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Any experience with minimalist shoes?

ClicketySnap

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, Camino Norte 2019
I currently wear Vibram FiveFingers on a daily basis, and have worn them for over two years. I've seen some people say that the soles don't always last for the entire trip (understandable!), so would it be a good idea to take two pairs (I was thinking one regular, one waterproof) since they weigh so little? Also, I've had my eye on a minimalist sandal (Xeroshoes in particular) for quite a while and was wondering if anyone else has tried walking in sandals like this.
 
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ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
09/2015: Via de la Plata
I know I've read a post by someone who took xeroshoes and another brand of minimalist shoes on the camino. But can't remember who wrote it.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Since your feet are conditioned for them, start with a new pair of each of them.
 
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cecelia

Wandering for the love and growth of it
Past OR future Camino
2013
I currently wear Vibram FiveFingers on a daily basis, and have worn them for over two years. I've seen some people say that the soles don't always last for the entire trip (understandable!), so would it be a good idea to take two pairs (I was thinking one regular, one waterproof) since they weigh so little? Also, I've had my eye on a minimalist sandal (Xeroshoes in particular) for quite a while and was wondering if anyone else has tried walking in sandals like this.
Hi ClicketySnap,
I have met and talked with two people who were wearing five fingers. One was looking for a taxi because she had pulled her leg muscles. The other was a woman from New Zealand that I met coming into Arzua. She was having a grand time in her five fingers and was walking with a huge smile. She had advice though and it was this:
- be sure to buy the trail soles not the regular running soles. The trail ones will last, the running soles won't.
- know that it takes time to get used to them
- walk in them every day for at least 3 months prior to taking them on the camino. This is important!
- stretch regularly
She did not have any trouble with her soles wearing out up to the point of Arzua, but she did have another pair of shoes for the end of the day.
This is second-hand information so take it as that. I walk in the spring and wear boots:)
Cecelia
 

ClicketySnap

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, Camino Norte 2019
Hi ClicketySnap,
I have met and talked with two people who were wearing five fingers. One was looking for a taxi because she had pulled her leg muscles. The other was a woman from New Zealand that I met coming into Arzua. She was having a grand time in her five fingers and was walking with a huge smile. She had advice though and it was this:
- be sure to buy the trail soles not the regular running soles. The trail ones will last, the running soles won't.
- know that it takes time to get used to them
- walk in them every day for at least 3 months prior to taking them on the camino. This is important!
- stretch regularly
She did not have any trouble with her soles wearing out up to the point of Arzua, but she did have another pair of shoes for the end of the day.
This is second-hand information so take it as that. I walk in the spring and wear boots:)
Cecelia


Wow thank you so much!
I currently have a pair with the trail soles and had a pair with running soles last year, and I actually went through the trail soles quicker. It might be different stride causing more wear in concentrated locations. I'll do some experimenting.

I definitely appreciate the on-the-trail knowledge and will factor that in when I start preparing.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
On the Norte, I wore Merrell Trail Gloves - they are also my everyday shoes - I like their ultra-light weight (400g the pair) - with the Vibram soles wear was fine
 

ClicketySnap

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, Camino Norte 2019
On the Norte, I wore Merrell Trail Gloves - they are also my everyday shoes - I like their ultra-light weight (400g the pair) - with the Vibram soles wear was fine

Awesome! Good to know. Unfortunately I just went to replace my current Vibram FiveFingers and discovered that every retailer in Canada is pulling the entire line of shoes due to the lawsuit. I may not be able to get any more Vibrams when I am able to travel to Spain.
 
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zzotte

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
A waterproof five fingers? :) for what? to keep what dry? LOL I'm I can help to LOL who would think :) Oh and I will walk the camino in Altra's non-water proof :) but I have a xeroshoes that I use on a regular basis and love it just order the new one its the Z-trac and I'm taking as my backup pair and shower shoes.

zzotte
 

Alanjohn

New Member
Past OR future Camino
My wife and I plan to walk the Camino from Paris via Vezelay to Santiago De Compostela this year (2o15).
I currently wear Vibram FiveFingers on a daily basis, and have worn them for over two years. I've seen some people say that the soles don't always last for the entire trip (understandable!), so would it be a good idea to take two pairs (I was thinking one regular, one waterproof) since they weigh so little? Also, I've had my eye on a minimalist sandal (Xeroshoes in particular) for quite a while and was wondering if anyone else has tried walking in sandals like this.
Thanks ClicktySnap,my wife and I both wear Vibram Five Fingers.in 2015 we walked from Paris to Santigo D C via St Jean P D P. (80 days),We both wore Vibrams and did not have any foot Problems.We do not wear socks.We used two pair each.Our advice is train in them for a year if they are new to you.Vibrams are the only shoes we own.we must like them as we both ran around Australia in Vibrams during 2013,a marathon every day for 366 days. 1600km.
 

Pong

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018
A waterproof five fingers? :) for what? to keep what dry? LOL I'm I can help to LOL who would think :) Oh and I will walk the camino in Altra's non-water proof :) but I have a xeroshoes that I use on a regular basis and love it just order the new one its the Z-trac and I'm taking as my backup pair and shower shoes.

zzotte
I will be using the Altra Lone Peak on the Camino de Madrid in April and I'm looking for a backup zero drop shoe, preferably sandal and light weight a must. Noticed your comment above. Looked at the z-trek and seems promising. Only question is whether you think it could be used as an alternative in actually walking the route part of the time (as opposed to just night time and showers). I'd like my second pair to be versatile. Would I feel all the pebbles/twigs do you think?
 

zzotte

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
Hi Pong welcome to the forum, since my last post I now have been using xeroshoes amuri cloud what do like about it its that feels much more secure on the feet (I run with it) its very strong and durable its like a heavy duty flip flap, I'm taking it as my alternative shoes for walking specially if its a lot of mud and if is cold I will use my injiji sock, also for showers and just relax in lieu off my crocs do to blisters in my last camino I was forced into the walk in my crocs for about 70km however trying to keep my feet in place was a nightmare, xeroshoes z-trek or amori cloud are both very flexible so you do have to learn to walk softly if you know what I mean, no you don't feel pebbles, sticks etc but if you step on a pointed rock you may hence learning (actually teaching your brain) to lift your foot right way a normal reaction for most of us then would be no problem, xeroshoes was developed for running so walking should be no problem it weighs 10oz a pair. One caveat you do need to practice walking with it get your feet used to it its like walking barefoot it uses all different muscles and ligaments start slow as a rule. I hope this helps let me know if you have any questions

Zzotte
 

Pong

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018
Thanks so much for such a detailed and helpful reply. I use injinji's also, but I think I'd rather have a sandal with a strap than a post type style. I had pretty much decided to order the Ztrek until I noticed a new model coming out, tomorrow in fact. The Ztrail is supposedly lighter (women's size 7 is 5 oz), and offers a bit more protection underfoot. It sounds like a winner to me. I appreciate your tips on using the xeros. Pong
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hi Pong and Zzote.. I am also wearing the Lone Peaks, though I wonder if they will last 500 miles. I have very limited options for footwear, as my feet are so wide. Even the keens give me blisters. I like my Chaco Unaweep sandals - possibly as a back-up - but they are fairly heavy. Are the Ztrails or xeroshoes wide?
 

Pong

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018
I have a somewhat wide forefoot and the Ztrail worked for me. If you go to the Xeroshoes website you can print an outline of the sandal in your size and check your foot against it. They have a video showing how to measure to get your correct size in their products. The straps that cross over the foot are a single piece of webbing so the sandal is adjustable. Be aware that the Ztrail has a very thin sole relative to most footwear, and perhaps especially relative to Chacos (though I'm not familiar with the Unaweep in particular). I have only had my Ztrail sandals for a few days, and I've only worn them outside walking once as its been rather cold here in northern NH. I did wear them on a walk one sunny day, probably about 4 miles, to see how they would feel as alternate shoes. I like them quite a lot, but hope I won't have to use them for long distance. I will bring them as my alternate footwear since I don't expect to need to do many miles with them. My Altras have been working out very well on my training walks so far. By the way, I've probably put close to 500 miles on my current Lone Peaks and they are still going strong. If yours are relatively new, I think they will work for the Frances. Ssounds like ZZotte has much more experience with the Xeroshoes. Maybe he will weigh in with his opinion. Oh, if you decide to try the Ztrail, you might want to order today. This is apparently the last day with the 20% discount offered during the rollout of the product. Good luck and Buen Camino!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
Another Altra Lone Peak question... I have been wearing the Lone Peak 2.0, which fit great. I tried on the 2.5 and they seem narrower in the forefoot. The uppers seem more durable, but I don't like the narrower fit! Have any of you found that difference in the newer model?
 

Pong

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018
JillGat: Sorry I can't help as I've only worn the 2.5. However, I have noticed that the Altra website has the 2.0 for sale at $60. If you like the old style, you could get a good deal there on another pair. I've been thinking about getting a pair myself but wondered if they would be as wide in the toe as the 2.5. Nice to know they are good and wide. Any idea if the sizing is the same as far as length. I've got a good fit in size 7.5 in the 2.5 model. Will that work with the 2.o do you think?
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
JillGat: Sorry I can't help as I've only worn the 2.5. However, I have noticed that the Altra website has the 2.0 for sale at $60. If you like the old style, you could get a good deal there on another pair. I've been thinking about getting a pair myself but wondered if they would be as wide in the toe as the 2.5. Nice to know they are good and wide. Any idea if the sizing is the same as far as length. I've got a good fit in size 7.5 in the 2.5 model. Will that work with the 2.o do you think?

I called Altra, and they say the 2.5 is the same last as the 2.0. I don't know if the upper affects the fit and/or if I've just broken them in a bit that they feel wider. However it does look like the 2.5 has a more durable upper. Yes, get some 2.0s! Same size as your 2.5s, I would think.
 
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zzotte

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
GillGat if you find Altra too narrow for your feet have you tried ordering men's? I know a few female hikes that uses men's shoes because of that, online shoes . Com you can order as many pairs as u like and return all or some no hustles

Zzotte
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
GillGat if you find Altra too narrow for your feet have you tried ordering men's? I know a few female hikes that uses men's shoes because of that, online shoes . Com you can order as many pairs as u like and return all or some no hustles

Zzotte

Yes, I tried on the Men's Altra at REI. They are crazy duckfoot-wide in the toe box, but the midfoot still seems a little narrow. I think I will probably get the Women's in the same size as I had before and figure they will loosen up. If not, I can return them any time at REI, too.
 

zzotte

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
Yes, I tried on the Men's Altra at REI. They are crazy duckfoot-wide in the toe box, but the midfoot still seems a little narrow. I think I will probably get the Women's in the same size as I had before and figure they will loosen up. If not, I can return them any time at REI, too.

thats too bad, I know its so hard to find the right fit

zzotte
 

John Summerhawk

New Member
I've worn Vibrams for 5 yrs. taking one pair with me. My main footware will be the new Carins by BedRock Sandals. A sturdy 14mm sole with aggressive traction. Where possible I'll be walking barefoot.
 
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