Yes, this is a personal decision -- but here's some information to help you make yours. If you're starting from Lisbon, I'd estimate that 85% of the way to Porto is on pavement. From Porto on, it's less, but there's still a lot of pavement. From Lisbon to Porto, and from Tui to Santiago there aren't really any huge ascents or lots of uneven paths (I haven't walked from Porto to the border).
I know that the more pavement there is, and the less uneven the terrain, the more shoes seem to be indicated over boots. But I, like Michael, always wear boots (low boots, but more substantial than shoes would be).
Hi, i walked in may last year from porto. Some parts of the way were under several inches of water, some parts involved fairly loose stones, however mostly the paths/roads were good.
I walked it in sandals so that's possible but I wouldn't recommend it. I would always go with whatever you find the most comfortable in footwear.
I was wondering about this too. I have a pair of heavy duty hiking boots with great ankle support - but they're tremendously heavy! I've done a 7 day hike in them and though I didn't get any blisters, they didn't breath very well (dust-clogged gortex pores - I read in someone's post that this was like walking in plastic bags - soooo true!) and I don't relish the thought of carrying them in my backpack around airports and trains. Instead I'm going to try good walking shoes and sandals, that way I can switch back and forth if I need to walk through water... or maybe on water? :wink: Cath
I walked from Porto in June and also encountered a lot of rain/standing water. At least two days I changed my wringing wet socks twice during the day. No matter what you wear be prepared with extra dry socks.