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Durability of shoes

Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#1
I'm training for the Portuguese Camino (Porto to Finisterre and Muxia) for October of this year. I'm walking 5 to 8 miles a day with my backpack on, but also including occasional back to back days of longer distances, 10 t0 12 miles so far. My training has been primarily on the indoor track at the gym, because the weather outside here is dangerously hot. In late August and September, I'll get outside and take some long hikes on hilly terrain. My question has to do with the Hoka One One's I've decided to wear. They are the W Challenger ATR 3 model. I'm wondering if the shoes will hold up for all the training, followed by nearly 200 miles on the Camino, or whether perhaps I should get a second pair to wear on the Camino or to alternate now with the ones I have. Any advice?
 

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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#2
I walked the same route you are planning, with the HOO Bondi 3. It has a very porous sole and by the time I hit Porto the heal on one foot was completely smooth, with some smooth spots elsewhere. So my feeling is, because i think the Challenger has the same type of sole, that you will go through the thread well before you get on the plane. Are you already seeing signs the the thread is disappearing?

HOO now makes a few models with Vibram sole. You may want to look into those. The Mafate is one, but it is too narrow for me for long dostance walking -only good for the dog run.

To make the shoes as light as they are, somethings have to give. The sturdiness of the material, sole and upper, certainly gets affected.
 

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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#7
Start with a new pair, Hoka's are a performance shoe like running shoes, usually after 200-300 miles the cushioning is compressed and not effective and the sole will be worn down as well.
I agree with this in general, although I find it varies from maker to maker. My ASICS last a bit longer than this - perhaps around 500-800 km before they have to be retired and used as training shoes. But Keens and Merrell shoes with the manufacturers sole composition have not had a very long life. The pair of Keens that I wore last year did very little work beforehand, and still only lasted from SJPP to Najera before one of the soles had worn through the outer layer.

One advantage this style of fabric/mesh construction does have is that it requires almost no bedding in - it conforms to the contours of the foot pretty much straight out of the box. So buying a new pair just before you walk is not the problem it might be for a leather boot.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#8
I walked the same route you are planning, with the HOO Bondi 3. It has a very porous sole and by the time I hit Porto the heal on one foot was completely smooth, with some smooth spots elsewhere. So my feeling is, because i think the Challenger has the same type of sole, that you will go through the thread well before you get on the plane. Are you already seeing signs the the thread is disappearing?

HOO now makes a few models with Vibram sole. You may want to look into those. The Mafate is one, but it is too narrow for me for long dostance walking -only good for the dog run.

To make the shoes as light as they are, somethings have to give. The sturdiness of the material, sole and upper, certainly gets affected.
Thanks. That's the information I was looking for. What did you find in a trail shoe that has a wide enough toe box. The HOO Challenger works for me, because I'm wearing a long size for me. But if the sole wears out that quickly, I need to find an alternative.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#9
I agree with this in general, although I find it varies from maker to maker. My ASICS last a bit longer than this - perhaps around 500-800 km before they have to be retired and used as training shoes. But Keens and Merrell shoes with the manufacturers sole competition have not had a very long life. The pair of Keens that I wore last year did very little work beforehand, and still only lasted from SJPP to Najera before one of the soles had worn through the outer layer.

One advantage this style of fabric/mesh construction does have is that it requires almost no bedding in - it conforms to the contours of the foot pretty much straight out of the box. So buying a new pair just before you walk is not the problem it might be for a leather boot.
Thanks so much. That's good to know. I could have a new pair ready to wear when I start the Camino and just use the ones I have now for training.
 
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jo webber

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 9th 2017
#10
Can you find a European shoe or any sold in Spain, comfortable right out of the box, that can be replaced on the Camino?
 

hotelmedicis

Commercial Interests
Camino(s) past & future
CF: 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012 (part), 2017
Finisterre: 2017
VDLP: 2012, 2018
#11
I found that I can extend the lifespan of my shoes (Merrell Moab Ventilators, non waterproof) by using Dr. Sholl's Active Gel Insoles. Any decrease in comfort due to compression of the shoe after a few hundred miles is mitigated by the insole. They are very comfortable and I have gotten well over 1000 km out of my shoes. Just a thought. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#12
I found that I can extend the lifespan of my shoes (Merrell Moab Ventilators, non waterproof) by using Dr. Sholl's Active Gel Insoles. Any decrease in comfort due to compression of the shoe after a few hundred miles is mitigated by the insole. They are very comfortable and I have gotten well over 1000 km out of my shoes. Just a thought. :)
Thanks. I do use Superfeet insoles, and they help.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#13
Thanks. That's the information I was looking for. What did you find in a trail shoe that has a wide enough toe box. The HOO Challenger works for me, because I'm wearing a long size for me. But if the sole wears out that quickly, I need to find an alternative.
I have worn Salomon Ultra 2GTX. No problem with the toe box, but also not the comfort of the HOO.

HOO has come up with a number of models in regukar and wide, bit apparently none with the sturdier longer lasting Vibram sole.

Have you ever tried the Altras? Met a person on the Camino who LOVED hers, and heard the same from a few other people. Went to try them and they are super comfy, you feel as if toes are completely free. But, these shoes have no angle, they are refered to as "zero drop" and I need to check with my podiatrist first necause of the Plantar Fasciitis.

I missed my HOO when walking VDLP and considered buying some in Spain. Only a couple of retailers, so would have had to have them shipped to a post office/albergue, so I just kept on with my Salomons. HOO are special ;).
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#14
I found that I can extend the lifespan of my shoes (Merrell Moab Ventilators, non waterproof) by using Dr. Sholl's Active Gel Insoles. Any decrease in comfort due to compression of the shoe ...
That is not the issue with HOO, the thread is.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#15
[QUOTE="Singingheart, post: 535791, member: 41031"But if the sole wears out that quickly, I need to find an alternative.[/QUOTE]

Start walking with a just broken into pair and you'll be fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#16
I have worn Salomon Ultra 2GTX. No problem with the toe box, but also not the comfort of the HOO.

HOO has come up with a number of models in regukar and wide, bit apparently none with the sturdier longer lasting Vibram sole.

Have you ever tried the Altras? Met a person on the Camino who LOVED hers, and heard the same from a few other people. Went to try them and they are super comfy, you feel as if toes are completely free. But, these shoes have no angle, they are refered to as "zero drop" and I need to check with my podiatrist first necause of the Plantar Fasciitis.

I missed my HOO when walking VDLP and considered buying some in Spain. Only a couple of retailers, so would have had to have them shipped to a post office/albergue, so I just kept on with my Salomons. HOO are special ;).
Thank you again. I've tried so many different shoes without finding the comfort I've found in the HOO Challenger. Today I tried on the HOO Speedgoat 2, which has great reviews, at REI. They have a vibrum sole, which would be good. But they just don't have quite the wonderful width in the toe box, and when I put my Challenger's back on, my feet gave an almost audible sigh of relief. So I think I'll order a second pair of the Challenger's and save them to wear on the Camino, using the ones I have now for training. I'll surely be walking more than 200 miles in my training, so I should be able to see how they've held up. I'm a little resigned to having pain in my toes though, because I had so much pain on the FC, wearing Keen boots. It took a couple of weeks for the pain to set in, but I took 45 days, and most of that was with a lot of toe pain. I survived on Ibuprofen and Tylenol 2. I'm hoping not to repeat that.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Portugues 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#17
If you found your ideal shoes to walk in - just stock up on them for the pilgrim years to come! Buen Camino, SY
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#18
But if the sole wears out that quickly, I need to find an alternative.
It would be rare for soles that start to be less compressible or wear through the outer layer to be unusable. The change won't be sudden, and unless the sole separates, just keep wearing them, noting they won't give the same bounce or traction they might have when new.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#19
It would be rare for soles that start to be less compressible or wear through the outer layer to be unusable. The change won't be sudden, and unless the sole separates, just keep wearing them, noting they won't give the same bounce or traction they might have when new.
Thanks for the good advice. :)
 

Priscilla NC

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
#20
I found Altra Lone Peaks to be my best shoe. I used one pair for training and took a new pair with me. I did around 600 miles, and threw them away when I returned. The soles were wearing down too much.

The REI folks said that many trail shoes only last a few hundred miles. I hike a lot year round, and have found this to be true.

Buen Camino!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#22
I was told the same in several shoes stores, during my hunt for shoes. It just is.
Nothing ever 'just is':(. In this case, it is the compromise the manufacturers make to reduce weight while doing their best to increase comfort on footwear that is increasingly used on paved and other hard surfaces. 'Old fashioned' hiking boots were optimised for use on tracks and trails where grip on soil and rocky surfaces was much more important, rock was likely to be the prevalent hard surface and encountered somewhat less frequently than paved road is today on the camino, and the investment in good boots was expected to last for years, not a single Camino. 'Modern' trainer style shoes don't do any of these things, and the trail runners try and do the best of both worlds without necessarily being good at either.

Here are some basics from three of my favourites:

a. ASICS GT-2000: Mesh and fabric upper with proprietary outer and mid-sole. Tread depth of 1 mm on the wearing surface, which is about 5 mm thick. Wear surface is 'soft', but harder than the underlying compression layers. This improves grip on pavement surfaces such as asphalt and concrete, but not on loose surfaces. Their predecessors have generally lasted one or a little more seasons (~800 km) as my competition shoes before being relegated to training shoes.

b. Scarpa ZG (I forget the model name, but a suede and fabric boot, lined upper with a Vibram sole and reasonably compressible midsole). Tread depth of 7 mm on a wear surface about 12 mm thick. Wear surface is hard (Vibram) and tread pattern gives good grip on loose surfaces and rock. Now four years old, used regularly for day walks in the bush with a minimum of use on pavement, and likely to last several more years at least.

c. Scarpa SL M3: All leather boot with a lined upper, a Vibram outer sole and mildly compressible midsole. Tread depth of 7 mm on an outer that is about 15 mm thick. This is not a boot that you want to wear for any length of time on asphalt and concrete, but brilliant for any walking off road. Too heavy for competition use, and probably anathema to anyone who wants lightweight footwear and doesn't need the protection and longevity of a good boot. Now over five years old, used for the occasional multi-day bush walk, and will outlast me at at that level of usage.
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#23
But they just don't have quite the wonderful width in the toe box, and when I put my Challenger's back on, my feet gave an almost audible sigh of relief. So I think I'll order a second pair of the Challenger's and save them to wear on the Camino, using the ones I have now for training.

I survived on Ibuprofen and Tylenol 2. I'm hoping not to repeat that.
Excellent decison on the purchase of a second pair. You like them, you can afford it, go for it.

You mention having had a lot of pain before. Have you consulted a podiatrist? I walked 1.5 Caminos in terrible pain, not understanding how others walked on so happily. Switched to Crocs slip-on sandals! Turns out I have flat feet and that's what was causing the pain.

But you should still my evening pill cocktail, plus the morning add ons! I even took a picture it is so funny: anti inflammatory, muscle relaxant, pain killer, the works. :cool:o_O
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#24
I did around 600 miles, and threw them away when I returned. The soles were wearing down too much.!
Podiatrist has me throw my super sturdy Salomons after 600km, so 600 miles on Altras is very good. And it's not just the tread, but the rest of the internal structure.
 

JMac56

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2015).CF+Fis(2016).CP:Porto-SdC-Mux-Fis(2017).CF:Leon-SdC(2017).CF+Mux+Fis(2018).
#25
Thanks. That's the information I was looking for. What did you find in a trail shoe that has a wide enough toe box. The HOO Challenger works for me, because I'm wearing a long size for me. But if the sole wears out that quickly, I need to find an alternative.
If you need a wider toe box I suggest you look at the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 (or the just released 3.5). I wore them in April on the same Camino you are planning, and then threw in León to SdC in May because I felt like some more walking. If the "zero drop" design works for you they are very good. Buen Camino.
 

Walsh Camino

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012 and 2014, Norte June 2017, Primitivo July 2017, Portuguese May 2018
#26
Thanks. That's the information I was looking for. What did you find in a trail shoe that has a wide enough toe box. The HOO Challenger works for me, because I'm wearing a long size for me. But if the sole wears out that quickly, I need to find an alternative.
I just complete the Norte/Primitivo in a pair of Altra Lone Peak trail runners. They have a wide toe box but also fit my narrow heel. The sole is "vibram-like". I used Ininji toe sock liners and Thorlo Experia socks and did not get a single blister.
Buen Camino,
Judy
 

Priscilla NC

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
#27
If the "zero drop" design works for you they are very good. Buen Camino.
I need zero drop, but I have a friend who does not normally wear these. She got a pair of Altra Lone Peaks and had some trouble at first. Her podiatrist suggested that she break them in gradually, starting with small increments of time in the shoes and increasing daily.

They now work for her with no problems.
 
#28
I'm training for the Portuguese Camino (Porto to Finisterre and Muxia) for October of this year. I'm walking 5 to 8 miles a day with my backpack on, but also including occasional back to back days of longer distances, 10 t0 12 miles so far. My training has been primarily on the indoor track at the gym, because the weather outside here is dangerously hot. In late August and September, I'll get outside and take some long hikes on hilly terrain. My question has to do with the Hoka One One's I've decided to wear. They are the W Challenger ATR 3 model. I'm wondering if the shoes will hold up for all the training, followed by nearly 200 miles on the Camino, or whether perhaps I should get a second pair to wear on the Camino or to alternate now with the ones I have. Any advice?
My walking boots lasts at least 2000km
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#29
@Singingheart , it just occured to me that the HOO Tor trail shoe and boots are Vibram soled. I have not tried them (can't find them here at home), but you may have better luck.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#31
Re soles and Caminos with lots of asphalt

Got back last week after finishing the Norte (Gijón - Finisterre), walking the Caminho Portugês da Costa from Porto and the Inglés from Ferrol (about 840 km).

My Salomon trail runners were only a few weeks old before I left and I had only walked about 50 km in them. Prior to starting the Inglés I looked at the soles of my Salomon trail runners (€130 in Holland) and to my surprise I saw that the tread was quite worn out, in addition the inside of the heals had holes as well as the mesh on the outside of my right foot. I would have thrown them out in Santiago but decided to bring them back to the store instead (they are being sent back to Salomon although store doesn't expect a replacement or refund as these are signs of usage even though only for three weeks intensely).

I picked these particular shoes as Ascics running shoes which I usually wear have an even less sturdy sole. Advice to myself (and others) is to inquire about the particular soles, especially if you are planning doing Caminos where there is lots of asphalt or other hard surfaces as the Norte and Portugês. Vibram is much tougher.
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
#32
I'm training for the Portuguese Camino (Porto to Finisterre and Muxia) for October of this year. I'm walking 5 to 8 miles a day with my backpack on, but also including occasional back to back days of longer distances, 10 t0 12 miles so far. My training has been primarily on the indoor track at the gym, because the weather outside here is dangerously hot. In late August and September, I'll get outside and take some long hikes on hilly terrain. My question has to do with the Hoka One One's I've decided to wear. They are the W Challenger ATR 3 model. I'm wondering if the shoes will hold up for all the training, followed by nearly 200 miles on the Camino, or whether perhaps I should get a second pair to wear on the Camino or to alternate now with the ones I have. Any advice?
I just retired my first pair of boots, with a tear in my eye. I have often joked that I want to be buried with them :) They were leather with Vibram sole. I calculate they have taken me more than 3,000 km, with a couple of new heels along the way. Sigh, farewell old friends.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales [2018]
#33
I just retired my first pair of boots, with a tear in my eye. I have often joked that I want to be buried with them :) They were leather with Vibram sole. I calculate they have taken me more than 3,000 km, with a couple of new heels along the way. Sigh, farewell old friends.
I am going to plant red geraniums in mine as a tribute to all those marvelous little villages where such plantings were a feast to the eye .
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2013
Camino Fisterra/Muxía 2013
Camino Inglés 2013
Camino del Salvador 2014
Camino Primitivo 2014
Caminho Portugues 2015
Camino del Norte 2016
#34
I have walked in Teva Tirra sandals and they have an shock absorber in the heel area of the sole. It is totally work out after 360 km. So last time I had one pair extra in my bag. Oh how nice it was to change pair halfways on Norte. They were quite worn out under the show as well. https://photos.app.goo.gl/tzTtF5zctoOKLMQh1
 
Camino(s) past & future
GR65(2008)Camino Frances(2011)both(2013

Hoping for Del Norte in 2018
#35
I'm training for the Portuguese Camino (Porto to Finisterre and Muxia) for October of this year. I'm walking 5 to 8 miles a day with my backpack on, but also including occasional back to back days of longer distances, 10 t0 12 miles so far. My training has been primarily on the indoor track at the gym, because the weather outside here is dangerously hot. In late August and September, I'll get outside and take some long hikes on hilly terrain. My question has to do with the Hoka One One's I've decided to wear. They are the W Challenger ATR 3 model. I'm wondering if the shoes will hold up for all the training, followed by nearly 200 miles on the Camino, or whether perhaps I should get a second pair to wear on the Camino or to alternate now with the ones I have. Any advice?
I did 500 miles on the CF wearing walking shoes and carrying a pack and they stood up to it all the way and beyond. It is not tough underfoot Just long
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Porto-santiago
#37
I am going to plant red geraniums in mine as a tribute to all those marvelous little villages where such plantings were a feast to the eye .
Great Idea! I remember seeing this at Casa Fernanda ( a truly magical place ) as well. I should do this with my tennis shoes, rather than continue to wear them.
 

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