• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Hiking boots versus Approach Shoes


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I have my well worn, broken in hiking boots and was originally thinking about wearing them. They were great on the AT when I was carrying a 25-30# pack. Now I am thinking a pair of lighter weight approach shoes might make more sense--with a packweight of 16#. My hiking boots are gore-tex and offer lots of ankle support but they are leather and heavy. Approach shoes would be lower at the ankle and lighter in weight and accordingly offer less support. Any feedback? I will be walking this September. I figure if I wear approach shoes, I will need to also bring my low gators to control those nasty stones that are attracted like MAGNETS to my feet. My husband insists I have "Princess and the Pea" feet. Thanks.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets

Deleted member 397

Not sure what approach shoes are but I guess they are something like hiking shoes.On 3 caminoes I've always worn goretex hiking shoes but after the wet weather from Granada last year (from mid may to late june) I bought a pair of Asolo leather boots. On many mornings I would end up with wet feet withing half an hour due to the heavy rain so hopefully the leather boots will be better. I also wore small gaiters to stop those persistent and annoying grass seeds attching themselves to my socks.


Veteran Member

I wore Merrell high top leather on the AT...I found that the lighter boot in Gore-tex (also Merrell) worked best on the Camino...if you're concern is splashing water or pea gravel...low leg gaters will suffice.

You're carrying so little that there's reduced need for ankle support...unless you have a medical condition. If anything, the concern will be with knee injuries from falls...or up hill strain.

Buen Camino
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I wore New Balance Trail shoes and was VERY happy!
They were very comfortable, dried quickly, and cushioned my feet.
I got a total of zero blisters! The few hotspots were kept safe with Compeed.
I purchased cushioned insoles for a little extra.

I just bought a NEW pair for my next camino!


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I wore Merrells walking shoes rather than boots. I loved the Vibram sole, which helped me stop slipping in the wet, muddy conditions I encountered in April, May and early June. But I wished they were more water-proof in some of the early days in France when my feet got saturated.

As you can see from the attached photo, taken in the albergue in El Burgo Ranero on the Meseta, people wore all kinds of shoes and boots. Whatever you choose though, you will save yourself a lot of bother if you make sure they are well worn in before you hit the Camino.


  • 396 shoes.jpg
    396 shoes.jpg
    47.6 KB · Views: 4,864
Create your own ad
Have a camino related project that you are interested in promoting on the forum? Create your own ad right now.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 solo and 2013 with wife and toddler
Hi - I wore Merrell hiking shoes on my camino and they performed well. I did encounter a few stages (perhaps 5 or 6 out of 30) in which I would have preferred the ankle support or a boot. I would say hiking shoes or at most lightweight boots would work best.


I have Columbia Titanium all leather hiking boots. They are on the heavy side but they keep walking by themselves even when I´m too exhausted to walk. Vibram soles are marvellous!

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.7%
  • March

    Votes: 60 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 207 14.9%
  • May

    Votes: 340 24.5%
  • June

    Votes: 101 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 27 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 30 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 399 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 171 12.3%
  • November

    Votes: 19 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 10 0.7%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store