Here are photos of hiking the Grand Canyon from the South Kaibab trail down to Phantom Ranch (March 27th) wearing my ReAktiv brace you made for me. After celebrating with a Lemonade we hiked back up to the South Rim on the Bright Angel trail. A total of 18.1 miles and over 5,000 feet of elevation gain. Amazingly my ankle never hurt or got swollen (picture shows no swelling).
Having not hiked much since fall I struggled a lot – especially on the downhill. There were literally thousands of one to one and a half foot step downs. My quads took a beating until I adjusted by putting my pack on my front instead of on my back. The brace absorbed all the shock on my left leg but my right leg took more of a pounding. My assessment is that I need a few more hikes to dial in my hiking technique with the brace after this arduous hike, but there is zero chance I could have completed the hike without it.
The brace was a tremendous game changer. I am curious if we could try a less rigid bar that might allow a bit more flexion while still effectively absorbing the shock. I believe there are five different flexes of bars and mine was, I think, in the middle. Searching for that “sweet spot”.
This was a bucket list hike I never really thought I had a shot at ever doing since my total ankle replacement. Thanks to you and your team that created the ReAktiv brace this dream came true.
With great appreciation,