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Hiking Sandals: One Site's Overview

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#1
A bit of background:
I get this company's email from having subjected myself to the lure of a free 8 day supply of their food (?) in exchange for testing their product. Let's just say by day 3, the rest remained in the deepest, darkest corner of my backpack. Fortunately, I had decided to bring a backup supply of my regular freeze-dried and dehydrated menu. If one likes flavored, moist sawdust and bark chips for a premium price, then the Greenbelly stuff would be OK. Blech!!!!

On To The Point:
Any way, they do have some informative content from time to time on their website. Since sandals have been a frequent topic of late, I thought I'd pass on this link for those interested. If you somehow get sucked into buying their product, that's on your head. :p:eek:
https://www.greenbelly.co/pages/barefoot-sandals-best-minimalist-and-running-sandals
 

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Anamiri

Active Member
Camino Angel
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#2
Interesting article, particularly the 'thong' style. However, I feel it doesn't take into consideration the size and position of a persons big toe. I prefer the sandal versions with an adjustable strap across the toes, that doesn't crush them up.
In my experience, I can almost never find flip flops or sandals with the thong in the correct place for my toes. When I do, I continue to buy that brand forever (or until they change their design)
On walking barefoot: I have walked barefoot as much as possible in my life, (I have had periods of 6 months or more without shoes) but wouldn't even think of that for a Camino due to the gravel paths, and tarmac roads.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino Angel
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#3
The Camino consists of so much unnatural surfaces, such as concrete, cobblestone, blacktop and the like. Things that ancient indigenous runners did not encounter. That could be a problem with thin, unsupported minimalist soles. I feel the more robust types like Tevas and Columbia are a better choice.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#4
I have worn sandals for my last 5 caminos (Francés x 2, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata) in all kinds of weather, and I love them. But mine are serious hiking sandals, not lightweight flimsy things. So not a "barefoot" approach. Although I do love the idea....
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
#5
I have worn sandals for my last 5 caminos (Francés x 2, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata) in all kinds of weather, and I love them. But mine are serious hiking sandals, not lightweight flimsy things. So not a "barefoot" approach. Although I do love the idea....
Kanga what sort of hiking sandals do you wear?
 

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jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#6
Just a thing to be aware of if you have a high instep. I spent about 3 hours recently being fitted for serious mountian sandals at several well known outdoor stores in London. I came away empty handed because NOTHING fitted correctly. Had I bought them, comfortable as they were, I would be setting myself up for tendonitis as I have a high instep. The serious mountain sandals (or the ones I tried on) have a firm band across the top of the foot which will potentially constrict the tendons, and MAY cause problems. I was quite dissapointed. Though I have seen simpler ones here in Italy, where I am currently walking, I have yet to try them on to see if they will work. For the moment I am sticking with my Keen shoes (not boots)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Burgos Oct 2017
#7
Having just returned from my second Camino trip, I swear by hiking in sandals. My sandals of choice are Chaco’s. Great traction sole, very few friction points with soft strapping. They can be worn loose without issues. A couple of things to be conscious of, quality socks should be worn, (I use both medium wool or waterproof membrane socks as needed) the only downside is the occasional “pea stone” that might get kicked up and trapped under foot. The upside would be zero toe problems and no skin issues due to moisture build up from sweating.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
C. de Salvador/Primitivo (2018)
#8
I have walked most of two Camino's in my chaco sandals. I disagree with almost every piece of this guy's advice. Minimalist running is very different from hiking. Especially with a pack.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#9
I have walked most of two Camino's in my chaco sandals. I disagree with almost every piece of this guy's advice. Minimalist running is very different from hiking. Especially with a pack.
I agree with you, Jill. I personally do not like backpacking with sandals of any kind, but where the article talked about the Xero sandals, I have used the Z-Trail and would never be able to tolerate the mentioned Amuri as it is too anemic for my needs. And I hate thongs on sandals. :)
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#10
As jl says above, beware if you have a high instep, as I do.

I bought a pair of Colombia open toe sandals. Comfortable straight out the box and brilliant for feet that overheat. But after several training walks I found myself constantly adjusting the strap over the instep, until I just could not get a comfortable fit. At the time, I thought it was just normal rub that would give blisters, but now I realise it would be the start of tendinitis.

I also find that too much barefoot walking is really bad for my feet, especially on really hard surfaces, like tiled floors. After about a year of walking around the house in bare feet, I noticed that my feet were starting to change shape, in a bad way. The arches were dropping and my big toe joints were starting to look like bunions. Same with my little toe joints.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my high arches require support on modern hard surfaces. No barefoot walking or running for me.
 

kirkie

Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#11
Dave, i took a very quick look at the site. On the topic, hiking sandals: I walk as much as I can, mostly on city streets, to get an average of 10,000 steps daily. I get around 8,000 over 7 days, usually. Some days I get over 20,000. Last Sunday I did that, and I was wearing my Keen rubber toe sandals. I hate the look of them, but i have to say that I got home without a hint of a hotspot. Once the weather allows, I start wearing those sandals every day. I will probably take them as my backups when I walk for a week along the banks of a river this summer, but my default walking boots will be on my feet for the majority of the time. I recall thinking when I used to see ‘walkers’ in a city, how can they bear to be wearing thick socks and boots in this weather? And then I learned some more. The last sentence is the title of a poem by Pat Ingoldsby. Just google it for some reflection material! And if you ever have a free day in Dublin, look for him in the city centre!
 

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