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HELP! (Shoe advice) April 2020

jwells925

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020 April / May
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP2Santiago completed (Sept.15, 2018).
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

Welcome to the forum Jeremy! My vote is for the Hoka's (and Teva's). I used both on Camino Frances /never had a blister. I used Hoka's over Pyrenees and Tevas everywhere else. They were flawless. I walked in Aug/Sept so it was very warm weather. Buen Camino.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Hey Jeremy,

I've walked a lot of miles in both over the years. Both are good walking shoes. I've also walked the CF in March and was wet/muddy more than half the time; I had water-resistant boots for that trip. Last fall on the CP, it rained the entire second week. Walking with wet feet sucked. Should you decide to walk in the Hoka's, you can use some waterproofing spray on them that will help keep your feet dry unless stepping in a puddle or are in a downpour. You'll need to decide which is a priority for your Camino: dry feet or comfort.

For the next Camino in June, I'm wearing the waterproof Hoka Speedgoat Mid, which will combine the best of both comfort and dryness.

I wish you the best in making a choice and hope you have a great Camino. I've been the father half of a father-son Camino and it was one of the best experiences of our lives.
 

jwells925

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020 April / May
Welcome to the forum Jeremy! My vote is for the Hoka's (and Teva's). I used both on Camino Frances /never had a blister. I used Hoka's over Pyrenees and Tevas everywhere else. They were flawless. I walked in Aug/Sept so it was very warm weather. Buen Camino.
Thanks for your reply! Yeah, this wouldn't even be a question if I were going in September. Haha. Just wondering if they are the smart choice in April. Also, what pair of Teva's did you bring?
 

jwells925

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020 April / May
Hey Jeremy,

I've walked a lot of miles in both over the years. Both are good walking shoes. I've also walked the CF in March and was wet/muddy more than half the time; I had water-resistant boots for that trip. Last fall on the CP, it rained the entire second week. Walking with wet feet sucked. Should you decide to walk in the Hoka's, you can use some waterproofing spray on them that will help keep your feet dry unless stepping in a puddle or are in a downpour. You'll need to decide which is a priority for your Camino: dry feet or comfort.

For the next Camino in June, I'm wearing the waterproof Hoka Speedgoat Mid, which will combine the best of both comfort and dryness.

I wish you the best in making a choice and hope you have a great Camino. I've been the father half of a father-son Camino and it was one of the best experiences of our lives.
Sounds like I should've gotten the waterproof one's. Haha. Bummer! Thanks for all of the advice. My Dad and I are both really looking forward to this trip. Counting down the days :)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have only worn trail runners on my five caminos and have been very happy, so never consider heavier boots or waterproofs. I actually have not minded my shoes/feet getting wet in a torrential downpour and did not get blisters. I have worn Hoka One One's on the Le Puy route and they were wonderful and very grippy on wet rocks. It's like walking on marshmellows! There are newer versions now and I am not familiar. I have seen many, many men on the trails with Merril Moab's...Maybe they will add their two cents.
How awesome to go with your dad!
Buen Camino!
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
I've walked a lot of miles in both over the years. Both are good walking shoes.
I would never wear waterproof shoes on the Camino. Your feet are going to sweat and it’s a sure way to get blisters in my opinion.
I Agree 100% with Anniesantiago...

I’m leaving in a week ( march1) I’ll be walking in my Hoka one one’s. In spain and Italy.


I’ve worn waterproof Keens mids and Merrill’s you mentioned over the first 7 years BUT last 2 back to good old trail shoes. A lot better to wear what you know works. Waterproofing may help here & there walking through the odd puddle or grass BUT NOTE : you still get soaking wet feet if it pours anyhow as it run in from the top of your shoe.... - socks can get ‘as wet as’ - but over the whole camino you’ll be better off in ‘non waterproof’. They dry faster !
When you arrive at accommodation (if they are wet ; ask for newspapers to stuff inside).. always take the insoles out each day to let your shoes ‘air’ regardless of whether it’s rained or type of shoe you wear.

Buen camino.
Annie
 
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jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
I'm in the camp of the waterproof hiking shoes. I've walked a couple times in January and once in April and both featured a fair amount of wetness, snow, ice and mud. while nothing will stop water forever, especially in a downpour, for ground water, light rain, snow and mud, the Moab's should help keep your feet a little happier and I don't think the temp will be so warm that foot sweating will be a big problem (but wear wool socks if you're worried about that). I also like that the Moab's have a shank to help stabilize the shoe. Over many steps that does make a difference, especially when it's rocky and uneven underfoot. I have a pair of Hokas (Bondi 6) but would never feel comfortable on anything but a flat path/road as they are very prone to ankle rolls with such a thick midsole. Also, the Hokas will not have a deep lug like the Moabs which again would be good considering it is very conceivable to have snow and/or ice in March/April at the higher altitudes. Good luck choosing :)
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.
I have worn both waterproof and non-waterproof. There are arguments for and against, depending on time of year. However, comfort of the shoes always outweighs the other factors, so take the Hokas!
 

Sunrayrob

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 18 September - 21 October 2017
Oxfam Trailwalker 2013
If you weren't walking the Camino in March and still had time to trial other options I would recommend Salomon. They are a quite an exceptional shoe with all the key characteristics you need in a reliable hiking shoe: sturdy, good ankle support, great grip, shock absorbing etc. I have worn this brand over a number of years and at different events i.e. Oxfam 100 as well as Camino and never got a blister. I'm not a fan of goretex shoes as they are too hot in Summer and retain damp in the thunderous down pours you experience on the camino. Here's a link to my preferred style for future consideration:


Despite what the blurb says, this is not the goretex model.
 

calmeg

Member
We have walked el camino del norte twice, el primitivo, San salvador and others. Foot comfort is paramount. We prefer the waterproof- sometimes we have used Keen hiking boots, and other times trail runners, always waterproof. We also wear rainpaints so that the water does not run down the legs into the shoes, and have only had 1-2 days of wet feet and the shoes dried overnight after being filled with newspaper. There is no one correct solution!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2 Camino Frances, next: April 2020 Primitivo
I had Merrells last spring, waterproof yes but too hard on those hard paths. I had terrible knee problems. This year I'll go with much softer and no waterproof Halti shoes. So, my vote to Hoka 👍
 

jwells925

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020 April / May
I have only worn trail runners on my five caminos and have been very happy, so never consider heavier boots or waterproofs. I actually have not minded my shoes/feet getting wet in a torrential downpour and did not get blisters. I have worn Hoka One One's on the Le Puy route and they were wonderful and very grippy on wet rocks. It's like walking on marshmellows! There are newer versions now and I am not familiar. I have seen many, many men on the trails with Merril Moab's...Maybe they will add their two cents.
How awesome to go with your dad!
Buen Camino!
Thank you SO much for the reply. I appreciate your advice :) Buen Camino!
 

jwells925

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020 April / May
Thanks for the advice everyone! I may just stick to my original plan and go with the Hoka's... Has anyone sprayed their shoes with waterproof stuff like "Neverwet?"

This was also a option I was thinking of trying. :)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Waterproof shoes or mid-height boots have to be seen as part of a complete protection system - hat, rain jacket and rain pants or poncho and gaiters, then boots. If you aren't going to use rain pants or gaiters, then there seems to me little point in wearing waterproof footwear. In the rain, your footwear will collect water coming off your legs, and you will have damp shoes and socks to deal with irrespective of how waterproof you footwear is.

I have a preference for waterproof boots, but also wear rain resistant trekking trousers, rain pants or gaiters in the rain. The only time that I have blistered on the Camino is wearing sandals on my first Camino, and after that haven't taken sandals on my pilgrimage walks, and haven't blistered since. I think good fit is more likely to be the key factor here than whether you have boots or shoes.

The suggestion that waterproof footwear makes your feet sweaty doesn't gel with me. On local long walks when I have tried out different footwear combinations, I haven't noticed any substantial difference in how much my feet sweat between waterproof and non-waterproof boots. Given you have both, you might want to make your own comparisons about this. I find there is greater variability in how moist my feet get with different sock combinations, and wearing thinner liner and trekking socks makes more difference that what type of boot I am wearing.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Thanks for the advice everyone! I may just stick to my original plan and go with the Hoka's... Has anyone sprayed their shoes with waterproof stuff like "Neverwet?"

This was also a option I was thinking of trying. :)
The non-waterproof shoes I wore last fall on the CP were low-cut Salomon X Ultra 3. Before going, I used a waterproofing spray I found at Bass Pro (I don't recall the brand). It seemed to help in light rain situations, but only lasted a minute in hard rain and not at all re: puddles/muddy trails. Wearing a merino wool sock, e.g., Smartwool PhD crewcut, with either type of shoe you mentioned help with wet feet.

In a thread predestined to come with opposing answers, some of which include the terms "always" and/or "never," it's probably best to go with your gut feeling/experience and not look back. You know what is best for you.

Buen Camino
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

1 You never know what the weather will be like any time of year.
2 Everyone stresses over everything before a camino and before a first camino wow do you stress!!!
3 I have walked in just about every conceivable weather environment in the same brand of Brooks Cascadia's because they work for me and I have luckily had very few blisters, Less than 5 in almost 5k walking. Alot of that is due to really taking care of my feet and wearing trail runners that are perfect for my feet. My last CF I walked in rain, sleet, snow, high winds, ice and cold in a pair of trail runners that I already had used to walk to Camino Norte so before my first step I had walked about 900K in those sneakers.
In April you may well get snow or rain or you may well have sunny skies. Who knows. Even if you have snow and rain I tend to doubt that you will not survive if you are wearing the shoe that fits most comfortably,
I personally think comfort and the knowledge that you will probably have better overall foot health with one shoe over another is the most important decision. Then again I have a feeling no matter how much contradictory advice you get you will still make an independent decision you will second guess for who knows how long.
The only fact you have is that you know the Hoka is lighter and alot more comfortable. Go with what you know the rest is speculation. Remember to wear good socks and have at least a 1/2 size larger. I go with a full size larger as your feet will definitely grow and grow as you walk.
 

RRat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2017
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

Assuming they are both broken in and comfortable, take the shoes with less miles. More likely they will make the entire Camino without problems.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Fit is everything (or at least, it comes before every other consideration). Be sure to account for swelling.

Consider going to a running store and getting inserts that are heat-molded to your foot.

I land on the side of non-waterproofed (except in winter), and have spents lots and lots of days in cold, wet spring/fall conditions using non-WP trail shoes. My experience with waterproofed shoes is that I end up retaining excess moisture because they work like a bathtub once I have water in them. They are only good for expelling vapor, and as the heat and exertion go up, I find they can't breath fast enough, which leads to blisters. Your mileage may vary, and walking in March might change your calculus on that.

Strong, strong, strong recommendation for a good pair of merino-blend hiking socks.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Well, it WILL be wet in Galicia, so that you need to choose according to that (Summer Camino shoe choices can be a lot more simple).

The basic three choices are sandals versus hiking shoes versus hiking boots.

Sandals -- feet are going to get wet anyway, so just go with it ; not my own idea of fun, but very many people are quite happy with a combination of these with quick-dry hiker socks, so if that can work for you, cool.

Hiking shoes -- this is a difficult business, because you really need to adapt your choice to the particular trail you're following. Most people's feet swell during hiking, so shoes a half or full size larger might be necessary. But as to the Galicia rain stuff, I'd suggest getting a pair of closed shoes up to the ankle (not higher) BUT light and permeable to air but mostly impermeable to water. I've given that advice out multiple times to people on the Camino, though such shoes are entirely unsuitable to me personally, and so far everyone who followed it has thanked me for it. Hiking shoes are my basic recommendation.

Hiking boots -- usually unnecessary for most pilgrims, and as far as which particular types of boots, well that is a VERY personal choice (except keep in mind the feet swelling business). But if you are on a longer or less travelled Camino or a rougher one, I think they are go-to. The disadvantage is that they are heavier ; the advantage, if they are good boots instead of cheap junk, is that they will keep your feet and your ankles stable and strong. And in most cases dry. Socks too, which hiking shoes won't.

My own personal and rather strange need is for size 14½ French Army boots, but these are frankly not recommendable to anyone at all !!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2 Camino Frances, next: April 2020 Primitivo
Thanks for the advice everyone! I may just stick to my original plan and go with the Hoka's... Has anyone sprayed their shoes with waterproof stuff like "Neverwet?"

This was also a option I was thinking of trying. :)
Yes, I have. A product of Woly, it works quite well. The shoes are not waterproof, but can hold longer and are easier to clean from mud. Good idea.
 

Duane

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Camino Frances
In a thread predestined to come with opposing answers,
I cannot resist replying to this thread. Footwear may be the most important equipment we take to the Camino and the most controversial. Just as there are many different pilgrims on the Camino there are many different feet also. I love boots but I can't find a pair that breath well enough. Even in cold weather non waterproof boots make my feet sweat, develop hot spots and blister. I walked last April in Goretex boots which was a big mistake for me but the perfect boot for my traveling companion. I also have problems with pressure blisters on the outer edges of my feet and the heat formed insoles mentioned above solve that problem for me.
This forum can help you identify the choices but I suggest you do some experimenting to find what works for you. My perfect footwear may be your misery. If you find your perfect footwear you are a very lucky indeed.
 

kleckam

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April '12, May '18
Jeremy - I walked from SJPdP in April '12, and again in May '18. Wore broken in Vasque waterproof boots in '12. Even though I had much rain and snow, I quickly discarded my boots for Keen hiking (closed toe!) sandals, and my feet could not have been happier. Wore a lighter weight hiking shoe my 2nd Camino Frances, together with a similar Keen hiking sandal (probably half the time). I believe what is said, that a pound on your feet is worth 8 pounds on your back. Buen Camino, and Ultreia!
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Wow. This figure gets higher each time I see it!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Thank you @koilife, that article is a pretty comprehensive review of the research.
 
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Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Mont St Michel-SdC. Budapest-Vezelay. Alicante-Burgos
Walk: Le Puy-SJPdP. Dax-(CF)-SdC.
If both are sized big enough to cope with your feet expanding as you pound many miles on them, go with the Hokas. But honestly, you'll probably do fine with either. If you do choose the Merrells, wear them around the house and for some longer walks to break them and your feet in, well before you begin your Camino. Their stiffer material needs to give a little before it becomes comfortable.
Enjoy your Camino - and go easy on your Dad!
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
I wore boots - Merrill Moab Ventilators. Mid high, not waterproof. As part of the most important pieces of equipment you take with you (socks and hiking poles are the other parts of this prime equipment), you are right to give your footwear lots of thought.

Your feet will get wet when you are walking in wet conditions. The question is, a) how quickly will your boots/shoes dry out, and, b) how good will the traction be, especially if it is wet and slippery.

For me, my biggest problem was finding a company that had lasts that fit my feet the best - you know, the basic "mold" they use to design the footwear in the first place. I would have a pair that seemed to fit at first, but would discover, during that breaking-in period, that they really weren't wide enough, or long enough, for the relentless up/down/over rocks/cobblestones that I would do.

I appreciated companies that would let me use the footwear at home for a reasonable trial period and had a good return policy.I had more than one pair of footwear that in the end stayed in the closet when I walked because they just didn't hit the sweet spot needed for walking 500 miles at a clip. Gently used boots were surprisingly easy to resell on-line.

As an optimist, I'd go for a lovely, lightweight set of trainers. But, as a realist, I can't count on the weather being dry the entire way (not my experience, anyway) so I'll probably get non-waterproof boots again, as lightweight but sturdy as I can find (and afford).

Welcome to the Forum, and Buen Camino!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
On my last camino (Oct/Nov) I went with a small pack and so I only took my non-waterproof Moabs for footwear and no rain pants. The last week was pretty wet and so I wore shorts instead of pants. That meant the water drained down into my shoes through my socks and I would have had wet feet even with waterproof shoes/boots.

I don't think I can help you make up your mind but if I had your choice I would take the comfortable shoes and live with periodic wet feet (but then I did get used to wet feet when I lived in the US Pacific Northwest).

Also, my first camino was in the summer on the CF and that was done with GoreTex boots. I had no foot problems.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Your feet will get wet when you are walking in wet conditions.
This just isn't my experience. When I take the time to get into my rain pants, I have not had water ingress into my boots except towards the end of one very long walking day with pretty consistent rain. My feet were a little damp from sweat, but nothing more. This reflects my experiences in wet conditions in Spain, Norway, Sweden and England.

On my last camino (Oct/Nov) I went with a small pack and so I only took my non-waterproof Moabs for footwear and no rain pants. The last week was pretty wet and so I wore shorts instead of pants. That meant the water drained down into my shoes through my socks and I would have had wet feet even with waterproof shoes/boots.
I tried walking without rain pants on my last walk in Spain on a couple of days, and you are correct. It doesn't take much rain for water to start draining into one's shoes even when wearing trousers.

It seems to me that there is little point in having waterproof boots unless one is actually prepared to carry the other waterproof gear to keep the rain out of the big hole in the top of them!
 

RuthMB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC (April 2020)
I've been going through the same questioning. We start our camino the day after you, 1st April, and are preparing for every weather eventuality! After reading just about every shoe thread on this forum, I've settled on the comfy option....non-waterproof trail runners. It might be a mistake, I'll know soon enough! Buen Camino to you and your dad!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I preferred the trail runners and the freedom emotionally of just letting my feet be wet in rain, otherwise I know I would be worrying and trying to be careful. If I'd worn waterproofs, Id be constantly trying to make sure they stayed dry in downpours and thinking about it...but that's just me.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
I've been going through the same questioning. We start our camino the day after you, 1st April, and are preparing for every weather eventuality! After reading just about every shoe thread on this forum, I've settled on the comfy option....non-waterproof trail runners. It might be a mistake, I'll know soon enough! Buen Camino to you and your dad!
Make sure to get a pair that fits your particular foot well. And get a good insert that is heat molded to your foot. No other insert, except professionally made orthotics, will fit you better.

Going an extra size bigger than you normally wear is misguided advice. Your feet won't grow longer; they'll swell fatter. Get a shoe correctly sized for your foot with a roomy (but not cavernous) toe box. Also, get one that can be effectively loosed and tightened with proper lacing. If the shoe feels comfortable with one thick sock, layer on three thick socks and see if it is still comfortable. If not, then you probably want to look for something different. Lots of really good shoes have decorative trim on them that actually constrains their ability to open up and accommodate swollen feet. This can change from model to model of the same shoe. One of my all-time favorite shoes was ruined in a later model by the addition of some reinforcement right across the bottom of the lacing area; whatever the engineering problem they tried to solve caused a problem for me, and it clearly did for others, because the following year's model went back to the old design.

Shoes with lots of mesh and that permit the laces to completely control how open or closed the shoe is are what you want. My rule of thumb is that the lacing should be able to tighten down to under 1/2" and open up to about 1" with the bottom lace ports, and over 2" at the top lace ports.

Fit also means keeping your heel locked into place in the heel box. One (bad) argument for up-sizing your shoe is to prevent hammering your toenails on descents, which leads to black nails that fall off (yuck!). However, the "lace lock" or "heel lock" lacing technique solves this (and many blister problems as well). Also, three other sites with lacing tips (in order of usefulness) to solve common fit problems are here and here and here.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Your feet won't grow longer; they'll swell fatter
Maybe to a lesser degree than swelling 'sideways' but your feet will get longer too. As I've walked more long distance adventures my arches have gotten progressively lower which has lengthened my feet from 12's to 13's. Granted, if I dropped the extra kilo's my Doctor (and wife) has 'suggested' it would probably be to a lesser degree but nonetheless, my feet have lengthened.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Maybe to a lesser degree than swelling 'sideways' but your feet will get longer too. As I've walked more long distance adventures my arches have gotten progressively lower which has lengthened my feet from 12's to 13's. Granted, if I dropped the extra kilo's my Doctor (and wife) has 'suggested' it would probably be to a lesser degree but nonetheless, my feet have lengthened.
Agreed, but you don't go from a 12 to a 13 in one Camino. Or a 13 to a 14 in the next.
 

jwells925

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020 April / May
I've been going through the same questioning. We start our camino the day after you, 1st April, and are preparing for every weather eventuality! After reading just about every shoe thread on this forum, I've settled on the comfy option....non-waterproof trail runners. It might be a mistake, I'll know soon enough! Buen Camino to you and your dad!
Thanks Ruth! Maybe we'll see you out there. :) And good luck to you as well. Buen Camino!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Your feet won't grow longer
So I guess my shoe size during my 27 years so far of these mad Caminos hasn't in fact increased from 10½ to 14½ then ?

Good to know !!
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
So I guess my shoe size during my 27 years so far of these mad Caminos hasn't in fact increased from 10½ to 14½ then ?

Good to know !!
I'm fairly sure it didn't occur over the course of one camino, but if you did, then you had other problems like a massively collapsed arch, which means you didn't have good fit. But, if your feet elongated over a course of 27 years, I'm sure that's possible.
 
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jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Agreed, but you don't go from a 12 to a 13 in one Camino. Or a 13 to a 14 in the next.
Not disputing the timeline but believe if you don’t keep a buffer up front there is a good opportunity to get the dreaded black nail... even if they don’t grow a whole size in one Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

You've probably made up your mind...but I thought I'd join the conversation anyway. I have always walked with Merrell Moab ventilators. They fit my 'round' foot. To be honest, waterproof is only as good as the depth of the puddle. I have never had a problem with wet shoes in the morning after they have been stuffed with newspaper overnight. So go with the Hokas for lightness sez I. Buen Camino.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
If I'd worn waterproofs, Id be constantly trying to make sure they stayed dry in downpours and thinking about it...but that's just me.
Talk about a dry sense of humour! Not wearing waterproofs in the rain because you might get them wet. Even at this early stage of the year, it will take a lot to beat that one 😂.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Talk about a dry sense of humour! Not wearing waterproofs in the rain because you might get them wet. Even at this early stage of the year, it will take a lot to beat that one 😂.
Well without wearing gaiters or long rain pants, I read that they eventually soak through...gotta try to prevent that! I was being serious...seriously! 😀
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Not disputing the timeline but believe if you don’t keep a buffer up front there is a good opportunity to get the dreaded black nail... even if they don’t grow a whole size in one Camino.
A properly fit shoe will have roughly a thumb width between your toe and the front of the shoe (EDIT: This applies when you are wearing your fully loaded pack). That is 1/2 to 3/4 inch of extra room. If your heel is properly locked in the heel of the shoe instead of sliding around all over the place, then you shouldn't get black nail.

Unless your foot gets 1/2 to 3/4 inch longer on the camino, in which case you have other problems with bad fit and insufficient support. . . . If your foot does get longer, either your bones have grown longer (unlikely unless you are a teenager or a Harry Potter wizard) or your foot starts collapsing (which could be the case if you have bad fit and insufficient arch support, for instance).

Most folks get larger shoes because their feet swell. A quick search of threads will confirm that explanation given. So, use a shoe that can expand laterally for the swelling rather than getting one that is too long just because you need some nominal lateral space.
 
Last edited:

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I only go 1/2 size larger in my shoes for the camino. A full size has too much room in the heel and my feet do not seem to swell since I walk in the spring, not the heat of summer.
 

Jackieduda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

Been hiking all my life and had trouble with my feet...until I got advice from this forum and walked the Camino, pretty much with painless feet. The advice? Buy walking shoes, not hiking boots. Buy 1/2 size larger than normal. Buy wide width if available. The forum also suggested I try Solomon running shoes. That’s what I bought, that’s what worked, still using them to hike around now. They aren’t waterproof but I used Vaseline on my toes every day and around my heels and it kept my feet as happy as clams at low tide!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
7 Caminos in Hokas and I wouldn’t go without them. They have a new waterproof boot that is based on the Stinson, which I love. Feels like walking on clouds. I didn’t even notice all those cobblestones everyone complains about on the Portuguese route. As for waterproof, nothing really is but I appreciated the effort on my spring Camino when we had lots of rain. I would only wear the trail runner version in the summer though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis August - October 2014
Has anyone ever worn the trail runner ALTRA?
I was told it is a very popular trail shoe for the PCT. They are very lightweight, have the large toe room, a gripping tread, have a “gaiter trap” at the heel and are very cushioned. So far, on my daily 4-5 mile walks they have been very comfortable. I wore Keen Voyagers on my first Camino and never any foot problems. Husband wore Solomon’s and loved them.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Goretex or not, your shoes will be wet anyway. I have tried a lot of different goretex shoes and in Spanish heavy rain everyone gets wet.
They take a long time to dry as well.
I used Hokas on the Invierno and loved them.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Has anyone ever worn the trail runner ALTRA?
I was told it is a very popular trail shoe for the PCT. They are very lightweight, have the large toe room, a gripping tread, have a “gaiter trap” at the heel and are very cushioned. So far, on my daily 4-5 mile walks they have been very comfortable. I wore Keen Voyagers on my first Camino and never any foot problems. Husband wore Solomon’s and loved them.
Although I haven't worn Altra trail runners on Camino, I have worn them here in the States. They are great shoes; however, the zero drop (i.e., flat, no toe to heel rise) takes some acclimatization. Unless one wears flats or walks barefoot quite a bit, the Achilles tendon needs to stretch. As you referred to and per several long-distance hiker surveys, the Altra Lone Peak is the most commonly worn shoe on American long-distance thru-hikes.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Jeremy - I walked from SJPdP in April '12, and again in May '18. Wore broken in Vasque waterproof boots in '12. Even though I had much rain and snow, I quickly discarded my boots for Keen hiking (closed toe!) sandals, and my feet could not have been happier. Wore a lighter weight hiking shoe my 2nd Camino Frances, together with a similar Keen hiking sandal (probably half the time). I believe what is said, that a pound on your feet is worth 8 pounds on your back. Buen Camino, and Ultreia!
Keen hiking sandals + waterproof socks for those downpour days last October on the CI. Pair with a rain kilt.
 

Opa Theo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

I have the same shoes. I would go with the Hoka non waterproof. All the waterproof shoes I've owned tend to build up moisture from perspiration which has a hard time drying out because the waterproof membrane seems to trap in moisture.
Buen Camino
Ted
 

Tom Quinn

Happy walker
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
(2020)
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

Hokas always. Merino socks please. Change socks every 2 hours. Bring Vicks to slather on your toes. Enjoy your Dad.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
in Spanish heavy rain everyone gets wet.
The only rain in Spain that can wet my feet is the full-on mad crazy Galicia rain that turns all roads into rivers.

Anything less ? Usually, even my socks are dry.

French Army Boots FTW ... :cool: 👉❤
 

MyraW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Pamplona to Santiago April 2017
Camino Madrid September 2018
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum. My name is Jeremy and I am walking the Camino starting March 31st with my Dad.
I'm really having a tough time deciding what shoes to bring. Maybe someone can help me decide. Thanks in advance!

I own a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, and also bought a pair of the Hoka One One's.

The Merrell's are heavier and more of a boot cut, but they are waterproof.
The Hoka's are much more comfortable and WAY lighter but aren't waterproof.

Which should I choose? Below are links to both of the pairs I'm referring to.

I'd love to walk in the Hoka's, just not sure about them not being waterproof.

Thanks

I would suggest Salomon trail runners if you didnt already have your choices. They are extremely comfortable, have excellent grip and dry quickly if they do get wet.
I have blister prone feet, and these have saved me, and will on my next CF. I start walking March 29th. Wearing two pairs of socks is good advice. Wear the liner socks inside out...less chafing. If you rest, air dry feet and socks, then swap socks over. It does make a little difference to comfort. Buen Camino
 

Creativeguy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP France to Santiago 2020
Hello Jeremy! I've gone through the same decision preparing to begin my walk the first weekend in May. What I know: my feet perspire and they will get wet from the inside out with Goretex. I've opted for a comfortable Salomon X Ultra 3 mentioned above with really good wool socks. And the wool socks are my one splurge! I have two pairs of heavy cushioning Darn Tough wool hiking/trekking sock and two pair lighter cushioning Smart Wool hiking socks.

The advice friends have given me: take a break during the day, take off your shoes, let your feet breathe, do a little massage and then put on dry socks.

For me, that will work. At some point, after you gather enough information, go with your gut feeling!
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
I learned this hilarious tip that actually worked really well. I rubber banded plastic bags just under my knees that covered my boots and they kept the water from going into my boots quite nicely for the 5-6 days that we got rained on. Disposable gaiters! You could put them under your pants if you have more dignity than I do. Also, my #1 piece of advice to any pilgrim is to change socks (definitely!IMG_4478.jpeg!) and shoes (I brought Keen sandals) half to two-thirds of the way through every day.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
We have walked in April and spent 10 days in snow. Jus' Sayin. Be prepared for anything.
 

Pilgy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
Has anyone ever worn the trail runner ALTRA?
I was told it is a very popular trail shoe for the PCT. They are very lightweight, have the large toe room, a gripping tread, have a “gaiter trap” at the heel and are very cushioned. So far, on my daily 4-5 mile walks they have been very comfortable. I wore Keen Voyagers on my first Camino and never any foot problems. Husband wore Solomon’s and loved them.
The "Zero drop" with Altras takes getting used to if you're used to walking in a shoe with a rise of say 8 to 11 mm. I also find them too spongy and prefer a shoe that doesn't make me fell that all my energy is sinking into a mushy sole. And I could predict that the tread would be worn out for me in about 400 km. But others LOVE them!
 

LeifHarboe

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
AUG.2018
Hoka one one? There seems to so many models, which model are you thinking of? (I am also looking for shoes for going from Porto to Santiago.)
 

ObeeOne

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage for 2020
I am bringing both! I have Merrell Moabs and then very light weight trail runners that I can just attach to my pack. I have had feet issues and anticipate needing to trade off.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My feet are not fussy. I have walked long distance caminos in Hoka's, Saucony twice, Asic and Keen. They all worked well, although you can't beat the feeling of the Hoka's "marshmellow" bottoms.
I've never needed boots and although I love Smartwool socks I find them too hot in warm weather. I did try a very thin pair of Smartwool's at home, but they wore out very fast.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
The "Zero drop" with Altras takes getting used to if you're used to walking in a shoe with a rise of say 8 to 11 mm. I also find them too spongy and prefer a shoe that doesn't make me fell that all my energy is sinking into a mushy sole. And I could predict that the tread would be worn out for me in about 400 km. But others LOVE them!
Put them on, went walking, no problem adjusting to zero drop. But then I always wear flats these days. I do get a problem with a recurring blister on my right big toe, I think there’s an inside seam that rubs. But that may only be me.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Winter or summer. Paved or unpaved roads. Only Hanwag Alta Bunion for me. Walking at home or on a Camino.



With Smartwool socks.
What a name for a shoe! Imagine being the advertising company trying to promote these. "No, you really do want bunions on your feet."
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
What a name for a shoe! Imagine being the advertising company trying to promote these. "No, you really do want bunions on your feet."
Well, this company has proved through the years that they make durable, ethically made and no nonsense shoes. Their advertising borders on being rather boring. But I like the informative and straightforward communication.
Good quality does not need shallow advertising.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Well, this company has proved through the years that they make durable, ethically made and no nonsense shoes. Their advertising borders on being rather boring. But I like the informative and straightforward communication.
Good quality does not need shallow advertising.
I wasn't really commenting on the quality of the shoe or the company that produces it, but rather the name that they chose: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bunions/symptoms-causes/syc-20354799
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Winter or summer. Paved or unpaved roads. Only Hanwag Alta Bunion for me. Walking at home or on a Camino.



With Smartwool socks.
Gee. They look like they weigh a ton! While I do have a bunion that gets blisters, I’d rather chance trail runners that try to hike in those. I’ve already torn my Achilles’ tendons wearing much lighter boots.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Gee. They look like they weigh a ton! While I do have a bunion that gets blisters, I’d rather chance trail runners that try to hike in those. I’ve already torn my Achilles’ tendons wearing much lighter boots.

Like I said so many times. They do work for me. They are on the heavy side but they " feel " light. And sliding into them : soft as butter!
 

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