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boots vs shoes

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
I have seen most of you , experienced camino walkers, prefer shoes. Is the road flat ? photo 2017.jpg No stones ?
I have walked a lot during last decades , in mountain paths mereley constructed with vertical stones planted in dirt , the one beside/ in touch with the other.
I founded it safer to walk on boots with hard soles. Even in them I had problem once I lost my way and needed to walk for 8 hours . I suppose I woud need hospital if I used shoes without hard soles.
So , is camino Frances free of stones ?
 
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Past OR future Camino
2012
Which bit? In 700km you’ll encounter tarmac, cobble, sand, gravel, kibbled limestone, Roman pavement, mud, loose rock, formed rock, rock slab, mud, compacted laterite, brick paviours, concrete, mud and even grass (rare). There are some excellent threads on this question and the search facility will lead you to them. Though, if you are an experienced hiker, why you would seek the advice of random strangers on the internet is a puzzler for this grumpy old tinker. Wear what fits and you are used to wearing. Your feet will thank you
 

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
Though, if you are an experienced hiker, why you would seek the advice of random strangers on the internet is a puzzler for this grumpy old tinker. Wear what fits and you are used to wearing.

My experience is limited to mount Athos. Any advice for camino Frances would be valuable. Thank you for replying
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
Which bit? In 700km you’ll encounter tarmac, cobble, sand, gravel, kibbled limestone, Roman pavement, mud, loose rock, formed rock, rock slab, mud, compacted laterite, brick paviours, concrete, mud and even grass (rare). There are some excellent threads on this question and the search facility will lead you to them. Though, if you are an experienced hiker, why you would seek the advice of random strangers on the internet is a puzzler for this grumpy old tinker. Wear what fits and you are used to wearing. Your feet will thank you

You missed compacted latrine!

Anyhow Theo, as Tinker says, the Frances is a mixture of everything going. Some is ust like the picture you posted. Some prefer boots and some not. It is a bit of a hot topic! Train with what you are comfortable with, any problems you might need to reconsider.

Lots of posts on this, have a search on the forum.

and
Buen Camino!
Davey
 
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Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
. It is a bit of a hot topic! Train with what you are comfortable with, any problems you might need to reconsider.

Lots of posts on this, have a search on the forum.

and
Buen Camino!
Davey
I thought it would be intresting to read the reasons some people prefer shoes and some boots. I had not realized it was hot , neither that there are older and related posts. Thank you very much.

ps compacted latrine ? Really ? :)
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
I thought it would be intresting to read the reasons some people prefer shoes and some boots. I had not realized it was hot , neither that there are older and related posts. Thank you very much.

ps compacted latrine ? Really ? :)

Bit of a problem with people pooping behind the bushes. Be careful where you tread if you head off the track for any reason!

Davey
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
My experience is limited to mount Athos. Any advice for camino Frances would be valuable. Thank you for replying
Hi @Theo59, apologies if I came across as even grumpier than normal. If your experience of pilgrimage is limited to the Mt Argos circuit then the Caminos de Santiago are very different. They are linear walks through very varied terrain. The Camino Francés is, these days, a very managed and demarcated route. Much of it has “managed” surfaces though there are still a few bits of nearly wild they are few. Most walk in “trainers” or similar, some in boots and some in sandals. I’ll stand by my original suggestion- wear what you are familiar and comfortable with.
How far are you planning to walk? Which route?
If you are not an experienced hiker how far and how often do you walk? All these questions and the answers will help the kindly folk here give you their best advice.
 

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
Hi @Theo59, apologies if I came across as even grumpier than normal. If your experience of pilgrimage is limited to the Mt Argos circuit then the Caminos de Santiago are very different. They are linear walks through very varied terrain. The Camino Francés is, these days, a very managed and demarcated route. Much of it has “managed” surfaces though there are still a few bits of nearly wild they are few. Most walk in “trainers” or similar, some in boots and some in sandals. I’ll stand by my original suggestion- wear what you are familiar and comfortable with.
How far are you planning to walk? Which route?
If you are not an experienced hiker how far and how often do you walk? All these questions and the answers will help the kindly folk here give you their best advice.

No problem dear Tincatinker
Mount Athos (we call it Holy Mount) is difficult ennough and occasionally somebody hurts or dies in those paths but I am afraid Camino (s) will be tougher, so I am glad that I found you people agreeable to share knowledge.
I am planing to walk from SJPdP to Campostela . May -June 2022. I visit Mount Athos 3-4 times every year and spent 3-4 days walking. Otherwise walking at the countryside of my town 5-10 kms at weekends.
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
I walked the Francés in July from SjPdP and it would have ended in hospital after Alto del Perdon on the way back down to the valley if I didn't wear proper boots. Most of this way is built by loose big gravel.

I have choosen boots due to a injury in spring 2018, when I torn my ligaments in my right foot on a sports course. My right foot is good to walk but a little more unstable on loose ground.

I visited a trekking store and they showed me some Runners for the Camino, but after I told them that my foot was injured the sales staff (who walked a Camino himself) insisted and showed me boots to save my ankles and ligaments.

I wore them almost the whole camino and I had only a small blister on my right pinky toe, that had to be opened by a doctor (get the blister under horn skin on the downhill part from Cruz de Ferro to Molinaseca).

I bought the Meindl Jersey Pro (full leather) and was very happy with this pair of boots.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 
Past OR future Camino
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've walked the Frances and other routes many times, and I'll stick with my New Balance Trail Runners.
But I will parrot what Tincat said... there are too many types of trail/track to number. Just wear what you are used to wearing, though I have to say I've seen more people with major blisters who were in boots and I constantly see discarded boots along the trail, but haven't yet seen trail shoes discarded.
 

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
I have to say I've seen more people with major blisters who were in boots and I constantly see discarded boots along the trail, but haven't yet seen trail shoes discarded.

Well, must mean something. Precicly the kind of information I need. Thank you
 

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
I walked the Francés in July from SjPdP and it would have ended in hospital after Alto del Perdon on the way back down to the valley if I didn't wear proper boots. Most of this way is built by loose big gravel.

I have choosen boots due to a injury in spring 2018, when I torn my ligaments in my right foot on a sports course. My right foot is good to walk but a little more unstable on loose ground.

I visited a trekking store and they showed me some Runners for the Camino, but after I told them that my foot was injured the sales staff (who walked a Camino himself) insisted and showed me boots to save my ankles and ligaments.

I wore them almost the whole camino and I had only a small blister on my right pinky toe, that had to be opened by a doctor (get the blister under horn skin on the downhill part from Cruz de Ferro to Molinaseca).

I bought the Meindl Jersey Pro (full leather) and was very happy with this pair of boots.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
I had similar experiences and they kept me safe. It looks like it turns to safety vs comfort .
 
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Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Past OR future Camino
2021
It really comes down to the architecture of your foot. I would love to be able to hike in trail running shoes, but my feet demand a boot for steep and prolonged decline sections, especially when wearing a loaded pack.

Folks just have to test drive what works for them. Heck, I know of one young woman who walked through deep snow from Valcarlos to Roncesvalles in sports sandals with shopping bags over her socks with no problems.

Ultreia!

M
 
Past OR future Camino
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
The thing about coming down Alto del Perdon is that it's a VERY short distance - what, 2 kilometers? - of watching carefully where you step instead of watching scenery. For me, that's not worth wearing heavy, hot boots the entire distance. Some people DO need boots for support, yes. But I still think MOST people can get along fine in trail runners. All that said, there are miles and miles of threads on this very topic. Boot-lovers are boot-lovers and runner-lovers are runner-lovers. Just find what works best for you and do that! :cool:
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
All that said, there are miles and miles of threads on this very topic. Boot-lovers are boot-lovers and runner-lovers are runner-lovers. Just find what works best for you and do that!
You forgot the sandal lovers! I've now walked over 1500 km on several Camino routes in sandals.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
No problem dear Tincatinker
Mount Athos (we call it Holy Mount) is difficult ennough and occasionally somebody hurts or dies in those paths but I am afraid Camino (s) will be tougher, so I am glad that I found you people agreeable to share knowledge.
I am planing to walk from SJPdP to Campostela . May -June 2022. I visit Mount Athos 3-4 times every year and spent 3-4 days walking. Otherwise walking at the countryside of my town 5-10 kms at weekends.
I climbed Mt.Athos years ago and I don't really remember it as dangerous although if you are not carefull enough those slate plates of rocks when in fog or drizzle could be very slippery. Anyway I remember patches of snow even during the summer. No walk in the park. Also Camino is no walk in the park because it's a "job", four/five weeks job, everyday "walk, eat, sleep, walk, eat, sleep,...repeat" so the pounding on different surfaces might cause problems for your feet if the boots/shoes are not what your feet likes ;)

No sense in asking this kind of question because I might be overweight, someone might carry lighter backpack, half of the people on Camino carrying the pack for the first time in their life, some are into running shoes, some into hard leather boots etc. You can get a zillion answers but that's at the same time a zero answer.

Actually @Tincatinker in post no.3 gave the best possible answer you'll ever get.

Buen Camino!
 
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Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
I climbed Mt.Athos years ago and I don't really remember it as dangerous although if you are not carefull enough those slate plates of rocks when in fog or drizzle could be very slippery. Anyway I remember patches of snow even during the summer. No walk in the park. Also Camino is no walk in the park because it's a "job", four/five weeks job, everyday "walk, eat, sleep, walk, eat, sleep,...repeat" so the pounding on different surfaces might cause problems for your feet if the boots/shoes are not what your feet likes ;)

No sense in asking this kind of question because I might be overweight, someone might carry lighter backpack, half of the people on Camino carrying the pack for the first time in their life, some are into running shoes, some into hard leather boots etc. You can get a zillion answers but that's at the same time a zero answer.

Actually @Tincatinker in post no.3 gave the best possible answer you'll ever get.

Buen Camino!
I climbed Mt.Athos years ago and I don't really remember it as dangerous although if you are not carefull enough those slate plates of rocks when in fog or drizzle could be very slippery. Anyway I remember patches of snow even during the summer. No walk in the park. Also Camino is no walk in the park because it's a "job", four/five weeks job, everyday "walk, eat, sleep, walk, eat, sleep,...repeat" so the pounding on different surfaces might cause problems for your feet if the boots/shoes are not what your feet likes ;)

No sense in asking this kind of question because I might be overweight, someone might carry lighter backpack, half of the people on Camino carrying the pack for the first time in their life, some are into running shoes, some into hard leather boots etc. You can get a zillion answers but that's at the same time a zero answer.

Actually @Tincatinker in post no.3 gave the best possible answer you'll ever get.

Buen Camino!
Well, I am feeling just a little bit wiser now, so maybe there was some sense in asking. Thank you all for replying
 

Lel

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago (2006)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Which bit? In 700km you’ll encounter tarmac, cobble, sand, gravel, kibbled limestone, Roman pavement, mud, loose rock, formed rock, rock slab, mud, compacted laterite, brick paviours, concrete, mud and even grass (rare). There are some excellent threads on this question and the search facility will lead you to them. Though, if you are an experienced hiker, why you would seek the advice of random strangers on the internet is a puzzler for this grumpy old tinker. Wear what fits and you are used to wearing. Your feet will thank you
Hear hear-a bit of common sense goes a long way.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
s. you like boots, then there ya go... boots it is :) Lot's of stuff is available on this topic thru the search engine, too. Below are a few reposts of mine which you may or may not choose to consider.

Let me start by saying that if someone chooses to walk in the types of boots you have listed, that is a personal choice. If asked, I might recommend a different type of hiking footwear to try. But footwear choices are so individual to fit and comfort, that someone making an informed decision for a boot who, having given them a good trial run and liking the choice, is not getting an argument from me :).

The problem is with any broad generalizations made advocating boots for hiking and backpacking. There is now a large body of experience which contradicts such specific advocacy. In other words, hiking boots are not critical for comfort. To be sure, boots have their adherents (I love my Lowa Camino for winter time); and some are great quality footwear. However, the trend toward trail runners and trail shoes now have a large following as the technology has matured. And for good reason.

For example, the preference by ultralight thru hikers over the last 5 years on the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail have largely been to running and trail runner type shoes. This trend has been increasingly adopted by other backpackers over the last several years. Additionally, the issue of a 'waterproof' shoe is increasingly being turned aside --- as the weaknesses and disadvantages to the technology have become more apparent --- in favor to materials which drain fast and dry quickly.

When I am hired to gear test runners, trail, runners, hiking shoes, and boots I have purposefully walked through streams to assess their ability to dry out and perform when wet, have hiked over severely rough, rutted, and rocky debris strewn trails to check out stability and comfort and support, and have taken muddied and wet rocked uphill trails to determine traction and stability under typical adverse conditions in the back country.

In some instances, boots would have performed slightly better; in other areas there is no discernible difference. Generally, a heavier and beefier hiking boot will definitely last longer than a runner, trail runner, or hiking shoe, but at over three times the price of such footwear, boots should be expected to do so.

But, and this is a critical factor for me, and to a lot of backpackers and trekkers: Boots can be from two to nearly three times as heavy on the foot as those other choices.

The military studies on fatigue and footwear have determined that, on average, one pound on the foot is equal to five pounds carried on the back. At nearly three and a half pounds per pair, that means over 17 pounds. At an average weight of 1.75 pounds per pair of trail runners, wearing a trail runner drops that weight to 5.25 pounds

The practical issues for less experienced and fit pilgrims are several. Excess fatigue and wear on the legs can obviously drain energy quicker, making for a more tiring day of walking. The frequency of issues, such as shin splints, knee pain, ankle strain, and blistering rises with higher levels of work to the legs, which is increased by heavier than needed footwear.

There are several other issues regarding boots versus trail runners and shoes. And as with generalizations about boots, there is a danger in being overly general regarding the suitability of trail runners as a universal given.

I have thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, which includes severe terrain underfoot, in trail runners. I use trail runners and running shoes now instead of the heavy boots that I used to use until the early 1990's. I now have thousands of miles of practical use, both from personal walking and in gear testing various footwear products.

The picture you included looks fearsome for a footwear challenge, and trail runners and running shoes have dealt with such terrain quite nicely. There really is no universal 'either/ or' need to choose a heavier boot over a lighter shoe based on only terrain anymore.

As I wrote above, it is an individual choice as to what footwear one chooses to wear. It is also true that in the non winter, cold-weather seasons, the choice of a trail runner, runner, or hiking shoe is more than adequate to do the job for those who do not have extenuating medical or orthopedic limitations.
 

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
s. you like boots, then there ya go... boots it is :) Lot's of stuff is available on this topic thru the search engine, too. Below are a few reposts of mine which you may or may not choose to consider.

Let me start by saying that if someone chooses to walk in the types of boots you have listed, that is a personal choice. If asked, I might recommend a different type of hiking footwear to try. But footwear choices are so individual to fit and comfort, that someone making an informed decision for a boot who, having given them a good trial run and liking the choice, is not getting an argument from me :).

The problem is with any broad generalizations made advocating boots for hiking and backpacking. There is now a large body of experience which contradicts such specific advocacy. In other words, hiking boots are not critical for comfort. To be sure, boots have their adherents (I love my Lowa Camino for winter time); and some are great quality footwear. However, the trend toward trail runners and trail shoes now have a large following as the technology has matured. And for good reason.

For example, the preference by ultralight thru hikers over the last 5 years on the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail have largely been to running and trail runner type shoes. This trend has been increasingly adopted by other backpackers over the last several years. Additionally, the issue of a 'waterproof' shoe is increasingly being turned aside --- as the weaknesses and disadvantages to the technology have become more apparent --- in favor to materials which drain fast and dry quickly.

When I am hired to gear test runners, trail, runners, hiking shoes, and boots I have purposefully walked through streams to assess their ability to dry out and perform when wet, have hiked over severely rough, rutted, and rocky debris strewn trails to check out stability and comfort and support, and have taken muddied and wet rocked uphill trails to determine traction and stability under typical adverse conditions in the back country.

In some instances, boots would have performed slightly better; in other areas there is no discernible difference. Generally, a heavier and beefier hiking boot will definitely last longer than a runner, trail runner, or hiking shoe, but at over three times the price of such footwear, boots should be expected to do so.

But, and this is a critical factor for me, and to a lot of backpackers and trekkers: Boots can be from two to nearly three times as heavy on the foot as those other choices.

The military studies on fatigue and footwear have determined that, on average, one pound on the foot is equal to five pounds carried on the back. At nearly three and a half pounds per pair, that means over 17 pounds. At an average weight of 1.75 pounds per pair of trail runners, wearing a trail runner drops that weight to 5.25 pounds

The practical issues for less experienced and fit pilgrims are several. Excess fatigue and wear on the legs can obviously drain energy quicker, making for a more tiring day of walking. The frequency of issues, such as shin splints, knee pain, ankle strain, and blistering rises with higher levels of work to the legs, which is increased by heavier than needed footwear.

There are several other issues regarding boots versus trail runners and shoes. And as with generalizations about boots, there is a danger in being overly general regarding the suitability of trail runners as a universal given.

I have thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, which includes severe terrain underfoot, in trail runners. I use trail runners and running shoes now instead of the heavy boots that I used to use until the early 1990's. I now have thousands of miles of practical use, both from personal walking and in gear testing various footwear products.

The picture you included looks fearsome for a footwear challenge, and trail runners and running shoes have dealt with such terrain quite nicely. There really is no universal 'either/ or' need to choose a heavier boot over a lighter shoe based on only terrain anymore.

As I wrote above, it is an individual choice as to what footwear one chooses to wear. It is also true that in the non winter, cold-weather seasons, the choice of a trail runner, runner, or hiking shoe is more than adequate to do the job for those who do not have extenuating medical or orthopedic limitatioankns.
I entered this forum hoping for usefull information . I am not disappointed. Not at all. Thank you very much.
 
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Jamminclark

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances partial (May-June 2018)
Frances (2019)
When I did a partial Camino in 2018 I wore a pair of Merrell Moab's II Mid 12" wide. They were perfect for me as they are light but still offer good traction and support for the more rockier areas A lot of the shoes I saw parked in the albergues were Meindl, Merrell, Salomon's, Columbia and others with a mix of trail runners and some heavier boots. When I go back to Pamplona next month to finish the Camino I will be taking my Merrell's as well as a pair of sandals to switch off with. Like some here have stated, just go with what you are comfortable with and train ahead of time with them.
 

Poppy-Pete

Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
As others have said, walk in whatever you are comfortable with. I walked the Camino Frances in Ascics trail runners. They have sizes in a wider fit, which was great for my foot and as a trail runner they had a chunkier sole, it wasn't so chunky that it collected stones in the tread. Each to their own, but wear whatever you're planning to walk in, in!
 

jrm

Active Member
For me, shoes were the perfect solution. Boots are nice, but the vast majority of the trail that I hiked was very shoe friendly. For the parts that weren't, I just paid a little more attention to my steps. I went with some Hoka trail shoes that were awesome.
 

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
For me, shoes were the perfect solution. Boots are nice, but the vast majority of the trail that I hiked was very shoe friendly. For the parts that weren't, I just paid a little more attention to my steps. I went with some Hoka trail shoes that were awesome.
Thank you for replying. I have studied all replies here and the others in similar threads. My conclusion is that boots are much more suitable for 3-4 days walking on the wild rocky terrain I usually walk , but not for 40-45 days walking on Camino (s) which seem to be not so rocky. So, I `ll maybe prefer sandals on CF. If you see someone walking with sandals , while boots are hanging from his backpack , it will probably be me (old loves are hard to die :)
 
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jrm

Active Member
Thank you for replying. I have studied all replies here and the others in similar threads. My conclusion is that boots are much more suitable for 3-4 days walking on the wild rocky terrain I usually walk , but not for 40-45 days walking on Camino (s) which seem to be not so rocky. So, I `ll maybe prefer sandals on CF. If you see someone walking with sandals , while boots are hanging from his backpack , it will probably be me (old loves are hard to die :)
You do you! If you’re a boots-man, be a boots-man ;) everyone is different! No need to wedge into a pair of sandals if you don’t want to. Walk it how you wanna walk it! You’ll know a couple days in if you want to change your approach!
 

Theo59

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
You do you! If you’re a boots-man, be a boots-man ;) everyone is different! No need to wedge into a pair of sandals if you don’t want to. Walk it how you wanna walk it! You’ll know a couple days in if you want to change your approach!
On Mount I have learned : Paths command . Reasonable people obey.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Thank you for replying. I have studied all replies here and the others in similar threads. My conclusion is that boots are much more suitable for 3-4 days walking on the wild rocky terrain I usually walk , but not for 40-45 days walking on Camino (s) which seem to be not so rocky. So, I `ll maybe prefer sandals on CF. If you see someone walking with sandals , while boots are hanging from his backpack , it will probably be me (old loves are hard to die :)

I’ve always worn Nike running shoes. Only time I had to switch them out was a winter camino: too much mud.

Enjoy Mt. Athos and your countryside town.

Buen camino.
 

emmanuel

Member
Past OR future Camino
2011_2014_2016_2017_2018_2019_2021
For all those who prefer boots, I have one question. I will be shortly replacing my trusty Merrell Moabs. Since I sometimes get blisters on the pinkies, I would like to know if someone has picked the "wide" option? Is it any better than the regular one, after a long day on the Camino, when feet swell? Or, will my feet feel too loose on the inside of the boot? Thanks very much for your input and/or thoughts on the subject.
 

Poppy-Pete

Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
I don't know about the Merrell Moabs, but I always find the wide option better. You can always wear a thicker sock if necessary.
 
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emmanuel

Member
Past OR future Camino
2011_2014_2016_2017_2018_2019_2021
I'm in the "shoe camp" and have been pleased with that choice.
What I'm asking is "has anyone found a shoe that dries well, overnight?" My current shoes have a very padded tongue and aren't dry for days even here in dry Utah. P.S. I wear Hokas for the comfort.
You could always pack a mini-hair dryer for that purpose. Just be sure it's 220 volts!
 

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