In Tanzania in 1976 Mary Leakey’s discovery of the footprints of one of our oldest ancestors, was made by the sheer luck of ducking to avoid being hit by elephant dung being thrown by one of her researchers.
Her discoveries paint a poignant picture of a family walking away from a volcanic eruption through an ash strewn landscape into to a better future. Although Professor Leakey’s evidence helped show that bipedalism is an evolutionary advantage, it doesn’t address the knee, back and neck pain caused by walking upright, and it certainly doesn’t account for the mental anguish of having walked
around half of London trying to find shoes that fit my Neanderthal feet! I had until recently resigned myself to living with my foot pain until it got so bad I’d have to have a bunion operation.
My own piece of elephant dung ducking luck came when my daughter told me that her Duke Of Edinburgh expedition was in two weeks time, but she hadn’t had time to get all her kit together and could mum help her pay for some of it.
Free FHP Assesment… She did however say that Altimus, the newest outdoor shop in High Street Kensington gave a DOfE discount so I could get HER stuff cheaper!!
Luckily when I went to Altimus I was served by their in-house Foot Health Practitioner (FHP) who not only helped me get my daughter’s sleeping bag, daysack and water bottles, but also suggested bringing her back for a free biomechanical assessment
He explained how foot morphology helps determine the most suitable shoe for you. Obviously wanting to know what type of shoes would be good for my extra wide size 7 feet, I took advantage of the free lower limb biomechanical assessment that Altimus was offering.
The Altimus FHP spent half anhour carrying out a very detailed analysis and diagnosed that the pain I had been getting on the underside of my foot every morning was plantafasiitis caused by a stretched tendon, and the pain I was getting on my knee was a direct result of my tibia rotating, leading to back pain which was being exacerbated by my legs being two different lengths. I was prescribed a customized orthotic to help with my pains and advised to wear the orthotics for six months before coming back for another free reassessment.
With the right help from Altimus, it seems our Tanzanian ancestors’ choice of walking upright, was the right choice after all.
ALTIMUS, 176 High Street Kensington, London W8 7RG
T: 0118 304 0050 www.altimusoutdoor.com