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Hiking boots or trail runners for April Norte/Primitivo?

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faisalb.com/camino
Camino(s) past & future
2017: frances, portugues
2018: shikoku henro
2019: norte, ingles
Hello. I walked CF in spring and CP in fall last year in trail runners (Brooks Cascadia) and they worked out perfect, especially given that weather conditions were amazing with very little rain.

I am looking to walk the Norte continuing onto the Primitivo this April, staring in 1-2 weeks, taking as many of the coastal variations as conditions allow to minimize asphalt. It looks like this spring has been much wetter in Northern Spain (perhaps all of Spain).

Would you recommend hiking boots in April/May to help with walking through mud or would train runners be sufficient? I will have hiking poles with me. I have full-leather waterproof hiking boots which are great for muddy conditions, but of course they are much heavier and don't breathe as well as trail runners, so I worry about blisters and beating up my feet, especially on the asphalt sections.

If I brought hiking boots, I would likely also bring the trail runners as my off-trail evening shoes (and skip the flip-flops to save weight). If the hiking boots fit in my backpack, then I suppose I could switch to trail runners when conditions warranted.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
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NadineMc

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( June 2013) Camino Portugal ( June 2014) Camino Frances ( June 2015) Norte 2018
Hello. I walked CF in spring and CP in fall last year in trail runners (Brooks Cascadia) and they worked out perfect, especially given that weather conditions were amazing with very little rain.

I am looking to walk the Norte continuing onto the Primitivo this April, staring in 1-2 weeks, taking as many of the coastal variations as conditions allow to minimize asphalt. It looks like this spring has been much wetter in Northern Spain (perhaps all of Spain).

Would you recommend hiking boots in April/May to help with walking through mud or would train runners be sufficient? I will have hiking poles with me. I have full-leather waterproof hiking boots which are great for muddy conditions, but of course they are much heavier and don't breathe as well as train runners, so I worry about blisters and beating up my feet too much, especially on the asphalt sections.

If I brought hiking boots, I would likely also bring the trail runners as my off-trail evening shoes (and skip the flip-flops to save weight). If the hiking boots fit in my backpack, then I suppose I could switch to trail runners when conditions warranted.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
I’m taking my chances and bringing my Brooks to walk Norte/Primitivo at the end of May. I’ve only used Brooks/New Balance on past Caminos and they’ve served me well. Hope all works out and enjoy your adventure!!!
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
It might dry up, but from reports on other threads, the mud and wet on the Norte probably means that boots are best as you have them. With the weather forecasts for the next few days it sounds as though it will still be wet/muddy for a time. Bringing the trail runners as your 'other' shoes means that once it does dry up you have a choice of footwear.
Buen Camino
 
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19SY69

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguēs
Hi Faisal,
Bring your boots, cause walking the Primitive ensures walking on mudpaths. I’ve walked it two years ago when the weather has been dryer than this year. Leaving Bodenaya and reaching Tineo is famous for these mudpaths . Buen Camino!
 

Marina Zd

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2016.
Camino Primitivo May 2018.
Hi Faisal,
Bring your boots, cause walking the Primitive ensures walking on mudpaths. I’ve walked it two years ago when the weather has been dryer than this year. Leaving Bodenaya and reaching Tineo is famous for these mudpaths . Buen Camino!
Really? Ups, I'm planning to bring only my La Sportiva hiking shoes ... and faith that there will be no mud at that time (starting April 27th). :cool:
 
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19SY69

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguēs
Really? Ups, I'm planning to bring only my La Sportiva hiking shoes ... and faith that there will be no mud at that time (starting April 27th). :cool:
It says there will be mud even in summer. And
Really? Ups, I'm planning to bring only my La Sportiva hiking shoes ... and faith that there will be no mud at that time (starting April 27th). :cool:
I wish you luck!!
One super tip: stop at the albergue in Bodenaya. It’s a lifetime experience to be a guest at David’s albergue. And he can tell you all about the muddy trails
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
It is the sort of mud that will suck your shoes off, but not remove your boots..............
Seriously some of it is very deep and sticky and could fill your shoes. We had ankle high boots and in one place had to climb the bank. The couple who came through the mud behind us had their boots filled.
This was the famous bad section near Sta Eulalia - 6kms before Tineo. There is a detour by road, but there are other mud patches which also deserve boots.
 
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zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
I have not walked the del Norte or Primitivo yet. Will be walking the Primitivo this fall though. Over my 4 Camino's (all in early April) I have very much become an advocate of trail shoes and my feet are happy with the change.
Personally I would wear trail shoes regardless of the conditions. I have never found a trail section yet that I could not pick my way through with my poles or find a short detour around the worst mud.
If you happen to have boots that are super comfortable, then maybe take them. But if your feet are happier in trail shoes, then I would wear them rather than having to put up with hiking boots.
 
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Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
Hello. I walked CF in spring and CP in fall last year in trail runners (Brooks Cascadia) and they worked out perfect, especially given that weather conditions were amazing with very little rain.

I am looking to walk the Norte continuing onto the Primitivo this April, staring in 1-2 weeks, taking as many of the coastal variations as conditions allow to minimize asphalt. It looks like this spring has been much wetter in Northern Spain (perhaps all of Spain).

Would you recommend hiking boots in April/May to help with walking through mud or would train runners be sufficient? I will have hiking poles with me. I have full-leather waterproof hiking boots which are great for muddy conditions, but of course they are much heavier and don't breathe as well as trail runners, so I worry about blisters and beating up my feet, especially on the asphalt sections.

If I brought hiking boots, I would likely also bring the trail runners as my off-trail evening shoes (and skip the flip-flops to save weight). If the hiking boots fit in my backpack, then I suppose I could switch to trail runners when conditions warranted.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
I’m just finishing El Norte (25km out of Santiago). I’ve walked mostly in rain and tons of mud since Feb 28th in Salomon Speedcross 4 Goretex trail runners. Perfect, I don’t believe boots (for ankle support) are necessary, others said the mud was heavy on their boots. But my trail runner treads are worn out in the forefoot. I will use these again.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
It might dry up, but from reports on other threads, the mud and wet on the Norte probably means that boots are best as you have them. With the weather forecasts for the next few days it sounds as though it will still be wet/muddy for a time. Bringing the trail runners as your 'other' shoes means that once it does dry up you have a choice of footwear.
Buen Camino
Boots don’t guarantee dry feet, no one hadvdry feet on the multiple days of daylong heavy rain
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Our HiTec light leather waterproof boots have always kept our feet dry ☺ One brand did not, but they were sweaty and made our feet wet on cool dry days. We got rid of them, and went back to HiTec ☺We now keep them for Spain and the Camino. Cannot personally think of walking in anything except boots, but we each have our own preferences ☺
 

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faisalb.com/camino
Camino(s) past & future
2017: frances, portugues
2018: shikoku henro
2019: norte, ingles
thanks all for the great advice and sorry for my late response. i ended up making a last minute change, and decided to head to japan instead for the shikoku henro 88 temples pilgrimage. i walked the first week then 2.5 weeks by bicycle. it was an amazing experience, and very different from the camino. i plan to write about it on my blog soon. met many people, both other pilgrims and locals, that had also walked the camino.
 

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