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Footwear for Porto to Valenca/Tui?

Dick & Kitty

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances by stages from 2015 to 2021
In mid-September, my husband and I plan to take the metro to Vilar do Pinheiro and begin walking the central route from there to Valenca/Tui. Between 2015 and 2021 (briefly delayed by the Pandemic), we walked the Camino Frances by stages. So we are generally knowledgeable about the various issues with Camino walking. We have already booked our accommodations, and we have most of what we need--equipment, clothing, shoes, guidebooks, apps, etc. But I wanted some advice on footwear. For most of Camino Frances, I wore hiking boots. I tried trail shoes once, but they weren't sufficiently sturdy or supportive. (Did I mention that I have very narrow, hard-to-fit feet and wobbly ankles?) But I am considering trying trail shoes once again--Asolos. Any advice from anyone about trail shoes vs. hiking boots for this part of the Portugues? Feel free to offer any other advice as well! Thanks!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I just completed the Camino Frances from SJPDP to Santiago. Wore MERRILL trail shoes the whole way. Apart from one minor blister, they were a god send. Then again, due to the temperatures in July, boots would have been a nightmare.
 
Thanks so much for the info! Unfortunately, I can't wear Merrill's or Salomon's because they are too wide for my foot. I thought parts of the Camino Frances were too rocky and uneven for trail shoes--at least for me. And I was definitely happy to have on good boots when we went through the pass on the Napoleonic Route from SJPDP. We hit a sleet storm--very slick and scary! But I am hopeful that the Asolo trail shoes will work. They fit great and are much lighter than my boots.

Congratulations on walking the entire Frances all at one time! So of course, you will now want to walk the Portugues, right?

Thanks,
Kitty
 
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I am a committed boot-wearer - pretty much year round at home as well as on Camino - but ‘trail shoe curious’.

There are a lot of cobbles on the Portuguese. I’m pleased I didn’t leave my boots at home.

Many (very many) will differ.
 
Thanks. Boots have always worked for me too. I would like to wear the Asolos, but if they don't work, I am in trouble. With really narrow feet, I can't just get another pair of shoes. And, of course, I don't want to carry any shoes (other than sandals) in my backpack!

Yes, I have heard about the cobblestones. Did you walk the Central or the Coastal?

Thanks,
Kitty
 
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Thanks. Boots have always worked for me too. I would like to wear the Asolos, but if they don't work, I am in trouble. With really narrow feet, I can't just get another pair of shoes. And, of course, I don't want to carry any shoes (other than sandals) in my backpack!

Yes, I have heard about the cobblestones. Did you walk the Central or the Coastal?

Thanks,
Kitty
Central.

I have wide feet and (unusually) wear Italian boots; Zamberlan, as rarely for Italian bookmakers they use an English last (which is wider) for the foot shape. Have you tried other Italian designs which tend to be narrower? Scarpa, for example? These are all expensive, but long-lasting options.
 
Thanks so much for the info! Unfortunately, I can't wear Merrill's or Salomon's because they are too wide for my foot. I thought parts of the Camino Frances were too rocky and uneven for trail shoes--at least for me. And I was definitely happy to have on good boots when we went through the pass on the Napoleonic Route from SJPDP. We hit a sleet storm--very slick and scary! But I am hopeful that the Asolo trail shoes will work. They fit great and are much lighter than my boots.

Congratulations on walking the entire Frances all at one time! So of course, you will now want to walk the Portugues, right?

Thanks,
Kitty
All planned already for next year in July with people I met on this one.
 
The route from Vilar to Tui is marvellous, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. The main consideration, as henrythedog has said, is that there’s a fair bit of cobbled paving. Since you’ve got wonky ankles, you might need to prioritise shoes with ankle support, but still lightweight. Otherwise, I found Mizuno Wave Riders ideal for this route.
Bom caminho,
Wes
 
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, I found Mizuno Wave Riders ideal for this route.
I wore the same, for the comfort. Just bought a new pair of the new model recently.

Haven't used Asolos to comment, sorry. There's more road and stone walking on that route than on the Frances, but if you are ok with walking on roads, you should be ok with cobblestones too.
 
of the Portugues? Feel free to offer any other advice as well! Thanks!
I walked in July in Boots. Even on higher grounds with dirt, foliage and gravel I would now choose Trailrunners. Or very lightweight walking shoes.

The only advantage of my boots: the 2 days of rain I had dry feet all the way! Many other walkers needed to change socks on the way and dry their shoes in the albergues.

HTH
 
Walked from Lisbon to SDC in May /June this year and am also a year round boot wearer. I usually wear Aku, an Italian brand, but I left it too late to order another pair (my third) from overseas so ended up with Scarpa which typically run narrow. The only issue I had was very tender soles of my feet from all the hard surfaces despite trying different innersoles along the way. My sister (met me in Porto) decided against her trusted boots and went with shoes - ended up having to take 4 days off with severe archilles tendonitis from the top of the back of her shoe aggravating the back of her heel. She managed to walk from Rubiares to Tui in socks and Birkenstocks then bought hiking sandels in Tui for the remainder.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
You will start out on cobble stone streets, from time to time on smooth paths or roads and again cobble stone and a stretch of rough trail. If you have tender feet and uncertain footing then I suggest shoes or boots that support your ankles. Also rubber tips on your poles if using them, keeps the tip from sinking into the cracks of the cobble stone.
 
I walked this last year (2022) in boots. This was the first time in over a decade of walking pilgrimage routes that I got blisters, more likely because I used a thicker insole than I have used in the past. I walked again this year in a different pair of boots without any problems.

You might miss some of the worst of the cobblestones closer to the centre of Porto, but you will find plenty elsewhere along the way. If you are already inclined to wear boots to give you more ankle stability, I presume you know techniques to ensure that the boot fits snugly around the top of the ankle.
 

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