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3rd - 9th September: boots or trail runners?

2020 Camino Guides

Lhollo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020)
We’re walking the first section, from SJPP to Los Arcos, and aren’t sure whether to use the waterproof leather boots we own or get something new and more breathable. Our boots are great for UK weather but I expect it’ll be a lot hotter in Spain in September. What do you recommend?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
For a 6 day trip I'd wear the boots my feet and I were familiar with. If you are not used to walking in "trail runners" your feet and ankles might be in for a surprise or two. That said you have plenty of time to experiment with hiking with a pack in a different type of footwear and can reach your own conclusions.
 

JoroAtanasof

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF may 2018
CP july 2018
CP Coastal august 2019
Thanks! Any in particular?
Lone Peak or Timp , last year from Porto all the way to Muxia and Finisterra - no blisters and foot problems at all ( Altra Lone Peak 3.5 - and it is considered to be the worst model ... ) Year before on Camino Frances i had shin splints on both of my legs and blisters with one of the top brands . Ofcourse i found out what works for me after 3 caminos and it is not necessarily your shoes :)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
If your boots are worn in and comfortable, there is no compelling need to spend extra on a different pair of shoes. It might seem extravagent to spend the extra for shoes for six days walking if your current walking activities are done in boots and you don't intend to change that.

I have walked blister free in boots on all but my first camino, when I blistered the day that I wore sandals. Consider wearing thinner socks if you are concerned about higher temperatures. Also consider prophylactic blister treatment such as taping known risk areas before walking in the morning. I would recommend that whether you are wearing boots or shoes.

And all the best on your camino.
 

NYSE

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
If your boots are worn in and comfortable, there is no compelling need to spend extra on a different pair of shoes. It might seem extravagent to spend the extra for shoes for six days walking if your current walking activities are done in boots and you don't intend to change that.

I have walked blister free in boots on all but my first camino, when I blistered the day that I wore sandals. Consider wearing thinner socks if you are concerned about higher temperatures. Also consider prophylactic blister treatment such as taping known risk areas before walking in the morning. I would recommend that whether you are wearing boots or shoes.

And all the best on your camino.
A definite key to blister free is taping before a problem occurs. Waterproof medical tape last days and a single tin can last an entire Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
What do you recommend?
I think you'll be fine with the boots.

Now this is just me but I walked the CF in May, June and July in Goretex-like boots with no complaints. I did decide later to buy a pair of trail shoes (not waterproof, not runners) and used them on a Oct./Nov. camino that turned out to end with a week of cold rain and a touch of snow. Yes, my feet got wet but not really cold. I'd do it again but then I wanted to try hiking in something different. You may prefer to save money.
 

Steve Taylor

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2019 Sarria to Santiago Sept 2019 Logrono to Burgos June 2020 St Jean Pied De Port to Logrono
I walked from Logroño to Burgos last September and walking shoes were fine for me. I reckon that wearing well worn footwear that fits you well would be my advice.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Whichever pair you find most comfortable on long (20km+) walks. Boots or trail runners makes no difference as it is only about a week long walk and the Camino Frances itself is not rugged terrain. You will be walking on improved surfaces quite a bit.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
For a 6 day walk I’d definitely stay with what I know already fit my feet. If it’s hot, stop often and take my boots and socks off for ten minutes and give them air to dry out. I’d also take a couple of pairs of extra (thin) socks because I perspire a lot and would need to change them during the day.

And this from someone who wears sandals!
 

Lhollo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020)
If your boots are worn in and comfortable, there is no compelling need to spend extra on a different pair of shoes. It might seem extravagent to spend the extra for shoes for six days walking if your current walking activities are done in boots and you don't intend to change that.

I have walked blister free in boots on all but my first camino, when I blistered the day that I wore sandals. Consider wearing thinner socks if you are concerned about higher temperatures. Also consider prophylactic blister treatment such as taping known risk areas before walking in the morning. I would recommend that whether you are wearing boots or shoes.

And all the best on your camino.
Thanks. Reading these responses has made me realise that I’m not 100% sure my own boots are ok despite not having had blisters with them yet. I walked in them last weekend and was surprised that they seemed to rub my little toe, because I did 82 miles in them in 2018 with no problem except for black toe (my little toe again; the nail eventually came off). They’re heavy boots too, and I have some knee joint trouble, so I’m open to trying out something new in the coming months. But yes, also keen to avoid very unnecessary expenses.
 
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JanelMcB

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
We’re walking the first section, from SJPP to Los Arcos, and aren’t sure whether to use the waterproof leather boots we own or get something new and more breathable. Our boots are great for UK weather but I expect it’ll be a lot hotter in Spain in September. What do you recommend?
Walked CF from SJPdP commencing September 7th, 2018. Never did I see the need for boots. That said, that was then and this is now, wear what's comfy and works for you. I wore Brooks Ariel.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
Trail runners Brooks Cascadias. They were recommended to me by the owner of a store in the town in Oregon I used to live in. He was at the time the number 2 ultra marathon runner in the world. He had also done many long thru hikes. 5 caminos and 4 total blisters over close to 5,000K's. Only one of the blisters really hurt. It was very funny when I walked in the store with my friend, who is a marathoner and he told the owner I was going to walk the Camino de Santiago, before he could get out Santiago, the owner and his two employees all pointed at the Brooks Cascadias on the wall at the same time and said that one. I tried them on and it was love at first feel.
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
We’re walking the first section, from SJPP to Los Arcos, and aren’t sure whether to use the waterproof leather boots we own or get something new and more breathable. Our boots are great for UK weather but I expect it’ll be a lot hotter in Spain in September. What do you recommend?
Light walking shoes are better. Salomon is my favourite - gortex lined but very light.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2017)
Santiago-Muxia-Fisterra (2017)
Porto-Santiago (2018)
Ferrol-Santiago (2019
We’re walking the first section, from SJPP to Los Arcos, and aren’t sure whether to use the waterproof leather boots we own or get something new and more breathable. Our boots are great for UK weather but I expect it’ll be a lot hotter in Spain in September. What do you recommend?
Both!! Walking shoes, not boots. AND trainers.! 🍀buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
They’re heavy boots too, and I have some knee joint trouble, so I’m open to trying out something new in the coming months.
Lighter footwear is likely going to be better then. Talk with people who know their stuff, doctors, coaches and shoe salesmen. You may also need special insoles.

On both my caminos I had knee problems early on. Since a wad of tissue paper under the arch of an insole solved the problems it was pretty easy to tell the problems were due to a fallen arch. The second time I had a professionally prescribed insole that worked fine on training walks but it couldn't handle the longer walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF August to September 2016
We’re walking the first section, from SJPP to Los Arcos, and aren’t sure whether to use the waterproof leather boots we own or get something new and more breathable. Our boots are great for UK weather but I expect it’ll be a lot hotter in Spain in September. What do you recommend?
Hoka trail running shoes!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Muxia-Fisterra, 2017
Portuguese, 2018, (Catalan, April 2019, VdlP 2020)
Trail runners. Trail runners. Trail runners. I’m not sure if I’ve made my point emphatically enough........Trail runners.
 

Lhollo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020)
Trail runners. Trail runners. Trail runners. I’m not sure if I’ve made my point emphatically enough........Trail runners.
Thanks! I think I follow you... You’re saying I should go with boots? 😀

Trail runners… why do you recommend them so strongly?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
I suspect the 'average' advice is "wear what you know and are comfortable with". Walking when you are, it will most likely be hot and dry (and probably has been for a while) and most of the Way will be a mix of surfaces. I have always worn ventilated trail runners, on many Caminos at different times of year and never wanted to look beyond them. I had been considering leather hiking boots for a walk on the Camino de la Lana as age and too much pilgriming have taken their toll on my feet, but an in-depth conversation with a sales person (who could have made a killing on a full hiking boot sale) convinced me that the trail runners I had been using (Merrell Moabs) would still be the better choice. It all comes down to what your feet like.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2020)
Or sandals! 😊
Any particular brand of sandal? When one of my Chacos was lost off my backpack, I stopped at a nifty outfitter in Ponferrada who suggested Tevas. Okay, yes, they are good, but ... is there better out there? So, Camino-dreaming (Sept 2020) in North Carolina, I am on the hunt!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Any particular brand of sandal? When one of my Chacos was lost off my backpack, I stopped at a nifty outfitter in Ponferrada who suggested Tevas. Okay, yes, they are good, but ... is there better out there? So, Camino-dreaming (Sept 2020) in North Carolina, I am on the hunt!
I wear Merrells, just because they happen to fit my particular feet better than Tevas, Chacos and other brands.
 

Lhollo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020)
I wear Merrells, just because they happen to fit my particular feet better than Tevas, Chacos and other brands.
I haven’t found any with enough arch support except for some very unattractive flip flops! I have to wear an orthotic in shoes and boots but sandals are a conundrum. I miss them.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I haven’t found any with enough arch support except for some very unattractive flip flops! I have to wear an orthotic in shoes and boots but sandals are a conundrum. I miss them.
How about Chacos? They have tons of arch support. Too much for me!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2020 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I have hiked Camino Frances three times, each time Sept - Oct. My wife wears Salomon Trail Runners and I've worn Merrill Moab. We've had good success with these. We're hoping to hike again this fall if the pandemic is over.
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Those were my first days in 2014.... left SJPdP on the 4th and was in Burgos around the 14th I think. I recommend the boots because you can run into really muddy bits at that time of year, plus the mountain trails that don't really end until you leave Pamplona.... and that super muddy trail in the pine trees with the massive up and down hill....
In Santo Domingo I bought sandals because the meseta was hotter than Hades and I didn't need my boots on the flat. I just carried my boots into Galicia where they became indispensable again.
So: I'd say boots.
YMMV.
 

gypsy9

Active Member
six days...not such a long pilgrimage (this time). Wear what sits in your closet and is already comfortable. Why purchase a new pair of shoes? But if this adds to the Camino excitement (planning, preparation, positive thinking given the mighty current unknown), go for it! Buy a new pair of shoes, in light of all the excellent recommendations...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2020)
Those were my first days in 2014.... left SJPdP on the 4th and was in Burgos around the 14th I think. I recommend the boots because you can run into really muddy bits at that time of year, plus the mountain trails that don't really end until you leave Pamplona.... and that super muddy trail in the pine trees with the massive up and down hill....
In Santo Domingo I bought sandals because the meseta was hotter than Hades and I didn't need my boots on the flat. I just carried my boots into Galicia where they became indispensable again.
So: I'd say boots.
YMMV.
I have to acknowledge that I have likely had "more boots than hot dinners", to quote my ex-Scot husband, a "big leather boot" hillwalking kind of chap. As I look forward with hopeful, post-coronavirus eyes to a fourth Camino this Autumn, and having worn last Spring's Ponferrada-purchased Tevas into the ground, I found NAOT Harbor (formerly GI). I surely hope they give my boot-phobic feet a chance for a happy dance.. They. Do. Not. Like. Confinement.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP2Santiago completed (Sept.15, 2018).
We’re walking the first section, from SJPP to Los Arcos, and aren’t sure whether to use the waterproof leather boots we own or get something new and more breathable. Our boots are great for UK weather but I expect it’ll be a lot hotter in Spain in September. What do you recommend?
Take a peek at Tevas (terra fi) model. Good arch support, good grip, just a great sandel. I used them (along w/ hokas. I had happy feet from SJPdP to SDC ( no blisters). Buen Camino!
 

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