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I just thought I would put in my two bobs worth about footwear. I wore a pair of columbia lightweight walking shoes-the goretex things. They were great on the via de la plata-there are hardly any rough rocky sections. The fellow I met up with wore walking sandals. Some have recommended leather boots but I did encounter a stream or two and got my shoes a bit wet and it did rain one afternoon and I wonder if leather would take a long time to dry out-and then be stiff and uncomfortable.
My real aim in posting this topic is that I'm not sure whether its that important what you wear as long as you wear them in and most importantly do plenty of walking before hand. Most of us do not do that much walking these days so to expect the feet to put up with walking up to 30-35kms per day every day for 40 days is a bit much. I met a few people with all the top notch gear but had to stop because they succumbed to: a torn cartilege, infected blister (trying to do 50kms every day!) and a swollen knee. I did quite a lot of walking-up to 16kms per day for 4 days a week. Having the time to do this before you go may be a problem but I think it is essential to avoid dissapointment on the camino.
Something I didn't do was practice with a pack-mine only weighed 6kgs but it still came as a bit of a shock and I don't know about anyone else but I never got used to it!
Anyway that's my suggestion-walk plenty before the camino, it's just like training for a marathon-you have to acclimatise
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
omar504 said:
Having the time to do this before you go may be a problem but I think it is essential to avoid dissapointment on the camino.

Or maybe not try to walk 30-50 km per day if you are not used to it.... that will help too... :)

I work every day, and in the weekends there is always things you need to do in the house and garden. I would never have time to walk even 16 km every day. I was lucky enough to spend six weeks vacation on the camino this year. With my speed and walking length every day, I didn't have the time to walk every meter of it, but I still got more than 500 km. AND I walked mostly between 15 and 25 km. And I had NO problem with my feet.

That's another way to do it. No one HAVE to walk 30 - 50 km every day.

And you get to enjoy the scenery, take pictures, take good breaks and air your feet and so on.

Liv :)
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I am planning to do some short training walks (10km) with all the gear I intend to carry, plus a couple of 20 km walks in the same gear but in the hills.

I have well-used leather trekking boots that worked well for 2-week treks in Nepal, and I plan to use them on the Camino, unless I hear consistent negative messages re weight and difficulty in drying leather boots overnight.

I am walking in May/June, when there may be 10 wet days per month, so handling rain is important. I guess the question is the intensity and duration of rainy periods.

Liv Marit
I agree totally, the camino is not a race but my point about preparation may apply more to the VDLP where on 2 occasions I had no option but to walk 40kms in one day because the one and only accommodation available was closed. My average was around 20-25kms, with a couple of 15-20 kms days. I still think it's a lot to ask of the body so preparation is advisable to avoid dissapointment later
Everyone I met with foot problems either had trainers on or walking boots the same size as their home shoes. Doesn't work - they need to be one size larger to allow for flex and swelling (and your feet will swell).

Good tip is not to buy your boots until late in the afternoon, after you have walked miles doing other shopping - they will be bigger then!
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Am tempted to buy some bigger shoes - when you say a size larger than normal 9 - do you mean 9.5 or 10

And I'm certainly a great believer in changing socks frequently
Hard to say - I'm a 10 (UK) and wear an 11 (actually 45 to 46 in France) - old and ugly now but still going (like me), not quite the thing appearing from under a robe but they are comfortable. Proper socks are good things... I don't know how it all works for other people really - some people find it an uncomfortable feeling when their feet have room to spread and climbers will tell you that close fitting is necessary for support (but we don't climb mountains or ice skate in them) ... do the afternoon thing and preferably when you have been walking and take your own great socks with you ... you could take a book with you and wear them for an hour or so!

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