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Help - possibly need new shoes

Luv2Lindy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Summer/Fall 2020 Camino
Doing the Camino Fances was a spontaneous decision so I didn’t have time to break in shoes. I bought a pair I got them a half size big and they fit well overall but are are now causing pain (I have a slight tailor bunion). There is hard plastic on that part of the shoe so I’m not sure it will ever break in. I’m not sure if I should push through or try to buy new shoes. Since I seem to have such trouble finding comfortable hiking shoes I’m thinking about wearing running shoes instead. Any thoughts? Also can anyone recommend a gear store for hiking shoes in Pamplona? Thanks for your help and opinions!
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
I had a pair of Merrell shoes that had a spot like that on each side. Just below the small toes. I took a pocket knife and carefully cut a small slit in the shoes at that exact spot. Enough to allow movement. Did the job. No more painful rubbing.
 

Luv2Lindy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Summer/Fall 2020 Camino
I had a pair of Merrell shoes that had a spot like that on each side. Just below the small toes. I took a pocket knife and carefully cut a small slit in the shoes at that exact spot. Enough to allow movement. Did the job. No more painful rubbing.
I was thinking of doing that. I have a few days to try it out before I start the Camino. I’ll give it a shot!
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I’m not sure if I should push through or try to buy new shoes. Since I seem to have such trouble finding comfortable hiking shoes I’m thinking about wearing running shoes instead.
I would not expect the shoe to ever "break in", so I think you need new ones that are comfortable from the start. There is a well known store in Pamplona called Caminoteca, and also a Decathlon.

Many people wear running shoes. I use Brooks Ghost 13 because they come in a women's wide and are the most comfortable footwear I have found - for my feet.

And there is nothing to lose in cutting a hole in the side of your shoe, and testing that. You have the Tevas as backup.
 

Luv2Lindy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Summer/Fall 2020 Camino
I would not expect the shoe to ever "break in", so I think you need new ones that are comfortable from the start. There is a well known store in Pamplona called Caminoteca, and also a Decathlon.

Many people wear running shoes. I use Brooks Ghost 13 because they come in a women's wide and are the most comfortable footwear I have found - for my feet.

And there is nothing to lose in cutting a hole in the side of your shoe, and testing that. You have the Tevas as backup.
Thanks very much for the store names. I have a couple of good options now so hopefully I won’t have to shell out more money for new shoes but if I do I’ll know where to go. Again, thanks!
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Since I seem to have such trouble finding comfortable hiking shoes I’m thinking about wearing running shoes instead. Any thoughts?
Yes.
As others have said, and I agree entirely: use your sandals and see how it goes. If they aren't working out, Caminotecha or Decathlon will have other options. Keen makes good sandals and shoes for people with wide feet and bunion challenges.
 

OnCamino

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015)
Le Puy Route (2016-2019)
HWF (2019)
Gebennensis (2020)
I had a pair of Merrell shoes that had a spot like that on each side. Just below the small toes. I took a pocket knife and carefully cut a small slit in the shoes at that exact spot. Enough to allow movement. Did the job. No more painful rubbing.
I think Merrell might do a wider fitting model. Meindl certainly do.
 
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OnCamino

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015)
Le Puy Route (2016-2019)
HWF (2019)
Gebennensis (2020)
You might want to also consider hiking sandals. I have walked my last few Caminos exclusively in sandals.
Do you not find that grit, stones, twigs, etc, get caught in the sandal? That happens to me when I walk in sandals, and I find it a right pain. And that's using several models and several brands.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Do you not find that grit, stones, twigs, etc, get caught in the sandal? That happens to me when I walk in sandals, and I find it a right pain. And that's using several models and several brands.
I'm another who does all my caminos now in sandals. I wear Echo Off-Roads - a size larger than normal - and I only occasionally get a stone which shakes out quite easily (they are open sandals). Having the sandals a bit longer than normal possibly helps to protect the front of my toes, my longest toe is a little way back from the front of the sole. I almost never get sticks in them.

The only time I'd consider going back to shoes would be on a winter camino. Although I have quite happily worn my sandals in snow, with waterproof socks.
 
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Camino Frances (March 2016)
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Camino Frances 2021
Teva's are great! Altra Olympus (trail runners) have a fantastic sole and are superwide - I use one size larger than normal and thin woolen hiking socks. I also struggle to find bunion-friendly footwear and switch between these two - fantastic!

I can recommend the pricey Darn tought socks - thin when warmer weather - thicker during winter

For winter and mountain hikes and winter camino I have used Hanwag Alta bunion - but I wore them out and have just received a new pair that I am currently breaking in (1 size too large), but I guess you will not find these special bunion version leather hiking boots in Pamplona/Spain.

Buen camino!
 
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Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
There are several good footwear shops in Pamplona. 2 years later right now I’m wearing a pair of hiking sandals I bought in Pamplona as I ditched my Merrill hiking shoes.
I'm another who does all my caminos now in sandals. I wear Echo Off-Roads - a size larger than normal - and I only occasionally get a stone which shakes out quite easily (they are open sandals). Having the sandals a bit longer than normal possibly helps to protect the front of my toes, my longest toe is a little way back from the front of the sole. I almost never get sticks in them.

The only time I'd consider going back to shoes would be on a winter camino. Although I have quite happily worn my sandals in snow, with waterproof socks.
Amen.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
I second hiking sandals. right now I’m wearing a pair of hiking sandals that I bought in Pamplona 2 years ago as I ditched my Merrill hiking shoes. Especially on the CF hiking sandals are the way to go. Each morning I would put pieces of athletic tape on those places where I had blisters and hotspots from my hiking shoes and the rest of the Camino was pain-free for my feet. I’m guessing that if your shoes are causing you even the slightest pain now they will become killers for you on the Camino
 

OnCamino

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015)
Le Puy Route (2016-2019)
HWF (2019)
Gebennensis (2020)
I second hiking sandals.
Each to their own, of course, but there is absolutely no way I would recommend using sandals unless you are happy with their downside also - forever emptying grit out of them, slipping around in them when wet, skin exposed to hot sun, potential damage, etc.

I would always take a pair for evenings, river or beach crossings, or an occasional change, but please think very carefully before relying on them as your primary footwear on dusty, gritty tracks. The wrong choice of footwear could end your Camino before you've barely begun, especially if day one is the decent to Roncesvalle, or coming down from the Cruz de Ferro ridge where I personally witnessed 2 accidents on the decent due to inadequate footwear, and the subsequent blood!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I would not expect the shoe to ever "break in", so I think you need new ones that are comfortable from the start. There is a well known store in Pamplona called Caminoteca, and also a Decathlon.

Many people wear running shoes. I use Brooks Ghost 13 because they come in a women's wide and are the most comfortable footwear I have found - for my feet.

And there is nothing to lose in cutting a hole in the side of your shoe, and testing that. You have the Tevas as backup.
I agree completely and love that you wear Brooks. I have only ever worn Brooks Cascadias. I go one size up and order the wide shoe. Between Camino walking and training it has to be close to 10,000K and I have had about 5 small blisters and none on my last 3 caminos.
 
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FLEUR

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
A good shop in Viana where in desperation I bought Source sandals. I use these for a change of footwear.

I now love my Meindl shoes, best ever because they suit my feet.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Each to their own, of course, but there is absolutely no way I would recommend using sandals unless you are happy with their downside also
I think it is clear that the sandal fans ARE saying that they are happy in spite of that suggested downside! So it seems worth trying, especially with hard-to-fit feet.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I assume you have had numerous pairs of shoes! I have just started my 4th pair, finding that the underfoot padding isn't adequate for hard walking after about 1000 km.
Yes I do and you are correct about the under padding. After a camino it is pretty close to being shot. I usually go to the grocery store and get another pair. I always start with a new pair for the camino. I just wear them for about a week before I go. I then will use the old pair to train with for the next camino. Since I walk much less in training this method works pretty well for me. I have never had a problem in training with a pair that has already been on a camino.
 

Ghislaine

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francès(2006)
Le Puy/Conques(2009)
Del Norte(2012)
Portuguese(2018)
Doing the Camino Fances was a spontaneous decision so I didn’t have time to break in shoes. I bought a pair I got them a half size big and they fit well overall but are are now causing pain (I have a slight tailor bunion). There is hard plastic on that part of the shoe so I’m not sure it will ever break in. I’m not sure if I should push through or try to buy new shoes. Since I seem to have such trouble finding comfortable hiking shoes I’m thinking about wearing running shoes instead. Any thoughts? Also can anyone recommend a gear store for hiking shoes in Pamplona? Thanks for your help and opinions!
All the Camino I walked, was with hiking boots. I never had real big blisters, always with smart wool socks, lunch time removed my boots and socks, but I always found them hot. I usually walked beginning of September. For the first time, this September, I took the decision to walk on a kind of a cloud😊 still with a good traction, the Hoka Torrent. Let's see how it will work... I'm quite confident.🤗 You'll find your pair, it's a matter of time. Good luck.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
Except for letting water in if it rains. Wet feet rub, very uncomfortable!
Not really. I have done that with walking shoes for the Camino and have done it with running shoes that I train at home in. The small cut doesn't let in any noticeable amount of moisture, and besides if it rains steadily your feet and shoes going to get wet no matter what.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
I think Merrell might do a wider fitting model. Meindl certainly do.
It's just the toe box that needed a wee bit more room to free the outer edge of my feet a bit. Worked great. After I cut the slit I burned the edges with a lighter so there would be no fraying. At the end of the Camino the shoes were worn out anyway and into the trash bin they went. I probably had a total of 1000 km's on them. Not bad mileage out of a hiking shoe mass produced with glued on soles and made of synthetics.
 

wabana

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I tried on four pair and I was fitted with Oboz and they’re great I actually wear a cotton ankle high socks with no problems at all in two months of training. They are somewhat heavy but it is what it is. I did not on the recommendation of several people by waterproof.shoes

Recent acquaintance Elizabeth who had five years ago done Frances Camino & bought Altas that she bought because as having problems. With tendinitis that developed on her walk they are ultra light hiking shoes extremely breathable I will buy them as a replacement if I run into problems over in spain - they felt like they were 1/2 the weight of my Oboz which I am swearing by at this point
 

wabana

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I also yesterday bought a pair of Tevas universals for $50 US for my end of day shoes when I get out of my hiking shoes as well as shower shoes…
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
I tried on four pair and I was fitted with Oboz and they’re great I actually wear a cotton ankle high socks with no problems at all in two months of training. They are somewhat heavy but it is what it is. I did not on the recommendation of several people by waterproof.shoes

Recent acquaintance Elizabeth who had five years ago done Frances Camino & bought Altas that she bought because as having problems. With tendinitis that developed on her walk they are ultra light hiking shoes extremely breathable I will buy them as a replacement if I run into problems over in spain - they felt like they were 1/2 the weight of my Oboz which I am swearing by at this point
I am a convert to Oboz. I have a pair of low Sawtooths that I have walked two Caminos in. Probably close to 1800 km's on them total. I think they could actually handle another Frances, but I would wear a newer pair.
 

rdinap

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013
Chemin St. Jacques 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
Camino Primitivo 2017
Doing the Camino Fances was a spontaneous decision so I didn’t have time to break in shoes. I bought a pair I got them a half size big and they fit well overall but are are now causing pain (I have a slight tailor bunion). There is hard plastic on that part of the shoe so I’m not sure it will ever break in. I’m not sure if I should push through or try to buy new shoes. Since I seem to have such trouble finding comfortable hiking shoes I’m thinking about wearing running shoes instead. Any thoughts? Also can anyone recommend a gear store for hiking shoes in Pamplona? Thanks for your help and opinions!
You might try going up a full size or maybe even 1 1/2 sizes up. Both my wife and I have done this on our walks which have totaled over 1,000 miles each with an additional 2,000 miles or more in training walks over the years. The folks at REI have told me that this is too much, but I've responded that walking 15 - 20 miles a day for weeks on end is much different than going for a weekend hike for which a 1/2 size up is probably ok.If it feels strange in the shop, you can use thicker socks. Also, I have found that stiffer shoes are better suited for long walks than more flexible shoes like say Merrell Moab Ventilators (which I like very much but just not for Caminos). But that's just a personal preference.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I really like Teva and Keen sandals and use them often at home for "this, that and the other". I dislike the small pebbles that can collect on trails and become a nuscience. In my opinion they are a bit too robust and heavy on the camino if I would only be using them for evening shoes.
 

Luv2Lindy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Summer/Fall 2020 Camino
It's just the toe box that needed a wee bit more room to free the outer edge of my feet a bit. Worked great. After I cut the slit I burned the edges with a lighter so there would be no fraying. At the end of the Camino the shoes were worn out anyway and into the trash bin they went. I probably had a total of 1000 km's on them. Not bad mileage out of a hiking shoe mass produced with glued on soles and made of synthetics.
Thanks for this idea. I actually have very narrow feet. It’s just that one spot that is an issue. I checked and I think with an exacto knife I can stop away the hard rubber that seems to be the issue, the I’ll cut slits if I still need more room. I’ll try burning the edges - I also thought I might try duck taping them.
 

Luv2Lindy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Summer/Fall 2020 Camino
You might try going up a full size or maybe even 1 1/2 sizes up. Both my wife and I have done this on our walks which have totaled over 1,000 miles each with an additional 2,000 miles or more in training walks over the years. The folks at REI have told me that this is too much, but I've responded that walking 15 - 20 miles a day for weeks on end is much different than going for a weekend hike for which a 1/2 size up is probably ok.If it feels strange in the shop, you can use thicker socks. Also, I have found that stiffer shoes are better suited for long walks than more flexible shoes like say Merrell Moab Ventilators (which I like very much but just not for Caminos). But that's just a personal preference.
I actually have very narrow feet and if I go much bigger I’ll be swimming in them. If I can make these ones work by cutting the problem area I’ll be very happy! They are good stuff shoes with grippy soles.
 

OBJ. i

New Member
Past OR future Camino
"2013"; "2014"; "2015"; "2016"; "2018 Baztan"

2018 arrive Tuesday 18th Sept St. JpdeP.
Some years ago I had bad blisters. Bought a pair of Bestard boots. Blister free almost immediately. Spanish made boots. Had excellent fitting advice. Had the resolved by the factory and still providing comfortable walking in the Irish lockdown
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
*Resoled ( predictive text, bah)
Obj - it happens to me all the time! And then there is my terrible spelling (especially place names). And grammar. You may not have realised yet, but if you look at the small print under your post you can see you can edit it, at least for a while.
 

JamesGeier

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2016
CF Autumn 2017
VdlP Spring 2021
Keep in mind that what works for me might not work for everyone else. I walked my first Camino Frances in mid-top Keen hiking boots and used Darn Tough socks. No blisters, no problems. On my second Camino Frances, I was walking in a pair of Keen sandals, and while I love them around home, the sole is too flexible for my feet for hiking, and after a few days (including the hike up and down Alto de Pardon), my feet were bruised, sore, and very painful. They were so bad, I doubted I could finish - every step hurt, and I was not enjoying anything. I need a stiffer sole to protect my feet, what is sometimes called a rock plate. I did make it to Burgos, went to a Decathalon there, and the people there were SO helpful and SO patient. They understood what I needed, they had me try on at 10 or more pair of shoes, and they rejected some before I could even walk in them. Finally we got down to two I liked and they liked for me. I selected a pair, and was able to finish my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Hiking sandals work for many, trail runners work for many, some of us need more. Many options are available, finding what will work ahead of time is the challenge.
Buen Camino!
--james--
 

wabana

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Mine are Sawtooths. & 1/2 size larger - my feet DO swell into the toe box after 2 hours of walking… glad I listened to the shoe guy - knowledgeable and right
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Do you not find that grit, stones, twigs, etc, get caught in the sandal? That happens to me when I walk in sandals, and I find it a right pain. And that's using several models and several brands.
No, I probably had more trouble with small stones in my shoes rather than my sandals. Sandals were a great success for the Camino - wouldnt go back to shoes for a warm weather Camino.
I didnt find that sandals had a down side.
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I'm another who does all my caminos now in sandals. I wear Echo Off-Roads - a size larger than normal - and I only occasionally get a stone which shakes out quite easily (they are open sandals). Having the sandals a bit longer than normal possibly helps to protect the front of my toes, my longest toe is a little way back from the front of the sole. I almost never get sticks in them.

The only time I'd consider going back to shoes would be on a winter camino. Although I have quite happily worn my sandals in snow, with waterproof socks.
My husband wore Ecco, and loved them too. I wore a German brand which allowed me to use my orthotics.
 

Richard Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
>> There is hard plastic on that part of the shoe
If you can reach that inside part with the handle of a bread knife or fork, and give it a really forceful and long rubbing then that may help. Basically a fast way to wear in, if they are going to wear in...
(This works when the edge of a new shoe hurts against the back of the heal.)
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Recently I changed from Meindl pure Leather-boots to La Sportiva "Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX" in wide.

What a difference!
Nothing to break in, really easy to handle, just spray them with water and they are clean. If you have the chance to try some of the La Sportiva-shoes, give them a try!
 

Bob91

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Since this thread has morphed into a general purpose discussion of footwear, I wish to ask for advice. What is recommended for walking the Camino Francés in November and early December? Would trail runners, including the Brooks Cascadia mentioned above, suffice, or would hiking boots, such as the Keen boots mentioned above, be preferred? I think hiking boots for winter and trail runners or sandals for summer, but what about the shoulder seasons? Many of you have walked in late fall and early spring. I would love to read your comments. Thank you.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Since this thread has morphed into a general purpose discussion of footwear, I wish to ask for advice. What is recommended for walking the Camino Francés in November and early December? Would trail runners, including the Brooks Cascadia mentioned above, suffice, or would hiking boots, such as the Keen boots mentioned above, be preferred? I think hiking boots for winter and trail runners or sandals for summer, but what about the shoulder seasons? Many of you have walked in late fall and early spring. I would love to read your comments. Thank you.
Boots!
I've walked in summer and was happy with my full-leather-boots adviced to me by my local moutaineering-shop. Had seen many messy feet of people walking in trailrunners and such.
In spring or fall GoreTex-boots should be fine.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
Since this thread has morphed into a general purpose discussion of footwear, I wish to ask for advice. What is recommended for walking the Camino Francés in November and early December? Would trail runners, including the Brooks Cascadia mentioned above, suffice, or would hiking boots, such as the Keen boots mentioned above, be preferred? I think hiking boots for winter and trail runners or sandals for summer, but what about the shoulder seasons? Many of you have walked in late fall and early spring. I would love to read your comments. Thank you.
I have over six months of walking combined on multiple Camino routes, between the months of June-November. I can only say what kind of footwear I found best for me and that is the low quarter hiking shoe variety. Lot's of brands of them and I have found I like the Oboz. Not saying the other brands are not good. The Camino, especially say the Frances and Portugues are not technical at all. You walk on improved/semi-improved surfaces for much if not most of it. I like a shoe that is a cross between a running shoe and a hiking boot. The low quarter hiking shoes seem to fill that niche. You get the support and stability of hiking boots while reducing the weight considerably almost to the lightness of a trail runner.
Some people walk in sandals, others regular running shoes and some wear heavy hiking boots you would see on the north face of Everest. Keep in mind when you get advice in here, who is giving you the advice. Are they the same age and condition as you? Do they walk as fast and have as heavy a pack, or even walk with a pack at all? Are they walking the same distances? A lot of factors come into play. This forum is a very tiny percentage of Camino walkers and based on what I can tell, are not a microcosm of the overall demographics of pilgrims. For one thing there are very few young pilgrims on here it seems. You are getting advice from an older group of pilgrims. That advice may or may not apply to you.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Since this thread has morphed into a general purpose discussion of footwear, I wish to ask for advice. What is recommended for walking the Camino Francés in November and early December? Would trail runners, including the Brooks Cascadia mentioned above, suffice, or would hiking boots, such as the Keen boots mentioned above, be preferred? I think hiking boots for winter and trail runners or sandals for summer, but what about the shoulder seasons? Many of you have walked in late fall and early spring. I would love to read your comments. Thank you.
Its around a million steps and most people go to a lot of trouble reducing the weight of their backpack. Reducing the weight of your shoes is even more important, in my opinion. Each extra gram for a shoe equates to lifting an extra metric tonne over the complete distance of the Camino Frances.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Since this thread has morphed into a general purpose discussion of footwear, I wish to ask for advice. What is recommended for walking the Camino Francés in November and early December? Would trail runners, including the Brooks Cascadia mentioned above, suffice, or would hiking boots, such as the Keen boots mentioned above, be preferred? I think hiking boots for winter and trail runners or sandals for summer, but what about the shoulder seasons? Many of you have walked in late fall and early spring. I would love to read your comments. Thank you.
Bob91,
For late autumn/winter I carried simple sandals for relaxing and wore Decathlon Gore-tex lined hiking boots. Each pair easily lasted 2 caminos walking from SJPdP to Santiago plus either out to Finisterre/Muxia or down to the Portuguese border at Valenca do Mino. Thus the boots easily covered 2000 km before the sole showed wear. They probably would be ok for 3000 km but for safety sake new boots were purchased every 2 years.
 
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MariaDunlop

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Doing the Camino Fances was a spontaneous decision so I didn’t have time to break in shoes. I bought a pair I got them a half size big and they fit well overall but are are now causing pain (I have a slight tailor bunion). There is hard plastic on that part of the shoe so I’m not sure it will ever break in. I’m not sure if I should push through or try to buy new shoes. Since I seem to have such trouble finding comfortable hiking shoes I’m thinking about wearing running shoes instead. Any thoughts? Also can anyone recommend a gear store for hiking shoes in Pamplona? Thanks for your help and opinions!
In 2018 I walked 700km in my Keen’s hiking sandals after ditching my $200+ Scarpa hiking shoes (blisters). They were very good but didn’t offer as much support as a shoe.
Since then I have walked 2 Caminos in Keens hiking shoes and they are the best.
 

ginniek

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 2017
I really like Teva and Keen sandals and use them often at home for "this, that and the other". I dislike the small pebbles that can collect on trails and become a nuscience. In my opinion they are a bit too robust and heavy on the camino if I would only be using them for evening shoes.
Have you tried Hoka hiking sandals? They avoid all of the sandal problems you and others have mentioned and are both comfortable and sturdy.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Have you tried Hoka hiking sandals? They avoid all of the sandal problems you and others have mentioned and are both comfortable and sturdy.
No, but I have walked the Le Puy route in Hoka One One's and loved them. I have no issues with blisters and other foot issues, so prefer having my feet covered on any long hike.
 

Luv2Lindy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Summer/Fall 2020 Camino
Thanks everyone. I cut away the rubber part of the shoe and cut a slit in the remaining fabric and that seemed to have resolved the problem. Now I will duck tape them for water-proofing. I also have TEVAs I could wear short-term. If I have troubles along the way I’ll buy new shoes in Pamplona. Thanks again! Buen Camino!
 

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Bob91

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Boots!
I've walked in summer and was happy with my full-leather-boots adviced to me by my local moutaineering-shop. Had seen many messy feet of people walking in trailrunners and such.
In spring or fall GoreTex-boots should be fine.
Thank you, Roland49. Your opinion is valuable. During the past 50 years I've tried a wide variety of boots. I fully appreciate the value of full leather, above the ankle, boots for protection from snow and slush. But I'm torn between such boots and lighter, fabric type boots.
Bob
 
Past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Doing the Camino Fances was a spontaneous decision so I didn’t have time to break in shoes. I bought a pair I got them a half size big and they fit well overall but are are now causing pain (I have a slight tailor bunion). There is hard plastic on that part of the shoe so I’m not sure it will ever break in. I’m not sure if I should push through or try to buy new shoes. Since I seem to have such trouble finding comfortable hiking shoes I’m thinking about wearing running shoes instead. Any thoughts? Also can anyone recommend a gear store for hiking shoes in Pamplona? Thanks for your help and opinions!
Is Caminoteca still there? (Just down from the Cathedral) When we passed through in 2014 he had a few shoes, a (much needed) fleece pullover, and other things. If the shoes there don't work, Pamplona is big, he probably knows where is a sporting goods store.
Have you considered trail runners instead of running shoes? The running shoe--pure form--isn't designed to be worn all day. (Very painful memories of learning that lesson here.) The trail runner is.
Another possibility: maybe you needed to go a whole size up.

Buen camino
 
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Bob91

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I have over six months of walking combined on multiple Camino routes, between the months of June-November. I can only say what kind of footwear I found best for me and that is the low quarter hiking shoe variety. Lot's of brands of them and I have found I like the Oboz. Not saying the other brands are not good. The Camino, especially say the Frances and Portugues are not technical at all. You walk on improved/semi-improved surfaces for much if not most of it. I like a shoe that is a cross between a running shoe and a hiking boot. The low quarter hiking shoes seem to fill that niche. You get the support and stability of hiking boots while reducing the weight considerably almost to the lightness of a trail runner.
Some people walk in sandals, others regular running shoes and some wear heavy hiking boots you would see on the north face of Everest. Keep in mind when you get advice in here, who is giving you the advice. Are they the same age and condition as you? Do they walk as fast and have as heavy a pack, or even walk with a pack at all? Are they walking the same distances? A lot of factors come into play. This forum is a very tiny percentage of Camino walkers and based on what I can tell, are not a microcosm of the overall demographics of pilgrims. For one thing there are very few young pilgrims on here it seems. You are getting advice from an older group of pilgrims. That advice may or may not apply to you.
Thank you, RJM. I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. Many years ago I switched from heavier boots to lighter, low-cut boots with both fabric and leather. One benefit is that they seemed to dry faster when soaked. Lately I've been trying trail runners in the neighborhood (while trying to rehabilitate a problematic Achilles tendon), thinking they are lighter and faster drying. My older hiking boots no longer fit well. I'm researching my options and will include Oboz in my search.

I especially liked your comment about advice from older pilgrims. Being 69, I am solidly in that group! I look forward to any and all comments from my age group. By the way, my bad Achilles is strictly due to me stupidly forgetting my age in 2019 on an aggressive backpacking trip with too much weight, thinking I can keep up with the youngsters. Afterall, in my mind I was young. Well, now I understand my age. I relish the advice and opinions of the older and experienced pilgrims. Please keep it coming.

Thank you,
Bob
 

Bob91

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Its around a million steps and most people go to a lot of trouble reducing the weight of their backpack. Reducing the weight of your shoes is even more important, in my opinion. Each extra gram for a shoe equates to lifting an extra metric tonne over the complete distance of the Camino Frances.
Thank you, Doughnut NZ. Your comment sure gave me pause. A ton is an awful lot, whether metric, long, or short. I never thought about it like that. It may be time to reevaluate the gear I've accumulated over the years. (Insert a frowny face.)

Thank you,
Bob
 

Bob91

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Bob91,
For late autumn/winter I carried simple sandals for relaxing and wore Decathlon Gore-tex lined hiking boots. Each pair easily lasted 2 caminos walking from SJPdP to Santiago plus either out to Finisterre/Muxia or down to the Portuguese border at Valenca do Mino. Thus the boots easily covered 2000 km before the sole showed wear. They probably would be ok for 3000 km but for safety sake new boots were purchased every 2 years.
Thank you, mspath. I always read, reread, and reread again all of your comments! I've also reviewed your other postings and especially appreciate your reflections on cold weather pilgrimages in your "Camino Gazetteer". You have done many camino walks in autumn and winter. I was struck by your comments regarding these being your preferred seasons. I live in the New Orleans area, and my wife wants me home for hurricane season. Thus, my window of opportunity is late October (after the wedding anniversary) through June. I hope and pray my Achilles rehab is successful so I can book for this autumn! I originally posted my question because I was unsure about trail runners in late autumn. It seems I might be better off saving them for a camino in May and using a more robust hiking shoe with GoreTex in autumn.

I welcome any other comments anyone wishes to make. I know shoe choices are very personal, but it is reassuring to read comments from those who have such extensive experience as you and others on the forum.

Thank you,
Bob
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
@mspath is a special lady indeed. I have enjoyed her input, kindness and sweet spirit on the forum. I love France, and how lovely it would be to have been to have stayed a night in her bnb on her farm and meet her in person.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Bob91
Thank you for your kind comment.
I hope that your rehab is successful and that you are able to walk soon again.
Whenever/wherever you do go stay safe and Buen camino!
 
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vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
I'm so grateful for this thread. G-d willing, I will camino next spring, aged 59. I have very wide feet and a big ole bunion to boot, and I've been panicking about foot wear. My bunion gets very angry when I walk more than 8 miles or wear shoes for more than 4 hours.

I've been training in Ecco Yucatans (aka Offroads) and like them but eventually my bunion becomes unhappy. (I end up with less debris in my sandals than in shoes and yes, I know that makes no sense.) I have some Brooks Addiction 14s (my old marathon walking shoes), but my bunion is less pleased in those. Both pairs are up a full size (and mens vs womens).

@Tingeling, I had no idea about Hanweg, and no idea that there was such a thing as a bunion accommodating hiking shoe/boot. If they work, they'll be worth the $$.

@Luv2Lindy, I hope that the shoe hack works for you - and if not, there's always Pamplona. Buen Camino!
 
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auburnfive

Active Member
Based on recommendations here and that fact I discovered an old gift card with some $ on it, I ordered a pair of Brooks Ghost 13 from MEC as they are currently on half price. They feel great right out of the box! Thank you
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
@vjpdx , in 2013 I needed footwear for my first camino, and was guided to Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots. I also have a bunion, and these boots were - and ARE wonderful right out of the box! I'm on my 3rd pair, having walked 5 caminos + the Thames Path as well as Hadrian's Wall Path. Alas, I'm not sure about the width in your case. I have fairly narrow feet - but the bunion has requested more room.
I also have a pair of Hoka One One W Sky Toa with a wider toe that are very comfortable, but I've not worn them on distance walks.
Good luck, and Buen Camino!!
 
Past OR future Camino
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It seems I might be better off saving them for a camino in May and using a more robust hiking shoe with GoreTex in autumn.
Not necessarily, @Bob91.
I wore keen water shoes (basically a glorified sandal, but closed with mesh) in early March, and they did really well. I wouldn't wear boots on the camino again - they're overkill. In lighter shoes, the wet goes right through - no harm done. Goretex makes for hot wet feet, and blisters.
YMMV.

My bunion gets very angry when I walk more than 8 miles or wear shoes for more than 4 hours.
My situation, with a variation. Not a classic bunion but a huge knob of an arthritic big toe joint after a fracture. But the effect's the same. No closed shoes comfortably fit anymore, even Meindels made for bunion feet. Keens are the least problematic, and I have a pair of Oboz Sawtooths right now that are promising.
Sandals are great, no complaining at all.
 
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RRat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Doing the Camino Fances was a spontaneous decision so I didn’t have time to break in shoes. I bought a pair I got them a half size big and they fit well overall but are are now causing pain (I have a slight tailor bunion). There is hard plastic on that part of the shoe so I’m not sure it will ever break in. I’m not sure if I should push through or try to buy new shoes. Since I seem to have such trouble finding comfortable hiking shoes I’m thinking about wearing running shoes instead. Any thoughts? Also can anyone recommend a gear store for hiking shoes in Pamplona? Thanks for your help and opinions!
As an adult I know which shoe brand and size fits. I would never continue to wear a brand or size that presents problems. Beginning a hundred plus mile hike with a pack is not the time to experiment with something new.
 
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Bob91

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I wore keen water shoes (basically a glorified sandal, but closed with mesh) in early March, and they did really well. I wouldn't wear boots on the camino again - they're overkill. In lighter shoes, the wet goes right through - no harm done. Goretex makes for hot wet feet, and blisters.
Thank you, VNwalking, for the suggestion. I wore similar shoes many years ago when on multi-day canoe trips. They worked beautifully. However, it was summer and I did limited walking. My concern with walking the Camino in late autumn is the cold rain. When you wore them in early March, did you wear socks?
Thanks.
Bob
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes. Cotton or thin wool, on top of cheep knee-length sheer socks.
Did your socks get extra dirty if/when you encounter rain with mud coming next?🤔
I didn't mind water gushing out of the tops of my mesh top trail runners, but mud was not an issue.
 
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