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Agony of de-feet: Trail Running Shoe (GTX) & SOCK Combo HELP

MIAPilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013 SJPDP-Ponferrada; Oct 2015 Ponferrada-Santiago
All input greatly appreciated!!:

Trail Runners with GTX: Looking for women's trail runner - wide toe box - GTX -D-width preferred

I walked SJPDP to Ponferrada in May/June 2013. Amazing experience EXCEPT being plagued by BLISTERS from La Sportiva's (fitted too small)

I am starting in Ponferrada OCT 2015 and determined not to face same blister fate the last 200km. Looking for light trail runners with goretex. Any suggestions? Any experience with these shoes?:

I am testing the 1. Altra Lone Peak Neoshell, 2. New Balance 910 GTX D width, and 3. Merrell Capra Sport GTX over the next 30 days. Side note: Altra makes a super lightweight gaiter that attaches to their trail runner -- may be great idea for October Galicia weather? Anyone try these?

Next - the great SOCK debate:

Any sock ideas? Smart wool with a liner or knee high verses a thinner coolmax type running sock? Can't decide to go with a thicker sock verses something I would wear for running. Whatever I can do to avoid blisters....

Thank you!
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
I can't help with the shoe problem, but with regard to socks, I found wearing two pairs of socks (in September) far too hot and sweaty, so ended up giving away the outer socks and just wearing liners. I did however tape around each of my toes and the balls of my feet with Micropore tape every day. I only had one tiny blister, (caused by an unclipped toenail) during the entire walk.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Re: shoes, I would go with your own experience, but I have questions about whether Goretex is worth the money for shoes. I'm going to opt for non-waterproof shoes that dry quickly (and a pair of Chaco sandals to wear if they aren't dry). For the socks, have you tried the double layer Wright socks? At least for running, they have made a huge difference for me in avoiding blisters. I don't think wool socks make sense with trail runners.
 

musicman

Ensuitepilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
2004, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I swear by ROCLITE 295 ; light & breathable.

Socks - CoolMax
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
I won't do my camino until September, but, so far, ankle high stockings have worked as a liner for me. I had to go to Amazon to buy the ankle high since knee highs were too long and ankle high are hard to find.
 
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David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
We return to these questions because there aren't any definitive answers, what is perfect for one can be awful for another. I don't like "waterproof" footwear as they are so hot and sweaty, others swear by them (rather than at them). The socks thing is similar. I have known pilgrims who just buy the cheapest supermarket socks and have no problems and others who buy the most expensive and suffer every day, and vice versa. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

As an aside, and a plaintive query .... I have seriously wide feet - clowns aren't in it! - and have never found light trail shoes or light ankle boots that are wide enough. I have tried on just about all the ones recommended on other posts. I do wear Keens Newport sandals and they are seriously wide and after wearing them for five minutes I am completely unaware that I am wearing them, but all the other Keens footwear are narrower for some reason. So! If anyone knows of clown hiking footwear please do let me know!
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
I do wear Keens Newport sandals and they are seriously wide and after wearing them for five minutes I am completely unaware that I am wearing them, but all the other Keens footwear are narrower for some reason
Interesting, David. I'm horribly splay-footed from many years of walking barefoot in sand, and I couldn't wear the women's Newports at all because the toe box was too restrictive, but the Keen Voyageurs worked fine for me, although when I'm wearing them I have to say that they look like they would also be good snowshoes. People look at my feet and say, "Gee, those look, ummm, comfortable." :) But clown hiking footwear, for sure!
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
Feet are all different. I find GTX too hot and can cause me blister. I have worn the New Balance Leadville 1210 for the French Route and have a new pair for Le Puy to SJPP. I only write because I too have a wide fore foot and these are great. Also the Altra's have a wide toe box and I run in them, but I am unsure how the soles will hold up for long distance.
 

Kablois

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First time this summer (Burgos-SdC)
I have exactly the same problem with wide feet in the toe area but slim everywhere else. After searching and buying Brooks Cascadia trail shoes, I found that after 15km or so, they were putting pressure on the side of my big toes where the foot is widest. So after spending over 100 euros on them I had to start looking again. It was impossible here in France to find D or E width hiking/trail/running shoes. I had to order online and ended up ordering nearly 1000 euros worth of shoes online (luckily returns were mostly free). In the end I went with a pair of Brooks Ghost running shoes, 2 sizes up and in a D width fitting. I was worried as they felt very big but they were the only ones that allowed me plenty of toe movement. After a few days walking on the Camino, I realised that the even though they were well cushioned, the inner soles were not firm enough and I could feel the lumpy sensation of stones under my feet. In Léon I bought some rigid hiking insoles and put them underneath the existing insoles. This reduced the looseness somewhat and proved to be perfect for the rest of my Camino. I only got 2 blisters and they were due to callouses that I already had on my feet. I also had four different types of sock and ended up wearing the same two all the time - they were both soft double socks (ie. made of two separate layers so no liners needed). These are specially designed to avoid blisters and they work (the day I got my two blisters I was wearing other socks). Try loads and loads of shoes and go with the ones you find the most comfy. If you look after your feet properly (runners lubricant applied every morning helps a lot too) you will be fine.
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata


I don't know if the image will appear of a shoe lacing configuration to give you more room in your shoes. Thread the shoelace of the first 2 to 3 holes but don't criss cross them. Criss cross the remaining holes as usual as seen in the lower right.
tumblr_n2pq0aVZce1qcrbc2o1_1280.jpg
 
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pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
After searching and buying Brooks Cascadia trail shoes, I found that after 15km or so, they were putting pressure on the side of my big toes where the foot is widest
I had the same problem with the Brooks Dyads, only they put pressure on my little toes and gave me corns. (I don't think lacing can help if the toe box is too narrow, can it?)
 

owms2323

Credential question
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2016) Camino Finisterre/Muxia (2017)
Feet are all different. I find GTX too hot and can cause me blister. I have worn the New Balance Leadville 1210 for the French Route and have a new pair for Le Puy to SJPP. I only write because I too have a wide fore foot and these are great. Also the Altra's have a wide toe box and I run in them, but I am unsure how the soles will hold up for long distance.
I also wore the NB 1210 for the Frances last year. I do not have a wide foot, but loved them. They are light weight. I cannot wear Goretex as they are too hot- keep moisture in as well as out.
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
I had the same problem with the Brooks Dyads, only they put pressure on my little toes and gave me corns. (I don't think lacing can help if the toe box is too narrow, can it?)
You won't know if it'll work for you until you try.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I agree with the box lacing for the first two or three eyelets, or even remove the laces from there altogether. One problem is that lacings being pulled tight tightens up all the way along so a half hitch where the box lacing ends, so it cannot be tightened, is a plus. Also, if one leaves the lacing as it comes then loosen the laces for the first two or three eyelets and tie a half hitch on each lace at the next eyelets stops them being tightened again.
 

MIAPilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013 SJPDP-Ponferrada; Oct 2015 Ponferrada-Santiago
Many great takeaways from this thread. Thank you to all who replied!!

Still working on the shoe and sock combo. I'm getting in the WrightSock double layer to try and looking into the laces.

As an FYI - I am returning the Altra Lone Peak Neo Shell. They weren't as wide as I had hoped (bunion issue) and I don't think the sole is enough support for rocky paths. I am also returning the Merrill Capra.

So far - the New Balance 910 GTX is in the lead but I'm cautious. A number of reviews online indicated they developed holes with early wear.

I am weary of having a trail shoe that isn't waterproof at the end of October in Galicia but considering the many who have chimed in on the anti-gore tex - looking at other options.

I just ordered the Asics 2000 3 Trail D width (no gore tex).

Thanks, again and will update.
 

MIAPilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013 SJPDP-Ponferrada; Oct 2015 Ponferrada-Santiago
This thread really helped me re-evaluate. Thank you!

Loving the Asics 2000 3 Trail D width. No GTX.

I think the no gore-tex makes sense. Will have my tried and true Teva's as back up.

Still working on socks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I've worn New Balance trail runners on 7 Caminos.
Very happy with their performance.
I buy them 1-1.5 sizes larger than normal.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Just regular.
I do not like waterproof shoes.
They tend to hold in the sweat and cause more blisters for me.
The regulars don't get that wet, and when they do, they dry overnight.
Also, you can ask for which shoes are made on an "SL-2" shoe last.
They may use a different terminology these days but basically it is a shoe that is made on a shoe last (frame) that has a narrow heel and very wide and deep toe box, perfect for long distance walking.

Every year the people at NB try to talk me into a different shoe because they don't understand the needs of a Camino shoe; every year I buy the SL-2 shoe, and every year, I'm very happy.
 

MIAPilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013 SJPDP-Ponferrada; Oct 2015 Ponferrada-Santiago
Just regular.
I do not like waterproof shoes.
They tend to hold in the sweat and cause more blisters for me.
The regulars don't get that wet, and when they do, they dry overnight.
Also, you can ask for which shoes are made on an "SL-2" shoe last.
They may use a different terminology these days but basically it is a shoe that is made on a shoe last (frame) that has a narrow heel and very wide and deep toe box, perfect for long distance walking.

Every year the people at NB try to talk me into a different shoe because they don't understand the needs of a Camino shoe; every year I buy the SL-2 shoe, and every year, I'm very happy.
Exactly!! Very helpful! Huge thanks!
 

MIAPilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013 SJPDP-Ponferrada; Oct 2015 Ponferrada-Santiago
@Anniesantiago I think my mistake with the New Balance was not getting the SL-2 last. The ones I had were too wide in the heel for me. But I'm happy now, in my Ecco sandals.
I have Tevas that will be my back up for this trip but I may get the Ecco's for every day. I live in flip fops and Tevas whenever possible...
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Here's my question. Many recommend that I get shoes 1-1.5 sizes larger than my usual size. But I have wide feet (and bunions) and longer length isn't going to address swelling of feet sideways. I am wondering if I should look at men's shoes... Interested in input.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Here's my question. Many recommend that I get shoes 1-1.5 sizes larger than my usual size. But I have wide feet (and bunions) and longer length isn't going to address swelling of feet sideways. I am wondering if I should look at men's shoes... Interested in input.
Some of us are not so enthusiastic about the blanket "go 1 or 2 sizes larger" advice. Of course, rule #1 is to not get shoes that are too small, but going bigger does not necessarily solve all the problems and can cause different ones. My advice is to find a shoe or boot that has the right shape for your foot. Then get one that is on the big side of "just right." Whether men's shoes will be right depends on the shape of your foot, but it certainly worth trying. I have a narrow heel that wouldn't suit a men's shoe.

I almost always wear size 7 or 7.5 shoes. My walking shoes are 7.5. I also have short toes (a.k.a. wide feet) and never have a problem with length. Any generalized swelling is accommodated by loosening the laces. If I went larger, I'd have over an inch empty in the toe of my shoes and would be tripping all over myself.
 

RumAndChupacabras

Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019 Ingles/Norte~Apr. 2018 Oviedo, Santo Toribio, Covadonga~May/June 2016 Portuguese
Try Ecco Off-Road sandals instead of shoes. My feet love them for 840km on the Norte. Socks are optional - I only wore them for warmth.
Aha! @Kanga, this is exactly the kind of lead I was looking to find! I'm hoping for a May/June 2016 Norte and wondered about some type of tried and true hiking sandal (for that Norte route with it's water runoff conditions). My body thermostat always seems to run on high (all my life) and my feet are thermo-regulators, LOL!
Please don't hesitate to lead onto other threads where this is discussed by others. THANKS!
 

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
definitely not gore-tex shoes of any kind it dries too slow and when its hot outside its hotter inside and I'm really enjoying my new Altra's Lone Peak 2.5 nice toe wide toe box but its a zero-drop shoes meaning it takes getting used to comparing to a regular trail runner.

Zzotte
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Here's my question. Many recommend that I get shoes 1-1.5 sizes larger than my usual size. But I have wide feet (and bunions) and longer length isn't going to address swelling of feet sideways. I am wondering if I should look at men's shoes... Interested in input.
Jill, I have feet like a Hobbit - short and wide. The SL-2 works great for my feet. Wide, deep toe box and narrow heel.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Some of us are not so enthusiastic about the blanket "go 1 or 2 sizes larger" advice. If I went larger, I'd have over an inch empty in the toe of my shoes and would be tripping all over myself.
I agree, Jill, that some people don't need the extra space. There is no one size fits all.

If you're comfortable with wearing the same sized shoe that you wear every day, then that's great. But many people I meet who walk the Camino have probably never hiked further than the local park and certainly have never carried anything close to 10% of their weight, and the majority have a real problem with their feet swelling and their shoes being way too tight. The swelling begins after they take the Pyrenees. When the toe box is not deep and wide enough, their toes are then smushed together and rub, causing horrible blisters.

Also, you look by your photo to be quite slender and in shape. That can make a big difference too.

Many people I walk with are not slender and in shape. They tend to be in their mid 50's - 70's and often have a bit of middle aged spread and those people do tend to experience more swelling due to the extra weight they're carrying.

I have an inch of empty in the toe of my shoe and I don't trip - but when I correctly lace the shoes, it keeps my feet from sliding forward.

As in all things Camino, people should do what feels right for them. The advice is based on experience, but is just a suggestion, not a rule.

I just feel bad having to take people to the doctor early on because their feet look like this. (She finished the Camino in sandals.) I'm not sure if her shoes were too tight, but they sure caused her some problems. Owwwwww! :eek::eek::eek:

(Note) She just PM'd me and said her shoes WERE 1.5 sizes larger than usual and that it wasn't the shoes, it was her feet. But it almost made me cry... owwwwwww...
 

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donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
image.jpg
Try Ecco Off-Road sandals instead of shoes. My feet love them for 840km on the Norte. Socks are optional - I only wore them for warmth.
Big fan of these myself over two Caminos. Wondering though would something a little more closed be needed in October. I have also used Columbia Techlite. Very light and comfortable. Not waterproof but dry really quickly
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
View attachment 22715

Big fan of these myself over two Caminos. Wondering though would something a little more closed be needed in October. I have also used Columbia Techlite. Very light and comfortable. Not waterproof but dry really quickly
Did you have any problems with little rocks getting in the sandals? That's why I gave up on my Tevas.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Yes, in my Eccos I only seem to get pebbles occasionally, when the surface is the small rolling type. They don't have a toe and anything shakes out the front when I tap, or the sides. Never managed to stub or injure my toes, I think because the sole is slightly longer than my toes. Whatever, I would not want anyone buying shoes just on my recommendatio. All care, no responsibility!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
definitely not gore-tex shoes of any kind it dries too slow and when its hot outside its hotter inside and I'm really enjoying my new Altra's Lone Peak 2.5 nice toe wide toe box but its a zero-drop shoes meaning it takes getting used to comparing to a regular trail runner.

Zzotte
That's what I'm walking in; the Altra Lone Peaks! My only concern is if there is enough cushion for long mileage every day. Did you add a different insole?
 

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
Hi Jill, no I have not add any insole but I will carry a spare, I don't like too much cushioning I practice with xeroshoes cloud (very minimalist shoe) and when I put my pack on I use the Altra's, I have found that I have strengthen my feet to the point that too much cushioning its actually uncomfortable, I find the Altra zero drop concept its perfect for the type walking, running I do.

Zzotte
 

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
Good Lord Annie, How can someone walk like that? I would walked bare feet before I let get this point, God Bless her, I hope she recovered good griff
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
Loving the Asics 2000 3 Trail D width. No GTX.

Still working on socks.
Not sure if you're still looking for feedback (I didn't see a response in the thread on this question after you last raised it). I'm firmly in the no GTX camp, and I use merino wool ankle socks (Darn Tough is my brand of choice, but others work as well) in the summer and calf-length in the winter. Although Coolmax (and similar synthetic wicking socks) dries quicker, I find my feet get uncomfortably cold if they get wet (almost guaranteed without GTX) in colder weather, early mornings, etc. The merino won't dry as quick, and is slightly hotter than the Coolmax, but in the end, they're useful across more conditions and don't develop odors nearly as fast (even when the synth socks are antimicrobial).
 

milsub

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I will walk first part of Camino de Santiago May/June (2016)
Yes, in my Eccos I only seem to get pebbles occasionally, when the surface is the small rolling type. They don't have a toe and anything shakes out the front when I tap, or the sides. Never managed to stub or injure my toes, I think because the sole is slightly longer than my toes. Whatever, I would not want anyone buying shoes just on my recommendatio. All care, no responsibility!
Hi Kanga, I am really warming to the idea of bringing Ecco sandals as my second pair of footwear on the Camino. So I have two questions for you:
1. Do you have experience with ecco Offroad Lite sandals? Those are the ones I have found in the nearby store?
2. How do you go about the size - a size larger than normal or...?

Thanks a lot in advance!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Hi @milsub - mine are Men's Offroad - like this. In Australia we don't seem to have "Offroad Lite" so I can't really help. As far as size goes, my feet are already two sizes larger than they used to be, from all the walking I've done, so I don't really expect them to spread any more. I do make sure my feet sit comfortably well within the sole of the sandal, so my heels and toes are not right at the end of the sandals - and so that the arch support is in the right place. For me they are instantly comfortable. I do get the men's for the extra width.

I don't take any other shoes, except for Crocs to wear in the shower, and around the albergue. Unless I'm staying in Paris or Madrid, when I might be tempted to take some ballet flats!
 

milsub

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I will walk first part of Camino de Santiago May/June (2016)
Hi @milsub - mine are Men's Offroad - like this. In Australia we don't seem to have "Offroad Lite" so I can't really help. As far as size goes, my feet are already two sizes larger than they used to be, from all the walking I've done, so I don't really expect them to spread any more. I do make sure my feet sit comfortably well within the sole of the sandal, so my heels and toes are not right at the end of the sandals - and so that the arch support is in the right place. For me they are instantly comfortable. I do get the men's for the extra width.

I don't take any other shoes, except for Crocs to wear in the shower, and around the albergue. Unless I'm staying in Paris or Madrid, when I might be tempted to take some ballet flats!
Thanks Kanga, I ended up with Mens Lite half a size larger than my regular size. The men's model fit me much better - just as you suggested for the width. They felt amazing on the foot and gave a lot of support to my arch. I hope the Lite does not mean that they for shorter walks :)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Thanks Kanga, I ended up with Mens Lite half a size larger than my regular size. The men's model fit me much better - just as you suggested for the width. They felt amazing on the foot and gave a lot of support to my arch. I hope the Lite does not mean that they for shorter walks :)
I've got a pair of the women's Off Road Lite coming from Zappos tomorrow. I hope that my long narrow feet like them!
 

Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
We return to these questions because there aren't any definitive answers, what is perfect for one can be awful for another. I don't like "waterproof" footwear as they are so hot and sweaty, others swear by them (rather than at them). The socks thing is similar. I have known pilgrims who just buy the cheapest supermarket socks and have no problems and others who buy the most expensive and suffer every day, and vice versa. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

As an aside, and a plaintive query .... I have seriously wide feet - clowns aren't in it! - and have never found light trail shoes or light ankle boots that are wide enough. I have tried on just about all the ones recommended on other posts. I do wear Keens Newport sandals and they are seriously wide and after wearing them for five minutes I am completely unaware that I am wearing them, but all the other Keens footwear are narrower for some reason. So! If anyone knows of clown hiking footwear please do let me know!
Hi David
Some years back - 5 or 6 probably - Birkenstock brought out a hiking boot. It was wonderfully wide across the toe box, superbly comfortable and supportive. Unfortunately EACH boot weighed in at > 1.5lbs and was like an earth anchor :( There also was a limited edition which was quite promising but only available in Japan, managed to find an old image but haven't heard any more about any of these styles. My local Birkenstock store stocks only Keen and Meindl now.

There is an American company that makes minimalist extra wide natural footwear Natural Footgear. Somewhat different but I have heard a few rave reviews if light footwear suits.

Hmmmm.... where DO clowns buy their footwear? (asking for a friend ;))

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 22.36.14.png
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I just traded in my Keen Voyageurs for the Keen Men's Arroyo sandals. Heaven on my feet! Finally -wide comfortable footwear. After a ten mile hike today in my Voyageurs, I'm excited to go out tomorrow again with these. Leave for SJPP in eleven days.
 

SusieQ2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future, within 18 months ('16 or '17)
Everyone has there own preferences and after doing a lot of research and reading a lot of recommendations, I bought Merrell trail running shoes. And I didn't read about a single soul who had tried them. My issue is my toes. I need something that my toes don't slide to the end going down hill and I found them! And I have wide feet, too... except for my heels.

I haven't made my pilgrimage, yet but I've begun collecting my gear. I like my shoes so much I wear them all the time. I wore them hiking today with my back pack and my poles in preparation for my Camino. At the end of the day, my friend commented how her feet hurt. I had never given mine the first thought! Mine are not Gortex, I like breathable shoes. These have awesome soles for rough terrain.

I bought some socks for runners, infused with silver as an anti-microbial. They are thin and work for me but I don't know if they would last 500 miles, but lightweight enough to carry extra pairs. I can't wear thick socks. My very experienced hiking buddy swears by her wool socks, year round. Try different ideas and let us know what works for you.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Hi @milsub - mine are Men's Offroad - like this. In Australia we don't seem to have "Offroad Lite" so I can't really help. As far as size goes, my feet are already two sizes larger than they used to be, from all the walking I've done, so I don't really expect them to spread any more. I do make sure my feet sit comfortably well within the sole of the sandal, so my heels and toes are not right at the end of the sandals - and so that the arch support is in the right place. For me they are instantly comfortable. I do get the men's for the extra width.

I don't take any other shoes, except for Crocs to wear in the shower, and around the albergue. Unless I'm staying in Paris or Madrid, when I might be tempted to take some ballet flats!
What do you do when it rains? Just let your socks get wet? Seems like that would cause blisters. Also, I have seen reviews with the Keen sandals that they start to stink. What do sandal wearers do about that?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I am not trying to persuade anyone on this, just relating my own experience.

@JillGat I don't wear socks, so it is a case of drying the feet with a towel. Unless it is very cold, in which case I wear Sealskinz waterproof socks. On the Norte in May last year I only wore them twice, and about the same on the Camino Francės in September.

I don't think my Ecco sandals stink, even after more than 1600 km. I can't see why sandals should stink any more than other shoes. It would depend on the materials from which they were made, would it not? Some materials are horrible from that perspective (I'm particularly thinking the stuff in Skechers) but my Eccos are obviously a non-stinky material.

I'm going to treat myself to a new pair shortly, because I think the inner sole is starting to flatten a bit, but that is the only sign of wear.
 

Sue Kranz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I am planning to walk El Camino in May of 2017
I've worn New Balance trail runners on 7 Caminos.
Very happy with their performance.
I buy them 1-1.5 sizes larger than normal.
Hi Annie...based on this thread, you seem to be the maven on footwear! I do have trouble finding comfortable shoes based on a bunion and overly sensitive feet!

Do you know which trail runners from New Balance have the SL-2 last? 1210? Leadville v3? WT610V5?

Thanks...I've ordered many styles/brands from Amazon with free returns. But, since I can't wear them outside (or ethically should not), it will be hard to tell! (I could wear them in some mall...hmm...)

I love my Keen whisperers as a back up, but don't know how they would hold up over 100s of km.

I would appreciate your input! (btw: I'm 5'2", small frame, generally fit...)

Sue
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Hi Annie...based on this thread, you seem to be the maven on footwear! I do have trouble finding comfortable shoes based on a bunion and overly sensitive feet!

Do you know which trail runners from New Balance have the SL-2 last? 1210? Leadville v3? WT610V5?

Thanks...I've ordered many styles/brands from Amazon with free returns. But, since I can't wear them outside (or ethically should not), it will be hard to tell! (I could wear them in some mall...hmm...)

I love my Keen whisperers as a back up, but don't know how they would hold up over 100s of km.

I would appreciate your input! (btw: I'm 5'2", small frame, generally fit...)

Sue
You should email New Balance with your question. I've emailed them a couple of times with questions about shoes, abd they got back to me promptly.
They have an email form on their website
https://support.newbalance.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Hi Annie...based on this thread, you seem to be the maven on footwear! I do have trouble finding comfortable shoes based on a bunion and overly sensitive feet!

Do you know which trail runners from New Balance have the SL-2 last? 1210? Leadville v3? WT610V5?

Thanks...I've ordered many styles/brands from Amazon with free returns. But, since I can't wear them outside (or ethically should not), it will be hard to tell! (I could wear them in some mall...hmm...)

I love my Keen whisperers as a back up, but don't know how they would hold up over 100s of km.

I would appreciate your input! (btw: I'm 5'2", small frame, generally fit...)

Sue
Hi Sue.
First of all, your Keens should be fine - I've known many people who wore them.
Second, as far as the Shoe Last, you'll have to either go to your New Balance store or ask each vendor.
Each year, the model numbers change. You can check my blog to see what I've worn each year.
Sometimes I can find old models on ebay that have never been worn.

The main thing to look for is a deep, wide toebox, in whatever shoe you buy, and the ability to adjust the width via tying or wearing two pair of socks.
You need to be able to wiggle your toes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
What do you do when it rains? Just let your socks get wet? Seems like that would cause blisters. Also, I have seen reviews with the Keen sandals that they start to stink. What do sandal wearers do about that?
I haven't worn Keens, but Good Lord, my Tevas stink horribly!
Now, granted, it may be due to a person's feet, not the sandals, but my other shoes don't stink.
I know a lot of people who have worn Keens on the trail successfully.
In the end, it's what is best for your own feet.
I still swear that if you have to break them in, they're the wrong shoes.
You should be able to wear a good fitting pair of shoes right out of the store and onto the trail.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Hi Annie...based on this thread, you seem to be the maven on footwear! I do have trouble finding comfortable shoes based on a bunion and overly sensitive feet!

Do you know which trail runners from New Balance have the SL-2 last? 1210? Leadville v3? WT610V5?

Thanks...I've ordered many styles/brands from Amazon with free returns. But, since I can't wear them outside (or ethically should not), it will be hard to tell! (I could wear them in some mall...hmm...)

I love my Keen whisperers as a back up, but don't know how they would hold up over 100s of km.

I would appreciate your input! (btw: I'm 5'2", small frame, generally fit...)

Sue
Do you have an REI near you? If so, you can wear your shoes outside for up to a year and, if they don't work for you, you can return them. I have bunions too, which is why I wear the Altra Lone Peaks, which have a wonderfully wide toe box.
 

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