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Best footwear for Camino del Norte & Primitivo

Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
Greetings
I will be walking the Camino del Norte and diverting to the Primitivo starting in September. I have been using Vasque St. Elias on my recent very rugged Bruce Trail in Ontario Canada (910 km). 1654441007682.png 1654441007682.png

I was planning to use a pair of Merrill boots which are lighter for the del Norte, but am re-thinking my decision since I am going to divert to the Primitivo and the Vasques have superior grip in muddy, slippery situations. Advice? 1654441007682.png 1654441133030.png 1654441133030.png
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
The Caminos can be walked in virtually any footwear, there is no need for a rugged boot. Compared to wilderness trails, the Camino is a walk in the park. You're on an improved trail with some pavement and cobble stone thrown in for good measure. There are a few short patches of rocky or muddy spots, but these are generally short and manageable. I walked the Norte in standard running shoes in April. What is MOST important is comfort, and avoiding blisters. For some, this means walking in sandals. Rugged doesn't count, comfort does.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
The Caminos can be walked in virtually any footwear, there is no need for a rugged boot. Compared to wilderness trails, the Camino is a walk in the park. You're on an improved trail with some pavement and cobble stone thrown in for good measure. There are a few short patches of rocky or muddy spots, but these are generally short and manageable. I walked the Norte in standard running shoes in April. What is MOST important is comfort, and avoiding blisters. For some, this means walking in sandals. Rugged doesn't count, comfort does.
Thanks Rick.I wasn't considering the boots for Norte which I understand is 70% pavement walking. My concern is the Primitivo which has slippery, muddy, inclined sections that require more rugged footwear.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Rick.I wasn't considering the boots for Norte which I understand is 70% pavement walking. My concern is the Primitivo which has slippery, muddy, inclined sections that require more rugged footwear.
I have walked the Primitivo several times, in different seasons, and trail runners are my footwear of choice. Others may disagree, but I don’t think there’s anything that would meet the definition of rugged on the Primitivo.

And btw, if you want to get off all of that pavement/asphalt on the Norte, try some of these coastal alternatives. They are all easy to get to and a more beautiful alternative than walking along the side of the road.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
I have walked the Primitivo several times, in different seasons, and trail runners are my footwear of choice. Others may disagree, but I don’t think there’s anything that would meet the definition of rugged on the Primitivo.

And btw, if you want to get off all of that pavement/asphalt on the Norte, try some of these coastal alternatives. They are all easy to get to and a more beautiful alternative than walking along the side of the road.
Thanks
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Personally I would wear the lighter, more breathable Merrells. Don't need actual hiking boots.
 

WalkingPlaylist

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, Portuguese 2019, Primitivo 2023
Yes, agree with folks here, don't worry about looks, cost, color, or what type just get something that makes your feet feel good and you won't get blisters. I have worn boots and sandals and for my next one am thinking trail runners. I have even at times worn two different shoes walking depending on what was hurting. One sandal and one boot! Dad thought I was crazy but it works. As well, it's the one piece of equipment that really really matters so invest the most time and money (if you need) to get exactly what you want and need.
 

Vagabonder

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to SJPP (2019)
I wore Merrell hiking shoes on the Primitivo and they were great. I need the support they give, compared to trail running shoes. I wore Altras Lone Peak walking le Voie du Puy and had a problem with foot fatigue. No blisters with either shoes.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I agree with the others. I have not walked the Primitivo but have walked the Norte in Trail Runners. I had two friends who split to walk the Primitivo that I walked with on the Norte. Amazingly as I walked into Arzua there they were sitting in a cafe with some other Primitivo walkers having a pizza. One of the first things they both told me was that next time they walk they will leave their boots at home and use trail runners. Nothing is "rugged" on any of the 6 camino routes I have walked.
As I have often said here that my unscientific survey walking numerous caminos I can say that more people had blisters and more severe blisters who wore boots than trail runners or sandals. Have even met a few people wearing flip flops.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Done El Norte with (good TEVA) sandals and socks, and it is perfect! if you get wet, they dry in minutes, they have good grip, and are a blessing on tarmac stretches
 
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Dalieb

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2019
Greetings
I will be walking the Camino del Norte and diverting to the Primitivo starting in September. I have been using Vasque St. Elias on my recent very rugged Bruce Trail in Ontario Canada (910 km). View attachment 126986 View attachment 126986

I was planning to use a pair of Merrill boots which are lighter for the del Norte, but am re-thinking my decision since I am going to divert to the Primitivo and the Vasques have superior grip in muddy, slippery situations. Advice? View attachment 126986 View attachment 126987 View attachment 126987
Look into Altra trail runners. I love The Lone Peak model. Lightweight, quick drying and super comfortable. I trekked the Camino Frances in 2018 (500 miles) without one blister!! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
Primitivo 2019
Norte September (2022)
I have walked the Primitivo several times, in different seasons, and trail runners are my footwear of choice. Others may disagree, but I don’t think there’s anything that would meet the definition of rugged on the Primitivo.

And btw, if you want to get off all of that pavement/asphalt on the Norte, try some of these coastal alternatives. They are all easy to get to and a more beautiful alternative than walking along the side of the road.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
Primitivo 2019
Norte September (2022)
Thanks for the info on the alternate route off the Norte. It will require an extra effort to keep an eye on navigation and not simply following the arrows. But much appreciated.
 

staucher

Camino junky
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Via de la Plata
Portuguese
Primitivo
I've had good luck with my Lowa Renegade boots on several Caminos. They're pretty much indestructible, and provide good support for my feet. I will add some Dr. Scholls inserts for extra comfort on my next Camino. For blisters, I'd recommend stopping every 2 hrs and taking off your boots and socks to give your feet a chance to dry. Although not 100% effective, that has worked pretty well for me.
 

Sandra Riordan

Hobart Australia
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis 2015, Portuguese 2016, El Norte 2017 & VDLP 2019.
Thanks Rick.I wasn't considering the boots for Norte which I understand is 70% pavement walking. My concern is the Primitivo which has slippery, muddy, inclined sections that require more rugged footwear.
Norte is not 70% road walking if you choose the coastal paths. But trail runners on Norte and Primitivo are definitely my choice. It is not the rugged and wild tracks I encounter in SW Tasmania. Comfort is the best option.
 
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knoisyknees

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sjpdp/santiago. Lisbon/santiago. Porto/santiago coastal route
(Madrid/santiago)avenue lan
I walked from Irun to SdC in Hoka oneone challengers. We finished 2 weeks ago. On a wet day I wore sealskin waterproof socks. My partner walked in sandals and sealskin waterproof socks on wet days. My Hokas dried out quickly and this pair lasted well unlike other Hokas I've used.
 

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Leah Suchet

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None yet
Greetings
I will be walking the Camino del Norte and diverting to the Primitivo starting in September. I have been using Vasque St. Elias on my recent very rugged Bruce Trail in Ontario Canada (910 km). View attachment 126986 View attachment 126986

I was planning to use a pair of Merrill boots which are lighter for the del Norte, but am re-thinking my decision since I am going to divert to the Primitivo and the Vasques have superior grip in muddy, slippery situations. Advice? View attachment 126986 View attachment 126987 View attachment 126987
I just finished the Primitivo, and walked the whole way in Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX shoes. They were amazing! They are not hiking boots, but I felt completely fine the whole way as there is no terrain requiring technical shoes. In fact, my shoes seemed to be more comfortable compared to the boots worn by my compatriots, as there was some road walking which is not great in stiff rigid boots.
 

Elvis

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
I just walked The Camino Frances in Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX shoes. I had no problems. With wearing them in, and The Camino Frances I probably have 1100 KMs on them. I will be doing The Primitivo in September should I use the same ones or buy another pear? All advice welcome and thank you for your input.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I just walked The Camino Frances in Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX shoes. I had no problems. With wearing them in, and The Camino Frances I probably have 1100 KMs on them. I will be doing The Primitivo in September should I use the same ones or buy another pear? All advice welcome and thank you for your input.
I would buy a new pair. They may look fine from the outside, but some of the cushioning inside has probably broken down.
 

Martin 888

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019, Camino Frances 2022
Just returned to Canada after completing the Camino Frances in full for the second time…..take a look at Altra Lone Peak 6 shoes…..a revolution in long distance hiking footwear…..I always wore more traditional boots and light hikers but my wife discovered these shoes and has not looked back. She came and joined me in Leon on this Camino to walk the last couple of weeks together and she brought me a pair to try…..OMG, what a difference, they are amazing! Got ours from Altitude Sports the Canadian online outdoors retailer.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2018
FWIW I walked my Primitivo in barefoot shoes. Worked well for me. Might not work so well for someone with ankle problems.

tempImagesSwEvc.png
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
I just finished the Primitivo, and walked the whole way in Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX shoes. They were amazing! They are not hiking boots, but I felt completely fine the whole way as there is no terrain requiring technical shoes. In fact, my shoes seemed to be more comfortable compared to the boots worn by my compatriots, as there was some road walking which is not great in stiff rigid boots.
I really liked these Salomon and they have low and mid versions, but I couldn't get a fit I was happy with. I purchased a pair of low cut Merrills last year that almost fit and I almost never wear them--only on short walks, so I was fussy this time. The Scarpas I bought fit perfectly. Thanks for the advice.
\
 

Jan79

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning on starting del Norte in April 2023
I am planning on walking the del Norte next year in April. I had the Altra Lone Peak 3.5 on the Frances in 2019 and now I am thinking of buying Altra Lone Peak All-weather mid for the del Norte. I am definitely a fan of Altras. I had no blisters or problems with my feet the last time.
 
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donalomahony

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
Greetings
I will be walking the Camino del Norte and diverting to the Primitivo starting in September. I have been using Vasque St. Elias on my recent very rugged Bruce Trail in Ontario Canada (910 km). View attachment 126986 View attachment 126986

I was planning to use a pair of Merrill boots which are lighter for the del Norte, but am re-thinking my decision since I am going to divert to the Primitivo and the Vasques have superior grip in muddy, slippery situations. Advice? View attachment 126986 View attachment 126987 View attachment 126987

Walked the Norte in Summer in Keen sandals... no issues...

Saw others in Meind mountain boots... they had no issues either...

Horses for courses...
 

LALivingston

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
del Norte/Primitivo
Greetings
I will be walking the Camino del Norte and diverting to the Primitivo starting in September. I have been using Vasque St. Elias on my recent very rugged Bruce Trail in Ontario Canada (910 km). View attachment 126986 View attachment 126986

I was planning to use a pair of Merrill boots which are lighter for the del Norte, but am re-thinking my decision since I am going to divert to the Primitivo and the Vasques have superior grip in muddy, slippery situations. Advice? View attachment 126986 View attachment 126987 View attachment 126987
I am also doing the route you're doing (I begin on Sept. 2 from Irun) and am also practicing on the Bruce Trail (I live in Kitchener). I purchased Hoka Speedgoat boots, which are super cushioned and like walking on air. I just wore them on a 14k hike in Haliburton with lots of ups and downs, and was happy with the grip and support.
I don't expect they'll be in great shape by the time I'm done my caminos, but at least my feet will be happy. I had to buy online, as the usual outlets that sell Hokas (MEC, Running Room, Running World) don't usually carry the boots.
1657219275101.png
 

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