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Hiking Shoes, or Hiking Boots?

Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#1
I have read a lot of conflicting information - some say a good pair of hiking boots is required, especially if you are going in the Winter or Spring. Other sites say that hiking boots are overkill and that hiking shoes, or even a good pair of running shoes are sufficient. What do you think :?:
 
A

AJ

Guest
#2
Depends on how much you need lateral ankle support. I need it. Last year I would have suffered a serious ankle sprain, possibly breaking a metatarsal on the way down from Cruz de Ferro to Ponferrada. As it was I was limping for a while.

Lots of people do very well in trainers or heavy duty sandals. I wish I could!
 
#3
Tim-the-fat-Canadian said:
I have read a lot of conflicting information - some say a good pair of hiking boots is required, especially if you are going in the Winter or Spring. Other sites say that hiking boots are overkill and that hiking shoes, or even a good pair of running shoes are sufficient. What do you think :?:
Tim - if you look back at previous postings there isn't one answer to this. We each have to work out for ourselves what is best. For what it is worth I think that many long distance walkers who walk a few times graduate towards lighter and lighter footwear depending on when they are walking. When I embarked on my first camino I never thought I would walk in sandals yet last summer I did.

I'd go to a reputable shop that sells hiking footwear and discuss this with them. Try out some models. Some people like the 'feel' and support of a full boot, others wear trainers - there is also a range of hybrid or mid ankle shoes (which I use) which can serve well in summer and winter.

Happy researching!

John
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#4
Tim,
Like Johnnie says, people have all sorts of footwear. I guess the most important thing is that you have worn in whatever you plan to wear well before you go. This photo was one I took at Granon early June. As you can see, people had 'all sorts'.
I wore a hybrid kind of shoe as well, with a non-slip Vibram sole that I am sure helped keep me safe on some very muddy hills.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#6
Thank you all so far for your advice. I have been to two large hiking/camping stores in Southern Ontario where I live. Although the salespeople are all hikers, none of them have attempted the Camino. So I am not sure they really have a good understanding of what all is involved. I have been training in a hiking shoe so far, but I think I am going to switch to a hybrid half boot, half shoe. It looks like I will be leaving sooner for the Camino, likely in mid-March so that I can be back to work for May 3rd - so from what I read, I will be encountering snow (which is okay, we have lots in Canada :D ) and lots of rain.

Any other advice from you seasoned veterns is very much appreciated.

Tim
 
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Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#7
To add to what I have said before, today I walked 11 kms in preparation for my journey. I felt good. No groin pains, no shin splints, everything felt great. Was going to book the flight!

Until about the 5th km. Then I felt my foot beginning to blister. But I was 5 kms from home, so I kept walking my circular route. At about 9 kms, I flet the other foot begin to act up.

Upon arriving at home, my right foot has a blister about the size of a quarter, on the left foot, half of the bottom of the foot is a blister, plus another huge blister on the left side of the left foot.

Darn, Darn, Darn. This will set me back at least a week. At least I will have some extra time to concentrate on buying new footwear. :wink:

Blister advise, anyone?
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#8
Hi Tim,
Two things that might help. One is to carry some plasters with you and to cover over any 'hot spots' as soon as you feel them becoming tender, before a blister can form. (This assumes it isn't pouring with rain and you can actually stop along the way!)
The other point is to check your socks as well as your shoes. I wore a thin synthetic liner under my socks, designed to wick away moisture. If you can get rid of excess moisture, you can often avoid blisters.
If you do a search on the forum there are quite a few threads that deal with blisters.
Margaret
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#9
Tim, try and find out WHY you got these blisters. There has to be a reason. What was rubbing against the foot in those spots. Were they the socks, were the boots too well fitting, etc. You need boots, I would say, at least two sizes bigger than your normal shoe size. This takes into consideration thick trekking socks and the swelling of the foot towards the end of the day. Check out the insoles too - were they not aligned in the bottom of the boot? (I got my one and only blister last year for that reason) In any case, if you are walking in March, you should at least buy waterproof boots. I think you are going to need them! Also, as Margaret wrote, take some plasters with you when you go walking. At least you can stop and hopefully cover up the tender spot (don't think it's going to go away by itself, because it won't)! Anne
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#11
Hi Tim -

No matter which kind of shoe/boot or sock combination you choose, do one more thing. Apply a thick layer of vaseline over your whole foot before starting out each morning. This is preventative - not curative. I agree with all the other comments, particularly covering and protecting "hotspots". To continue walking with hotspots has only one outcome - blisters. And finally, each time you stop to rest during the day's walk, take off your boots and socks and put them in the sun to dry.
I hope you heal quickly and can carry on with your planning and training.

Buen camino!
lynne
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#12
Hi Tim,
All the advice above is great. The thing is now you know your 'soft spots' and that's a good thing.
Greasing up your feet whether it's with Vaseline, Vicks or Compeed stick does feel a little weird, but its sort of counter intuitive- trust us it really works.
Other tip:- Wearing socks, or if you wear liners then liner socks, inside out stops the seams becoming hot spots (if you are a 'chunky chicken' this principle also works with underwear sorry if that's TMI! :oops: )
When we were walking my walking partner would shout "Free the the Camino Ten" and that was a signal for boots and socks off time. There's nothing better than getting those boots off and wriggling your toes.....bliss!
Nell (aka one of the 'Blister Sisters')
 

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
#14
Hello Tim,
Our tip re blisters is to wear 3 pairs of socks, it worked for Terry on his Camino last year.
Inner very thin wicking pair with flat toe seams; middle lightweight mohair; outer cushion sole mohair. The middle pair seem to take all the wear - interesting - we don't know why. Also when putting our socks on we are careful to smooth out any wrinkles as they could rub. We don't like vaseline but this system has kept our feet dry and works well for us.
Another tip that we were given is to carry a small piece of sheep's wool and if needed put it between your boot and the hotspot; you might need to put it between your socks to hold it in place.
Hope your feet heal soon, try bathing them 2 or 3 times a day in warm salt water.
Tia Valeria
 

Davroos

Active Member
#15
Hi Tim

Pretty interesting question and responses you have received, and here are my experiences.

I had a pair of boots that were broken in, but when I walked in the Himalayas, I got blisters very quickly.

I walked Hadrian's Wall last year, but this time, I spent money on good socks, and I did not have a problem.

In August, I replaced them with a light weight walking boot and took them straight out for a 39 Klm walk and with proper walking socks, I had no problems.

Yesterday, I debuted a low cut walking shoe and did 33 Klm's of walking in the mud and once again, no blisters.

What I have found is that having proper walking socks are the only way to go

David
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#16
Thanks very much for the detailed information. You folks are all wonderful for taking the time to share your thoughts and tips with this novice walker. I'd rather make my mistakes now, while at home, than on the trail. Are you ready to shake your head and have a good laugh.

I bought my hiking shoes last November and have wore them everythere including to work so I have lots of miles in them. But........Last November, I was at the semi-annual Toronto chapter meeting of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims, and a lady said that part of her sucess was in wearing double socks. So yesterday, for the very first time, I wore two pairs of cotton sport socks. I never felt them getting wet, but I suspect that my feet litterly over-heated. I know now that this was my problem.

I will go to the local hiking store (it is an hour away ) and see if I can get some proper socks, and also get the ointments for dealing with the hot spots. A lot of you suggest vasaline, but if you only are taking three pair of socks at the most, and want to keep the last pair nice for Santiago and the trip back home to Canada, doesn't the vasaline make a huge mess in the first two pair?

Tim
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#17
Tim - I never felt the vaseline ruined my socks - I had special socks that I only wore for caminos and wore them two years in a row! Of course the cold water washing really doesn't clean the vaseline out of the socks at all but IMO the fact that it has permeated the fibers of the socks is even better! So go ahead - wear vaseline under all of your socks- you'll wear them again!

lynne
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#18
I know some swear by vaseline, but I didn't like the sound of it on my socks either, and never used it. I did invest in good socks- Bridgedale- and wore a lightweight woollen summer sock over a thin synthetic liner. The rubbing seemed to occur between the liner and the sock rather than on my feet. I only got blisters once on my whole trip from Le Puy to Santiago, and that was after a period of very wet weather when the track was like a stream in many places so my feet got saturated. Maybe if I had heavier leather boots I might have avoided wet feet, and hence not got blisters..... but I liked my lighter hybrid walking shoes the rest of the time!
Margaret
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#19
Compeed Anti-Blister Stick contains:
Hydrogenated vegetable oil, Cetyl alcohol, Parfum, Linalool, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, butylphenyl methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene carboxaldehyde. [all the additives are basically scents]

Crisco hydrogenated vegetable oil
Since its introduction in 1911, Crisco® has revolutionized the way food is prepared and the way it tastes. From being the first shortening product made entirely of vegetable oil to creating the first cooking oil that was promoted for its light taste, Crisco has been making life in the kitchen more delicious for years.

Sportslick was created by combining Petrolatum with Silicone for long lasting waterproof protection, then adding the leading antifungal agent, Tolnaftate with healing ingredients, Aloe, Vitamin E, C, and natural plant extracts.
Soothing Aloe, Antioxidant vitamins A and E, and other natural ingredients moisturize and rejuvenates your skin.
Created by a physician, this unique formula combines the proven antifungal (Tolnaftate) and a popular antibacterial (Triclosan) to guard against infection.
Easy to apply to your feet, legs, thigh, groin, underarms and neck, Sportslick stays where you put it! It won't come off until you wash it off with soap.Sportslick
Contains:
The leading antibacterial, Triclosan. The finest grade Petrolatum was chosen because it is the most effective lubricant available. It is used safely in hundreds of skin products and medications. It is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. Sportslick has been proven not to harm wetsuits or athletic equipment.
Silicone - binds to the skin for long lasting waterproof protection
Petrolatum - a proven safe lubricant and moisturizer
Polymers - for a slippery feel and a lasting glide
Tolnaftate 1% - the leading antifungal agent
Aloe - plant extract that heals and moisturizes skin
Vitamin E - antioxidant that helps Vitamin E work more effectively
Soybean Oil - plant extract that repairs and rejuvenates the skin
Natural Oil Fragrance - vanilla almond oil
Triclosan - popular antibacterial

Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly is a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin and microcrystalline waxes that, when blended together, create something remarkable - a smooth jelly that has a melting point just above body temperature. The result - it literally melts into skin, flowing into the spaces between cells and the gaps in our lipid barrier. Once there, it re-solidifies, locking itself in place.

Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly serves two functions: First it helps keep the outside world out - it protects skin from the effects of weather and exposure. Second, it acts like a sealant to help keep the inside world in - it forms an occlusive barrier to the natural water loss of our skin. So skin that is dry and chapped is protected from drying elements, enabling skin-softening moisture to build up naturally from inside the skin itself.

Bag Balm:
8 Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate (0.3% in a Petrolatum, Lanolin Base)

Hydropel:
Active Ingredient: Dimethicone 30%
Other Ingredients: Petrolatum, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate.

PICK THE ONE YOU THINK IS LIKELY TO WORK BEST!!
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#20
Falcon just gave a very detailed list of possible ways to treat your feet. Giving the ingredients of Sportslick, you can see that Aloe is mentioned twice. When I got my one and only blister last year, 20 days into my walk (completely my own fault, as I mentioned in a previous message of mine on this topic), I carried on a few days more trying all the usual methods to get rid of it, until we stayed (for the 2nd year running) at this wonderful small Albergue in Valverde de la Virgen, called La Casa del Peregrino. The owners/hospitaleros are florists. She pricked the blister, leaving in a piece of thread (this is common practice), but then to my surprise, went into their garden and came back with a freshly cut Aloa leaf. She smeared this natural gel on my blister, covered it with a piece of gauze, gave me the rest of the leaf and told me to repeat the proceedure the next day. That was that. The blister had completely dried up. Anne
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#21
More awesome advice. Thanks very much.

Just so that you know I actually am making some progress here, I did drive to Burlingotn today (an hour from where I live) and I bought two types of sock systems.

The first ones are made by a company called Wigwam and it is their Trail Mix Fusion brand. It is a mixure of a wool sock on the outside, with a built in liner on the inside.

The second pair of socks is a sock made by Bridgedale and it is their X-Hale Trailhead brand, which has rebounding cushioning, are breathable and cool; and to go with them a pair of Wigwam Ultimate Liner Pro socks.

It will be at least a week before I can begin walking again (blisters are still in the draining stage), but I think I will wear one of the pairs of socks to work tomorrow and see how that goes.

Eventually I will get some more socks, but this will allow me to see which system I prefer.

The hiking store ((Mountain Equipment Company) did not have any of the Sportstick or Hydropel in stock but they do on their website, so I will order on-line.

Tim
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#22
Hi Tim - Those are good socks - try them and see how they are. The sticks from MEC are good as well. Just had another thought - if you do decide on vaseline - it comes in tubes which you can find only in the baby section at Shopper's. And you can buy vaseline in tubes in the farmacias during your walk, so don't load up before you leave.

lynne
 
#23
In the above post I have been reading that you have to have shoes 2 sizes more than your normal shoesize? Will you not get more blisters if your feed are slidding?
Many greetings from Holland
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#24
The boots need to fit properly over the number of socks being worn, which typically means 1/2 size larger. Two pairs of thicker socks may require a full size. Unless the boots are not standard sizing, two (2) sizes larger seems excessive. But fit and buy the boots using the sock combination you will be using. If it takes two sizes, so with it.
 

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
#25
I was once told that you should buy shoes (or boots) after you have been walking around for a time, so your feet are 'warmed up'. This is because they may be smaller early morning and spread a little during the day. Also make sure that you are wearing your socks when trying them on and walk around the shop. This is another advantage of the 3 pairs of socks of varying thickness. If it is really hot we can wear 2 pairs of liners and one pair of the mohairs, or any other combination that suits. We plan to take 2 complete changes of socks plus 2 extra pairs of lightweight liner socks. These weigh under 1oz a pair so no problem to carry.
Then start walking in them so that they are worn in and also your feet are used to them. I am doing all my practise walks in my 'Camino kit' to check out any problems. This will include my rucksack with my Camino clothes in - but that sort of info can be found in other threads
Buen Camino
Tia Valeria
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#26
An added thought on the original question "shoes or boots?". In 2009 I wore a very good pair of Merrill walking shoes. They were fine and I had no particular foot problems. However, I did have the annoying problem of small pebbles (scree) getting in my shoes. I would empty them and in a very short time...more small pebbles. A real pain to stop and empty shoes so this year I am wearing a similar Merrill mid boot to avoid the rocks.
 
#27
Hi Tim, as others have stated....this question is all about you. I wore light weight hiking boots because they were light, plus they gave me support. As I continued on my journey across Spain I realized what a good decision it was to wear boots compared to sneakers. You will encounter all kinds of terrain, pavement, muck, dirt roads and loose rock...so it will depend on how strong your ankles and feet are....I suggest allowing a little space at the front of your boot or shoe..it will save your toes from being bruised with the constant walking and weight of your pack. 8)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#28
Grayland,

I also get small pebbles in my merril hiking shoes when I am on training walks in the rural area that I live. (Not a lot of walking outside lately between huge blisters and it is -12 right now).

As suggested by Barbaramarie and others, I am going to get a pair of Merril half boot hiking shoes. I checked the prices at MEC here in Canada - they are $155 CAD. However, the same boots in Buffalo are $98 US. The exchange right now is almost at par, so I am going to sneak :wink: across the border and get some.

Eventually Canada will thaw out and I can walk outside again.

Tim :)
 

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
#29
We wear boots Tim and also carry a pair of lightweight Crocs to wear in the evening or for sightseeing and to the shower (it doesn't matter if they get wet). Gives the boots time to dry out before next day's walking. Some people prefer lightweight sandals.
Hope you find some trousers too.
Tia Valeria
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#30
Tia, I ordered some trousers from one of the websites provided by a responder to the other post. So maybe I won't be stared at so much if I have pants on :)

I got my Merrill boots today in Buffalo then went to a Buffalo Bandits professional Lacrosse game. The boots were very comfortable for watching lacrosse. It is -17 outside right now so until Canada thaws out a bit, I won't be walking outside. It is supposed to go up to zero by next weekend.

But at the very worst, I have good, comfortable, lacrosse watching boots :lol:

Tim
 
#31
Are there actually people that do the whole camino in sandals without problem?

I've been agonizing over footwear, and I'm consider wearing Vibram Fivefingers shoes, haven't decided yet, but will need to soon to have time to break them in.
 
#32
Yes, many people wear walking sandals and swear by them. I've used Teva sandals for many kilometers although generally my preference is for a mid ankle shoe. People wear sandals to avoid problems because your feet are dry blisters are usually avoided.

Are these the shoes you are thinking of using? If so we'd all be fascinated to know how you get on:
 

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#33
JohnnieWalker said:
Yes, many people wear walking sandals and swear by them. I've used Teva sandals for many kilometers although generally my preference is for a mid ankle shoe. People wear sandals to avoid problems because your feet are dry blisters are usually avoided.

Are these the shoes you are thinking of using? If so we'd all be fascinated to know how you get on:
Yes I'm considering the KSO Trek, which are a little more rugged and suitable for hiking.
 
#34
Lemonkid - I've looked at their website etc but although there are references to runners wearing Fivefinger shoes I can't find any reviews from long distance walkers - I'd check on that if you can before making the investment. On Camino you will be walking continuously all day - every day for many days. I'd be cautious of walking barefoot in shoes over the distances we cover - but there again I never though I'd like walking in sandals!

Good luck with your choices :)
 
#35
JohnnieWalker said:
Lemonkid - I've looked at their website etc but although there are references to runners wearing Fivefinger shoes I can't find any reviews from long distance walkers - I'd check on that if you can before making the investment. On Camino you will be walking continuously all day - every day for many days. I'd be cautious of walking barefoot in shoes over the distances we cover - but there again I never though I'd like walking in sandals!

Good luck with your choices :)
Thanks. You have any hiking sandals that you'd recommend?
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#37
My husband has worn Keen H20 sandals (with socks) for portions of a couple of caminos and they worked out quite well.

lynne
 

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lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#39
Very interesting link, Falcon.
Lanolin, petroleum jelly and hydroxyquinolone sulfate. Just had to check that out. Being a city girl, I always thought that sheep had to be killed to get the lanolin - now I've learned it comes from their wool! I might buy a small tin - the reported smell and consistency reminds me of the "special" camino foot unguento sold in Spain - something about "Peregrino" on the label - just can't remember the name.

lynne
 
#40
lynnejohn said:
Very interesting link, Falcon.
Lanolin, petroleum jelly and hydroxyquinolone sulfate. Just had to check that out. Being a city girl, I always thought that sheep had to be killed to get the lanolin - now I've learned it comes from their wool! I might buy a small tin - the reported smell and consistency reminds me of the "special" camino foot unguento sold in Spain - something about "Peregrino" on the label - just can't remember the name.

lynne
Maybe you're referring to the "Ungüento del Peregrino"

¡Buen Camino! :arrow:
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#41
That's it. I remember seeing it in Laura's office at Mansilla de las Mulas, and I think she had it for sale. Never did try it though.
Thanks.

lynne
 
#42
Here are some thoughts about gear selection for walking the Camino in the spring.

Two items I found invaluable were my light foam ear plugs, and my roll of duct tape.

There are some amazing snorers out there, and my ear plugs helped block out some of the noise.

Every morning I would take out my duct tape and tape my heels. Then I would give the bottom of my feet and my toes a good vaseline rub and put on my light wicking inner socks under my heavier pair of wool blend hiking socks. I wasn’t completely blister free, but I’m sure it made a difference.

I had a choice between my well worn leather hiking boots, and my worn in, but newer merrel hiking shoes. I chose the leather hiking boots, and was I ever glad I did. I walked through snow, during falling snow, and in rain, and my boots kept my feet dry. I walked even more days when the sun was shining, but during March and April, there was a lot of mud, and of course, a lot of mud and manure that last week walking through some of the Galician villages! Perhaps later in the spring and in the summer it is a lot drier, but I would wear my boots again if I was walking in the early spring.

I was intrigued by some pilgrims wearing some very light gaiters over their boots. I think they would be a good idea in any season, to keep rain and snow out of the boots, but even more importantly, to keep those pesky little pebbles from being kicked into the boots on the meseta and on some of the gravel paths.

I wore a goretex jacket and goretex pants, and had a rain cover over my back pack. I would choose those any day over one of those portable sauna ponchos. Also, I never understood why those people who wrapped all their personal items in plastic bags had to rewrap every item when they packed in the morning – and why did those same people always seem to be the first ones awake! Many cold mornings I started with my goretex pants over my shorts, then took them off when it warmed up. Same with the jacket, so I didn’t have to carry an extra jacket or a heavier long pair of pants.

I started out with a three season sleeping bag, since I had heard that some of the albergues were unheated. Some were unheated, but they all had extra blankets. I eventually discarded my sleeping bag, and bought a nice light sleeping sack that compressed to the size of a large grapefruit. I was never cold, though there were some nights after Astorga that I had to wear my fleece to bed initially. And some of the albergues were really quite overheated, so it was nice to have a much lighter bag.

I hope this helps.
 
#44
JohnnieWalker said:
Lemonkid - I've looked at their website etc but although there are references to runners wearing Fivefinger shoes I can't find any reviews from long distance walkers - I'd check on that if you can before making the investment. On Camino you will be walking continuously all day - every day for many days. I'd be cautious of walking barefoot in shoes over the distances we cover - but there again I never though I'd like walking in sandals!

Good luck with your choices :)
I've found some good reviews from long-distance trail-runners that seem to suggest that they'd be ok. I guess I'll find out though won't I? I've considered taking some hiking sandals as backup, but I haven't been able to find any on Taobao, which, because of my location, is where I have to do most of my shopping. I'm going to be testing out the Vibram Fivefingers before I go, if they're really not suitable I'll probably pick up some hiking sandals in Paris, or maybe try more standard hiking shoes.

Either way people on this forum should be easier able to recognize me only the Camino - that Canadian guy with the toe-shoes, haha.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
#45
Vibram Fivefingers shoes
OMG has anyone seriously used these for long distance walking over rough terrain & in wet conditions???

Has anyone worn Scarpa hiking boots - if so, your recommendation?? I am looking at a pair and they appear very good :D

Thanks
Jacqui
 

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
#46
Hedwig said:
In the above post I have been reading that you have to have shoes 2 sizes more than your normal shoesize? Will you not get more blisters if your feed are slidding?
Many greetings from Holland
Terry and I have been discussing how shoes are sized and it varies according to where you live. Here in the UK shoes/boots can be sized in half sizes, so 2 sizes actually goes 5; 5½; 6. In the EU sizes are 37;38;39 and the US has a different sizing again, something like 5;6;7. etc.etc.
In some places you do need 2 sizes bigger in others it sounds like only 1 size if there are no ½ sizes.
So best to try on until you are sure of your sizing because if they are too big and slip then its a very expensive mistake, and as bad as being too small.
Keep your feet happy and Buen Camino
Tia Valeria
 
#47
This is good advice. I'd go to a reputable hiking shop where they will measure your feet. Go mid week in the afternoon preferably after walking for a while. This give you the benefit of getting more epxereinces sales people rather than Saturday temps. Take the socks you will normally wear and put them on - most good hiking shop will have spare socks if you forget. Having measured your feet try on different types of shoes or boots as no matter the measurement different manufacturers often have different "fits". Walk up and down in the store and make good use of the practice hills which they will have for you to try them out.

Bets wishes

John
 
#48
Well now I'm considering using the Vibrams as a backup. My gf made a good point - though the Vibrams seem sturdy enough for the trail / walking, she's not sure how they'd hold up with the added weight of a backpack in terms of support. Most of the shoes are worn by trail runners, who're of course not going to be wearing a pack. The benefits of asking around - I hadn't even thought of that.

Still considering Vibrams, but looking for more recommendations in terms of hiking shoes. I'm kind of limited to whatever I can order online here in China, but I'll listen to any ideas.

Couldn't find any Keen Sandals in my search so far.
 

Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
#50
Hi Jacqui..

I wore Scarpa Trek boots on my camino of 1000 km in 2008. They were perfect, and the only time they let ANY water in was when I was walking to Finistere and it absolutely bucketed down for hours on end. You MJST break them in before you go - it took me 3 months of daily walking in them before they felt really comfortable and I stopped getting blisters.

Because the Scarpa boots are fairly weighty, and my left knee had cartilege trouble, I opted for light riding boots on my 2009 camino. Bad mistake! I could not keep them secure around my feet as you can with lace-up boots, and got blisters in a whole range of places. I now have a new pair of Scarpas and have already started wearing them in preparation for the Via de la Plata in 2011. I got around 6000 km out of my first pair.

Buen camino

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
#52
Hi Jacqui..

I wore Scarpa Trek boots on my camino of 1000 km in 2008. They were perfect, and the only time they let ANY water in was when I was walking to Finistere and it absolutely bucketed down for hours on end. You MJST break them in before you go - it took me 3 months of daily walking in them before they felt really comfortable and I stopped getting blisters.

Because the Scarpa boots are fairly weighty, and my left knee had cartilege trouble, I opted for light riding boots on my 2009 camino. Bad mistake! I could not keep them secure around my feet as you can with lace-up boots, and got blisters in a whole range of places. I now have a new pair of Scarpas and have already started wearing them in preparation for the Via de la Plata in 2011. I got around 6000 km out of my first pair.
Hi Alan

Thank you - I have bought the Scarpa boots and have 8 weeks to "break them in" but I walk a lot at weekends (5hrs each day) and do uphill walking in the gym so it will have to be enough break-in time....plus I'm very heavy/hard on my shoes, so they'll soften up :p

Buen Camino
Jacqui
 

johns

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF "2010" Ingles and Finisterre "2011" CP - L-P-S "2012" F /M "2013" c norte may 2014 CP 2015
#53
hi tim sent you a email saying i was getting brasher hillwalker boots
when i went to get them from a outdoor shop in manchester england [cotswold]
they measured my feet and found they were not surporting my ankles i never new but i seam to have narrow ankles so got a new one called asolo gore tex boot
tryed them a few times seam ok keep the good work going i arrive in sjdp on 20 april so will
probably not meet up john
 

sharondb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2010, Camino Frances 2011, Camino Madrid 2014
#54
Hi Johns

I also have asolo gore tex boots and love them. They support my ankles and are very confortable. I have had them for about 1 year and have not had any problems, no blisters etc. I arrive in SJPP in May. I also have asolo sandals for night and as a spare pair of shoes in case they are needed.

Sharondb
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#55
I originally purchased Merrill hiking shoes but they did not get along with my feet and they allowed small stones to get in. So I use them for walking shoes now.

I then bought the exact same Merrill product, only they are half boots. The lacing is a bit tricky, I think a poor design, but I have figured out a good way to get around that - the boots give me awesome support, tie tightly around my ankles, don't let anything in, including water, so far. Last weekend I walked both on Saturday and Sunday in lots of slush and in a few puddles - not a hint of dampness. While on that, here is something funny...........

When I finished a 4.5 mile walk with temps at -3C and windchill of -9C, I took the half-boots off in the garage. They were actually smoking!!!! (It was the steam from the heat in the boot because it was so cold - I wish I had my camera handy :lol: )

Today I bought a pack - a 60L Gregory; got the sleeping bag shipped in from British Columbia - still waiting for some pants from Boston :shock:

Finger is almost on the Enter button for the flight - Toronto to Paris to Biarritz return trip. Just hesitating because I still am not sure if this is the best way to get to SJPP.

Otherwise, I am where I am because of all of you. You are all wonderful and because of you, I will be walking on the trail, leaving here on March 20th and beginning the walk on March 22nd.

Tim 8)
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
#56
Tim-the-fat-Canadian said:
Today I bought a pack - a 60L Gregory; got the sleeping bag shipped in from British Columbia - still waiting for some pants from Boston :shock:

Finger is almost on the Enter button for the flight - Toronto to Paris to Biarritz return trip. Just hesitating because I still am not sure if this is the best way to get to SJPP.Tim 8)
Hi Tim,
Your Gregory pack sounds very suitable. I have a Gregory pack a little smaller than 60 litres which is very comfortable when loaded. Remember you don't need to fill it up! I have used an Arcteryx Bora 30 backpack on the Camino and need every cubic cm of it for my gear.

Your Toronto - Paris- Biarritz flight arrangements sound very suitable too. The one day train trip from Santiago back to Biarritz is really lovely. I looked out the window at the scenery and dreamed about walking over the very same countryside.

I hope the weather continues and you are able to carryon with your training walks.

Buen Camino,
David, Victoria, Canada
 

Davroos

Active Member
#57
I have a 30 litre Gregory pack and it is the most comfortable bag I have worn. I have travelled around the world with a Macpac, but for walking 30 k's a day, this beats it hands down

Good choice
 
#58
Tim-the-fat-Canadian said:
When I finished a 4.5 mile walk with temps at -3C and windchill of -9C, I took the half-boots off in the garage. They were actually smoking!!!!
Tim,

Kudos for keeping up the walking in that cold. I've been taking advantage of springlike weather here in the Pacific Northewest -- even wearing shorts in February!

Have you tried Tilley 'Walking' socks? Getting my old bones in shape for the Caminho Portuguese this spring, I just did my longest walk so far, 15 miles (with only a very small pack). The Tilley socks are so cushy that I didn't even feel the need to immediately get the boots off after five hours of walking (almost all on pavement).

Hope your preparation continues to go so well.

Kit
http://www.arovingvision.com
kst@arovingvision.com
 
#59
All this thinking about shoes is driving me a little batty. I wish I was back home where I could just go to a proper store and try things on. *sigh*
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#60
Kit,

With the Oylmpics on in Vancouver, we see their temperatures everyday (and they are just above where you are). 40F to 50F. You folks must of made a deal with the :twisted: .

I got fooled yesterday. I went out with my new pack for the first time. It was supposed to be 32F but with the windchill, it was more like 20F. I thought that instead of wearing my big winter coat, I would wear something more similar to what I would wear on the Camino. So I went out and walked 7 miles with two t-shirts and a light nylon jacket. I FROOZE!!! The only thing that partially saved me was a new neck warmer that I had never worn before. I was able to pull it up over my cheeks and at least keep my face a bit warm.

We have total snow coverage on the ground here but today it is sunny so I am heading out again. This time, three t-shirts, and a face mask! It is currently 21F but the windchill is 10F (brrrr). We are supposed to go up to 35F today (will believe it when I see it) and a snow store is supposed to be comming in tonight.

What this does do is prepare me for the cold crossing the mountains on the Camino - I hope :wink:

Tim

Tim
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#63
Congratulations on your final choices, Lemonkid.

Buen blister-free camino!

lynne
 
#64
lynnejohn said:
Congratulations on your final choices, Lemonkid.

Buen blister-free camino!

lynne
Thanks. Now I'm studying up on how to tape up my feet.

Anyone know if alternating between shoes (1 pair 1 day, next pair the next) is a good way to eliminate blisters, as different parts of the foot would be being rubbed? Just a thought.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#65
Lemonkid said:
Anyone know if alternating between shoes (1 pair 1 day, next pair the next) is a good way to eliminate blisters, as different parts of the foot would be being rubbed? Just a thought.
Most people carried a light pair of sandles or similar for wearing after the day's walk, and I walked with someone who switched to sandles after having lots of problems with her shoes. However, lemonkid, I imagine if you take a second pair of walking shoes, that second pair might quickly go by the wayside after a few days when you realise you need to lighten your pack!
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#66
I am leaving next Friday. Toronto to London to Biarritz to SJPP arriving on the 20th.

Am I ready - no way. But it is time to crap or get off the pot so here I go. I need to thank all of you who have helped me with my questions and shared your knowledge.

I have created a blog and anyone is welcome to follow it. The link is http://what-is-tim-up-to-now.blogspot.com/

Thanks,

Tim
 
#67
KiwiNomad06 said:
Lemonkid said:
Anyone know if alternating between shoes (1 pair 1 day, next pair the next) is a good way to eliminate blisters, as different parts of the foot would be being rubbed? Just a thought.
Most people carried a light pair of sandles or similar for wearing after the day's walk, and I walked with someone who switched to sandles after having lots of problems with her shoes. However, lemonkid, I imagine if you take a second pair of walking shoes, that second pair might quickly go by the wayside after a few days when you realise you need to lighten your pack!
Margaret
Not too worried about that, my Vibrams are lighter than my Brierly guidebook! Haha.
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
#68
Firstly, I hope Tim, the Canadian, sorted his blisters and boots and has a wonderful camino.
Here's a laugh for everyone! Thought I'd share the saga of my footwear and blisters ... if you don't wish to read ... move to next item!!
I've done 3 caminos (or parts of) and am still baffled by my blister and boots problems.

First camino, in May/June 2006 from Salamanca to SDC, I kitted up with new (but worn in) Hitec boots from Athlete's Foot (Australia). Never walked in boots before, thought it would be wet and cool in Galicia.!! Ha. Heat wave struck, had trouble with blisters most of the way. Used sheep's wool gathered along the way which did help to cushion toes etc. but by the end I had so much wool in the boots I could have knitted a jumper. Started wrapping feet in plaster each morning...

Second camino, Porto to SdC . . . only 12 days. Bandaged heels each morning with elastoplast and used toe protectors, and had only minor blisters. yay!
Third camino, Madrid to Sahagun. 2.5 weeks. Hot. Before leaving Australia bought Mund socks, thin liners and thicker outer ones. Had been told wearing 2 pairs of socks would solve my problems, so on 2nd day didn't bandage heels. Small blisters appeared on instep. I did the prick and cotton thing, used compeeds, but from that day on, the same blisters got bigger and stayed with me all the way to Sahagun. Had a day off in Nava de la Asuncion as the blisters looked infected. Kept salt bathing every day, and I learnt that the pain gets worse if you stop and rest, so no breaks for me. After Sahagun, we had a week off, blisters finally healed and I discovered that I had blisters under blisters!!
I don't mind some pain and suffering on camino but .... Now I am preparing for the Via de la Plata, starting Granada, for next year, am throwing out my boots and starting again on the footwear puzzle. Still not sure, maybe try walking shoes or even sandals,or both, plus vaseline, and of course, the 2 pairs of socks trick. We'll see...
It's wonderful, and sometimes a little confusing, to read all the advice given by everyone, but I can sympathise with anyone who is agonising over the "boot and blister" problems. Good luck with it.
Buen camino to all.
Carole :|
 
#69
MI'M on the wet, muddy Camino now and I am SO happy to have my Chako hiking boots! I couldn't imagine doing this in trainers or my Teva hiking sandals. Just my 2 cents!
Sandi
ps been walking since the 27th of April not a single blister! Only wearing one pair of wool socks that I air out at night while sleeping.
 
#70
Hi All,

I realize it's best to post on this topic AFTER your Camino. I leave for my first in one week. However, I have been basically living on the Forum for 2+ months, and have learned something new every day. I'm on footware # 3. First, was a great pair of boots (too heavy in my judgement). Second was Keen hiking shoes recommended by Lynne. I found these too loose where ankle meets foot. Three is a charm (I hope) with AnnieSantiago's recommended New Balance hiking shoes. The latest version of this is the 966. It's waterproof. I use Superfeet (regular not custom - I returned the custom). I'll be wearing two pairs of socks: Smartwool socks with Smartwool or silk liners. I've been walking alot to finally hit on this combination.

As for slathering feet: I bought the Nivea, but I think I'm going to use Paceline Products Chamois Butt'r. This product was developed for cyclists to use on their butts to prevent friction. What a technological breakthrough! Right on the tube it says "The ultimate skin lubricant." So I'm expanding my use of this wonderful product to include my feet.

Well, there you have it. You can count on an "After account" as well.

Buen Camino,
Janet
 
#71
I forgot one thing: for my second pair of footware: very light Croc hiking sandles. These are good for the shower, or if need be they can be used on the Camino.

Janet
 

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
#72
After our very wet time on the Primitivo we would say boots, boots and boots.......
There was still some mud on the Norte too.
Our 'after walk' light-weight footwear was our Crocs (Caymen). If we met another long wet stretch like we did near Santa Eulalia we would take off our boots and socks, unzip our trouser bottoms and 'paddle' through in our Crocs, being careful not to lose them as the mud sucks at them. What we actually did was struggle along the bankside leaning on our sticks and then just into the field for the final stretch. The boots kept our feet warm and dry and gripped well :)
Keep your feet happy
Tia Valeria
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#73
First I tried hiking shoes and experimented with various sock combinations. Then I graduated to hiking boots and have tried various socks with lots of vasoline. It was the boots and the vasoline that I took with me to St Jean in March.

Today I purchased a top line pair of Nike running shoes. Lots of heel cushion and arch support. There are a few veteran posters who swear by running shoes so I am going to try them out of a while and see.

So maybe the heading of this thread needs to be changed to Hiking Shoes, Hiking Boots, or Running Shoes :D
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#74
Or sneakers/trainers for non-Canadians! :wink:

lynne
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
#75
Hi all

I finally bought CARN hiking boots - they're a British made boot!

I've been wearing them in for the past 2 months and have to say SENSATIONAL no issues whatsoever am so very very pleased. Pray that they continue for my Pilgrimage in September/October! :D

They're a slightly wider fitting than a lot of others and given I have a slightly broad foot - means my toes are NOT squashed at all and not a hint of a blister and I've done 5-6hr training walks in them already and not a hot spot or blister to be seen or felt!!

Buen Camino
Jacqui
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
#77
YAY :mrgreen:

Thanks "JohnnieWalker" great to hear!!
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
#78
I was a dedicated "Boot man" but this year on the VDLP, I developed terrible blisters on both feet. I spent the days from Zafra to Merida trying options - light synthetic socks, wool socks, sandals. But the blisters were raw, and everything I tried hurt.

My final solution was to buy a pair of Nike trainers (running shoes) in Merida that were 2 sizes larger than my boots. While several questioned the wisdom of "just" running shoes, I found them very adequate for the final 4 weeks of the VDLP. And my blisters healed.

Now I'm reconsidering my previous commitment to hiking boots.

Buen Camino,
David, Victoria, Canada
 
#79
Having suffered serious blisters on the first two stages of the Camino Frances, ( SJPP to Burgos, June 2009 and Burgos to Leon, March 2010) I am determined to avoid them on my third stage, Leon to Santiago, Sept. 2010. Only 4 weeks to go!! I have taken on board much of the advice from this forum and have made the following changes;
1. Ditched the heavy full ankle trekking boots in favour of lighter trekking shoes. Less area to rub.
2. Bought a full size bigger than my normal size.
3. Changed from the two sock set-up to a single 1000 mile type.
4. Tie the laces less tightly than before. This is really important and needs a lot of trial and error. You can vary the tightness of the laces at different parts of the foot. I only start threading the laces halfway up the shoe of my right foot to cope with a big to problem.
5. And finally, elastic shoelaces! I find these to be really great. You set them once, and then you simply slip them on and off as required. Great for stops on the trail, airport security, etc. They work great for shoes, not sure if they work on full ankle boots.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
#80
I've spent the money on buying 2 pairs of the Silver Thread Bionic x-socks - $55 per pair (Australian $) and SOOOO very worthwhile. Also with the boots CARN they're not the full high boots only just above the ankle bone. They have a wider front section so the toes are NOT squashed. I've done many 5, 6 & 7hr walks already over the past few months and have not once had a hot spot let alone a blister and I've not put a single lotion of any kind on my feet!

Am looking forward to this continuing when I commence the Camino in September - has to be a good sign tho!! :D

Cheers
Jacqui
 
#81
Hi TMPCOLEMAN - Curious which 1000 mile sock did you get? Was looking at the website yesterday and there are many different models

Jaqui - hate to be negative but no hot spots during a training walk of 5,6 or 7 hrs is no guarantee for a blister-free Camino. Had same experience as you did: little to no problems during 7hr walks but during the Camino...well let's just say that I had my share of blisters. I followed advice here and taped by heels and forefoot with sport tape. After 4 days I started to develop blisters under the tape and put Compeed on these spots. BIG MISTAKE! Following day had blisters 2x the size (know no one who was happy with Compeed). Used the needle & thread methode, iodine (betadine) and bandage. That worked fairly well. Every evening I cleaned and rebandaged feet. By the time I got to Léon I sent my walking shoes home (1 size larger) and bought a new pair 2 sizes larger. I may be an exception but my feet would swell quite a bit.

I did not use vaseline (either during training or Camino) but plan on doing this the next time. Might also try the 1000 mile sock.

Wish you the best in September!
Cheers,
LT
 
#82
Hi LTfit,
I got the 1000 Mile Fusion (2028) sock. I think this is the standard basic sock. I just bought one pair to try. I did a 27Km hike and was very happy with them, so I will buy a few more pairs, although I do agree with your point about doing long single hikes before the Camino and then finding out that it works different on the Camino! But who is going to walk a week of 27Km hikes to train for the Camino! Your point about the tape was interesting. Maybe I won't try that after all.
 
#83
I just recently decided on my next Camino. Gonna walk from Porto to Santiago early April next year. I did a test drive this year. From Santiago to Finisterre and although it was only a four day hike, I got huge blisters, mostly on my little toes. As some of you might remember, I had a big problem finding the right shoes and ended up with my Ecco mesh ones. I used Compeed stick, liner and Smart Wool. They worked fine the first day but after that the problem came.

So here I am again. I have six month to find the perfect shoes and I don't know where to begin. I took some of your advise and went to an NB store when I was in Canada and told them about my problem. I need a wide shoe box. Unfortunately I couldn't find a pair that fit well. They all got too big by the heel. Spent an hour at REI in Seattle but came home empty handed there as well.

I'm super nervous now that I won't find a pair of shoes. I know I have time left, but this is really bothering me. So, any good recs? I'm still thinking NB wouldn't be such a dumb idea, if I could only find the right pair. I'm willing to try anything.1000 mile socks instead? Custom made soles? I have big flat feet, almost no arch.

Thanks,
Kristina
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#84
Sorry you're having difficulty finding footwear that fits properly. You're right about needing room in the toe box - blisters on little toes almost always mean they are too crowded. I wouldn't try to put any kind of insole in whatever you buy, however - that just crowds the toe box room even more - I threw my orthotics away on my last camino. I've read other posts from folks who have this problem of needing large toe box and narrow heel and it seems to be a difficult one. I also wouldn't worry about the boots/shoes issue - just get something that lets you move your toes around freely.

Did you try the Keen Targhees when you were at REI? They come in shoe and boot form. Worked for me and I do need a large toe box as well. Plus one of my feet is one size larger and wider than the other :?

I hope you can find something appropriate, and the best way to do that is to continue to spend time with experts in the field who know the different brands.

Best of luck!

lynne
 
N

nathanael

Guest
#85
about boots it was mentioned a brand name KEEN..be ware...I did the Camino Norte and barely made it to Santiago. The heal on both boots was completely worn out to the point that it looked like it was sliced off...there was no tread left on the heals at all.They are comfortable and wear very easy and do prevent blisters but at 190. dollars they are not worth for one Camino.
n. :evil:
 

Debinq

Active Member
#86
hola
There are prolly as many stories and recommendations about the 'right' footware as there are pelegrinos!

I'm sure there are some 'bare-footers' out there, as there are people who walk on flip-flops (In Jaca albergue I met a guy from Luxembourg who told me he was doing his second camino on flip-flops! I had seen him that morning on the track down from Somport, so can verify he wasn't having a lend of me !)

As for me tho' - to prevent blisters- I always wear two pairs of socks (a light woollen pair under 'good' -eg.'Wigwam' - boot socks) in my tried and trusted SCARPA Z/G boots - And, surely everyone knows this .... it's axiomatic that you've 'worn them in' (i.e. done at least three or four 5 - 6 hour hikes over varying terrain in them) BEFORE you set off on your way!!

voila, my 2-cts worth!

happy trails and buen camino

Peter
 

+@^^

Active Member
#87
ahhh yes
so many views
i did double liner sox with no vaseline etc
and narry a blister
but this posting has morphed from shoe wear....
mistakes i made:
(ps and how i valued your honesty Tim, with the mistakes you made earlier)
my trail shoes were TOO well worn in - i'd flattened the inner sole and removed a lot of the shoe grip
result = they were very thin, and i have some very damaged (as in bruised with possible nerve damage)
also, consider the lacing system of your shoes - i used Adidas bubble laces which allowed me to lace up according to the conditions, with no sliding around in the shoe
i would NOT wear a trail shoe again - i needed something a bit more rigid and padded
so, for summer conditions, add up your 8kg pack + 3 kg water + 1 kg food, and train with this on - it will help you decide
but heres the thing - a major fun part of my camino was in the preparation and inspecting the gear
hope its good for you
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#88
Tamtamplin, thanks for the kind words.

I have been experimenting with differet footwear. Merrell low cuts, Merrell high cuts - not really happy with either. I find that I get blisters on the outer sides of my feet below my ankles.

I also find that my left foot swells by the first half mile, so I have to keep this foot tied a bit loose to allow for the swelling - otherwise my ankle hurts and then it feels like I have a lower leg shin splint. Meanwhile, I have to keep the right foot tied somewhat tighter in order to miminize the amount of movement within the shoe - thus limited blisters.

A few people on here swear by running shoes and I have done most of my walking for the past few months in a top line pair of nike runners. Compared to the Merrells, the Nike's are like walking on clouds. I am thinking of buying a pair of hiking running shoes called Trail Runnes - sort of a hybrid of a hiking shoe and a running shoe. Has anyone tried these?

I have ordered two pairs of 1000 mile socks (willing to try anything). Some people swear by them, I swear when I get blisters. The only place I could find them was in England so hopefully they will clear Canada Customs and I will have them soon. One question though - if England is the only place you can get these sock, why are they called 1000 mile socks - they should be called 1600 kms socks.

I think the correct answer here is that everyone has to find something that works best for them - and the only way to do that is by experimenting with lots and lots of miles. What works for one may not work for another.

That beng said, all of the ideas shared on this forum are awesome and priceless. I would of never thought about coating vaseline on one's foot, or had never heard of 1000 mile socks. I will let you all know how the socks turn out.
 

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
#89
Tim-the-fat-Canadian said:
..........
I also find that my left foot swells by the first half mile, so I have to keep this foot tied a bit loose to allow for the swelling - otherwise my ankle hurts and then it feels like I have a lower leg shin splint. Meanwhile, I have to keep the right foot tied somewhat tighter in order to miminize the amount of movement within the shoe - thus limited blisters.
............
Hi Tim
Good to hear you are planning for your next Camino.
Like so many of us do you have feet that really fit 2 different size shoes/boots? You could perhaps try wearing an extra sock on your smaller foot allowing you to have toe room but not blister causing movement.
I nearly always have to stop and adjust my boot ties after about 3km, just to keep boots in place and comfy. Also we follow the advice given somewhere on the forum about adjusting tying before going downhill.... etc etc.
Happy hunting and training. When do you hope to walk?
Tia Valeria
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#90
There will never be a "last word" on boots, but it may be a losing battle to discuss how boots should fit. My brother never had a blister in eight Caminos. On our most recent Voie de Vezelay, he got blisters two times. His boots had been worn for 600 km this last spring, so he replaced the laces. Using the same socks and foot treatments that have worked for nearly a decade, about two weeks into the Vezelay walk after a day of rain, he had several bad blisters. He was so sure that he was protected against blisters that he ignored the hot spots, assuming they were just some reaction to the moisture. It was not the first time for walking in the rain, or walking in wet socks, but it was the first time for getting a blister. He hypothesizes that the laces stretched in the rain and allowed friction to develop, but that sounds to me like an unlikely theory. He has had lots of boots, lots of laces, lots of rain, lots of wet socks, and lots to segments without re-tying boots. About a week later in lighter rain and with re-tying the laces along the way, he got another blister, making the evidence for the theory even thinner.

Perhaps all you can do is fit boots using the sock combination you plan to use; wear silk or polypro sock liners; treat your feet with a water-repelling lubricant (I recommend silicone in petrolatum); try to keep your feet dry; and treat hot spots when you first sense them (don't wait another fifteen minutes to see if it will get worse).

You may get a blister anyway!!
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#91
I have a footwear-related question and I thought I'd post it here since this is an active topic and kinda fits in with what Falcon was writing on - it's regarding gaiters and keeping your feet dry...

I see how gaiters work to keep rocks/mud out of the top of your shoe, and keep your ankles dry, but doesn't the water just pour down over the toes of your shoe, thereby soaking that bit, which, over time, will soak your whole foot? Is there a gaiter that will keep your whole shoe dry??

Just curious...
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#92
You could place a plastic bag around your foot and then secure it with thick ellastic band on your leg. It would keep your entire foot dry, even after they threw you in the luney bin :)
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
#93
Gaiters are not supposed to keep your feet dry, they are supposed to keep stuff out of your boots. At least that's how the ones I use for hiking work. If I want dry feet, I buy gore-tex lined boots, otherwise I just deal with wet feet.
 
#94
Or buy a pair of waterproof socks:

http://www.sealskinz.com/

So waterproof you can walk up and down in ankle deep water and your feet will always be dry.

Last time I went to buy footwear for a winter camino the sales assistant who is an extremely experienced walker said that he had walked a long distance in bad weather wearing featherlight non waterproof walking shoes with a pair of waterproof socks and was completely trouble free.

I couldn't quite bring myself to give up the habits of a life time however!
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#95
Tim-the-fat-Canadian said:
You could place a plastic bag around your foot and then secure it with thick ellastic band on your leg. It would keep your entire foot dry, even after they threw you in the luney bin :)
Ok Tim...so I'm a fashion don't!! But...I had no blisters when I used the plastic bag technique!! I posted the pics on my current blog...I'm having difficulties posting pics here...my computer is giving me molto issues right now! But if I need to...I will do the plastic bag routine again in a moment!

Hell, after I accidentally sent my pack cover home, I used another trash bag to cover my pack for the next three days!! So, from the White Trash Perigrino, Buen Camino !! :lol:

http://www.ksamsontheroad.blogspot.com
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#96
Ok...now that I've had my fashion confessional..how about a real question!!

For those of you using vaseline and the like...how hard is it to wash your socks at the end of the day?? I know on the Portuguese route, sometimes the washing sinks didn't have hot water. Seems that washing off all the lubrication with cold water, might be a tad difficult.

Advise? Recommendations? O

Or for those who tried the chamois butter...was that easiser?? I use it when cycling...but I'm throwing the shorts in my washer here at home...so guess perhaps I ought to try it out!

Thanks for any words of wisdom, Karin
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#98
I use a liberal amount of vaseline on my feet during my training walks and when I am finished and remove the socks. there is no visable evidence of vaseline left. Most of it absorbs into your skin and some into the sock. When I first heard of the idea of using vaseline, I thought that you would have a real goey mess on your hands (or feet in this case) but that have never materialized.
 
#99
Karin,

I have just been to your blog and saw the pics. Neat ! Something to keep in mind, especially if it rains a lot. Did you feet slide about in the shoes ?

I had incredible problems with blisters when I walked last year. Tried the two socks thing. Was plastered from toe to toe, and in between and all over. Nothing seemed to work. Lots of experimenting later, I was down to moisturing my feet with my body lotion, each morning and night, only one layer of socks, and tapes where necessary. The blisters dried up and healed, and none appeared again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
I just got two pairs of 1000 Mile socks sent to me from Britian. They are the 1000 Mile Fusion model. They say that they guarenteethat you will not get blisters for at least the first 1000 miles. I cannot wait to try them and I will let you all know.
 

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