A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Different footwear for different caminos?

2020 Camino Guides

Malcolm

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
There seem to be some quite strong opinions out there on the footwear question, but I wondered if anyone has used different footwear for different routes to Santiago. For example, you might have worn running shoes on the Camino Portugues, but walking boots on the Primitivo. Any comments?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
For the past two years I have worn the same footwear for my Camino walking and everyday wear at home. Cheap leather safety boots as sold for construction work. Camino Ingles in January, Camino Portugues in February, Camino Primitivo in April, and in the past two weeks 560km across Sweden and Norway including sections of deep snow - sum total of two small blisters. Same boots used for a summer 1900km Canterbury to Rome with temperatures up to 38C. Again no blister problems until I bought some poor quality socks part way through. My feeling is that once you have found footwear which works well for you you should not change it without good reason. When my last pair of boots fell apart in the three days before reaching Rome one of the first things I did was to find a near-identical pair in a hardware store for 30 euro. On my feet as I type this :)
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
My feeling is that once you have found footwear which works well for you you should not change it without good reason.
Completely agreed. Whether boots or shoes, the principle remains the same.

I've worn several generations of Brooks Cascadia shoes for about 10 years now, hiking all kinds of back country in the Rockies, as well as the Camino Frances in 2013. I wanted to get footwear with a bit heavier sole for this summer's Camino because my feet were very sore after the accumulated daily punishment of walking, so I found a similar shoe from Adidas that had a thicker sole with greater cushioning. In most every other respect, they were identical, right down to the insoles. But, because of the soles, when standing on the same pointy sharp rock, the Adidas were much more comfortable. Mission accomplished!

BUT, on repeated 15+ mile training hikes, I got more blisters in three weeks with those shoes than I got in the entire 10 years with the Cascadias. I can't explain the reason for such a big difference in result, but I'm not going to argue with reality. So, tomorrow night, I have a new pair of Cascadias waiting at the shoe store. I'll take sore feet over blisters every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

And, to those who argue that we don't really need to train to walk the Camino because we've been walking every day of our life, it's the little things that don't show up in daily walking that do show up in spades when repeatedly walking long distances. If I hadn't properly trained with my gear, I would have discovered this problem too late, and suffered needlessly because of it.
 
Last edited:
M

Mark Lee

Guest
No matter what footwear you decide upon, one thing to keep in mind when choosing is that the Caminos Frances is comprised of quite a bit of improved surfaces such as blacktop, concrete, gravel, hard packed stone, etc. It's not all dirt lanes and woodland soil. What works well on unimproved may be killer to your feet when you hit that hard concrete/blacktop.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
Hi Malcolm, Normally I wear boots as I walk many kilometres with 10kg including food & water. One summer I walked in good ecco sandals but pebbles etc must be offloaded quickly.
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
There seem to be some quite strong opinions out there on the footwear question, but I wondered if anyone has used different footwear for different routes to Santiago. For example, you might have worn running shoes on the Camino Portugues, but walking boots on the Primitivo. Any comments?
Hi Malcolm,
I definitely agree that different footwear for surfaces could improve foot comfort.
Another factor to consider is the time of year - or at least the weather that goes along with it. I tend to prefer walking in boots because I generally walk in the very early spring when it's still really muddy. But if I were to walk the same path in the dry season, I think my boots would be way too hot.
 

Malcolm

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
For the record, I find myself more in the running shoe camp than in the walking boot camp (though it's just what seems to work marginally better for me - I'm not a running-shoe fundamentalist:)), but I've decided to do the Norte/Primitivo route next year, and from what I've read and pictures I've seen, the Primitivo can get quite muddy, which for me would tip the balance the other way. But, on the other hand, there seem to be plenty of hard surfaces between Irun and Oviedo. Hence my dilemma.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
My instincts is similar to what others have suggested. Stick with the footware that works for you. I had worn traditional leather boots (non gtx) for Frances and Norte with no issues whatsoever. Then for the vdlp, i experimented with Nike walking shows with disastrous consequences. When the show upper is not firm, feet moves left and right as well causing additional friction. And with the high temperature (40+c) and gtx layer overheating, sheared the skin under the ball area. Still recovering from it.

Some stages between Irun-Bilbao were just dirt roads, muddy and slippery (end of May). Some people were loosing their sneakers in the mud and falling. If you don't mind wet/muddy feet, definitely go with a good pair of running shoes.

Have you tried the Hoka One summit walking boots, it is a running shoes with eVent layer for waterproofing. Their trail shoes Mafate does not have waterproofing. Could be a good compromise for the wet Norte.
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)


Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 7 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 46 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 172 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 277 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 85 7.5%
  • July

    Votes: 22 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 25 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 325 28.6%
  • October

    Votes: 142 12.5%
  • November

    Votes: 15 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top