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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

A word of warning on trail runners or light weight shoes.

PeterC AKL

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
 
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I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
sadly, it'll get worse...there are 38trillion rocks on the Camino and I walked over and felt each and every one.

You can break in a shoe...sure, but you can also break down a shoe. That was my issue in '17...my shoes were broken in AND broken down and that caused issues early.

Good luck to you and Buen Camino
 
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And most of them are sharp and pointy!
my legs got quite strong about four days in...it was my feet that started to dislike me when I'd hit the 30km for the day until 40km mark...my feet would scream at me if they could. up to 30km's I was pretty much okay but afterwards they turned into oatmeal.
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
I use them too, but swapped out the inserts - which, shall we say, leave a lot to be desired. Major improvement - ie, no issues. And very minimal change in weight, ie a few grams at most.
Buen Camino!
 
I sometimes suggest that the ideal shoe for the Francés, and I think the Português too come to think of it, would be a leather rambling shoe with a good rubber sole.

Some of us do need different for different reasons and YMMV -- but sturdiness, lightness, and good solid protection from the heat and rocks of the walking surface seems like a good combination to me.
 
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my legs got quite strong about four days in...it was my feet that started to dislike me when I'd hit the 30km for the day until 40km mark...my feet would scream at me if they could. up to 30km's I was pretty much okay but afterwards they turned into oatmeal.
I said to one couple along the way "My feet and I are not talking to each other right now. If I could I would leave them by the side of the road and let them find their own way!"

I learned to stop more frequently and take my shoes and socks off while I had my coffee and put on clean dry socks for the next section. That stopped a lot of the screaming, or at least muffled the screams.
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
Ive worn running shoes, and hiking sandals, and have never felt a stone. But I do wear orthotic insoles, and need a good cushioned sole.
What I don't like is a long day on concrete.
 
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I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!

Nike running shoes are a must have for me on camino. I have to roll through my feet otherwise my ankles scream.
my legs got quite strong about four days in...it was my feet that started to dislike me when I'd hit the 30km for the day until 40km mark...my feet would scream at me if they could. up to 30km's I was pretty much okay but afterwards they turned into oatmeal.

However, I have same problem at 30 km my ankles are okay, but by 40 my feet ache.

Maybe I will investigate a more hard wearing shoe that allows me to roll through my feet.
 
last year, I used the Altra Olympus 4 and added a rock plate for extra protection.
well DUH!! Why didn't I realize this could be an add on!! Dunno but brilliant. I loved my Altra Lonepeaks last year and used my prescription orthotics...which helped a great deal. But..adding an actual rock plate would make them perfect!! Thanks!1
 
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On my Camino last year, I used the Altra Olympus 4 and added a rock plate for extra protection. My feet did not feel the cobblestones. I used the rock plate from the Altra Superiors that I got on sale.
You could also create a makeshift rock plate with a relatively firm thin plastic sheet cut to the same shape as your insole, and placed underneath it. It may not work as well as the commercial designs, but should give some relief until one can get a better solution.
 
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My wife and I both walked the Camino Frances last fall in Altra Lonepeak 6’s. Hers were unmodified with the factory insoles as were mine but for a gel heel pad from Dr Scholls. No blisters or other foot problems. Yes we could feel the rocks, especially under our toes
but little or no actual lasting pain. We could feel everything else we walked on too! I suspect this is part of the “natural-feel” design of the shoe and perhaps this is partly responsible for the wild success of the shoe. I believe there is a rock-plate in the midsole.
In fairness I realize Hokas are very successful also, and I’ve tried them on in the local REI. “Speedgoat” is a great name!
 
I have not really felt rocks either and have used a variety of trail runner shoes.
Or you could of course simply listen to your body and stop walking at 30km....... ??
I have never walked over 30-33k in one day and I remember them very well. My favorite "average" is 20k per day and I now definitely try to adhere to that as my feet and body are much happier. I am not in a competition with others or myself, and enjoy the journey with this "less is more" approach.
 
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For many years I have been a devoted Vasque hiking customer. My last good one was the Inhaler II which was discontinued. I wore their Sundowner boots for many years, then was able to move to their Breeze low hiking shoes. Eventually, they produced a couple of wonderful shoes that maintained the very supportive solid Vibram lug outer souls, with a synthetic polyester upper mesh. They discontinued them about 4-5 years ago and instead produced “ “Breeze” trail shoe, which, I tried on. They were no more supportive than a pair of sneakers, perhaps less so?

OK, I asked myself why would anyone spend 150+ bucks on a pair of trail shoes and add a “plate”? But yes, I am desperate. So I tried a plate in the trail shoes. Nowhere near the comfort, fit and support of my Inhalers. No I couldn’t imagine wearing them on rocky ground. They irritated my feet on wood floors!

I’ve tried just about every hiking and trail shoe I have seen on this forum….Still waiting and hoping and ordering/returning new models.
 
What inserts did you use?
Just a pair I got from a sports shop in Berlin - sorry, absolutely no idea what they’re called as the name has worn off!
I also have a pair of orthotics. Whilst I’m supposed to wear them all the time, I tend to swap them over after a few hours. My feet feel rejuvenated for the next hour or so afterwards.
You know the old saying, a change is as good as a rest? Well, my feet certainly think so!
 
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Wearing Hokas with a good insole insert (super feet), and have no issues. Walking the Camino Frances
I've leaving in a little more than a week for the Frances, which I walked in boots in 2015, at the age of 73. This walk will be a mini Camino of only 9 days walking with my daughter, from St. Jean. I wear Hokas regularly at home and love them. I have wide "troubled" feet (crossed toe and huge bunions). I was going to wear waterproof low-rise Altras, but I've just ordered a new pair of Hoka Bondi 8's, wide, along with good inserts. My question (I do have one 😊) Is about the lack of waterproofing. I think we're going to run into a lot of rain. Are you finding that your Hokas are drying overnight? If so, I think my feet will thank me for the Hokas.
 
Solid advice, my brother. I’m using podiatrist’s orthotics at rather more money than I would like to have spent!
I don't know about your home area, in mine the stores sell insoles that are aimed at workers who are on their feet a lot. I buy Dr. Scholl's Womens Gel Work insole, trace the old insole on the bottom and trim the new one to size. I figure, if it's got a 6 month warranty for someone working as a nurse, teacher, or factory worker, it should be good for a Camino.

I walk in Hoka Speedgoat, which is a stability shoe and also has nonslip soles. The first pair I got, we walked in Government Canyon State Natural Area (in San Antonio) to test them out. I felt my ankle try to roll and my new shoe saying to it "not so fast, bozo!"

YMMV
BC to all
 
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I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
Exactly why I leave my Lone Peaks at home and prefer the Altra Olympus for the Camino.
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
We are currently walking from Sarria and my husband wears Altra's. However he is wearing a different insole to give more support and feel less of the stones. I am wearing Hoka mid-rise trail runners and I put Sofsole inserts in even though the Hokas are sturdy.
 
I trained in Altra Lone Peak 6's and loved them but bought Astra Olympus 5's for the Camino Portuguese to give better protection from the cobblestones. It was a good choice. They are different than the Lone Peaks with Vibram soles and more cushion and much more support. I didn't mind the cobblestones at all. Back at home, I mostly walk in my Lone Peaks but use the Olympus for longer walks. If you like the zero drop of the Lone Peaks you may really like the extra support of the Olympics.
 
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I’m a big fan of Hokas and a Speedgoat or Challenge would be good for the Camino. However, I am currently walking the Portuguese Camino and am wearing Salomon Glide. Have not felt a single cobblestone under my foot!!
 
I count myself fortunate that I've never had foot problems. I've done the CF, CP, and Via Podiensis (11 days Le Puy to Conques) in Altra Lone Peaks in standard configuration (i.e. no orthotics or insoles). For each Camino I used a newish pair, with a few hundred km of break-in on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania (aka Rocksylvania). Never had a problem, no complaints, typically 20-30 km per day - max 40km. Yes, I can feel some rocks, but it never bothered me.

My wife, however, accompanied me on the CP and also used Lone Peaks, but with orthotics. Her foot tolerance maxed out at 20km/day, but she has bad feet and had bunion surgery on one foot - needs it (but won't get it) on the other. She's still experimenting with other insoles.

I haven't felt the need to change brand/model, but I keep hearing good things about Hokas so I haven't ruled out trying them in the future.
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
Altras have worked well for us on many Camino hikes. An excellent option, if there is room, is to put a flat insert under the insole. I use one by Spenco, which is closed cell foam, and it makes a big difference. I have tried Dr. Scholls, but they are foam rubber and break down sooner.
 
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I like trail runners, I have even waled the Camino in Merrell water shoes, which in 2018/9 seasons had a really good hard toe box, super light, breathable, but the lacing system let them down.

I think folks should try a variety of shoes, some brands won’t fit you, or your feet, I'd buy the shoe that fits and feels right, not decide by brand, I think that approach is folly, which you will learn en route, and can be very painful!
 
From a previous post I made:
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Here's a bit of additional information on making homemade rock plates/shields from a past post I wrote. It really is a pretty easy fix to a shoe that is otherwise a great fit.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

If the imprint of trail debris, poking at your feet through the outersole of your shoe, is making your feet sore, you may want more shielding. A simple and effective DIY solution is to make a Rock Plate at home. The Rock Plate will slip under your insole, and provide a very effective level of protection without a huge penalty to the 'feel' of the shoe..

Take a thin and flexible plastic, like that found in milk jugs, or a thin plastic cutting board or plastic sheet

59537



Using your insole as a template, mark an outline of the insole onto the plastic. Cut out the outline. Place the cut out into the shoe, under your insole. If needed, use some double surface tape, like carpet tape, to affix your new 'rock plates' to the bottom of the shoes.

If you still find that you need more shielding, add a second pair and see how that works for you.

Increasing the cushioning to the foot is another method of shielding feet from trail debris. Some shoes, like many models of the Hoka One One, build this into some of their shoe models. Aftermarket insole inserts are another way to add such cushioning, which some folks find effective.

Insoles with effective open cell foams and elastic polymers can provide extra cushioning that will also provide some additional support to your foot structures. As the foot slightly sinks into the cushion, it creates an impression that will slightly fill in the void under your arches. This is an example of this type of insert; there are others that can also be effective.

I always take an extra insole with me, not an extra pair of footwear. I find that if my footwear feels good walking, it will be sufficiently comfortable for lounging around after a long day of backpacking or walking Camino. Of course, wearing lightweight trail runners rather than heavier footwear make this option easy.

I designate one insole as my walking insole. That's the one I will. . well. . do all my backpacking and Camino walking with. The extra insole that I take with me, is usually the one that came with the shoe.

The factory insoles are usually very light. When I swap out insoles at the end of the day, and will be walking around the village or town seeing the sights, getting dinner, shopping, etc, the factory insoles are more than sufficient for that walking task. Swapping out insoles allows my walking insoles to air out.

Like shoes, aftermarket insoles are an individual fit-and-feel type of thing. No one can reliably tell someone else that the aftermarket insole they like, will be a good match for another. If shopping for an insert, it can take quite a bit of trial and error to match your feet to a specific insole. There is a reason why so many aftermarket products exist; one type does NOT fit all. :)

The most valuable thing about such recommendations, are the observations about wear and tear, and quality control. Do they break down quickly? Cost? That sort of thing.
 
I've leaving in a little more than a week for the Frances, which I walked in boots in 2015, at the age of 73. This walk will be a mini Camino of only 9 days walking with my daughter, from St. Jean. I wear Hokas regularly at home and love them. I have wide "troubled" feet (crossed toe and huge bunions). I was going to wear waterproof low-rise Altras, but I've just ordered a new pair of Hoka Bondi 8's, wide, along with good inserts. My question (I do have one 😊) Is about the lack of waterproofing. I think we're going to run into a lot of rain. Are you finding that your Hokas are drying overnight? If so, I think my feet will thank me for the Hokas.

I have worn Hoka Bondi 7's for my last four Caminos including last October when we got absolutely drenched in Galacia. I stuffed them with newspaper and they dried well overnight. All in all, a very comfortable shoe
 
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I have worn Hoka Bondi 7's for my last four Caminos including last October when we got absolutely drenched in Galacia. I stuffed them with newspaper and they dried well overnight. All in all, a very comfortable shoe
Thanks so much!!
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
That’s why I always stick with hiking boots. A bit heavier but sturdy and waterproof
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
I celebrate your wisdom and wish I had know this last year. My feet were getting pounded, I ended up with some awesome new inserts from the Pilgrim Store in Sahagun that set me up for success for the rest of the Camino Frances. Switched to the Altra Olympus and will stay there for the Norte in May 2024.
 
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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

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Walking the Camino Frances at present in Altra Lone Peaks with Scholl inserts. Added the inserts after hiking on flinty inclines on the South Downs Way en route to the Camino. I am not doing 30 kms though, as I have a flexible timeframe for the pilgrimage.
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
My Altra Lone Peaks took me the entire distance and still had tread when I finished. I did have my orthotics in them. I didn’t feel that I had any serious problems with feeling stones and rocks as I walked.
 
We are currently walking from Sarria and my husband wears Altra's. However he is wearing a different insole to give more support and feel less of the stones. I am wearing Hoka mid-rise trail runners and I put Sofsole inserts in even though the Hokas are sturdy.
Love my Hoka mid-rise Speed Goats. We walked Coastal from Porto in May, June, 2023. Then toured Spain for a total of 8 weeks. Cush, support, and not one blister. #1 on my list for next year.
 

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Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
I put liners in my Altrans when walking in Portugal this summer. Made world of difference.
 
I also love my lone peaks BUT for my upcoming Camino I will use Olympus 5 Hike Low GTX, which provides waterproofing and a lot of cushion (I will use 1 size bigger than my lone peak size). I've been wearing them for 4 months now and it's just perfect!
 

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FWIW, I wore the Altra Timp 3's (4 is the most current) which is purposely constructed as a "high" cushioned shoe vs the Lonepeak's which Altra consider "moderate" cushioned. The Timp stack height is 29mm vs 25 for the Lonepeak. While I did feel the stones more than the Salomon X Ultra mid 3 boots I wore on my first Camino, I wouldn't trade the benefits of the wide toe box, light weight, and softer cushioning of the Timps. Anecdotally speaking, they served me well from Roncesvalles to Muxia & Finisterre. As always, YMMV.
 

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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

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Or you could of course simply listen to your body and stop walking at 30km....... ??

But if your soul requires 40k and your body might be fine but your feet because of your shoes only deliver 30, then that is sad. Walking really long distance each day is a special kind of meditation and is very rewarding.
 
But if your soul requires 40k and your body might be fine but your feet because of your shoes only deliver 30, then that is sad. Walking really long distance each day is a special kind of meditation and is very rewarding.
Yes, but walking a really long distance each day is quite subjective; different for everyone. My shoes are always able to deliver more than what my body prefers.
 
Yes, but walking a really long distance each day is quite subjective; different for everyone. My shoes are always able to deliver more than what my body prefers.
Of course that is subjective, but the comment I quoted referred to his feet being the limiting factor. Happened to me on my last Camino as I actually had an unexpected shoe problem ... so I can relate quite well :) ... but of course my 40 are another person's 15 ...
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
Of course that is subjective, but the comment I quoted referred to his feet being the limiting factor. Happened to me on my last Camino as I actually had an unexpected shoe problem ... so I can relate quite well :) ... but of course my 40 are another person's 15 ...
Gotcha! I get where you are coming from. My shoes are great, but my body doesn't always like living up to their capabilities.😅
 
But if your soul requires 40k and your body might be fine but your feet because of your shoes only deliver 30, then that is sad. Walking really long distance each day is a special kind of meditation and is very rewarding.
We need another emoji. One that means, I hear you (brother/sister)!
A simple ' like ' just doesn't cut it, a heart I reserve for the items I truely love....
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I'm bringing Asics Kayanos. They are a top running shoe with a lot of cushioning. I did my second marathon in them, and then stopped running (my body was breaking down). I have the factory insole, a basic podiatrist insole and a custom made podiatrist insole (expensive!). Hopefully by bringing a couple of different insoles I can make minor adjustments to foot "wear and tear" so it's not the same mechanics every day. I am worried the sole might be a bit slick (not a trail sole). But the cushioning is thick and cloud-like!
 
I use them too, but swapped out the inserts - which, shall we say, leave a lot to be desired. Major improvement - ie, no issues. And very minimal change in weight, ie a few grams at most.
Buen Camino!
Seconded. I use Saucony trail runners. They are excellent. Yes you can feel more through the soles, but the downsides to swapping them for boots etc far outweighs any benefits IMO.
A change of insoles keeps them in top top condition and extends their life too.
I take account of how I walk as much as choice of footwear. I do some prep to aid balance and supple ankles especially before I go.
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
I like to think I’m on a first-name basis with every stone on el Camino!
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
I walked the Camino Frances in 2021, and spent additional 6 weeks in France and Italy. All in my Altra Lone Peaks. I changed to new inserts in Leon. I loved the shoes and would use Altras again, guess I was lucky.
 
I've leaving in a little more than a week for the Frances, which I walked in boots in 2015, at the age of 73. This walk will be a mini Camino of only 9 days walking with my daughter, from St. Jean. I wear Hokas regularly at home and love them. I have wide "troubled" feet (crossed toe and huge bunions). I was going to wear waterproof low-rise Altras, but I've just ordered a new pair of Hoka Bondi 8's, wide, along with good inserts. My question (I do have one 😊) Is about the lack of waterproofing. I think we're going to run into a lot of rain. Are you finding that your Hokas are drying overnight? If so, I think my feet will thank me for the Hokas.
We just finished and although we had 2 days of light rains, they dried out overnight.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
My wife and I both walked the Camino Frances last fall in Altra Lonepeak 6’s. Hers were unmodified with the factory insoles as were mine but for a gel heel pad from Dr Scholls. No blisters or other foot problems. Yes we could feel the rocks, especially under our toes
but little or no actual lasting pain. We could feel everything else we walked on too! I suspect this is part of the “natural-feel” design of the shoe and perhaps this is partly responsible for the wild success of the shoe. I believe there is a rock-plate in the midsole.
In fairness I realize Hokas are very successful also, and I’ve tried them on in the local REI. “Speedgoat” is a great name!
I came down from El Acebo to Molinaseca this week. You needed to be a goat on that section.

I wear Topo Athletic, some of their models have rock plates.
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
Yep, totally agree, my Merrels are perfect, the sole is flexible, yet thick enough to cushion out most of the stones.
Andy & Debbie currently in Alvaiazere, on Camino Portuguese.
 
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I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
Wore Merrill trail runners this year and loved them. Super comfortable, no blisters, able to handle the terrain. Sole is not as thick as my Keen's or Vasque's, and likely will not last as long, but for Camino hikes, it will be Merrill's.
 
Wore Merrill trail runners this year and loved them. Super comfortable, no blisters, able to handle the terrain. Sole is not as thick as my Keen's or Vasque's, and likely will not last as long, but for Camino hikes, it will be Merrill's.
Using the same pair of Merrels that I used last year on the Franćes, and they seem to be holding up well!
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
My grandson and I walked the Camino Frances in May-June this year in Altra Lone Peaks and had no problem. I also walked on the Via Francigena across Switzerland into Italy in them in August. I did take 2 pair on the Camino Frances and wore each half way - soles are still quite good:) I think what works is very individual.
 
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I'm bringing Asics Kayanos. They are a top running shoe with a lot of cushioning. I did my second marathon in them, and then stopped running (my body was breaking down). I have the factory insole, a basic podiatrist insole and a custom made podiatrist insole (expensive!). Hopefully by bringing a couple of different insoles I can make minor adjustments to foot "wear and tear" so it's not the same mechanics every day. I am worried the sole might be a bit slick (not a trail sole). But the cushioning is thick and cloud-like!
I’ve had great results on the Camino and elsewhere with Brooks Dyad runners. They make the extra, extra wide I need and their lighter weight is easier on my legs. Their drawback is durability, about 300 Camino miles max.
 
My day 1 at CF from SJPdP to Espinal and my feet were protected by my Olympus 5 Hike Low GTX.... its my thigh that tells me to rest with high winds from Orrison to Roncesvalles. It is a glorious 1st day anyway, not a single drop of rain.
 
I believe I've made a comment on this before. Probably the single most important item to get right on your Camino is footwear. I wear walking shoes, I haven't tried boots. When you go to the footwear display wall it your local outdoors shop, wear the socks you intend to wear and try for size in the afternoon - your feet do swell a little during the day. I then pick up a pair, turn them upside down and press down hard on the sole with my thumb, at the centre of the front section - around the ball of the foot. If it gives any more than one millimetre, these shoes will not work on the Camino. You will begin to painfully feel every proud sharp flint and you will suffer within the week. The front section of sole needs to be stiff, no give.

Buen Camino
 
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I believe I've made a comment on this before. Probably the single most important item to get right on your Camino is footwear. I wear walking shoes, I haven't tried boots. When you go to the footwear display wall it your local outdoors shop, wear the socks you intend to wear and try for size in the afternoon - your feet do swell a little during the day. I then pick up a pair, turn them upside down and press down hard on the sole with my thumb, at the centre of the front section - around the ball of the foot. If it gives any more than one millimetre, these shoes will not work on the Camino. You will begin to painfully feel every proud sharp flint and you will suffer within the week. The front section of sole needs to be stiff, no give.
There *are* some lucky sons of mothers whose feet do not swell ... 🦶
 
I walked the Camino Frances in 2021, and spent additional 6 weeks in France and Italy. All in my Altra Lone Peaks. I changed to new inserts in Leon. I loved the shoes and would use Altras again, guess I was lucky.
The change of inserts would have made a huge difference at the halfway point (Camino wise)
 
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I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
Hoka boots are a good solution. Still a good bit of spring to them, but lightweight and ankle support is good. Pricey, and worth every cent. I ordered multiple sizes from Hoka to try- free shipping to and from Hoka. They also come in wide.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Wearing Hokas with a good insole insert (super feet), and have no issues. Walking the Camino Frances
Fall 2022 I walked the entire Camino (SJPP to Santiago) using 1 pair of Hoka Speed Goats with a pair of Smartwool full cushion socks, and I didn't get oner blister! Great for a 72 year old.
 
Hmmmmmm,

after 8 years of walking Caminos in Spain and Portugal i can say:

my Inov 8 Trailtalon (235 gms each) worked fine, other Inov 8 too. I walked about 100 kms in Crocs on all my Caminos. And my Via de la Plata stretch from Seville to Salamanca (500 kms) i walked in Crocs, my only pair of shoes!

So - over all 800 kms in Crocs and the rest of thousands of kms of spanisch and portugues Caminos in trailrunners i can say: it works!

People are different, stretches are different, feet are different, … . Check it out.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
On my Camino last year, I used the Altra Olympus 4 and added a rock plate for extra protection. My feet did not feel the cobblestones. I used the rock plate from the Altra Superiors that I got on sale.
Another fan of Olympus' here!

I did the Frances in Altra Olympus 4s last year - it was my second Frances. They were perfect - highly cushioned, light and quick drying (we walked through snow)

I learnt the hard way that the Frances is hard underfoot and it is easy to underestimate the effect of long periods of walking on hard paving and the importance of cushioning on this walk.

My first Camino Frances was in GTX SCARPA boots - they were not well cushioned and the soles of my feet were in terrible condition by end.

I chose the Olympus 5 trail shoes because the cushioning was far superior to boots and other trail shoes.

I have subsequently walked the 230km Larapinta Trail in the Australian outback with a new pair of Olympus 5s - this trail is far more rugged and harder on shoes and feet than the Camino, being almost entirely rocks, and the Olympus' came through like troopers!
 
I wear Fivefingers, which are minimalist shoes with an 8 mm sole. I just love the feeling of touching the stones. Of course, you must have been walking in these shoes for years before starting a Camino.
Hey JPWU,
I've been wearing barefoot sandals and shoes (Shamma, Vivobarefoot, Xero etc.) for about 5 years now (never wear "regular" shoes anymore). I've worn them over many multi-day tramping trips here in New Zealand and have never had any foot problems at all, however, I'm concerned because I've noticed many people on the forum who are apparently "used" to minimalist/barefoot shoes but who have real problems with them on the Camino after days and weeks of walking. I'm planning to walk SJPP to Santiago in April 2024 and will be increasing my daily walks to make sure my shoes are good. I'll probably walk in my Vivobarefoot Magna Forest Escapes or Xero Daylight Hikers, but should I consider using something more padded, like Altra Lone Peaks? I have a pair and they're comfortable but I find them WAY too padded and over-cushioned and I really prefer walking in my much more minimalist shoes. Hearing that you've successfully worn your Fivefingers on a Camino is great to know - what distance did you walk and do you have any advice or thoughts? Thanks!
 
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Hey JPWU,
I've been wearing barefoot sandals and shoes (Shamma, Vivobarefoot, Xero etc.) for about 5 years now (never wear "regular" shoes anymore). I've worn them over many multi-day tramping trips here in New Zealand and have never had any foot problems at all, however, I'm concerned because I've noticed many people on the forum who are apparently "used" to minimalist/barefoot shoes but who have real problems with them on the Camino after days and weeks of walking. I'm planning to walk SJPP to Santiago in April 2024 and will be increasing my daily walks to make sure my shoes are good. I'll probably walk in my Vivobarefoot Magna Forest Escapes or Xero Daylight Hikers, but should I consider using something more padded, like Altra Lone Peaks? I have a pair and they're comfortable but I find them WAY too padded and over-cushioned and I really prefer walking in my much more minimalist shoes. Hearing that you've successfully worn your Fivefingers on a Camino is great to know - what distance did you walk and do you have any advice or thoughts? Thanks!

I have learnt that the specific nature of each trail is important when picking your footwear.
The Camino Frances has a lot of hard paved surface and compacted gravel that is quite different on your feet than walking earthen and natural surfaces say on the PCT or AT. I really came to appreciate that a day on bitumen and gravel is far tougher on the feet than walking the same distance on compacted earth trails.
I had Viva Barefoot shoes as my post hike shoes on my first Camino which I wear a lot at home - my feet were so tender I couldn't walk in them at all in Spain.
I have ultimately ended up with Altro Olympus for the day and traditional Crocs for the night on the Frances after trying boots and Keens sandals - primarily because my feet needed the cushioning.
Just food for thought.
 
Hey JPWU,
I've been wearing barefoot sandals and shoes (Shamma, Vivobarefoot, Xero etc.) for about 5 years now (never wear "regular" shoes anymore). I've worn them over many multi-day tramping trips here in New Zealand and have never had any foot problems at all, however, I'm concerned because I've noticed many people on the forum who are apparently "used" to minimalist/barefoot shoes but who have real problems with them on the Camino after days and weeks of walking. I'm planning to walk SJPP to Santiago in April 2024 and will be increasing my daily walks to make sure my shoes are good. I'll probably walk in my Vivobarefoot Magna Forest Escapes or Xero Daylight Hikers, but should I consider using something more padded, like Altra Lone Peaks? I have a pair and they're comfortable but I find them WAY too padded and over-cushioned and I really prefer walking in my much more minimalist shoes. Hearing that you've successfully worn your Fivefingers on a Camino is great to know - what distance did you walk and do you have any advice or thoughts? Thanks!
The Camino has more concrete, and gravel tracks than NZ hiking trails. Ours tend to be softer underfoot generally, and require more concentration (especially bush tracks), whereas on the Camino you don't need to watch your footing most of the time, but the surfaces are harder; stones and concrete a lot of the time.
For many people the Camino will be at least 30 days, mostly consecutive, and its the day after day that takes a toll.
You could try a 2-3 day walk on hard surfaces and see how you go.
 
The Camino has more concrete, and gravel tracks than NZ hiking trails. Ours tend to be softer underfoot generally, and require more concentration (especially bush tracks), whereas on the Camino you don't need to watch your footing most of the time, but the surfaces are harder; stones and concrete a lot of the time.
For many people the Camino will be at least 30 days, mostly consecutive, and its the day after day that takes a toll.
You could try a 2-3 day walk on hard surfaces and see how you go.
Yes, that makes sense... It will be the consecutive days on primarily hard surfaces like concrete and gravel. NZ trails, even the very rough ones, are pretty delightful by comparison hey? 🥰
I'll take your advice and see what eventuates after some long days on the roads.
 
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I have learnt that the specific nature of each trail is important when picking your footwear.
The Camino Frances has a lot of hard paved surface and compacted gravel that is quite different on your feet than walking earthen and natural surfaces say on the PCT or AT. I really came to appreciate that a day on bitumen and gravel is far tougher on the feet than walking the same distance on compacted earth trails.
I had Viva Barefoot shoes as my post hike shoes on my first Camino which I wear a lot at home - my feet were so tender I couldn't walk in them at all in Spain.
I have ultimately ended up with Altro Olympus for the day and traditional Crocs for the night on the Frances after trying boots and Keens sandals - primarily because my feet needed the cushioning.
Just food for thought.
Hmmm... Yeah, I'm thinking I might train in the Altra Lone Peaks and try to get used to them instead. They're very soft and cushy compared to my normal barefoot footwear so perhaps they'll be a better option. Thanks!
 
Hey JPWU,
I've been wearing barefoot sandals and shoes (Shamma, Vivobarefoot, Xero etc.) for about 5 years now (never wear "regular" shoes anymore). I've worn them over many multi-day tramping trips here in New Zealand and have never had any foot problems at all, however, I'm concerned because I've noticed many people on the forum who are apparently "used" to minimalist/barefoot shoes but who have real problems with them on the Camino after days and weeks of walking. I'm planning to walk SJPP to Santiago in April 2024 and will be increasing my daily walks to make sure my shoes are good. I'll probably walk in my Vivobarefoot Magna Forest Escapes or Xero Daylight Hikers, but should I consider using something more padded, like Altra Lone Peaks? I have a pair and they're comfortable but I find them WAY too padded and over-cushioned and I really prefer walking in my much more minimalist shoes. Hearing that you've successfully worn your Fivefingers on a Camino is great to know - what distance did you walk and do you have any advice or thoughts? Thanks!
I walked about 20-25 km a day and always looked for the soft verges if there was asphalt. I didn't mind walking on pebbles. I must say that I have been running and walking minimalist for about 15 years. I like the thin sole because I can just feel the stones and that gives a wonderful feeling.
 
Hey JPWU,
I've been wearing barefoot sandals and shoes (Shamma, Vivobarefoot, Xero etc.) for about 5 years now (never wear "regular" shoes anymore). I've worn them over many multi-day tramping trips here in New Zealand and have never had any foot problems at all, however, I'm concerned because I've noticed many people on the forum who are apparently "used" to minimalist/barefoot shoes but who have real problems with them on the Camino after days and weeks of walking. I'm planning to walk SJPP to Santiago in April 2024 and will be increasing my daily walks to make sure my shoes are good. I'll probably walk in my Vivobarefoot Magna Forest Escapes or Xero Daylight Hikers, but should I consider using something more padded, like Altra Lone Peaks? I have a pair and they're comfortable but I find them WAY too padded and over-cushioned and I really prefer walking in my much more minimalist shoes. Hearing that you've successfully worn your Fivefingers on a Camino is great to know - what distance did you walk and do you have any advice or thoughts? Thanks!
C682F8F3-5DFD-4F5A-AAE2-08FCA0AAC82D_1_105_c.jpeg
 
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I walked about 20-25 km a day and always looked for the soft verges if there was asphalt. I didn't mind walking on pebbles. I must say that I have been running and walking minimalist for about 15 years. I like the thin sole because I can just feel the stones and that gives a wonderful feeling.
I may give it a go... I love my barefoot shoes and would love to be able to walk a Camino with them, albeit obviously taking good care of my feet - as you say, walk on soft verges etc. when available.
 
Hey JPWU,
I've been wearing barefoot sandals and shoes (Shamma, Vivobarefoot, Xero etc.) for about 5 years now (never wear "regular" shoes anymore). I've worn them over many multi-day tramping trips here in New Zealand and have never had any foot problems at all, however, I'm concerned because I've noticed many people on the forum who are apparently "used" to minimalist/barefoot shoes but who have real problems with them on the Camino after days and weeks of walking. I'm planning to walk SJPP to Santiago in April 2024 and will be increasing my daily walks to make sure my shoes are good. I'll probably walk in my Vivobarefoot Magna Forest Escapes or Xero Daylight Hikers, but should I consider using something more padded, like Altra Lone Peaks? I have a pair and they're comfortable but I find them WAY too padded and over-cushioned and I really prefer walking in my much more minimalist shoes. Hearing that you've successfully worn your Fivefingers on a Camino is great to know - what distance did you walk and do you have any advice or thoughts? Thanks!
I left home from home and that was about 2500 km away. To be honest, I didn't always wear them because there was 80% asphalt in France. This year I will do the CF and will do it with the altra lone peak.
 
I’m a long term advocate of trail runners under certain circumstances. In most of my NZ tramps (hikes) I’ve happily used my Altra Lone Peaks unless going totally bush or in winter when boots are more appropriate. Many trail runners have thin soles so as to provide lighter weight shoes, Lone Peaks are 20mm. On the Camino Frances, which I am currently walking, I would advice a shoe with a thicker sole since many kms of the tracks I’ve walked so far are cobbled or stoney and every one of those stones can be felt on thin soles!
Peter, I'm surprised at you. You obviously haven't walked distance on trails before. Probably the first cardinal rule of shoes suitable for walking is a firm sole. You are walking distance day after day, no let up. You really have to get the footwear right. There must be acres of words of advice on this forum re. footwear. No one - no one, advocates thin soles.
 
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