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Boots vs walking sandals on Camino Portuguese

Hi all,

This Forum is amazing! The advice, information, and reflections are very inspiring. Thank you to everyone who contribute these valuable, funny, and interesting messages!

I have a simple question regarding walking in September, which I am hoping will be a fairly dry trip. I have been told that good walking sandals would be sufficient footwear for the amount of pavement walking done from Oporto to Santiago. A female friend recommends them, instead of boots, as her feet became so hot on the trail when she wore boots. This was second hand information, so I was unable to ask her what type of boots she was wearing....

I am leaning towards boots, as I hear them mentioned most on this forum. I was just hoping to hear about it in regards to a September walk. It would be great if sandals were adequate.

Thanks in advance




I had both boots and sandals with me on the Via de la Plata. I generally wore the boots except when crossing creeks when the sandals were most useful.
i prefer boots, because protect your feets and about all the ankles, I put the sandals on when i´m resting in the albergue.

moreover, In September the weather is changeable, and above in Galicia may you find rain!
I agree with Fernando, and there's any places, like the "Serra do Labruja", after Ponte de Lima, where boots are recommended.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.



Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
I'd be wary of being too dogmatic on this subject. Of course it is down to personal preference and time of the year - but in good weather many pilgrims walk in training shoes and indeed walking sandles with apparently no problems. Other prefer walking shoes and yet others boots. But basically the routes at most times of the year are fairly light trails when heavy mountain boots would be inappropriate. Like all items of equipment it depends on what is most suitable for the job and what best meets individual needs. Imho :)
I just returned from the amazing Camino Portuguese. I wore my boots approximately two thirds of the time and my walking sandals one third of the time plus evenings (and in showers). The heat from the stone roads in Portugal was a bit problematic for me with a rash developing just above the boot line. However, the support of the boots around the ankles was much appreciated with varied terrain and weather conditions. I was very glad that I took both and would do the same again. Make sure your boots are waterproof in case of rain or stream crossings. Good luck and Buen Camino!
Im now in two minds aboutt whether my recently bought Scarpa Enigma Trail shoes will offer me enough water protection and support at the end of May/first week in June. I wore boots on my last Camino in May which were definately needed, but hoped I could wear these lighter shoes as Ive broken them in, in the warmer climate. They claim to be waterproof and have vibram sole - Does anyone have experience of these shoes? Thanks.


Active Member
I am currently in Tui, having just come across from Ponte de Lima. Take my word for it, walking in sandles would have been a disaster as there has been a lot of mud for last couple of days. Also the pass from Ponte de Lima is very steep and rocky - as difficult as any terrain I found on the Camino Frances. Unless you have proven to yourself that you dont need the ankle support and traction that boots provide on wet and rocky terrain while carrying a pack go with boots. By the way, I have been walking for 4 days from Porto and have not seen even one other walker.


Active Member
Another thing that occurred to me on the way to Redondela was how many pairs of socks the sandal wearers are planning to carry. And what about the pebbles underfoot? My advice is to plan on the worst case, i.e., rain and mud every day and then decide what is the best footwear.
My husband and I walked the Camino Portugues last September. Although the weather was dry there were still some parts of the trail that were pretty wet and muddy. I wore boots and had no problems. My husband wore trail shoes and found that they did not give his feet enough support. He also found the cobbles in Portugal really hard going. We both took sandals (Teva) to wear in the evening and we made a point of getting our boots off during the day when we stopped for a break. That really seemed to help.

Bom camino!

Im just back from walking this Camino.I finally decided to wear my trail shoes in the end, but just about managed to get by, walking through very wet and muddy streams and lanes, climbing up and down very steep hills with loose stones and endless cobbled streets, so common in Portugal. By the grace of God or a bit of luck, I managed not to twist my ankle, but nearly did on some occasions and would definately takes boots for the ankle and traction support if going again. That said the shoes were so much lighter in the warmer weather.
Good morning.
If your size is 8 UK, I think you must choose a bigger size for the sandals: 9 UK. the californianTeva sandals are not so big and the trekking sandals must be bigger than your feet. Perhaps half pound between your toe and the end of your sandal. Somewhere i could about one more pound that your foot but I think it isd too much.
I saw the web you spoke about and it is very interesting. Merrel and Teva are the best companys of sandals in the world. I think, and I could read something about this in sports mountain magazines. but I couldn´t never seen so many differents models like in http://www.peregrinoteca.com.
Best regards.
Got to add my two cents...for those thinking of walking in the dry months, a good pair of walking sandals will be just fine. I wore Teva's the whole way and never had any of the problems with blisters that some people in boots were having. That being said, my sandals were already broken in with multiple hikes before i started...which makes a HUGE difference. Main thing is, go with what you feel comfortable in. In the long run, you'll get there in both. ;)


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct-7-2014 to Nov-1-2014
Another Teva sandals wearer. Totally fine for me in October, even with rain and breezy mornings. No blisters. Should be ok for many people through Jun-Sep.

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