Are socks important when walking the Camino de Santiago?


The questions was:

…to prevent blisters – do I need to invest in proper walking socks, rather than the usual cotton ones I wear everyday?

Read all the good advice on Socks and the Camino de Santiago.

18 Replies to “Are socks important when walking the Camino de Santiago?”

  1. Socks are soooo important! I wore sock liners under wool socks. Sometimes I wore the Injinji lightweight toe socks as the liner, but most of the time I wore thin Smartwool liners. They were a tremedous help! I had a pair of each. My top layer was a pair of Smartwool outer socks and a pair of cheap Costco wool socks. The Costco socks worked as well as the Smartwool for about 1/3 of the price. Most mornings I was carrying a pair of my wool socks on the outside of my backpack to dry. They never seemed to be dry from washing them the day before. When you are walking in preparation for your pilgrimage, try different sock combos to see what works for you. Everyone is different – what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. Another suggestion that was given to me by many people and that I think was extremely helpful is to get shoes that are at least a 1/2 to full size larger than normal, some suggest even larger than that. Your feet WILL swell! Buen Camino!

  2. June 10/2011 – Yes!!! Socks are Important! “At a distance most feet look alot alike, However up close they are all different”. Match your socks, Shoes and feet carfully. Care of your feet is important if you are going to walk 700 to 800 kilometers. 1st priority in care of your feet are your shoes, 2nd priority are your socks. -3- Pair will get you to Santiago. Wear 1 pair, Wash 1 pair & dry 1 pair.

    Good Foot Care + Good Shoes + Good Socks = a Good Camino!!!

    Buen Camino

  3. I was told to get official hiking boots, and my feet just sweat to death in them. I also had to dry socks on my backpack, and i switch them out throughout the day..i didnt have enough socks and it finally became such a pain, that i just started hiking in my sandals. If i did it again i would probably just bring sneakers and sandals. For the most part the terrain was accommodating and i could handle it without the boots. But def bring a LOT of socks!

  4. smart wool socks are the best.  Have four pairs on you and wear TWO at a time.

  5. Socks are the second most important item after having good walked in shoes. Get ones that absorb moisture and change your socks at least once every walking day!

  6. Of course they are so important!!! I wore TORLOS socks (women’s long distance) in my last Camino (Portugues) and had no blisters at all…

  7. Of course!!!
    Take care of socks you choose to walk.
    First day, I wore a too much warm socks, i was afraid of cold weather…
    when the day finish my feets were really really bad.
    It is very important to keep your foot dry!!

    And try to have your foot without no socks, no boot when u are resting.

  8. Try and get socks without seams – if your socks do have seams then wear them inside out because the friction caused where the seams are cause blisters. But I also think that lacing your shoes in the correct way is really important especially for the days when you are walking downhill. You really need to minimise movement of your feet in your shoes – movement=friction=blisters.

  9. Also wanted to add that I bought the so called highly recommended “best hiking socks” and ended up ditching them after about 80kms. I bought “Golf” socks in a local sports store and wore them for the remaining 700kms – they were fantastic. It’s a personal thing – you’ll figure it out after a couple of days – good luck!

  10. Do the walk in a good pair of walking sandals and forget the shoes and boots. I’ve seen idiots walking in boots fit for the high Alps not for pista walking in Spain. If you can do the GR10 (France) and GR11 (Spain), which both traverse the length of the Pyrennes (700km) and are both far tougher walking than James’s Route, then you can certainly walk the roads in sandals (decent ones, mind you). If it rains accept wet feet. You will feel happier!

    1. Good advice, though you didn’t need the “idiots.” They were probably going with the best advice they were given

  11. I’ve not worn sock in years except when I have to = special events. That being said I did the whole walk with my Teva closed toe sandals with no socks. Not a blister showed itself the whole tip. I watched people with high dollar boots and socks spending a long time patching up their feet in the morning before starting their walk. I slipped on my Teva’s, backpack and off I went. Even convinced my walking partner, who was getting blisters on blisters, to ditch the booths, socks and use her Keens with great results. Buen Camino.

  12. Cotton socks are the worst thing you could wear because they absorb sweat without whisking it away which will lead to blisters. Even if hiking in sandals, you may want to wear socks – I saw many people doing this. I wore hiking boots (Vasque Breeze) and never had issue with my feet overheating and was happy for the ankle support on some of the steep ascents and descents encountered. I would have been happy to have a pair of good walking sandals too to switch out from time to time, but in keeping me pack light, I was happy with what I brought. Much is personal preference. I absolutely recommend Wright Socks (they’re 2 in one and help to keep feet from overheating).

  13. Any socks ok some days we wore two pairs but it still did not prevent blisters. It is the walking and then you get your feet wet from rain or sweat. It is good to have a pair of walking sandals invest in a good pair they help and it is good to have a rest from your boots.

  14. I followed the advice I had received from the websites and wore sock liners under wool socks. I also bought a pair of shoes one size larger than normal. I only got two small blisters.

  15. I wore Merino wool hiking socks and rubbed my feet with Aloe Vera each morning before putting them on. Some people will put a nylon dress sock or the lower part of womens’ nylon stockings over their feet, inside of the wool hiking socks. I did not get any blisters at all.

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