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Boot size

Catie O

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2020; 2021)
#1
Hi. I am planning my Camino trip starting Mid September of 2019.

I am starting to get my gear now, instead of getting it all right before I leave. I have found a hiking boot, a Lowa, which has great reviews. But not sure if I should just get my normal size of go up a 1/2 size. Do I need to layer socks or is one pair going to be ok. I just want to get my shoe thing right. I am adamant not to use running type shoes as was suggested by a young 20 something guy. I'm older and need better support, especially ankles.

But not sure about the size. If they are too big it might be bad, too. I was at REI and the sales people there didn't mention this. My normal shoe size is women's 7.

Thanks for any advise.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#2
I'm older and need better support, especially ankles.

But not sure about the size. If they are too big it might be bad, too. I was at REI and the sales people there didn't mention this. My normal shoe size is women's 7.

Thanks for any advise.
Wise. Get shoes with support. Size 1/2 - 3/4 larger than normal. Your feet will swell during the day's walk/heat and need more space. Too big, you can put on an extra pair of socks. Too tight, and you are in trouble.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#4
Believe me, there is no torture like a pair of boots that are a size too small. I walked 100 miles in such a pair and lost both big toenails. If in doubt, go up. I agree that too big can be bad, especially when walking downhill, but - err on the side of caution!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#5
Thanks for your fast response. I'm glad I thought about this, instead of make a bad mistake on one of the most important purchases!! Much appreciated.
Make sure you walk them in at home, and getting used to them. If you are not comfortable, change. The Camino is too important to be ruined/aborted just because of wrong shoes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#6
Hi. I am planning my Camino trip starting Mid September of 2019.

I am starting to get my gear now, instead of getting it all right before I leave. I have found a hiking boot, a Lowa, which has great reviews. But not sure if I should just get my normal size of go up a 1/2 size. Do I need to layer socks or is one pair going to be ok. I just want to get my shoe thing right. I am adamant not to use running type shoes as was suggested by a young 20 something guy. I'm older and need better support, especially ankles.

But not sure about the size. If they are too big it might be bad, too. I was at REI and the sales people there didn't mention this. My normal shoe size is women's 7.

Thanks for any advise.
As for layering socks: One year I tried an inner, thin liner. It made no difference. The important thing is to have ankle support (your thinking is absolutely correct: Some parts of the Camino requires it) and roomy shoes with space for your feet when swellling. Try to find seamless socks, with double padding on heel and toes.

Buen Camino to you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#7
Hi. I am planning my Camino trip starting Mid September of 2019.

I am starting to get my gear now, instead of getting it all right before I leave. I have found a hiking boot, a Lowa, which has great reviews. But not sure if I should just get my normal size of go up a 1/2 size. Do I need to layer socks or is one pair going to be ok. I just want to get my shoe thing right. I am adamant not to use running type shoes as was suggested by a young 20 something guy. I'm older and need better support, especially ankles.

But not sure about the size. If they are too big it might be bad, too. I was at REI and the sales people there didn't mention this. My normal shoe size is women's 7. Thanks for any advise.
@Catie O
I took the advice of various persons on this forum and bought boots 1/2 size larger than normal. While I was wearing them on an excursion in the mountains near home, they were sliding back and forth to the point that they took the skin off most of my toes. I gave them away and bought boots of my usual size and brand, carefully fitted, and broke them in before I left on camino. If you are an experienced hiker/backpacker, you probably know how your boots, socks and inserts fit to give you the comfort and support that you need. If you are not experienced with walking boots, or the type of footwear which you choose, I recommend that you get them fitted, with whatever socks and inserts you plan on wearing, at a good shop which will allow you to return them after some wear if they are not right for you. Give yourself lots of time to wear them in before you leave. Good luck and buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#8
But not sure if I should just get my normal size of go up a 1/2 size. Do I need to layer socks or is one pair going to be ok. I just want to get my shoe thing right. I am adamant not to use running type shoes as was suggested by a young 20 something guy. I'm older and need better support, especially ankles.
Many older people prefer shoes to boots, so age is not an issue.

You should try on your "normal" size and see how it feels. However, a 7 in one model does not necessarily fit the same as a 7 in another model, or with different socks. Then try on the next size up and decide if it is OK, perhaps using a different sock combo. Then try another size larger, also with a sock change. If it is "too big" and allows slippage, step back to the previous size. My suggestion is to buy the largest size that is not "too big" and make yourself ignore the number on the box.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#9
More than size up size down, the better thing is to try them and feel how they fit, without worring about the number. Do they feel good, and have a tiny extra space in case your feet get bigger with heat? Then great!

But a big question: are you used to walk in boots? the Camino does not require boots, and for many people, walking in sneakers or trail runners is a better option. I walk on my beloved mizunos and would not wear boots at all - too heavy, too hot, too blister-prone (in my case). So yeah, more than brands and numbers, try to go shopping focusing on how the shoe feels on the foot!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#10
Hola @Catie O . I am one of the "two sock" brigade: one thin liner pair and one thicker outer pair. I recommend you try on any new boots at the end of a day when you have been on your feet. This means that your feet will be a bit larger; bring the socks you intend to walk in with you when you try the boots on; also check out how much "under-foot" padding the boots have. If its looks tissue thin then consider buying another set of inner (orthotics??), most of the good/better outdoor shops will stock and recommend a range of after-market inners. I took two different pairs that I bought from a general supply shop (our K Mart in Australia) and they were excellent particularly on longer days. Cheers!
 

Iriebabel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
? route TBD for April (2019)
#11
Hi. I am planning my Camino trip starting Mid September of 2019.

I am starting to get my gear now, instead of getting it all right before I leave. I have found a hiking boot, a Lowa, which has great reviews. But not sure if I should just get my normal size of go up a 1/2 size. Do I need to layer socks or is one pair going to be ok. I just want to get my shoe thing right. I am adamant not to use running type shoes as was suggested by a young 20 something guy. I'm older and need better support, especially ankles.

But not sure about the size. If they are too big it might be bad, too. I was at REI and the sales people there didn't mention this. My normal shoe size is women's 7.

Thanks for any advise.
Lowa’s are very good shoes. I Which model Lowa? I have 2 pairs Renegade gtx (leather boot) and Aeox gtx (trail runner). The Lowa Renegades were too heavy for the camino so I used the Aeox, lightweight and excellent support. They worked perfectly. I wear a 7.5 and I bought 7.5 with both my Lowas’. Lowa’s Run true to size and do not require a wear in period. I would recommend you go into to the store and try them on as some feet are narrow versus wide or normal and use this to determine your fit. Have them show you how to lace them properly (or watch you tube videos) Use the in store walking path samples (hills/rocks) to test how they feel. lacing is important as your foot may slide as you go down hill.

As to socks I used Wright socks blister proof socks on my camino , the liner is built in. I didn have any problems. I should mention I have issues with my left knee , wear a large brace and I need proper foot support and also my foot swells quite often. I had no problems with my Aeox or my socks. Stop take care of the hot spots as they happen , do not wait. Carry at least 3 pairs and change socks often if they feel hot or wet due to sweat. Invest in good insoles, the insoles that come with the Lowas’ do not have good enough arch support for me. Try all your equipment before you leave and get comfortable . Listen to your feet. Good luck.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
#12
Hi. I am planning my Camino trip starting Mid September of 2019.

I am starting to get my gear now, instead of getting it all right before I leave. I have found a hiking boot, a Lowa, which has great reviews. But not sure if I should just get my normal size of go up a 1/2 size. Do I need to layer socks or is one pair going to be ok. I just want to get my shoe thing right. I am adamant not to use running type shoes as was suggested by a young 20 something guy. I'm older and need better support, especially ankles.

But not sure about the size. If they are too big it might be bad, too. I was at REI and the sales people there didn't mention this. My normal shoe size is women's 7.

Thanks for any advise.
Welcome Catie O. Very sensible. As others have said buy your boots half to one size larger. Also wear the socks or as close to it as you can when you buy your boots. As others have said if the boots are a bit big you can always wear two pairs of socks. Also good idea to buy your boots at the end of the day when you may have done some walking rather than first thing in the morning. Am doing first Camino in September 2019 so we may see you along the way somewhere. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#13
Rather than buy a shoe or boot based on reviews or what others recommend, it's important to buy what fits and feels good on YOUR feet. You mention going to REI -- they're usually pretty good at helping you get a good fit, and if you're a member, you can try them by walking several miles under real conditions and you have a year to return/exchange them if they don't feel right. My wife tried 3 pairs and I tried 2 pairs before settling on what felt best on our feet. Also, it's wise to replace the original insole with one that provides better overall support and particularly better support for your arches. If you get a knowledgeable salesperson, he or she can assist you with this. Save the original insole for use if your shoes/boots get wet -- the replacement insoles take a long time to dry and it won't hurt you to wear the flimsier original insoles for a day or two, but be sure to replace them as soon as possible.

Before training for the Camino, our walking was limited to strolls around the neighborhood, so we basically started from scratch, working up to our anticipated daily distances. My first boots were 1/2 size larger than I normally wore, and after 3-4 months of training I went back to REI and traded them for a pair another 1/2 larger, or a full size larger than my pre-Camino shoe size. Experiment with socks and different lacing techniques while you train to find the best fit under various terrain conditions. We walked the Camino Frances from SJPP to Santiago and the Camino Portugués from Porto to Santiago without a single blister on either walk.
 

Catie O

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2020; 2021)
#14
Believe me, there is no torture like a pair of boots that are a size too small. I walked 100 miles in such a pair and lost both big toenails. If in doubt, go up. I agree that too big can be bad, especially when walking downhill, but - err on the side of caution!
I did buy the 1/2 size bigger. I took them out today before work and walked 3 miles in them without problems. This weekend i will take them out for longer. Am going to build up to more miles while I break them in.
 

Catie O

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2020; 2021)
#15
Welcome Catie O. Very sensible. As others have said buy your boots half to one size larger. Also wear the socks or as close to it as you can when you buy your boots. As others have said if the boots are a bit big you can always wear two pairs of socks. Also good idea to buy your boots at the end of the day when you may have done some walking rather than first thing in the morning. Am doing first Camino in September 2019 so we may see you along the way somewhere. Buen Camino!
Thanks. I did what you advised. I went out and walked quite a ways yesterday and then went back to REI and the 7 1/2 fit really good. I had tried them on the day before without exercising first and it was first thing in the morning, with thin socks. Buen Camino. I am shooting for Sept. We will see.
 

Catie O

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2020; 2021)
#16
Rather than buy a shoe or boot based on reviews or what others recommend, it's important to buy what fits and feels good on YOUR feet. You mention going to REI -- they're usually pretty good at helping you get a good fit, and if you're a member, you can try them by walking several miles under real conditions and you have a year to return/exchange them if they don't feel right. My wife tried 3 pairs and I tried 2 pairs before settling on what felt best on our feet. Also, it's wise to replace the original insole with one that provides better overall support and particularly better support for your arches. If you get a knowledgeable salesperson, he or she can assist you with this. Save the original insole for use if your shoes/boots get wet -- the replacement insoles take a long time to dry and it won't hurt you to wear the flimsier original insoles for a day or two, but be sure to replace them as soon as possible.

Before training for the Camino, our walking was limited to strolls around the neighborhood, so we basically started from scratch, working up to our anticipated daily distances. My first boots were 1/2 size larger than I normally wore, and after 3-4 months of training I went back to REI and traded them for a pair another 1/2 larger, or a full size larger than my pre-Camino shoe size. Experiment with socks and different lacing techniques while you train to find the best fit under various terrain conditions. We walked the Camino Frances from SJPP to Santiago and the Camino Portugués from Porto to Santiago without a single blister on either walk.
I'm doing the same and have started at 3 miles and will work up from there. This weekend will get out longer. thanks for advise.
 

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