Attention ArmaSkin fans! Your stories and adventures are what make our products shine, and we want to hear from you! Share your experiences wearing ArmaSkin and you could win your very own pair of ArmaSkin liner socks!
Since Instagram have recently made it a bit more difficult to search for #ArmaSkin to enter please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture of you on the move with an ArmaSkin product and a short comment about the picture. If your picture is featured in an upcoming edition of ArmaSkin News, you'll win the monthly prize!
This month's winner was K-Lee who gave ArmaSkin a shout out on her Facebook page.
Don't miss your chance to show off your ArmaSkin gear and score this wonderful prize. So what are you waiting for? Get snapping and share your ArmaSkin story now!
Anyone who gets this deep into the ArmaSkin News
deserves a reward:
Use code News2024 for your 20% SPECIAL discount till 1 February 2024
Click here to SHOP NOW