A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Ankle-support: highly important or not

I am having the hardest time deciding whether I need ankle support or not. I am considering the Vasque Breeze shoe and I cannot, for the life of me, decide LOW or BOOT. Please help! :) I am not a huge fan of walking in boots, but I am not an idiot and if ankle support is highly recommended, I will get it. Thank you!

(Also, if you would recommend a better shoe altogether, please let me know).
I will be hiking el Camino in May... waterproof is important, right?


Active Member
Definately waterproof I would say as there is nothing worse than having to put your feet back into damp boots! It really is a case of what you are comfortable in.

On my first walk I wore walking shoes and had problems with pain on the soles of my feet from the impact of walking long distances on hard surfaces. For my next trip I bought leather walking boots with Vibram soles. This time no problem with soles of my feet but I found them heavy and although I had walked them in before leaving, I suffered with blisters. Probably the heat making my feet swell and the day on day walking. The last couple of times I have worn Salomon MID boots and have found them perfect. Lightweight and waterproof with enough support without being too high. They are a size larger than I would have thought to buy originally and worried to start with they were too big but I can wear padded socks and still have room for some swelling.

You will just have to go with what feels right for you but it's impossible to know what will be perfect until you have done some serious walking in them. I afraid I dont know anything about the brand you are considering. There has been quite a lot of discussion about choosing boots in the past which you will find if you do a search.

People walk in everything from huge, hard boots to bare feet (really! there was a link to a blog about this recently!)
Good luck.
PS Tigerpaws? Suggests you might be best suited to the bare foot approach!

I use exactly the same Mid boots as Laura and they were a real find. I've used them in winter and in summer when I didn't actually need waterproof protection - and they were perfect. Saloman do seem to have some sizing issues though and best to try thoroughly. For walking the Camino routes in Spain I think Mid boots are ideal - even in the worst weather as gaiters can easily provide additional cover if necessary.



Active Member
tigerpaws78 said:
if ankle support is highly recommended
I recommend a lightweight boot with ankle support. The Camino has a number of areas where one can easily roll their ankle. That said, I saw a number of folks walking in Tevos and sneakers - usually younger folks, though. But as for aging goombahs like me, a little protection goes a long way... :arrow:
the MID shoe sounds nice... about how high up on the ankle does it come? and does it really protect from twisted ankles? i've only ever experienced tennis shoes and boots, so i don't know what kind of protection the MID would have.

I'm not recommending a particular make: here are the two versions as examples.

It is purely a matter of personal choice. Many people would argue that the pilgrimage routes in Spain don't demand the degree of ankle support which would be needed on more rugged trails. Indeed many walkers on the Camino Frances walk in sandles or training shoes.

The advice is: go to a shop later in the day when you have been on your feet all day, find an experienced sales assistant i.e. don't go on the Saturday when there are "temps" employed,get them to measure your feet, wear the socks you will wear walking, take your time, try them out on the practice steps and slopes provided - and don't be afraid to try more or go some where else to try more. They are a critical piece of kit - take your time and make the choice that suits you.


thanks for all the suggestions! i went and bought the North Face Hedgehog Mid. I'm really happy about it. Fits my foot nicely. I also bought superfeet for better arch support! :D
The mid looks good. I am planning on walking in new balance county walkers. They have no ankle support. I'm a bit worried about their ability to manage rain and mud so I am going to walk a couple of full days in them in Washington state next week. hope to test them out then about a month prior to the walk. so far they have served me well but in the show here I've been walking indoors! we shall see!



Active Member
JohnnieWalker said:
I also bought superfeet for better arch support!
Be careful with the Superfeet. I have flat feet, and I bought a pair of the orange ones for use on the Camino. However, I soon discovered that the arch on the Superfeet was hard enough to cause blisters on both of my insoles. I eventually got rid of them in favor of a softer pair of inserts I bought on the Way for about 8 Euros. I also tried some gel inserts from a farmacia, and they weren't bad either.

The woman running the Roncal albergue in Cizur Menor showed me how to line my boot inserts with maxipads. They adhere nicely to the inserts (except for the gel type), and along with absorbing excess moisture they provide a little extra padding. "We need to find cheap and easy solutions on the Camino," she said - amen to that! :arrow:
Just a few points.

I was just checking on baggage rules and according to the TSA you can't fly with gel inserts.

I didn't buy a size larger and my feet swelled. It wasn't pleasant.

You can buy orthopedic ankle supports that are very light and slip them on for rough terrain, such as the stretch just before Molinaseca, they are very light and provide as much if not more support than a full boot. They are a bit pricey though for good ones.

Buen Camino


Active Member
jgray4613 said:
I was just checking on baggage rules and according to the TSA you can't fly with gel inserts.
Good point (but of course you could always check them w/your pack - unless you're doing the carry-on thing). I got my gel inserts in Spain at a farmacia, and they were fairly spendy at about 30 Euros. In the end the 8 Euro foamish inserts I got at a small sports store, combined with maxipads available at any supermercado, were my favorite. :arrow:
I do recommend to wear a boot with ankle-support, even on summer, because you always are on risk to walk a bad step and having a problem, and because your boot can protect the dryness of your foot from a shower.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.


Active Member
I have a dodgy achilles and as a result, my calves and ankle muscles aren't what they used to be. I'd heartily recommend boots - Lightweight ones if you can find some that suit. The boots I wore for my last Camino were nigh on perfect for my needs - Nice, tailored fit, good ankle support and they were lighter than my previous boots. They only got wet when the torrential rain came in over the top (which made me think that gaitors would've been a happy addition at that time).

so, if you've got quite narrow ankles and feet, I'd suggest maybe looking at getting, or at the very least trying a pair of Meidl Softline GTX http://www.ellis-brigham.com/cgi-bin/psProdDet.cgi/211071||@c@bMeindl|0|user|1,0,0,1|21| Not saying you'll love them as I did, but they were good enough for one Camino.

The only downside is that they were pretty much worn out by the time I'd gone from SJPP to Finisterre. The back of the metal hook that's at the end of the ankle strappy bit (technical terms!) wore away at the upper a little bit, and because the tread is quite shallow, the heel was pretty much worn away. However, they're light, very comfortable to walk in and... Well, that's about all I have to say!

The woman running the Roncal albergue in Cizur Menor showed me how to line my boot inserts with maxipads.
That is so awesome. I will keep that one in mind! Thanks! Thank you for all the great opinions and suggestions. I am very excited for my own Camino!

Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I did my camino in Vasque Breeze low-cut boots. Not a moment of trouble. I recommend them highly. (I did try the mid-height ones, but they rubbed my ankles.)


OLDER threads on this topic

A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Latest posts

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.4%
  • April

    Votes: 114 14.5%
  • May

    Votes: 192 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 55 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 15 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 236 30.0%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%