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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
Year 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
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from SJPP - 2003, 2005, 2009, 2013. 500 km on Le Puy 2013. Future - Vezelay-Santiago
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
Year 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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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

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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