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Changing from Boots to Trail Runners - Socks?

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
After 3 Caminos in my hiking boots that I love (Saloman GTX Mids) I think I'll change to trail runners next time :eek:

Mainly because of advice from a physio in Spain............ (too much weight on my feet causing knee problems)

But this brings me to the question of socks!

I've never got any blisters in my boots.

I stick to the regime of 2 layers of socks. Thin inner and thick wool outer.
Lots of vaseline on my feet, hikers wool and tape on any hot spots etc etc.

For those who have successfully made the switch from boots to trail runners, I presume you maintained everything else.?
So I should plan to buy trail runners a full size larger to allow for the two layers of socks etc?
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Robo, my best advice is to ignore your current shoe size as a reference to other shoes. I've posted this before, but hope it helps in your search. Feel free to PM if I can be of any further help.

The most important theme for achieving a proper fit is: You do not choose a shoe based on measurements, you buy a shoe based on its Fit N Feel regardless of instrument measurements.
  1. When you go to the store, do so toward the end of the day.... you will have been up on your feet, so that will help with getting the correct fit. Additionally, you will need to wear the same backpack with the same gear you will be carrying... you want this additional weight on you as this will put the same downward pressure on the foot that you will be having while on Camino.
  2. Wear the exact same sock(s) you will be wearing while you are walking on the Camino. And if you have a special insole or orthotic, bring it with you.
  3. At the store, the measuring that will be done on your feet is only to get you in the ballpark for the correct shoe size.
  4. Start by standing up; never measure while sitting. You want the full weight of your body, with the pack on, to put the same pressure on your feet to spread them out as will happen while walking. That alone will increase the volume and size of your feet.
  5. Make sure those 'Camino' socks are on your feet; if you wear socks with liners while walking, do the same thing at the store.
  6. While standing, have someone near to you that you can use to steady yourself. With the measuring device on the ground, step onto the instrument and center all of your weight onto the foot being measured. Do the same for the other foot.
  7. Start with that size, but be aware that both the width and the length need to feel like there is adequate room for your feet. Ideally, like Goldilocks, everything will be just right. But, don't count on it. Be picky.
  8. If you have special insoles or orthotics, put them into any shoe you try on as they will take up space inside the shoe.
  9. When you find what you think will fit you well, you will need to see if your toes have enough clearance. Toes should not be able to be forced to the front of the shoe and touch the shoe. Not even a little. If they do, long walking and downhill grades on the trail or path or road will traumatize the bed of the nail, and that is when toenails can blacken and fall off.
  10. With your shoes tied securely, but not too tight, walk around the store with your pack on. Go up stairs and down stairs, scuff the shoes to the floor so that your feet are forced to do any movement they will do and see if your toes so much as butterfly kiss the front of the shoe. Kick the front of the shoe into a post or stair or wall or someone's shin.... does that make any of your toes touch the front of the shoe? That goes for all the little piggies.
  11. Next, pay attention to the width of the shoe. It shouldn't feel snug on the sides and there should be no rubbing or pressure points at all. They will not go away with "break in". They will create soreness, pain, and blistering. Even if it seems to be tolerable, it is like water torture; as your feet are continually exposed to those pressure points your feet will break down against them bit by bit, and bruising, blisters, and soreness will follow.
  12. You may need to go up a size to a size and a half in length, and go with a wider width to avoid those things I mentioned above. The notion that one avoids blisters by wearing snug footwear has been shown to do just the opposite.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF
what Worked for me was buying the shoe version of my MID boots; in my case the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX. This kept everything the same for footbed, last, insole, flex, etc and because the sizing was the same I didn’t need to change the socks I use. I’m sure it is not always feasible to find related boots/shoes but with yours this could be a solution. Good luck.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
I switched from Salomon Hiking shoes to Ahern HOKAS train runners 1 size up with 2 pairs of wool socks (inner leightweight) and outer (thicker). I’ve worn the HOKAS now over 1000 km with my custom made orthotics and my plantar fasciitis and knee pain have disappeared.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I find this a very individual thing! I only wear wigwam tube Soxs with my trail runners, both in summer and winter...don’t need more. No blisters but we prepare before going and very rarely do more than 25 Km per day...averaging around 16km per day. We walk enough on paved streets at home that we do not have to adjust to road hiking when we arrive. We only do one lubricating of the feet in the morning and rarely take our shoes off. I think we also walk slowly so we have less friction than some of the speedsters. In short, no matter what is recommended...and there is already many brands that have been previously recommended,
IMO a trial and error or success...approach before you depart is best.
 
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josephmcclain

Active Member
Before my Camino Francés I would have doubted your decision, but afterwards due to the fantastic experience I had with my HOKA’s I would say you are right on. And, yes, use your merino wool socks over the thin inner sock, lots of lubrication and watching out for hot spots. I used injini socks with the toes and loved them. Just getting ready today to buy a new pair of HOKAs for the Camino Primitivo in May! I originally used the HOKA Cliftons, but am now switching to the HOKA Bondi since it has a wider foot bed and even more abundant cushioning. I buy them a half size larger than I would normally consider. Walked the Francés without blisters which I considered a miracle.
 

mishlove

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués...April/May (2014)
Camino Ingles..........Sept. (2015)
Any comments on the HOKA's not being waterproof/resistant?
 

Camino Chris

One step forward...
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I loved my Hoka One One's on the Le Puy route last June. I didn't have enough rain to know if they were waterproof, but on previous caminos I always had lightweight, mesh top trail runners. I didn't really care when I got them wet as they dried fast and never had blisters even when rain water squished out with every step!
 

josephmcclain

Active Member
Any comments on the HOKA's not being waterproof/resistant?
You know, I got into a lot of rain. I used knee high gaiters that covered almost all of the lace up area and found that I was totally fine. I did not wade through big puddles in general. They dried out marvelously at night. NOW, I have just purchased a pair of waterproof HOKA hiking shoes, low cut and am trying them out on trial hikes. I got them because I am walking the Primitivo in May and think I may rain onto a lot of water. And I was was curious about them. I think they are good!
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
You know, I got into a lot of rain. I used knee high gaiters that covered almost all of the lace up area and found that I was totally fine. I did not wade through big puddles in general. They dried out marvelously at night. NOW, I have just purchased a pair of waterproof HOKA hiking shoes, low cut and am trying them out on trial hikes. I got them because I am walking the Primitivo in May and think I may rain onto a lot of water. And I was was curious about them. I think they are good!
Which ones did you settle on, Joseph? How are they feeling and performing? I was surprised at how much I like the Hoka shoes ..as long as their in a wide :)
 

josephmcclain

Active Member
Which ones did you settle on, Joseph? How are they feeling and performing? I was surprised at how much I like the Hoka shoes ..as long as their in a wide :)
Well, I walked the Francés in a pair HOKA Cliftons and then afterwards bought a pair of Bondis which I like even better than the Cliftons. Thicker padding and wider toe bed. Now I have bought the low cut hiking boots and am trying them out on practice runs here in Mexico before the Primitivo in May. Amazing shoes
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Well, I walked the Francés in a pair HOKA Cliftons and then afterwards bought a pair of Bondis which I like even better than the Cliftons. Thicker padding and wider toe bed. Now I have bought the low cut hiking boots and am trying them out on practice runs here in Mexico before the Primitivo in May. Amazing shoes
I really like my Bondi 6. . . and the Bondi 5 before that. I had been using New Balance 940 (I think they are now discontinued) and the Leadvilles (also d/c'd). I agree that they are great shoes for my feet. Thankfully, the Bondi comes in wide width sizes, too.

My son backpacks in the Hokka One One Speedgoat's.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
Moving from boots to trail runners has been great for me. I also have (like you) a regime of double socks (1 injinji liner + a cushioned Darn Tough sock) and a thick layer of cream (but I use gewohl instead of Vaseline).

Re the size...you will know how much your feet swell up or not. That won’t be any different in trail runners as it was in boots.

So take your two pairs of socks to the store with you and pick your trail runners in the same way you would do boots.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I've said it before on here, but no matter what shoe or boot or sock combination a prospective pilgrim decides upon, you still should/need to test it out on anywhere from a 5-10 km walk. A few of them. No other way to know if it works. Walking across the REI shoppe in them just doesn't cut it.
 

Moorwalker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
none yet
I have super wide feet and an achilles problem that means I can't wear low cut boots (high boots are fine but not easy to find esepcially in smaller sizes), so it's almost impossible to find shoes that I can even get my feet into. I ended up walking in sandals by default in most conditions.
 

petitewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 fall), Camino Portuguese (fall 2017)
I Wear Altra Lone peak trail runners a full size larger with the two socks (liner and Smartwool) and vaseline regime. Never had a blister!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018) Via Francigena Italy Sept (2018)
I switched from Salomons to Altras right before I started the CF. I walked the CF in Timps and the VF in Lonepeak 4 mids and could not be happier. I only noticed the zero drop for the first walk and never after that. My wife also walked the VF in the Lonepeaks and had no issues even with a foot that swells twice it’s size every day
 

josephmcclain

Active Member
Any comments on the HOKA's not being waterproof/resistant?
Honestly I had no problem and encountered plenty of rain. I had knee high gaiters that covered the laces of my shoes and was fine. The shoes dry so quickly without problem. Having said that for the Primitivo this year I am trying the HOKA water proof low cut hiking shoes. So far I like them very much and have not had problems with sweating and moisture in them. We will see. I am going to carry another pair of HOKAs as my rest shoe and will change to them for walking if necessary. They are very light. Lighter than the sandals I used for evenings on the Francés
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Honestly I had no problem and encountered plenty of rain. I had knee high gaiters that covered the laces of my shoes and was fine. The shoes dry so quickly without problem. Having said that for the Primitivo this year I am trying the HOKA water proof low cut hiking shoes. So far I like them very much and have not had problems with sweating and moisture in them. We will see. I am going to carry another pair of HOKAs as my rest shoe and will change to them for walking if necessary. They are very light. Lighter than the sandals I used for evenings on the Francés
Hi, Joseph; Is the second pair of Hoka the same shoe, or a different model? I don't know if it would work for you, but instead of shoe or sandal, I just carry an extra set of insoles. The extra insoles are usually just the ones which came with the shoe since I use a third party insole for walking.

I find that the whatever trail runner or running shoe I use for Camino or backpacking is comfortable enough that I never have felt the need to swap footwear at the end of the day. I'll remove my 'walking' insoles, if any moisture is sitting in the shoe I'll wipe it out.

For going to shower or do some camp/camino chores, I'll slip on my DIY 1 ounce sandals, or go barefoot, and let the shoes air out a bit. Sometimes I'll also get off my feet for a bit before going out to wander the town and have dinner.

Anyway, whenever I get ready for end of the day exploring/eating/sightseeing, I put on a fresh pair of socks, slip in my extra insoles, and am good to go. At bedtime, the extra insoles get packed away with everything else in preparation for the next morning's departure. My 'walking' insoles sit atop my shoes so they can be quickly slipped into the shoes after I get up.

This may not be the approach you wish to take, but I thought I'd pass it along just in case. :)

This is a picture of of what my do-it-yourself sandals loo like (this is someone else's photo, but mine look basically the same). They are made with a closed cell mat used for under a sleeping bag; the kind you can find in a place like Wal-mart or Target, etc.

52454
 

josephmcclain

Active Member
Hi, Joseph; Is the second pair of Hoka the same shoe, or a different model? I don't know if it would work for you, but instead of shoe or sandal, I just carry an extra set of insoles. The extra insoles are usually just the ones which came with the shoe since I use a third party insole for walking.

I find that the whatever trail runner or running shoe I use for Camino or backpacking is comfortable enough that I never have felt the need to swap footwear at the end of the day. I'll remove my 'walking' insoles, if any moisture is sitting in the shoe I'll wipe it out.

For going to shower or do some camp/camino chores, I'll slip on my DIY 1 ounce sandals, or go barefoot, and let the shoes air out a bit. Sometimes I'll also get off my feet for a bit before going out to wander the town and have dinner.

Anyway, whenever I get ready for end of the day exploring/eating/sightseeing, I put on a fresh pair of socks, slip in my extra insoles, and am good to go. At bedtime, the extra insoles get packed away with everything else in preparation for the next morning's departure. My 'walking' insoles sit atop my shoes so they can be quickly slipped into the shoes after I get up.

This may not be the approach you wish to take, but I thought I'd pass it along just in case. :)

This is a picture of of what my do-it-yourself sandals loo like (this is someone else's photo, but mine look basically the same). They are made with a closed cell mat used for under a sleeping bag; the kind you can find in a place like Wal-mart or Target, etc.

View attachment 52454
Well, the second pair would be a pair HOKA Bondis which I wear on a daily basis around here. The others are the low cut hiking shoes with which I was very cautious about liking them, but they are proving to be fine and good to walk in. Thanks for the tips! Actually, with the HOKAs I have found myself more comfortable with their own insole rather than several I have tried. I found that surprising!
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Well, the second pair would be a pair HOKA Bondis which I wear on a daily basis around here. The others are the low cut hiking shoes with which I was very cautious about liking them, but they are proving to be fine and good to walk in. Thanks for the tips! Actually, with the HOKAs I have found myself more comfortable with their own insole rather than several I have tried. I found that surprising!
Since I wear the Bondi's as my trail shoes, the extra insoles I take are the ones that come with the Bondi. I agree, they are decently comfortable, and I could use them as a 'walking' insole if needed.
 

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