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Best hiking boots for CF October 2018

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September, 2018)
#1
Which of the following hiking boots would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-hiking-boots

1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
306D6290-A673-41D4-9164-64982D1ACC89.jpeg
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 13.8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Tough and supportive yet comfortable.
What we don't: Pretty heavy and overkill for most day hiking.

Salomon’s updated Quest 4D 3 GTX is the whole package, combining fantastic comfort, traction, and support for serious day hiking and backpacking. Building on the popular Quest 4D 2, the new boot adds an aggressive outsole that grips well in just about all conditions, and a redesigned, more flexible platform for improved comfort. What stays consistent is the top-notch performance fit, aggressive stance, and durable construction that has made the Quest our favorite all-around hiking boot for years.

The new Quest 4D 3 GTX is not, however, any lighter than the previous model and sits solidly in our midweight category. It was ideal for our trek on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia, which involved steep climbs and descents and off-trail hiking while carrying a full pack. But the boot is a bit stiff and overkill for people that don’t need the extra protection or want to move fast and light on well-maintained trails. Those folks will be better off with a lighter and nimbler boot option like the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX below...

2. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
6C5117C1-B950-47CA-9D7E-CD98376719BA.jpeg
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Light and comfortable; enough support for most backpackers.
What we don’t: Not the toughest construction.

The Lowa Renegade has the look and feel of a traditional hiking boot at an impressively low weight. Unlike the nimble and more modern Quest above, the leather Renegade offers better isolation from the ground and feels more planted and sturdy. It does give up a little of the fun factor and performance fit of the Quest, but the trade-off is worth it for those carrying a heavy pack or wanting more underfoot protection from rocky trails.

Lowa kept the weight down in part by moving some of the stabilizing duties to a very effective external polyurethane frame. This makes the Renegade perform like a true backpacking boot while weighing less than 2.5 pounds. Further, its leather upper is relatively thin, which saves ounces and reduces break-in time. The sacrifice of all this lightening is a lack of long-term durability—high-mileage users have reported needing a new pair nearly every year. But they keep coming back for the comfortable feel and the right balance of weight and support. And it’s easy to find a good fit as the Renegade is made in narrow, regular, and wide widths...


3. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
F220F39D-AECC-46A8-BA50-CF3848B262D9.jpeg
Category: Lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 15.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Fast, light, and flexible.
What we don’t: Thin underfoot and less stable than the Quest 4D.

Built like a trail-running shoe but with added ankle support and protection, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is our favorite ultralight boot. Updated last year, Salomon didn’t mess with the formula: the boots are flexible and feathery light—even 2 ounces lighter per pair than the previous model—but retain decent toe protection, a stable chassis, and a new lug design that grips exceptionally well. For fast-moving day hikers, lightweight backpackers, and thru-hikers, we heartily recommend the X Ultra 3 Mid.

Naturally, there are a few compromises that come with the X Ultra’s lightweight construction. The most significant is the lack of underfoot protection, which is thinner than the Quest 4D above. In addition, the X Ultra also doesn’t sit as high on the ankle as the Quest and isn’t as supportive over technical terrain or when carrying a heavy pack. However, it beats out other ultralight options like the Altra and Adidas below in long-distance comfort, durability, and traction. For those who want to cut even more weight, the X Ultra 3 also is offered in a low-top hiking shoe...
 

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twh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#3
Buy the hiking socks you will wear. Buy the Liner socks you will wear. Bring them both to the store, try on each boot approximately a full size larger than your normal shoe size, lace them up snug, walk around the store 5 or 10 minutes in each pair, buy the boots that stand out as most comfortable with the fewest pressure points. Toes cannot touch front of boot, toes should have wiggle room in toe box. Walk around the inside of your house in those boots for the next week. If they DO NOT still feel great, exchange for the 2nd best fitting boot and repeat the process. The fit of the boot is more important than the price or the brand. Also, the blisters from a $500 pair of boots are 5 times more painful than the blisters from a $100 pair of boots. I wore the Solomon Quest 4D3GTX (2017 model) this year and they were great, one blister in 800 kms with 2 pair of socks walking 25kms/day with 17 kilo pack. Met an Italian guy with exact same boots walking 35 - 40 kms/day, lighter pack, he hated the boots on this trip (camino frances) but loved them for cold weather Alpine hiking, he said they were too hot for the Camino. His feet were in terrible condition and had to spend a few days in the hospital. Was it the boots? or the Kms/day? or the socks? Who knows? I brought Solomon Trail Runners too. I planed to wear the boots for half the day and the trail runners for the second half. It turned out I needed the stiffer sole of the boots for all of the Camino walking due to plantar fasciitis (heavy pack may have contributed to that along with not enough calf stretching). I wore the trail runners after my shower each day and they were great for that. Also, when it comes to weight, as felt on your feet walking, you won't be able to tell the difference between the 3 models you are interested in and although the boots will feel a lot different than the trail runners, the weight difference again is minimal...in my opinion.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
#4
Everyone will tell you what to do, I went to hiking boots as opposed to shoes as I was leery of the weather we potentially would have through the Pyrenees. Turns out didn't need the boots there but sure needed them elsewhere due to the snowfalls in the spring. Honestly choose what you find the most comfortable, if you choose the absolutely wrong type there are a lot of places you can find something else. Go as light as possible would be my recommendation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September, 2018)
#5
Greetings, davebugg!

I consider the low-top hiking shoes alternative.

What about Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX low-top hiking shoes? How would you recommend it?

Thanks for your advice.

My concern with the low-top is the cold weather in October, the mountains from SJPP through Puente la Reina and the rain in Galicia. It seems we’re going to be walking through the same time period.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#6
Walking boots/shoes is a very personal thing, what works for one might not work for another.
You really have to spend some time working out whats best for you because it can become an expensive mistake if you get the wrong footwear, also bear in mind that the sock choice is as important the the boot/shoe choice.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#7
Greetings, davebugg!

I consider the low-top hiking shoes alternative.

What about Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX low-top hiking shoes? How would you recommend it?

Thanks for your advice.

My concern with the low-top is the cold weather in October, the mountains from SJPP through Puente la Reina and the rain in Galicia. It seems we’re going to be walking through the same time period.
Hi, luri....

For my Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike I used New Balance 910s -- rain, shine, heat, and cool weather. For my thru-hike of the Colorado Trail I used New Balance Leadvilles. During last September on Camino I used the Leadvilles. This year I will either be using Hoka One One Bondi 5 or New Balance 910v5. If I were to pick a Salomon, it would be their XA Pro 3ds.

I'm not concerned about snow in October; while it is a possibility later in October, it is not likely. As to the cold, I have never found that to be an issue above 12,000 feet in the Rockies in October, and it won't be that cool during the fall on Camino.

As to rain, I have adapted my strategy for wet weather walking, but fall tends to be a drier season, though less so than late summer. Perhaps a couple of previous postings of mine might help with various footwear concerns.

------------------------

Personal recommendations of a shoe is only a place to start looking. It matters not that 100,000 people like a shoe; all that matters is how a shoe feels on your feet and if it can do what you need it to do. Only you can answer the former, the experiences of those who have long term use of them and performance reviews can help answer the latter. I can't tell you if the NB 910v4 would feel good to you. I can tell you how well they are put together, how good their traction is on various surfaces, terrain, and weather conditions, and even how good the shoelaces are that come with the shoe :)

As you go looking for shoe, here are some tips which I have posted before that may help you.
  1. When you go to the store, do so toward the end of the day.... you will have been up on your feet, so that will help with getting the correct fit. Additionally, you will need to wear the same backpack with the same gear you will be carrying... you want this additional weight on you as this will put the same downward pressure on the foot that you will be having while on Camino.
  2. Wear the exact same sock(s) you will be wearing while you are walking on the Camino. And if you have a special insole or orthotic, bring it with you.
  3. At the store, the measuring that will be done on your feet is only to get you in the ballpark for the correct shoe size.
  4. Start by standing up; never measure while sitting. You want the full weight of your body, with the pack on, to put the same pressure on your feet to spread them out as will happen while walking. That alone will increase the volume and size of your feet.
  5. Make sure those 'Camino' socks are on your feet; if you wear socks with liners while walking, do the same thing at the store.
  6. While standing, have someone near to you that you can use to steady yourself. With the measuring device on the ground, step onto the instrument and center all of your weight onto the foot being measured. Do the same for the other foot.
  7. Start with that size, but be aware that both the width and the length need to feel like there is adequate room for your feet. Ideally, like Goldilocks, everything will be just right. But, don't count on it. Be picky.
  8. If you have special insoles or orthotics, put them into any shoe you try on as they will take up space inside the shoe.
  9. When you find what you think will fit you well, you will need to see if your toes have enough clearance. Toes should not be able to be forced to the front of the shoe and touch the shoe. Not even a little. If they do, long walking and downhill grades on the trail or path or road will traumatize the bed of the nail, and that is when toenails can blacken and fall off.
  10. With your shoes tied securely, but not too tight, walk around the store with your pack on. Go up stairs and down stairs, scuff the shoes to the floor so that your feet are forced to do any movement they will do and see if your toes so much as butterfly kiss the front of the shoe. Kick the front of the shoe into a post or stair or wall or someone's shin.... does that make any of your toes touch the front of the shoe? That goes for all the little piggies.
  11. Next, pay attention to the width of the shoe. It shouldn't feel snug on the sides and there should be no rubbing or pressure points at all. They will not go away with "break in". They will create soreness, pain, and blistering. Even if it seems to be tolerable, it is like water torture; as your feet are continually exposed to those pressure points your feet will break down against them bit by bit, and bruising, blisters, and soreness will follow.
  12. You may need to go up a size to a size and a half in length, and go with a wider width to avoid those things I mentioned above. The notion that one avoids blisters by wearing snug footwear has been shown to do just the opposite.

-------------------------
Water can enter trail shoes or boots through any opening during a rainstorm or while walking through dew-covered grass or pour into it as happens when you walk through puddles or other standing water along the Camino.

There are two potential remedies to this problem, neither of which is effective. First, you can try keeping rain pants over the tops of shoes, so the water runs down the pants past the opening. But this system is uncomfortably hot in warmer and rainy temperatures, and it offers no protection for puddles or having to cross water runoffs on the pathway.

Or you can try using a shoe with a waterproof gaiter or some other waterproof cobbles -- like thick plastic bags. I have not seen a gaiter or other waterproof type accessory that would both keep the water out, and keep the feet dry.

“Waterproof” shoes fail is because the materials simply don’t work over the near and long term. Lightweight, leather and fabric trail boots, for example, where some manufacturers have tried treating with a coating, don’t last. It also keeps sweat in the shoe and your feet get soaked in sweat. Fairly quickly, coatings break down and will no longer be waterproof.

When I’ve tested so-called waterproof / breathable fabrics in shoes for various manufacturers, their actual performance never matched what was claimed.

Waterproof/breathable membranes, like Goretex, are only marginally breathable—water vapor from perspiration does not pass through the fabric as efficiently as is claimed. So on warm days the experience of having sweat being trapped in the shoe is common. Combined with the fact that the fabric waterproofing is quickly damaged by dirt, sweat, grime, and abrasion and it’s only a matter of time before exterior moisture begins penetrating the fabric and allowing feet to get wet.

That’s why serious trekkers and backpackers no longer go to great lengths to keep feet dry. They accept that when the weather is wet, feet will also get wet. Even the US military uses footwear for wet conditions which is not waterproof. The strategy is how to minimize any problems when feet are wet.

This is contrary to the way a lot of people believe, were they are thinking that their feet must stay dry, and that wet feet is akin to getting into horrible trouble.

This post is meant to help inform and give a different line of thought and reasoning.

I have tried many ways to keep my feet dry:

1. “Waterproof” shoes, which, as I’ve said, don’t work well.

2. “Waterproof” socks, which don’t work for similar reasons.

3. Wearing multiple pairs of socks, which eventually all get wet.

4. Multiple pairs of shoes, which eventually all get wet too.

Since keeping my feet dry never worked, I decided to develop effective strategies so that the bad things that could occur to my wet feet when walking were either waaaaaay minimized or eliminated. Some of these lessons I learned while in Vietnam…. Like the fact that our boots had fabric tops and numerous holes in the thin leather bottom portions so that water drained out quickly and never sat in the boots.

What are the bad things?

1. Maceration, or pruning, where the skin’s outer layer absorbs and gets “soggy” from moisture. The skin gets sore and extremely soft, which makes it prone to blistering and can develop other problems.

2. Cracking of the skin when it dries. The natural moisture and oiliness of the skin is gone. The severity depends on how much stress the skin is exposed to after it is dried out.

So, what does work? For me, if I am going to be walking or backpacking in wet weather:

1. Apply a good coating of salve or balm to my feet before putting on socks and shoes. This helps protect from external moisture.

2. Wear non-waterproof shoes, which drain and dry out quickly. This minimizes the amount of puddling in the shoe that bathes the feet in moisture. Modern trail shoes have nice open mesh fabric which is terrific for draining water.

3. Non-waterproof shoes will also eliminate moisture from sweaty feet. Remember, it doesn’t matter what the source of the moisture is that feet are exposed to; rain or sweat, each can cause the same problems.

4. Wear thin, non-cushioned merino wool socks, which don’t absorb as much water as thicker socks. Merino wool will keep wet feet warm unless the weather is winter-cold.

5. Take off my shoes and socks to let my feet air dry during any mid-day rest stop that will be longer than 20 minutes. During that time, I will wring out any excess moisture from the socks, but I will not put on either of my dry pairs (I take three). I will also reapply a good amount of balm or salve to my feet to help keep them from becoming macerated.

6. Apply a salve or ointment to the bottoms of my feet when I have stopped for the day both before and after I shower.

7. Carry an extra pair of insoles. These are lightweight and will be the barrier between your wet footwear and your dry socks when you are done for the day and if your shoes are a bit damp come morning.

8. I found that at days end, I can remove the wet insoles and use absorbent paper or toweling to sop up as much moisture as is possible while I am showering and dealing with end of the day chores. Then, when I get ready to go to dinner or wander around town, I put on a pair of dry Merino wool socks, insert the extra pair of dry insoles into my shoes, and put them back on to walk around in. Within a couple of hours, the shoes are mostly dry.

9. At bedtime, I remove the insoles and stuff absorbent material into the shoes to continue the drying out process during the night.

10. Apply more salve or ointment and wear dry and warm socks at night, to give my feet 8-9 hours of recovery time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Ponferrada to Muuxia . returning to SJPD to Finisterra Sept to Nov 2018 with n2 friends
#9
Which of the following hiking boots would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-hiking-boots

1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
View attachment 44305
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 13.8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Tough and supportive yet comfortable.
What we don't: Pretty heavy and overkill for most day hiking.

Salomon’s updated Quest 4D 3 GTX is the whole package, combining fantastic comfort, traction, and support for serious day hiking and backpacking. Building on the popular Quest 4D 2, the new boot adds an aggressive outsole that grips well in just about all conditions, and a redesigned, more flexible platform for improved comfort. What stays consistent is the top-notch performance fit, aggressive stance, and durable construction that has made the Quest our favorite all-around hiking boot for years.

The new Quest 4D 3 GTX is not, however, any lighter than the previous model and sits solidly in our midweight category. It was ideal for our trek on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia, which involved steep climbs and descents and off-trail hiking while carrying a full pack. But the boot is a bit stiff and overkill for people that don’t need the extra protection or want to move fast and light on well-maintained trails. Those folks will be better off with a lighter and nimbler boot option like the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX below...

2. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
View attachment 44306
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Light and comfortable; enough support for most backpackers.
What we don’t: Not the toughest construction.

The Lowa Renegade has the look and feel of a traditional hiking boot at an impressively low weight. Unlike the nimble and more modern Quest above, the leather Renegade offers better isolation from the ground and feels more planted and sturdy. It does give up a little of the fun factor and performance fit of the Quest, but the trade-off is worth it for those carrying a heavy pack or wanting more underfoot protection from rocky trails.

Lowa kept the weight down in part by moving some of the stabilizing duties to a very effective external polyurethane frame. This makes the Renegade perform like a true backpacking boot while weighing less than 2.5 pounds. Further, its leather upper is relatively thin, which saves ounces and reduces break-in time. The sacrifice of all this lightening is a lack of long-term durability—high-mileage users have reported needing a new pair nearly every year. But they keep coming back for the comfortable feel and the right balance of weight and support. And it’s easy to find a good fit as the Renegade is made in narrow, regular, and wide widths...


3. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
View attachment 44307
Category: Lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 15.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Fast, light, and flexible.
What we don’t: Thin underfoot and less stable than the Quest 4D.

Built like a trail-running shoe but with added ankle support and protection, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is our favorite ultralight boot. Updated last year, Salomon didn’t mess with the formula: the boots are flexible and feathery light—even 2 ounces lighter per pair than the previous model—but retain decent toe protection, a stable chassis, and a new lug design that grips exceptionally well. For fast-moving day hikers, lightweight backpackers, and thru-hikers, we heartily recommend the X Ultra 3 Mid.

Naturally, there are a few compromises that come with the X Ultra’s lightweight construction. The most significant is the lack of underfoot protection, which is thinner than the Quest 4D above. In addition, the X Ultra also doesn’t sit as high on the ankle as the Quest and isn’t as supportive over technical terrain or when carrying a heavy pack. However, it beats out other ultralight options like the Altra and Adidas below in long-distance comfort, durability, and traction. For those who want to cut even more weight, the X Ultra 3 also is offered in a low-top hiking shoe...
I think that what ever you feel comfortable in as everyone is different. Salamon are a good boot/shoe to wear and I love mine. buen Camino
 

hotelmedicis

Commercial Interests
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2001 (+more)
VDLP 2013, 2018
#10
RE: Which of the following hiking boots would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

The shoe that fits your feet is the most important factor. Beyond that it's a matter of preference. As stated previously, this is a very personal decision. A lot has been written about boots vs running shoes and it might be worth doing some research in that area. I love my New Balance running shoes with SuperFeet Green insoles.

One thing to keep in mind perhaps is that on the CF there are no scree fields, no scrambling over rocks and no boulder hopping. There is a lot of walking on asphalt roads, lots of concrete sidewalks and cobblestone passageways and some hard-packed dirt trails.

You might consider reading what National Geographic's Andrew Skurka has to say about waterproofness and footwear. He has hiked tens of thousands of miles and is an expert in the field. "Why waterproof footwear will not keep your feet dry."
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#11
Neither. I would wear sandals. With a pair of waterproof "breathable" socks in case it got very cold and/or constantly wet. My partner should wear his ordinary, everyday, leather shoes. And we've both walked lots of different caminos.

Not that I'm suggesting that you do the same, but just so you think outside the square.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Zwolle, Netherlands to Rome) 2013
Camino Vienna to Santiago de Compostela 2018
#12
Have you tried all these shoes and do they fit nicely? Because if you only look at pictures, you won't know how they feel on your feet. Probably all these shoes are decent shoes but it won't matter if your feet don't like them. I wear the ugliest boots, but they are the only boots my feet are happy in. I tried sandals, about 15 different trail runners and other lower hiking shoes, but they give me blisters and much more problems than my ugly boots. Thankfully the Camino is not a fashion show, and me and my feet had a great time the last 800 km.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first one, Camino Frances, in September 2018.
#13
I love this forum and all the good advice! After reading lots on the subject, I bought Hoka one one Bondi's yesterday in a 1/2 size bigger than usual as I have just lately developed 3 black toenails on my last 24 km training hike a week ago. The Hoka's feel so good!. My only concern is that they do feel a bit big on my right foot, perfect for my left one.
My toes do not hurt in them as they are still tender, and with all the other shoes I have tried on I could still feel my sore toes. @davebugg above you suggest bringing an extra pair of insoles, I have never experimented with those. Is there a particular type you can suggest? Do you use the gel ones? Thank you to everyone for all your informative contributions!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
#14
Neither. I would wear sandals. With a pair of waterproof "breathable" socks in case it got very cold and/or constantly wet. My partner should wear his ordinary, everyday, leather shoes. And we've both walked lots of different caminos.

Not that I'm suggesting that you do the same, but just so you think outside the square.
I thought sandal sock combo was just for some of our European cousins, would love to wear sandals , but suffer from cold feet, wear a pair of Salomon trail shoes ,even on holiday ,
 
#15
Which of the following hiking boots would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-hiking-boots

1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
View attachment 44305
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 13.8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Tough and supportive yet comfortable.
What we don't: Pretty heavy and overkill for most day hiking.

Salomon’s updated Quest 4D 3 GTX is the whole package, combining fantastic comfort, traction, and support for serious day hiking and backpacking. Building on the popular Quest 4D 2, the new boot adds an aggressive outsole that grips well in just about all conditions, and a redesigned, more flexible platform for improved comfort. What stays consistent is the top-notch performance fit, aggressive stance, and durable construction that has made the Quest our favorite all-around hiking boot for years.

The new Quest 4D 3 GTX is not, however, any lighter than the previous model and sits solidly in our midweight category. It was ideal for our trek on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia, which involved steep climbs and descents and off-trail hiking while carrying a full pack. But the boot is a bit stiff and overkill for people that don’t need the extra protection or want to move fast and light on well-maintained trails. Those folks will be better off with a lighter and nimbler boot option like the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX below...

2. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
View attachment 44306
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Light and comfortable; enough support for most backpackers.
What we don’t: Not the toughest construction.

The Lowa Renegade has the look and feel of a traditional hiking boot at an impressively low weight. Unlike the nimble and more modern Quest above, the leather Renegade offers better isolation from the ground and feels more planted and sturdy. It does give up a little of the fun factor and performance fit of the Quest, but the trade-off is worth it for those carrying a heavy pack or wanting more underfoot protection from rocky trails.

Lowa kept the weight down in part by moving some of the stabilizing duties to a very effective external polyurethane frame. This makes the Renegade perform like a true backpacking boot while weighing less than 2.5 pounds. Further, its leather upper is relatively thin, which saves ounces and reduces break-in time. The sacrifice of all this lightening is a lack of long-term durability—high-mileage users have reported needing a new pair nearly every year. But they keep coming back for the comfortable feel and the right balance of weight and support. And it’s easy to find a good fit as the Renegade is made in narrow, regular, and wide widths...


3. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
View attachment 44307
Category: Lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 15.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Fast, light, and flexible.
What we don’t: Thin underfoot and less stable than the Quest 4D.

Built like a trail-running shoe but with added ankle support and protection, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is our favorite ultralight boot. Updated last year, Salomon didn’t mess with the formula: the boots are flexible and feathery light—even 2 ounces lighter per pair than the previous model—but retain decent toe protection, a stable chassis, and a new lug design that grips exceptionally well. For fast-moving day hikers, lightweight backpackers, and thru-hikers, we heartily recommend the X Ultra 3 Mid.

Naturally, there are a few compromises that come with the X Ultra’s lightweight construction. The most significant is the lack of underfoot protection, which is thinner than the Quest 4D above. In addition, the X Ultra also doesn’t sit as high on the ankle as the Quest and isn’t as supportive over technical terrain or when carrying a heavy pack. However, it beats out other ultralight options like the Altra and Adidas below in long-distance comfort, durability, and traction. For those who want to cut even more weight, the X Ultra 3 also is offered in a low-top hiking shoe...
I am a big fan of @davebugg´s posts, because I think he does a great job of laying out all the information in a non-judgmental way. I will add a bit of judgment even though I am nowhere near the expert he is. IMO, hiking boots and hiking shoes are too much shoe and not enough padding for the camino. And I say that having worn hiking boots and then hiking shoes for 17 years on the Camino. Ok, I am a slow learner. I think many people just assume a long walk is a hike and needs hiking shoes. But the two facts that convinced me to look at trail runners were: first, that the most popular shoes BY FAR on the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail are trail runners, and those ARE wilderness trails. And second, so much of the camino is paved or gravel surface — in those conditions, the hiking boots just make your foot hotter and more weary.

The one consideration is rain, because trail runners do get wet. Read the reviews, though, you’ll see that a lot of wilderness hikers say you are much better off getting your feet wet in a trail runner because it dries so quickly. I can attest to the fact that nothing will keep your feet dry in sustained rain anyway. And there is nothing like waking up the next morning and having your shoes still wet, which has happened to me on numerous occasions.

I would suggest taking a look at some of Dave’s other outstanding informative posts, who knows, you may be a convert like me! Buen camino, Laurie
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#16
I love this forum and all the good advice! After reading lots on the subject, I bought Hoka one one Bondi's yesterday in a 1/2 size bigger than usual as I have just lately developed 3 black toenails on my last 24 km training hike a week ago. The Hoka's feel so good!. My only concern is that they do feel a bit big on my right foot, perfect for my left one.
My toes do not hurt in them as they are still tender, and with all the other shoes I have tried on I could still feel my sore toes. @davebugg above you suggest bringing an extra pair of insoles, I have never experimented with those. Is there a particular type you can suggest? Do you use the gel ones? Thank you to everyone for all your informative contributions!!
The second pair of insoles can be a the lightweight pair which came with the shoes. Since you only need them at the end of the day, that will give your 'walking insoles' plenty of time to air out or dry out for the next morning. Or take another pair of the ones you like. I just take the original inserts as my extras. :)

I also have issues with what each foot needs. My left foot hates me; it would just as soon do away with me as keep me around :) My right foot is my favorite; it never complains and is gracious about what I dress it with.

I always buy footwear to fit my left foot. Having a shoe somewhat too wide or too long is not really a problem, as long as they are not 'clown shoe' sized too big :)

My suggestion is to use the tips I have posted above and focus on fitting the Bondi to your most demanding foot. Forget about buying to a specific size or a formulaic add on like, "Add a size larger to a hiking shoe." Go to the shoe vendor with the previous tips and whether the shoe that fits your demanding foot is a size 7M or a size 12 EEEEEEEE, that's the shoe to get.

Keep in mind that an increase in the length of a shoe by one size is actually not that much of an increase overall. That's good, though, because small increases allow a better ability to get a good fit. So, If the Hoka One One Bondi 5 feels terrific, you've got your battle won :) The only thing to do now is to get away from the tyranny of the foot-measuring tools dictating what to purchase, and focus on what that foot actually tells you what fits :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first one, Camino Frances, in September 2018.
#17
Thanks @davebugg ... my left foot is so very happy with the Bondi ... so .. as "righty" is smaller it will just have to adjust! :)

Do you have a favorite type of insert? I have never used any .. other than what comes in the shoe .. so any suggestions will be welcome. There are so many types out there I don't know where to begin.
BTW I love your posts!!! you are so knowledgeable and are so kind and gentle in passing it all on.
THANK YOU!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#18
Thanks @davebugg ... my left foot is so very happy with the Bondi ... so .. as "righty" is smaller it will just have to adjust! :)

Do you have a favorite type of insert? I have never used any .. other than what comes in the shoe .. so any suggestions will be welcome. There are so many types out there I don't know where to begin.
BTW I love your posts!!! you are so knowledgeable and are so kind and gentle in passing it all on.
THANK YOU!
Hi, Michele....
How an insert feels to a wearer is a lot like shoes, what feels good to one person will feel horrendous to someone else. In fact, I have a pile of 6 different inserts that I am trying to figure out right now :)

If the inserts that come with the shoes work for you, there's nothing wrong with that at all. Inserts are usually looked at for their ability to further aid in a foot issue: motion control, cushioning, arch support, help with Plantars Fasciitis, metatarsal pain, etc. As with shoes, once you know what you want an insert to help with, it is a matter of giving it a try.

If all you need an insert for is as an extra, and your feet do well with the type of insert that came with your shoe, I would stick with that. BTW, I purchase my inserts online, usually thru Amazon, and return those which get quickly ruled out as a no-go. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first one, Camino Frances, in September 2018.
#20
Hi, Michele....
How an insert feels to a wearer is a lot like shoes, what feels good to one person will feel horrendous to someone else. In fact, I have a pile of 6 different inserts that I am trying to figure out right now :)

If the inserts that come with the shoes work for you, there's nothing wrong with that at all. Inserts are usually looked at for their ability to further aid in a foot issue: motion control, cushioning, arch support, help with Plantars Fasciitis, metatarsal pain, etc. As with shoes, once you know what you want an insert to help with, it is a matter of giving it a try.

If all you need an insert for is as an extra, and your feet do well with the type of insert that came with your shoe, I would stick with that. BTW, I purchase my inserts online, usually thru Amazon, and return those which get quickly ruled out as a no-go. :)
Hi, Michele....
How an insert feels to a wearer is a lot like shoes, what feels good to one person will feel horrendous to someone else. In fact, I have a pile of 6 different inserts that I am trying to figure out right now :)

If the inserts that come with the shoes work for you, there's nothing wrong with that at all. Inserts are usually looked at for their ability to further aid in a foot issue: motion control, cushioning, arch support, help with Plantars Fasciitis, metatarsal pain, etc. As with shoes, once you know what you want an insert to help with, it is a matter of giving it a try.

If all you need an insert for is as an extra, and your feet do well with the type of insert that came with your shoe, I would stick with that. BTW, I purchase my inserts online, usually thru Amazon, and return those which get quickly ruled out as a no-go. :)
Thanks for all the good advice I'll check them out on Amazon.
 

Amy S.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
#21
Which of the following hiking boots would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-hiking-boots

1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
View attachment 44305
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 13.8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Tough and supportive yet comfortable.
What we don't: Pretty heavy and overkill for most day hiking.

Salomon’s updated Quest 4D 3 GTX is the whole package, combining fantastic comfort, traction, and support for serious day hiking and backpacking. Building on the popular Quest 4D 2, the new boot adds an aggressive outsole that grips well in just about all conditions, and a redesigned, more flexible platform for improved comfort. What stays consistent is the top-notch performance fit, aggressive stance, and durable construction that has made the Quest our favorite all-around hiking boot for years.

The new Quest 4D 3 GTX is not, however, any lighter than the previous model and sits solidly in our midweight category. It was ideal for our trek on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia, which involved steep climbs and descents and off-trail hiking while carrying a full pack. But the boot is a bit stiff and overkill for people that don’t need the extra protection or want to move fast and light on well-maintained trails. Those folks will be better off with a lighter and nimbler boot option like the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX below...

2. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
View attachment 44306
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Light and comfortable; enough support for most backpackers.
What we don’t: Not the toughest construction.

The Lowa Renegade has the look and feel of a traditional hiking boot at an impressively low weight. Unlike the nimble and more modern Quest above, the leather Renegade offers better isolation from the ground and feels more planted and sturdy. It does give up a little of the fun factor and performance fit of the Quest, but the trade-off is worth it for those carrying a heavy pack or wanting more underfoot protection from rocky trails.

Lowa kept the weight down in part by moving some of the stabilizing duties to a very effective external polyurethane frame. This makes the Renegade perform like a true backpacking boot while weighing less than 2.5 pounds. Further, its leather upper is relatively thin, which saves ounces and reduces break-in time. The sacrifice of all this lightening is a lack of long-term durability—high-mileage users have reported needing a new pair nearly every year. But they keep coming back for the comfortable feel and the right balance of weight and support. And it’s easy to find a good fit as the Renegade is made in narrow, regular, and wide widths...


3. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
View attachment 44307
Category: Lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 15.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Fast, light, and flexible.
What we don’t: Thin underfoot and less stable than the Quest 4D.

Built like a trail-running shoe but with added ankle support and protection, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is our favorite ultralight boot. Updated last year, Salomon didn’t mess with the formula: the boots are flexible and feathery light—even 2 ounces lighter per pair than the previous model—but retain decent toe protection, a stable chassis, and a new lug design that grips exceptionally well. For fast-moving day hikers, lightweight backpackers, and thru-hikers, we heartily recommend the X Ultra 3 Mid.

Naturally, there are a few compromises that come with the X Ultra’s lightweight construction. The most significant is the lack of underfoot protection, which is thinner than the Quest 4D above. In addition, the X Ultra also doesn’t sit as high on the ankle as the Quest and isn’t as supportive over technical terrain or when carrying a heavy pack. However, it beats out other ultralight options like the Altra and Adidas below in long-distance comfort, durability, and traction. For those who want to cut even more weight, the X Ultra 3 also is offered in a low-top hiking shoe...[/QUOT
Which of the following hiking boots would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-hiking-boots

1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
View attachment 44305
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 13.8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Tough and supportive yet comfortable.
What we don't: Pretty heavy and overkill for most day hiking.

Salomon’s updated Quest 4D 3 GTX is the whole package, combining fantastic comfort, traction, and support for serious day hiking and backpacking. Building on the popular Quest 4D 2, the new boot adds an aggressive outsole that grips well in just about all conditions, and a redesigned, more flexible platform for improved comfort. What stays consistent is the top-notch performance fit, aggressive stance, and durable construction that has made the Quest our favorite all-around hiking boot for years.

The new Quest 4D 3 GTX is not, however, any lighter than the previous model and sits solidly in our midweight category. It was ideal for our trek on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia, which involved steep climbs and descents and off-trail hiking while carrying a full pack. But the boot is a bit stiff and overkill for people that don’t need the extra protection or want to move fast and light on well-maintained trails. Those folks will be better off with a lighter and nimbler boot option like the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX below...

2. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
View attachment 44306
Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Light and comfortable; enough support for most backpackers.
What we don’t: Not the toughest construction.

The Lowa Renegade has the look and feel of a traditional hiking boot at an impressively low weight. Unlike the nimble and more modern Quest above, the leather Renegade offers better isolation from the ground and feels more planted and sturdy. It does give up a little of the fun factor and performance fit of the Quest, but the trade-off is worth it for those carrying a heavy pack or wanting more underfoot protection from rocky trails.

Lowa kept the weight down in part by moving some of the stabilizing duties to a very effective external polyurethane frame. This makes the Renegade perform like a true backpacking boot while weighing less than 2.5 pounds. Further, its leather upper is relatively thin, which saves ounces and reduces break-in time. The sacrifice of all this lightening is a lack of long-term durability—high-mileage users have reported needing a new pair nearly every year. But they keep coming back for the comfortable feel and the right balance of weight and support. And it’s easy to find a good fit as the Renegade is made in narrow, regular, and wide widths...


3. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
View attachment 44307
Category: Lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 15.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Fast, light, and flexible.
What we don’t: Thin underfoot and less stable than the Quest 4D.

Built like a trail-running shoe but with added ankle support and protection, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is our favorite ultralight boot. Updated last year, Salomon didn’t mess with the formula: the boots are flexible and feathery light—even 2 ounces lighter per pair than the previous model—but retain decent toe protection, a stable chassis, and a new lug design that grips exceptionally well. For fast-moving day hikers, lightweight backpackers, and thru-hikers, we heartily recommend the X Ultra 3 Mid.

Naturally, there are a few compromises that come with the X Ultra’s lightweight construction. The most significant is the lack of underfoot protection, which is thinner than the Quest 4D above. In addition, the X Ultra also doesn’t sit as high on the ankle as the Quest and isn’t as supportive over technical terrain or when carrying a heavy pack. However, it beats out other ultralight options like the Altra and Adidas below in long-distance comfort, durability, and traction. For those who want to cut even more weight, the X Ultra 3 also is offered in a low-top hiking shoe...
I walked the CF last fall with the Lowa mid’s and loved them. I also had trail sandals to switch to when needed. The mid rise allowed me to lace them in a way that kept my foot from sliding into the toe on steep downhill areas. I didn’t lose toenails as some of my walking partners did. I would recommend a good insole that gives proper cushion and support. I will say that each member of the small group I traveled with had different footwear and we all discovered the good and bad of each while on the pilgrimage. As everyone is different there is no true “best”. Select what you feel is best for you and be open and flexible as you go. Buen Camino!!
 

Amy S.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
#22
I walked the CF last fall with the Lowa mid’s and loved them. I also had trail sandals to switch to when needed. The mid rise allowed me to lace them in a way that kept my foot from sliding into the toe on steep downhill areas. I didn’t lose toenails as some of my walking partners did. I would recommend a good insole that gives proper cushion and support. I will say that each member of the small group I traveled with had different footwear and we all discovered the good and bad of each while on the pilgrimage. As everyone is different there is no true “best”. Select what you feel is best for you and be open and flexible as you go. Buen Camino!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF - April/May 2017
CP Central - Sep./2017
CP Coastal - Sep./2018
#23
Totally depends on the shape of your foot and the way you walk. Go up 1/2 size to account for swelling and minimize blisters. Wear good socks and ensure no wrinkles. I averaged 32 kms per day on one Camino and 36 kms on another including a few days of 40 kms and one 50 km day. I have had the best success with Keen Durand Men's Waterproof Hiking Boots. Highly recommend for slightly wider feet.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#24
I walked the CF last fall with the Lowa mid’s and loved them. I also had trail sandals to switch to when needed. The mid rise allowed me to lace them in a way that kept my foot from sliding into the toe on steep downhill areas. I didn’t lose toenails as some of my walking partners did. I would recommend a good insole that gives proper cushion and support. I will say that each member of the small group I traveled with had different footwear and we all discovered the good and bad of each while on the pilgrimage. As everyone is different there is no true “best”. Select what you feel is best for you and be open and flexible as you go. Buen Camino!!
Good advice; proper lacing and increasing the tension of the laces on the downhill slopes is essential. It is also able to effectively be done on any trail shoe, running shoe, trail shoe, or boot, too. The important factor when purchasing a trail shoe is to always have adequate length to the shoe so that the toes do not even slightly 'kiss' the front of the shoe when laced normally. Then, on a downhill grade, tightening the laces at the midfoot area will keep toes from the impact injury. Proper fitting will help assure such. See below.

It is also important to note that if the toes touch the front of the shoes when normal lacing and tension is done and the foot is forced forward, the toes will generally be in danger of impacting the shoe on the downhill even when correctly tightened.

----------

As you go looking for shoe, here are some tips which I have posted before that may help you.

The most important theme for achieving a proper fit is: You do not choose a shoe based on measurements, you buy a shoe based on its Fit N Feel irregardless of instrument measurements.
  1. When you go to the store, do so toward the end of the day.... you will have been up on your feet, so that will help with getting the correct fit. Additionally, you will need to wear the same backpack with the same gear you will be carrying... you want this additional weight on you as this will put the same downward pressure on the foot that you will be having while on Camino.
  2. Wear the exact same sock(s) you will be wearing while you are walking on the Camino. And if you have a special insole or orthotic, bring it with you.
  3. At the store, the measuring that will be done on your feet is only to get you in the ballpark for the correct shoe size.
  4. Start by standing up; never measure while sitting. You want the full weight of your body, with the pack on, to put the same pressure on your feet to spread them out as will happen while walking. That alone will increase the volume and size of your feet.
  5. Make sure those 'Camino' socks are on your feet; if you wear socks with liners while walking, do the same thing at the store.
  6. While standing, have someone near to you that you can use to steady yourself. With the measuring device on the ground, step onto the instrument and center all of your weight onto the foot being measured. Do the same for the other foot.
  7. Start with that size, but be aware that both the width and the length need to feel like there is adequate room for your feet. Ideally, like Goldilocks, everything will be just right. But, don't count on it. Be picky.
  8. If you have special insoles or orthotics, put them into any shoe you try on as they will take up space inside the shoe.
  9. When you find what you think will fit you well, you will need to see if your toes have enough clearance. Toes should not be able to be forced to the front of the shoe and touch the shoe. Not even a little. If they do, long walking and downhill grades on the trail or path or road will traumatize the bed of the nail, and that is when toenails can blacken and fall off.
  10. With your shoes tied securely, but not too tight, walk around the store with your pack on. Go up stairs and down stairs, scuff the shoes to the floor so that your feet are forced to do any movement they will do and see if your toes so much as butterfly kiss the front of the shoe. Kick the front of the shoe into a post or stair or wall or someone's shin.... does that make any of your toes touch the front of the shoe? That goes for all the little piggies.
  11. Next, pay attention to the width of the shoe. It shouldn't feel snug on the sides and there should be no rubbing or pressure points at all. They will not go away with "break in". They will create soreness, pain, and blistering. Even if it seems to be tolerable, it is like water torture; as your feet are continually exposed to those pressure points your feet will break down against them bit by bit, and bruising, blisters, and soreness will follow.
  12. You may need to go up a size to a size and a half in length, and go with a wider width to avoid those things I mentioned above. The notion that one avoids blisters by wearing snug footwear has been shown to do just the opposite.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino ; Frances Way ; 2017 Camino Frances begins August 10,2017
#25
Asolo boots ! Out of the box and directly walked the CF ...not one blister or problem. These boots have done two Frances Camino and in 2019 will be attempting the Via de la Plata ! Can not say enough good things about these boots. Buen Camino !!!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2018
#26
I've been using the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX low top shoes for the last couple of months. They're fine for me and it's what I'll be wearing on the Camino. I've no worries about their performance in the hillier sections of the Camino nor in wet weather. Until a few years ago I always wore boots for hill walking but never again - unless it's in the middle of winter etc etc. I wore the previous version the Ultra 2 for the last 12 months in all manner of terrain here in the UK and in some shockingly wet and very muddy conditions that we had to endure from Jan to April earlier this year. They're tough cookies these shoes. I've heard good reports about the Hoka shoes and the Lone Peak shoes but feel it's too late for me at this stage to change what I'm used to. When I return from this Camino I'll investigate these alternatives. I wear Icebreaker's merino 'medium' hike socks with the Salomons.
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#27
In October 2017, I wore Hoka Tor Ultra Hi WP boots. Lots of cushioning, very lightweight (especially for boots).

They were hot, though. I attribute that to the waterproof liner. On long days in 85 degree (F) days, that was hard on my feet.

I have neuropathy from lower shins down (basically no ankle muscles to speak of, foot drop) so high tops really help. But I would jump on the trail runner bandwagon had I normal feet and ankles, and I would forgo waterproofing.
 

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