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Boots in August?


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Hi everybody,
I know there are several coments abouts boots in this forum but I can't find anything about boots in summer. I will walk the Primitivo this summer, in August, do I need boots because of the path and perhaps rainy days or will it be too hot? Should I just take my walking shoes?
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Hi Josefine,
I would suggest boots because of some of the rough walking. Unless you are prepared to take to the road in preference to the waymarked track you will need ankle support. There was certainly plenty of mud in May last year and my boots were soaked on a number of occasions. Have a look here camino-primitivo-blogs-photo-album/topic6272.html as well as my own pics on my blog. One thing about the Primitivo is there is no long trudge over the meseta - just a lot of up and down.
Blessings on your walking


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Thank you Terry, that's what I wanted to know, I'll take my boots and stay on the track. :D
This is a tough question - because it's the issue of being prepared for different environments vs. carrying more weight.

The first week in Asturias - my feet were constantly wet -- this was very uncomfortable.

If one were to wear boots, they would also need to be waterproof/resistant and broken in - as I believe boots tend to contribute more to blisters - (that's not fun either).

The water came mostly from muddy paths after night rainfalls or from mountain streams running down into the paths. Only one day did I walk in heavy rainfall. Some stretches of the woodland paths are wet and muddy from tractors or ATVs.

I traveled starting May 21st. Would Asturias be as rainy in August? Maybe not - but at the same time it's a mountainous region - so perhaps different climate factors apply.

Summer storms can arise suddenly and bring heavy rains. Lately the weather has been very extreme all over the world.

Walking in wet shoes was really awful - but would you necessarily be faced with that? - not sure.

My ankles did not bother me -(if you're thinking of boots for support) - but my one KNEE was really hurting. I had read different arguments about walking sticks - If I attempted the Primitivo again - I would bring two sticks - and somehow support the knees. The whole first week is up and down mountain/hill walking - sometimes very steep. It took several weeks to recover when I returned and I am not sure if my knee will be the same. Occasionally - we'd have to avoid big puddles or fallen trees, or other obstructions - so at times, heavier shoes would have been beneficial.

My day walking shoe was the Merrell Siren Sport - I only had one blister on the last day on the bottom of my foot. For night time and other occasions - I had lightweight H&M sandals that I could just fold up into the bag ---

What does the August Asturias rainfall report suggest? Once into Galicia, for the second half - the terrain seemed drier.

For myself, I would bring water resistant boots/hiking shoes for the first half or rainy days - and I would also have a walking shoe. Or maybe I would find a shoe that combines these two elements.

I liked having a "dressier" lightweight sandal & shower shoes - but it's not a necessity.

You don't want to be overheated in August - you'll want your feet to breath at times.

I realize the weight issue comes into play. I would give priority to my footwear and knee support for this journey. And look for other items you can compromise on eliminating.

To me, it's horrible to put on wet boots in the morning.
Mesh walkers or trail shoes dry overnight, even when it's raining.

Unless a person has really weak ankles, this is not a mountain climbing trip.. for most of the Way, the walking is fairly level.

I guess I'm so adamant about this because most of the people I saw on the Camino with horrid blisters were people wearing boots. They just seem like overkill to me, unless you already have a favorite, very well-broken-in pair that are like second skin.

I also saw many boots discarded along the way... LOTS of them!

But in the end, it's up to each person.
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Kristine, thank you ever so much for your long answer and for sharing your experience. I will consider all of it before making a decision.
And to Annie as well, thank you, because you express your point of view. In the end it is up to me to make my own decision.
I'll be back to you end of August to tell you what I finally put on my feet and how it all went.... :?:
My pleasure :)

To clarify - for my first Camino - the Primitivo - I only had sports/walking shoes.

Definitely it's true - the Primitivo is not mountain climbing - it's hiking - so in general, walking shoes are sufficient to handle the requirements of this trail. When my feet were dry, my shoes were fine, and probably performed better than boots. But when my feet were wet (often, the first week) - it was very uncomfortable and I wished I had an option.

Changing the socks and powdering is momentarily relieving - but once back into the mud and unavoidable streams and puddles - the moisture returns...

My shoes provided adequate support. I had less blisters (only one at the end) - than my boot wearing friends. I also wore Thorlos cushion walking socks, and they helped to protect my feet within the shoe.

Overnight, my friends and I dried our boots/shoes out with rolled up old newspaper - that worked well. The issue isn't so much drying them out at night - but walking with them all day when wet.

I am not sure that hiking boots provide better moisture protection - it would depend on the model. The Sirens come in a Gore-Tex waterproof version - that might not be as heavy as a boot.

Carrying unnecessary extras is not a great option in terms of shoes or anything else. But I would not return to the Primitivo without a shoe option that provided better water-resistance.
Hi Annie,
What time of year did you walk the Primitivo? I am wondering how different it is in July / August to April / May? With my boots, unless water went over the top, my feet were dry.

I have not walked the Primitivo.

I have walked the Frances, portions of the VDLP, the Aragonese, and portions of the Norte.
It's probably quite different depending on the season.

For myself, boots would be too cold/wet in winter and too hot and stiff in summer.
Trail shoes or runners work better for me.
As we all keep saying, it's just a personal matter, but the trails certainly do not warrant boots.

Many first-time pilgrims buy boots because they think of this as a mountain climbing hike.
It is not.
It is MOSTLY on very nice well-kept trails that don't even require ankle support unless a person has ankle problems to begin with.

People who already HAVE comfortable boots that are well broken in tend to love them.
People who try to break in a new pair of boots on the Camino often end up with bloody feet and tears.

Boots have stiff soles, which are not good for many people who are not regular trekkers. Something with a flexible sole seems to work best. People talk about ankle support in boots, but an inflexible soled boot can put MORE stress on the ankles than a shoe built for walking.

For me, boots are for mountainous hiking.... trail shoes or walkers for trekking.
The Camino is a fairly easy trek.

In the end... it is what each person loves and is comfortable with. :)
Anniesantiago said:
It is MOSTLY on very nice well-kept trails that don't even require ankle support unless a person has ankle problems to begin with..................

People who already HAVE comfortable boots that are well broken in tend to love them.
People who try to break in a new pair of boots on the Camino often end up with bloody feet and tears..............

For me, boots are for mountainous hiking.... trail shoes or walkers for trekking.
The Camino is a fairly easy trek.

In the end... it is what each person loves and is comfortable with. :)

Thanks Annie,
I would rate some of the Primitivo as 'strenuous' in English hill walking terminology. Mountain climbing it is not: but it is like walking in the Pennines or on Dartmoor in the U.K. The punch line in your post is "People who try to break in a new pair of boots on the Camino often end up with bloody feet and tears." Exactly!
In another thread someone says that they have blisters after a day in new ECCO shoes. At least she was not on the Camino. I had already done some 200 miles in my boots before setting out on my Camino. Buy your footwear early and break them in at home before leaving. One less problem to worry about.
For waterproofing I have used Renapur Leather Balsam for a number of years. On the Camino I took a sponge soaked in the stuff and gave my boots a wipe over when dry in the mornings. Worked for me in some very wet weather.

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I would tend to say there are boots and boots...

Mine are Meindl "Maine Lady Mid XCR", a super light "half boot" (400 gr only, waterproof); I made +- 800 kms with them without mayor problems (very few blisters, indeed).
The thing with 'waterproof' stuff : after some time, your foot might get a little damp because of perspiration and lack of air, which may be also a cause of blisters. Good to change frequently socks - if necessary even during daytime. And to put a good cream on your feet every day before (and after) walking.

These Meindl (half) boots are so comfortable, you nearly don't need to break them in!

Easter greetings!!!


PS I just had one pair of shoes with me - plus FlipFlops (Teva) for the evenings, the resting time
So many different opinions, I 'm glad I still have some time before making my mind up. I went to the outdoorshop yesterday, I asked what would they advice if I were not buing boots but a good trekkingshoe and they suggested this Salomon. ... x?id=93734.
Like Lillian suggests, the TEVA sandals are great, I used them last year on the French, in the evenings and on parts of the path. They will be with me this year too for when the path is not too difficult. But Lillian, do you walk ONLY in these sandals, even in rain?

I hope everybody is having a nice Easter!

Hi All,
I looked at the links and find that your 'trekking shoes' are not a lot different to my 'boots' :!:
see them here- ... B0020HR7MU

Go for what suits you only give yourself time to break them in - even if they feel comfortable first off.

Blessings on your feet :D
Well Terry, I guess some "shoes" are a little "in between", and maybe that's just the kind I should choose.. :D
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Hi Josefine,
The question is, I think, "will you need waterproof footwear in August?" My answer being "Probably not!" I have been looking round the web history on my computer and found this on a Camino in September 2008:- ... rimitivo1#
It looks much, much drier than May. When I went through Ribadiso at the end of May last year, the water was up to the top of the steps :shock:
Have a look at our 'training' blog to see what the conditions are like round us at present. This is how it was on the Primitivo when I was there last year.

We are going back to the Primitivo in 4 weeks time :lol: Will report on conditions when we get back.

This photo shows why waterproof boots area good idea in April / May. Not just water and mud but slurry as well. known as "clarts" in the north of England. :shock: It was taken 25 k. south of Lugo, but could have been near Salas, Paradavella, O Cadavo and a number of other places.
I loved the Primitivo, it reminded me of home!



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Hi again, I looked at the photos and also found a link to the expected weather in Asturias in August. Even though you do need to be prepared for rainy days it doesn't seem to rain a lot, but one night with rain would make the path muddy and wet so I think I'm decided to get something with gor tex but maybe not boots, I don't want my feet to get too hot if it's really sunny. These were suggested to me ... RE-TEX-XCR May be they would be fine both for rainy days and sunny days. :?:

Terry,it'll be really nice to hear from you after you next Primitivo. I'm sure you will have a lot to tell. :D

Ahhh, Terry – that’s an evocative photo - brings back such memories of the Primitvo experience!

Then I would have said, “ughughugh…” as I squished through the mess of it - now it’s a beautiful sight to my eyes. I don’t have too many photos of that kind in my set – I wasn’t able to take pictures at such times!

Slurry, indeed! :wink:

I wanted to say, yes, - that there are sometimes farm animal crossings on the road as well, to be sure – Glorious! :lol:

How wonderful – you’re returning to the Primitvo!

Ultreya and Buen Viaje!
Hi everybody,
Just came back from a beautiful Primitivo, I loved it! And I thought, just in case someone else is thinking about doing a summer Primitivo, I should answer my own question, about boots in August.
I started my walk in my halfboot Salomon, had no problems walking with them in Sweden before I left. But - after one day only I got a severe pain in my toes, and day two, walking out from Grado I couldn't stand it any more. I had to put on my Teva sandals to be able to continue and I walked the rest of the Primitivo with sandals, all the way to Santiago and then to Fisterra. And I was fine! There were several of us walking in sandals and none of us had any problems. Of course, there are some tricky parts were you have to be careful and you do need a good walking stick, that support was essential. But on most of the Primitivo you walk very comfortably in sandals - in August. We had very little rain, only a few hours, but it was easy to imagine how muddy it would be on a another time of year. If I were to walk this Camino again in August, I would walk again in sandals, bringing a pair of treckingshoes in the case of a day with heavy rain. Maybe also in July or September. Another time of year, with more rain, lots of mud and slippery stones, I'd say you do need boots on the Primitivo.
After Lugo, I chose to go to Ferol and then to Sobrado dos Monxes to be able to stay in the albergue at the monastery. It was lovely and I'm glad I took that decision.
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After Lugo, I chose to go to Ferol
Terry says 'should this be Friol?'
Yes a good alternative for accomodation probably, although he went the other way.
Nice to read about your Camino Josefine. Is there any more anywhere?
Terry and Valerie
Can anyone help with the directions/distances from Lugo to Friol and then to Sobrado dos Monxes.
How many days would that add over going from Lugo > Ferreira > Melide > Arzua?

Hi again, and yes Terry and Valerie, it should be Friol :).
And I haven't written anything elsewhere about my Camino, I think several other forum members have given such good descriptions about the Primitivo, I don't know what I could add to that, the only difference being I did it the in summer. The albergues were full, I'm not a fast walker and don't get up very early so I ended up several nights sleeping in sporthalls ( is that the word in English?), parroquias and once in an abandoned "horreo". There were 8 of us sleeping there, we had a great evening with lots of food and wine before we went to sleep and we slept very comfortably as well. That same night, we were in Berducedo, 12 pilgrims had to sleep outside in the church yard because that was the only village where they did not open up anything for the pilgrims. (And the private albergue was of course also "completo"). We were often 30-50 pilgrims staying at the same village which is a lot on the Primitivo. I think this is only likely to happen in August when they have their holidays in Spain, I'd say 70-80 % of the pilgrims came from Spain.

And to Wec, Lugo to Friol is about 23 km, mostly walking on the road, you can prebook albergue in Friol. Friol to Sobrado dos Monxes is about the same distance and next day you can walk to Arzua.

Thanks Josefine.
Looking back through this thread we see that Terry said we would post about our experiences in May.
There were some very wetplaces then, make his picture look dry!! The water was deep enough to nearly come into our boots. In one place near Tineo it was so deep that we actually walked on the field edge. A couple following us had boots full and mud half way up to their knees. When we got to Tineo it was still bitterly cold (3C) and trying to snow. That was when we thought it wise to go back and walk part of the Norte.
However it was great to have walked what we did and I am glad we did it. We have put more on our blog, Return to the Camino, but even there we don't have any photos of the really bad bits, we were too busy balancing on bank sides using our sticks.
If we met mud like that again we think we would tie our boots to our rucksacks, take off our socks, unzip our trouser bottoms and go through with our Crocs on to protect our bare feet.
Glad you could manage with sandals in August. For us it will be boots again etc next year.
Blessings on your walking to those about to set off
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Hi Kristine, I'm already planning for my 2011 Camino(s) :D, perhaps we'll meet!?
Hello Josefine,

indeed nice to read about your camino!!!
Well (as I told you on the 'pilgrim's virtual albergue'), I did the Primitivo in July - with half boots.
And quite happy to have had them despite the heat.
I remember just one Spanish man walking in sandals.
It must happen "in waves", boots, sandals, ...

In July, we were fewer people as well despite approaching 25 July - but Berducedo everything was full as well. So we camped in front of the albergue.

And, yes, the alternative way for Friol and Sobrado is gorgeous (along roads, but happily along minor roads through small villages)

Regards - and buen camino for those starting soon (or already on the way)
Hi Fatma,
shoes, boots, sandals....I guess it's a never ending issue, and a very personal one. A part from weather considerations we must all walk in what we feel most confortable in, that's why giving advice to someone is so hard. One Spanish pilgrim who got severe blisters from her boots, and had no proper sandals, actually walked for a couple of days in her "flipflops"! But she admitted that was really hard and she managed to do it only because she had no other option and really wanted to continue her Camino.
But I'd say the biggest problem on the Primitivo was not the blisters but kneeproblems. Several pilgrims ended up buying different kinds of "kneesupport" in the farmacies. I used them from Oviedo as a way of preventing problems (despite the fact I never had any kneeproblems before) and I think they really helped me, especially going downhill I felt they were a great support for my knees.
To those planning to walk the Primitivo, take care and you'll have a great Camino.
I think you are absolutely right Josefine! I took a 'tubigrip' with me from the U.K. This is a crepe cloth tube which can be cut to the length required. I found it essential after the long descent to the dam before Grandas de Salime. Worn doubled over on the dodgey knee it worked wonders. And I had no previous history of problems either. I bought some Ibufen in Grandas and the pharmacist just rolled her eyes!! Took a rest day there as well, which helped.
It is the ankle support which I find is vital on rough ground, especially downhill. It happens as you get older! "the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few . . . "

Blessings on your walking
Absolutely right, Terry and Josefine!

I had also some knee 'support' and wore it occasionally - but I took the descent towards Grandas sooooo quickly (it was a cold rainy day and my boots got wet inside, so that I just wanted one thing : arrive!!!) that my whole body started aching during nighttime and I had to take a day off in Castro which was all benefit.

Buen and health camino to all pilgrims!
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