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Boot Problems


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Barcelona (2011-2012), Camino Catalan (2011-2012), Camino Aragones (2011-2012), Camino Frances (2011-2012)
I'm walking the camino right now from Barcelona and have run into a bit of a problem.

About six hours in, I started getting shooting pains from behind the outside knob on my right ankle up my leg. Three days in my left ankle began doing the same thing. After two days of experimentation (where I hobbled about 14km), I discovered that it was due to pressure on that area. By cutting holes in my socks over the ankle knob and leaving the tops of my boots untied, I'm able to keep it down to a manageable level.

Is this a problem with the boot fit? Or is this a problem that I'll likely have with all boots in general? Or am I just not quite in shape yet (only had a few weeks to train and a week to break the boots in)? I'd rather not switch to hiking shoes (I like the thick boot soles and waterproofing), but maybe when I reach the Decathalon store in Logroño I'll give some a try.

Here are the boots I'm using:

http://www.decathlon.es/botas-blizzard- ... 87118.html

I fitted them myself, as I couldn't find an experienced boot fitter in Barcelona, and I may have done it wrong. They passed the finger test and the toe boxes are fine -- really if it wasn't for this one problem life would be beautiful. Well, it is beautiful, I'm on the camino, after all; but you know what I mean.

Posting from Montserrat -- I'll update again in a few days, maybe they will have continued to break in.

All the best,


Veteran Member
sorry to hear this........

gosh you need to find an expert, I'm not.

I would loosen the boots right off (everywhere) & walk in them a small amount & slowly tighten them after from the toes upwards gradually every 5-10mins, I wouldn't cut holes in socks;

I think you may have only over-tightened the boots around your ankles, once the damage is done you are probably gooing to have to leave the ankle part of the boot completely untied for a week or so, till your ankle has recovered. If you could find some sandals to use that would probably be a good idea till your ankles recover too.

Your feet swell & swell & you are probably lucky that it's not summer where it would have been worse, I would urgently find some Arnica ointment & tablet, it will help with swelling & therefore pain :lol: Another pilgrim will have some if nothing else.
The tablet will help your head, aswell as the ankle, ointment or gel will take the swelling down a bit, & get enough for the rest of your trip!

Good luck, David

Deleted member 3000

If I had my time machine with me, we could go through the "woulda', coulda', and shoulda'" possibilities. Going on from here, though, you have two decision points. First, are you doing real damage? If so, stop what you are doing, and let the damage heal. Second, if it is just discomfort, you need to decide on the best course for managing the discomfort. Buying more new equipment is the least likely to be successful. Modifying the way you are using your current equipment may help. Tie the boots differently. Use more or fewer socks. Etc.

Your recovery time will be slowed by walking. Complete rest has amazing powers, so even short days may be less effective in recovering than full rest. If you have time limits, rest on a moving bus or train! If you have the time, rest over beers in a plaza.

Anti-inflammatory medicine will help if the problem is inflammation. If it is bruising, then they will be less effective. Opiates will encourage you to walk through the pain, and increase the risk of inflammation or additional bruising.

Good luck finding the right remedy for yourself. If you are not doing real physical damage to your body, you can just gut it out and take the pain! Many have.


Active Member
ive had same with previous boots
there's a pressure point on the outside bottom (very tech name!) of each ankle
its got nothing to do with badly fitting boots etc
its merely the boot touching that point
(and it only happens to special people)
the effect is almost crippling
- get some stiffish foam/ sponge etc
and cut out a circular hole for your ankle to be in
the top of your boot will hold the foam insert in place
and prevent the boot from touching the tender pressure point
say 3 hail marys and continue walking


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Barcelona (2011-2012), Camino Catalan (2011-2012), Camino Aragones (2011-2012), Camino Frances (2011-2012)
Thanks so much for the replies! I ended up taking a rest day yesterday in Montserrat, and the other pilgrim at the monastery gave me a nearly empty tube of ointment that will hold me over until I get to a pharmacy. So there's two of the solutions right there . . . they already feel much better this morning, not that I've put any serious miles on yet.

I'll try retying the tops of the boots in a week or so.

They were a week old when I started the camino, I'd done a couple four hour hikes in them but no running or the like. Not the best idea to start in such new boots, I know, but for a variety of other reasons this was the best I could do.

It doesn't feel like I am doing any damage . . . it has nothing to do with the load bearing part of my foot. The pain actually comes at the end of the stride, when my weight has already shifted to the other side. I think it is exactly the problem that "+@^^" describes, it comes from the boot touching my ankle right there. I actually already thought about the foam thing . . . if I find any suitable material I'll give it a try.

Thanks again guys! I feel in decent shape today, gonna go hit the camino.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Barcelona (2011-2012), Camino Catalan (2011-2012), Camino Aragones (2011-2012), Camino Frances (2011-2012)
Quick update:

Between cutting holes in socks and untying the tops of my boots, I seem to have solved the problem. Three 25km days in a row, with only discomfort instead of pain. If anyone else ends up having this problem, make sure that you remove as much pressure from that part of the ankle as possible. Rolling down the tops of the outer socks to provide that sort of cushion above the ankle (instead of the foam suggested earlier) helps too.

Thanks everyone, and buen camino! Spain is beautiful right now, maybe I will see some of you in Santiago in mid/late January?


Active Member
Just talking with someone today who did the camino frances and they said NOT to use boots but sandals. Buy a pair and alternate.. I like boots and they work fine in ireland, but they said the heat in spain will kill my feet


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
micamino73 said:
Just talking with someone today who did the camino frances and they said NOT to use boots but sandals. Buy a pair and alternate.. I like boots and they work fine in ireland, but they said the heat in spain will kill my feet
I would want more context than this. When did your friend walk? I walked from SJPP in late Mar, carried a pair of Teva sandals, and only ever wore them around the albergue and to go shopping. Hot feet were never a problem for me.

Since I got back, I have found a very light pair of Salomon mesh shoes that I plan to take instead of sandals on my next long pilgrimage.
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I tried wearing my Teva sandals on the trail.
It lasted about 30 minutes.
Stopping every few minutes to dig stones from between my foot and the sandal make short work of that idea.

I wore my lightweight New Balance runners and my feet were VERY happy.

Boots - I continue to say that most of the people I've seen with horridly blistered feet wore boots. The only ones who were happy with boots were those people who had worn boots for years and had broken them in well before attempting the Camino.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
In 2009, just less than 2 weeks before we left for Spain, my boots fell apart! I had to buy on the run a new pair (not much choice here) - I got the only pair of women's boots my size and kept my fingers crossed. I managed to cover 95kms during the last days at home and that was it! We walked the entire Camino Francés from Roncesvalles and I only got one mini blister, which was my own fault for not having put the insoles in correctly (I remove them each evening). These were Merrells mid Chamaleon. We did the Francés again last year and the Sanabrés in 2010 and I have never had another blister. I have just now replaced them, same model again. In my opinion, al lot has to do with your own foot, plus your luck on choosing the right boot for that foot! Personally I would not walk with low cut boots, because I like the support around the ankle, plus I consider the extra weight on my back and I feel that a higher cut boot probably aleviates too much pressure on the heel/ankle area.Anne
PS Annie: we won't be able to meet up in May as we have had to put off our Camino until after mid September! Pity!
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I'll still be on the Camino from mid-September to October! :lol: :lol: :lol:


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
If you walk in trekking sandals, such as Merrels Kahunas you will find they have great soles, shaped support, really fine footwear, but the thing is, you have to learn to walk in a different way ...

not sure how to explain this ... sort of lifting your feet and putting them down rather than keeping them low to the ground and pushing them forward into the ground - and ideally you should slow down, walk in a more relaxed way ... it is slightly different from walking in boots .. nope, can't think how to explain clearly .. except .. hurry hurry in sandals means that you'll pick up stones ... :|


Camino(s) past & future
0 currently. Shooting for 2014
When walking my dog, I find I get stones standing still in the grass. :lol:

Its boots for me then. :grin:


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