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Breaking in new boots

I decided that my old pair of hikers were not supportive enough for a long trek so I just bought a new pair of light hikers. Here is my problem: I walked for 2 hours in the new boots and developed a small blister on my little toe. Since then I have walked 2 more times and the blister area is tender so I feel the spot while I walk. My toe does not appear to be affected from the recent walks but I am concerned.

I want to have enough time to break in my boots for our Camino in mid-October but I am worried that I should change boots now before I lose too much time.

Anybody have any insight about this problem?

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Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
When I bought my boots, the wonderful salesman showed me what looked like a rounded metal crow bar stuck in a floor mounted stand. He said if I got blisters to bring the boots back and showed me how he could stretch the boot a little bit by placing it over the metal rod and stretching the boot in key places. Maybe this would work for you. I think especially if the blister were on the side of your toe or at the top--on the bottom of the toe I don't think this would work. If you bought the boots at a hiking/camping store, they might have this same tool and perhaps could do this for you. Fortunately for me, I didn't have any problems with blisters so I can't verify that this worked but it seemed to make a lot of sense. Good luck to you.


Wandering for the love and growth of it
Time of past OR future Camino
Hello Nicole,
My experience is similar to viajero's. The store where I bought the boots was willing to work with me and stretch them a bit here and there over a period of a few weeks. You definitely don't want your boots to be tight in any spots. What bothers you a bit after walking a couple of hours will likely bother you a lot after a few days. Most peoples' feet swell a bit by the end of a long walking day so you want to be able to allow for that. In addition, you may run into some cooler weather in October and want a somewhat thicker sock. So I recommend going back to see if they can help you out where you bought them.
It is also worth thinking about wearing a good blister protector for awhile (or even a bandaid). What you don't want is a sensitive toe at the beginning of your walk. I have been lucky and walked the full camino without blisters, but on days when a toe felt a bit sensitive or hot I always used a bandaid as a preventative measure.
Buen camino


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I also had my shoes stretched around the toe area while I was wearing them in and it really helped. The other issue is that for walking I first bought shoes that were too small. Once I had socks on and allowed for feet to swell, I needed a size larger than usual.
Thanks for the good advice everyone. I thought I had sized the boots correctly when I bought them because I did wear a heavy sock while trying on but you bring up a good point about foot swelling. I have since walked a couple of more hours and I know I need to take them back for some streching of the right boot. I have no trouble with the left boot as yet.
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Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Hello, Nicole.

When my old boots died, after several Caminos, I had to decide to buy a new ones.

My first day I only could walk ¡¡3 km!! wearing it. And the second day, 12 km.

Several walking journeys later, I've been able to walk 46 km a day. So, you will be able to walk your Camino with your boots when you can walk 20-25 km, when your whole walking day finish because something different to your feet.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.

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