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Hiking sandals or lighter flip flops?

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New Member
Hi all,

I'm walking in mid September from Roncevalles to Burgos. I was planning on bringing Teva hiking sandals as my pair of 'relief shoes'. I'm wondering if I should switch them out for a lighter pair of flip flops to save weight. Any thoughts?

Thanks and Buen Camino,


Deleted member 3000

Choose one. If you think you might want to walk in the sandals, then carry the extra weight. Zori are fine for shower and evening wear.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
I reckon anything that's good for walking 10 mins or so from albergure to bar/restaurant and back should be good. These really light flip flops with the bar between your toes may not be good if you have blisters etc.

Socks with sandals, while a fashion disaster are common and don't attract too much criticism on the Camino. This can also be quite practical on cool autumn evenings or if the sight of your feet might put people off their dinner. :D

Buen Camino!


RIP 2019
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
willysmom said:
I was planning on bringing Teva hiking sandals as my pair of 'relief shoes'. I'm wondering if I should switch them out for a lighter pair of flip flops to save weight.
Flip-flops are pretty useless as a relief shoe. If you are looking to save weight, you're better off with Crocs, which weigh less than hiking sandals and protect your feet better than flip-flops.


Veteran Member
Take the Teva's!
Camino 1 (900 km): flip-flops which I dumped in Sahagún and bought a cheap Teva look-alike because walking on flip-flops with blisters was a disaster.
Camino 2 (600 km): a croc model (actually pretty nice looking) which was very light and doable with blisters although I did not walk long distances in them - albergue to town and back.
Camino 3 (2 weeks hospitalera + 5 days walking): wore my Teva's without socks 2 weeks straight running up and down stairs in Grañón and walking distances of up to about 10 km and I LOVED them! I was less concerned with weight this time around (although pack still about 6,5 km before water) but will DEFINATELY take my Teva's again next year.

FYI I have the heavier Teva model with a thick, hiking shoe like sole.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Do remember the words in the Sunscreen Song by Baz Luhrmann, "Remember your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone". Have mercy on your knees, your back, your ankles and your future by wearing a proper walking boot. Teva are fine looking but offer Zero support for any part of your body-cushioning the impact somewhat but do nothing for any bit of anatomy carrying the weight. One slip, one twist, one moment of inattention and your ankle is gone, downhill they are totally useless as your foot slides forward. Posing in sandals looks great but several years down the road a faded photograph will not be much comfort sitting in the whirlpool bath.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Listed in my signature
This past April I walked half the VdP and ended up walking in my (hiking) Teva's for most of it. I had issues with my hiking shoes (laces cutting into the top of my foot no matter how I tied or cushioned) and LOVED the Teva's. Felt it was like walking on air. Good arch support and with the straps pulled correctly my foot did not slip going up hill or down. I did find, however, that if I carried any +++ water or food the extra weight did cause me to get a tiny blister under the center 'pad' of one foot (so I just changed back to my hiking shoes for the rest of the day).

So, one benefit of Teva's is that you can walk in them if you need/want to. Downside is they are much heavier than a flip-flops or Crocs...


New Member
Thank you all for your advice! I plan on wearing my boots to hike/walk and using my sandals at the albergues or to run errands only. It sounds like I should stick to the original plan and bring the Tevas.
Buen Camino!


Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 Camino Portugues 2016
I took Teva hiking sandals which I find very comfortable. On my most recent camino, I also took a pair of cheap flip flops to wear in the shower since I knew that the straps on the Tevas don't dry well in cool weather. I found that my feet were so swollen at the end of the day that I could barely squeeze my feet into the flip flops. I abandoned them along the way.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I used the Salomon Techamphibian shoe as my 'evening' shoe on my last pilgrimage. It is lighter than most sandals, and can be used as a relief shoe during the day should that be necessary.

It was great for end of day exploring in towns etc, and for the fashion conscious, has a closed toe box, so there isn't that socks with sandals look.



New Member
HIKING SANDALS absolutely.

If I hadn't brought mine, i would have bought some. You may want to walk in them (or may need to due to blistered feet, like me) and will definitely appreciate having them. Even people I knew who didn't have blister problems were glad they brought them just to offer some support for their feet. Flip flops are a let down. It is definitely worth the weight.

katherine w.


Crocs? Lighter than either option and more support and protection than the flip flops. But shoes are so personal that there is no "correct" answer.


New Member
Hi. If you are not fashion conscious then I'd recommend the Crocs. You can wear them in the shower, out in the evening, as relief shoes if you get blisters and if it's cold you can wear them with socks - but then I'm the crazy Kiwi who has just cycled and walked 1000km in my Crocs. I did 900km on my bike from Pamplona to STPP to Santiago - and just got back to Santiago yesterday from walking the last 100kms from Santiago to Finisterre in my Crocs. I used to wonder why anyone would spend money on Crocs but I'm a convert now. The Crocs were originally bought for garden shoes only - as we have centipedes and also had a snake in our garden in Timor - but then I started wearing them for short trips on my bike down to the beach - and then wore them on a couple of long bike rides in the mountains. When I realized my feet didn't slip in the Crocs, the Crocs didn't slip on the pedals and I could wash them and walk in rivers etc - that's when I made the decision they would become my shoes for the Camino as they suited my purpose for the few kms I planned to do each day. I also walked in them a lot as there were many parts of the camino that were too rocky or steep for me to cycle up and down so I'd just push my bike. I'm not recommending that anyone should consider Crocs as a walking shoe but they could be considered as a back up pair. If you do go with the Crocs they need to be broken in like any new shoes. On the flip side, people have told me that Crocs aren't strong enough for walking, that you'd feel every stone, that your feet will sweat and slip - and this may be true for some people - so you'd need to check them out for you. I just loved the comfort. It's the first time in my life I haven't had to get my shoes off as soon as I've finished a long walk or cycle.

In two days I'm going to start cycling the Camino del Norte in reverse so I'll be interested to see if the Crocs are still holding up after another 800 or so km.


Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2011
I took teva flip flops and crocs. Both were well broke in before the camino but the tevas felt the best to me at the end of the day. Extra weight. Yes. Just be willing to donate/leave behind some of the stuff that you thought you needed. I struggled to stay under 10 kilos finally got down to about 8.5. Did bring home my tevas and crocs. I kept mine on the outside of my pack.


New Member
Hi there, could anyone clarify? It sounds to me like some of you are taking 3 pairs of footwear on the camino:

1- boots/cross trainers - for the hike
2- crocs/sandals - for walking around town (open toed, to give feet much-needed air/respite)
3- flip flops - for the showers

Most of you combine #2 and #3. Is that a fair assessment?

Personally, I don't like the idea of wearing flip flops in the shower and then wearing them around town afterwards.

I will do the Camino Primitivo (and part of the Norte) in Sept/Oct, and would appreciate any wisdom from those who've gone before me.

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
I took boots and Crocs (the clog style). The latter for afternoon/evening walking around accomodation and 'sightseeing. I always wore a pair of socks with them and found that they were really good. Some 'sightseeing' was better done in the boots on a 'rest' day, but much of that was done in the Crocs too to give my feet a change. If needed I could have worn the Crocs on some sections of the Primitivo, although I wouldn't recommend it. Flip-flops, in my case, would have been useless for anything apart from showering while the Crocs suited almost anything and are super light.

We had decided that if we reached a bad wet patch, like in 2010, we would remove our boots and thick socks and walk/paddle through in our liner socks and Crocs. Then put on dry liners and socks and boots on dry land again. Easy with Crocs, but not flip-flops etc. Anyone tried this? we didn't need to in May this year.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Listed in my signature
Yes, I took the 3 pairs. I personally feel shower shoes are essential, and my Teva's, with their thick velcro straps, are not good shower shoes. To me it was worth the extra bulk (another reason I carry a large pack = bulk!)
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
I walk in boots but carry Teva's to use whenever I can. As a diabetic I have to avoid veruccas so carry flip flops for the showers. I save weight in other areas.


Veteran Member
LTfit said:
Camino 3 (2 weeks hospitalera + 5 days walking): wore my Teva's without socks 2 weeks straight running up and down stairs in Grañón ...
Isn't being hospitalero in Granon the ultimate of Camino experiences!

I take Chaco sandals... a lot like Tevas. Wore them for relief when I had blisters, and wore them in the shower when the floor was grungy.

The extra weight is worth it.

Buen Camino,
David, Victoria, Canada.


El Camino de Santiago June 2012
Camino(s) past & future
May 24-July 3 2012
Strongly suggest sandals. Can where with or without socks. But flip flops...There were evenings when my feet were very cold.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept.-Oct. 2011 SJPdP-SDC
Switch out the Tevos for the lightest pair of flip flops you can find., you and your feet will be better off. At the end of the walk day, shower with the flips on and go out and enjoy the evening, you will find many other pilgrims looking a lot like you. Whenever you can soak your feet in a nearby stream, they will love you for that. My passage from SJPdP to SdC was free of any painful foot issues and believe me I saw many a pilgrim nursing their feet.
I've found the Chaco Z2 Unaweep to be quite suitable as alternative footwear to trekking boots. IMO, the Chaco's footbed is far superior to the Teva and the toe loop provides much more lateral stability. You can also wear the Chaco sandals with socks by leaving the toe loop under the foot. Although they are fairly heavy...I intend to include them on my next pilgrimage.


I've tried to love Chacos, but that strapping system and I just don't get along. I bought a couple of pair of Crocs to test them for the Camino, and I have been surprised how they seem to help my feet and legs recover after a long walk. This is my first experience with them. One pair is the normal Croc and the second is the Prepair model, which really feels good on the foot. I just wish it had more airholes like the regular model. I also have some Teva Zilches I have considered taking. They weigh nothing and can be folded up, but I may want more support in the off-hours than they provide.

One week and counting...


New Member
Has anyone tried to walk long distances on flat Vivobarefoot, terranova flat or even Vibram five finger shoes? I walked the camino in 2003 on Merrell full hiking boots. I only had one blister in the heel early on from a poorly fitting orthotic. But the shoe is heavy and I am trying to minimize weight this time and find a shoe that moves more naturally with the foot. I have been walking on shoes mimicking barefoot walking , it seems to help my bad knee, but have not gone for more than 5 kms yet. Would be interested in other people's experience before setting off on the Cammino di Francesco in Italy in early October.


New Member
Bought a pair of teva zilch sandals. Thin sole, light weight version of hiking sandal. Like them for walking around town, or a some hiking when trail is flat. REI had them on clearance.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2014)
Norte, Finisterre, Salvador, Primitivo (2015)
I really appreciate this thread, even though it is two years old.

My final pack weight is at 6.9 kilos (without water) so I've been considering whether or not to ditch my Tevas, which I've worn hiking for around 20 years and love but are heavy. (Bought and tried newer Tevas but they weren't significantly enough lighter to make them worthwhile and didn't fit as well as my oldies but goodies.)

I will look to see how else I can cut the weight so I can take them with me to change into whenever I get sick of hiking in my trail runners.

Thank you all.
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Veteran Member
Sandals for the walk in summer season, Leon to Santiago and beyond, Ecco are the biz. Yes you will have to stop and flick out pebbles; also in Galicia if you encounter herd of cattle relieving themselves you must tread carefully!
Buen Camino.
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