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Hiking Shoes

longwalker60

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2018
Greetings, I will be walking the Camino Frances in September. My question, I have 2 pairs of hiking shoes, Both brand new, A set of Merrills and a set of colemans. My question, can I do the camino with one pair, or do I need to bring both paris. Your advice. Thank you.
 
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How many feet do you have? ;)

Seriously though, decide on which are the most comfortable/better made/most durable, choose a pair and get them broken in asap. Two pair is overkill IMO. Lightweight slippers or sandals for evening/post walk wear yes but September nights can get chilly.

Buen Camino!
How many feet do you have? ;) ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ad infinitum....
 

Ricardo Moretti

Camino Frances x 2: Apr./May 2018 & Apr./May 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
Two Camino Frances:
April-May 2018
April-May 2019
I prefer lightweight and breathable to leather hightops and waterproof.

I brought two pairs of shoes (Merryl MOABs and NB running shoes) on my Camino.

After the fact, I admit that one pair would suffice.

If you are going during the dry season then I reccomend a pair of running shoes. Otherwise, a pair of hiking shoes.

Don't worry if you end up not liking your shoes as there are so many places along the Way to purchase new ones. The most important aspect is confort - What do YOU feel confortable in. And make sure they are long enough, that they fit as a poorly fitted shoe will cause blisters no matter how expensive the pair of shoes are.

Having said that, I saw people in boots, sandals, running shoes, hiking shoes, walking shoes and one woman was even wearing Kangaroo skin-shoes with toes!
 
D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
Greetings, I will be walking the Camino Frances in September. My question, I have 2 pairs of hiking shoes, Both brand new, A set of Merrills and a set of colemans. My question, can I do the camino with one pair, or do I need to bring both paris. Your advice. Thank you.
Where are you starting and how far you trekking. Merrills shound do
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Greetings, I will be walking the Camino Frances in September. My question, I have 2 pairs of hiking shoes, Both brand new, A set of Merrills and a set of colemans. My question, can I do the camino with one pair, or do I need to bring both paris. Your advice. Thank you.
You only need one pair! Choose the ones that are more comfortable on your training walks. :)
 

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
It really is an individual choice. To save on weight maybe one pair will do and something comfortable to wear in the shower and walk around in after your day’s trek. I own leather Lowa renegades but they were too heavy so I bought a Lowa Aeox gortex mid height trail ruinner and had some keen sandals for shower and after hours. Buen Camino and safe travels
 

happymarkos

HappyMark
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Greetings, I will be walking the Camino Frances in September. My question, I have 2 pairs of hiking shoes, Both brand new, A set of Merrills and a set of colemans. My question, can I do the camino with one pair, or do I need to bring both paris. Your advice. Thank you.
It all depends on your body weight and how much weight will be in your backpack.
If you are heavy or have had ankle injuries as I have boots have the advantage of helping to reduce the twist. Others will disagree however this is my experience. Given September to October be prepared for mud and rain and perhaps snow so boots for these conditions. Spring or summer may be different. I opt for waterproof footwear and Lowa Renegades are my current favourites. Nubuck not full leather. Must have room for swelling; for some people it is half a size bigger. I met one lady who had walked 700 km and her’s were 2 sized bigger. No blisters. So all this tells you it is up to what suits your feet under the conditions you will experience.
Good luck
Happymark
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
One pair of hiking shoes will be sufficient. You may want to consider bringing an alternate pair of footwear, though, that you can wear after the daily treks. Some bring flip flops or Crocs. I take a pair of hiking sandals. They give you some flexibility in that you can also wear them for the daily trek, if for some reason you don't want to wear your hiking shoes. I wore them one day on my last camino when I was getting a heat rash under my socks. I've read of others wearing them to help deal with blisters.
 
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Jim McMurtrie

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances April-May 2018
Frances September-October 2019
One pair is enough but, on the advice of a serious trekker, I brought a second set of insoles for my obos. About two thirds of the camino I put the new ones in and it made a world of difference.
Buen Camino
 

Oddyspapa

My soul is staying on the way, always.
Year of past OR future Camino
Full CF (May/Jun of 2014, 2018 )
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Will go again 2020
Absolutely, one pair enough. I recommend waterproof, at least mid high boots, and 1~2 bigger size(Your boots size is needed comfortable enough after 10 hour flight ^^;). It will help toe nail damage or blister. Also, please don't forget to tighten ankle part when you go down hill.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
One pair will do, the one which you feel more comfortable with.

If they are brand new and you walk in September, start wearing them for everything right now, so they are well fitted when you start walking!
 

Iuri Colares

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (September 23, 2018)
It really is an individual choice. To save on weight maybe one pair will do and something comfortable to wear in the shower and walk around in after your day’s trek. I own leather Lowa renegades but they were too heavy so I bought a Lowa Aeox gortex mid height trail ruinner and had some keen sandals for shower and after hours. Buen Camino and safe travels
I have gotten toe nail damage hiking with Lowa Renegades, toe blisters hiking with Keen Newport H2 and never-dry feet showering and walking to village with Keen Newport H2.

How to avoid these problems?

Thank you for your advice!

I have tested Lowa Renegades hiking boots for hiking and Keen Newport H2 for shower and village walk in preparation for my late September through October Camino Frances.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I have gotten toe nail damage hiking with Lowa Renegades, toe blisters hiking with Keen Newport H2 and never-dry feet showering and walking to village with Keen Newport H2.

How to avoid these problems?

Thank you for your advice!

I have tested Lowa Renegades hiking boots for hiking and Keen Newport H2 for shower and village walk in preparation for my late September through October Camino Frances.

Proper fitting techniques are critical. Losing toenails is mostly due to the shoe not being long enough in size, or due to underlying medical conditions which restrict proper blood circulation to the feet. To find the right fit, forget the measurements; it is about what feels right regardless of size. The same goes for the width of the shoe.

Personal recommendations of a shoe is only a place to look. It matters not that 100,000 people like a shoe; all that matters is how a shoe feels on your feet and if it can do what you need it to do. Only you can answer the former, the experiences of those who have long term use of them and performance reviews can help answer the latter. I can't tell you if the NB 910v4 would feel good to you. I can tell you how well they are put together, how good their traction is on various surfaces, terrain, and weather conditions, and even how good the shoelaces are that come with the shoe :)

As you go looking for shoe, here are some tips which I have posted before that may help you.
  1. When you go to the store, do so toward the end of the day.... you will have been up on your feet, so that will help with getting the correct fit. Additionally, you will need to wear the same backpack with the same gear you will be carrying... you want this additional weight on you as this will put the same downward pressure on the foot that you will be having while on Camino.
  2. Wear the exact same sock(s) you will be wearing while you are walking on the Camino. And if you have a special insole or orthotic, bring it with you.
  3. At the store, the measuring that will be done on your feet is only to get you in the ballpark for the correct shoe size.
  4. Start by standing up; never measure while sitting. You want the full weight of your body, with the pack on, to put the same pressure on your feet to spread them out as will happen while walking. That alone will increase the volume and size of your feet.
  5. Make sure those 'Camino' socks are on your feet; if you wear socks with liners while walking, do the same thing at the store.
  6. While standing, have someone near to you that you can use to steady yourself. With the measuring device on the ground, step onto the instrument and center all of your weight onto the foot being measured. Do the same for the other foot.
  7. Start with that size, but be aware that both the width and the length need to feel like there is adequate room for your feet. Ideally, like Goldilocks, everything will be just right. But, don't count on it. Be picky.
  8. If you have special insoles or orthotics, put them into any shoe you try on as they will take up space inside the shoe.
  9. When you find what you think will fit you well, you will need to see if your toes have enough clearance. Toes should not be able to be forced to the front of the shoe and touch the shoe. Not even a little. If they do, long walking and downhill grades on the trail or path or road will traumatize the bed of the nail, and that is when toenails can blacken and fall off.
  10. With your shoes tied securely, but not too tight, walk around the store with your pack on. Go up stairs and down stairs, scuff the shoes to the floor so that your feet are forced to do any movement they will do and see if your toes so much as butterfly kiss the front of the shoe. Kick the front of the shoe into a post or stair or wall or someone's shin.... does that make any of your toes touch the front of the shoe? That goes for all the little piggies.
  11. Next, pay attention to the width of the shoe. It shouldn't feel snug on the sides and there should be no rubbing or pressure points at all. They will not go away with "break in". They will create soreness, pain, and blistering. Even if it seems to be tolerable, it is like water torture; as your feet are continually exposed to those pressure points your feet will break down against them bit by bit, and bruising, blisters, and soreness will follow.
  12. You may need to go up a size to a size and a half in length, and go with a wider width to avoid those things I mentioned above. The notion that one avoids blisters by wearing snug footwear has been shown to do just the opposite.
 
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Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
As always awesome advise from @davebugg. In my opinion I think the renegades are too heavy for the type of walking one the camino. Thats why I bought the Lowa Aeox GTX (found on zappos.com $50 cheaper)which is more like a trail runner. Lacing is really important...search on you tube. This will keep your feet from sliding forward., I think this is what caused you to ram your toe. Basically you wrap the laces and tie but dont knot at the ankle and do it again above the ankle. I believe Lowa run true to size but you can also go a half size up to give your toes some more room. Keep your toenails trimmed also. Use good inserts bring an extra pair with you. Good socks are key so stay away from cotton get merino or a syntethic..I used Wright blister proof socks, they had a inner lining or use foot glide or Vaseline. Every morning I would put moleskin on the balls of my feet. I didn’t have any toe problems but you can use sheeps wool or the moleskin to wrap your toes. If my feet got hot and sweaty or I felt any hint of a hot spot I would stop take my shoes off..rest and change my socks. I also have Keen sandals but I did not hike in them. I Used them in the shower and walking around. ...you can slo use the moleskin in your keens...hope this helps
 

Iuri Colares

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (September 23, 2018)
As always awesome advise from @davebugg. In my opinion I think the renegades are too heavy for the type of walking one the camino. Thats why I bought the Lowa Aeox GTX (found on zappos.com $50 cheaper)which is more like a trail runner. Lacing is really important...search on you tube. This will keep your feet from sliding forward., I think this is what caused you to ram your toe. Basically you wrap the laces and tie but dont knot at the ankle and do it again above the ankle. I believe Lowa run true to size but you can also go a half size up to give your toes some more room. Keep your toenails trimmed also. Use good inserts bring an extra pair with you. Good socks are key so stay away from cotton get merino or a syntethic..I used Wright blister proof socks, they had a inner lining or use foot glide or Vaseline. Every morning I would put moleskin on the balls of my feet. I didn’t have any toe problems but you can use sheeps wool or the moleskin to wrap your toes. If my feet got hot and sweaty or I felt any hint of a hot spot I would stop take my shoes off..rest and change my socks. I also have Keen sandals but I did not hike in them. I Used them in the shower and walking around. ...you can slo use the moleskin in your keens...hope this helps
Hi, Iriebabel!

After I shower with my keen sandals and use them to walk in the refúgio or to go to the village they keep wet forever.

How do you manage to dry them after shower and before walking in the refúgio or going to village?

Thanks for your advice!

There’s not enough time for them to dry out between shower and walking in the refúgio or going to village.
 

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi, Iriebabel!

After I shower with my keen sandals and use them to walk in the refúgio or to go to the village they keep wet forever.

How do you manage to dry them after shower and before walking in the refúgio or going to village?

Thanks for your advice!

There’s not enough time for them to dry out between shower and walking in the refúgio or going to village.
Hi actually I had the same problem with them taking too long to dry. I had socks on and that would help a little but not much and a couple times I used my towel to dry the straps. I did the camino in April/May so some parts were still cold and wet and after showering I didnt like haveing wet straps walking around. I am considering not bringing them as they are quite a bit heavier than flip flops and I don’t hike with them so its just for walking around. I also considered not wearing them in the shower...I found some light (maybe 2 oz) foldable crocks a couple days ago which I may use for the shower.....im in the testing phase worth many things these days lol
I would say if you want to bring your keens, after you get out of the shower wrap your towel around the straps to take some of the water out...it may dry faster. Hope this helps.
 

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi, Iriebabel!

After I shower with my keen sandals and use them to walk in the refúgio or to go to the village they keep wet forever.

How do you manage to dry them after shower and before walking in the refúgio or going to village?

Thanks for your advice!

There’s not enough time for them to dry out between shower and walking in the refúgio or going to village.
Found these. Crocs swift water wave product info says 6 ounces .....btw I have no commercial interest in any item I find. I just use what works for me ...example the women’s croc in the pix...may weight more than 2oz maybe 4 at the most..this is saying a lot for me I dont love crocs but to save weight and have safety in the shower this may work for me.. I will test at home to see how it works. Female ones were only $10 at a discount store
 

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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Here's another alternative to ponder :)

Rather than take sandals, I made a pair of shower shoes out of some closed-cell foam mat. They weigh about 1 ounce for the pair.

For walking around town in the evenings, I use the same shoes which I walked in during the day. They are already comfortable enough. I swap out my 'walking' insoles, with an extra lightweight pair of 'evening' insoles. That allows the 'walking' insoles to air out.

Here is a picture of something very similar to my D.I.Y. sandals.

1303776074_41904.jpg
 
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Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Here's another alternative to ponder :)

Rather than take sandals, I made a pair of shower shoes out of some closed-cell foam mat. They weigh about 1 ounce for the pair.

For walking around town in the evenings, I use the same shoes which I walked in during the day. They are already comfortable enough. I swap out my 'walking' insoles, with an extra lightweight pair of 'evening' insoles. That allows the 'walking' insoles to air out.

Here is a picture of something very similar to my D.I.Y. sandals.

1303776074_41904.jpg
Brilliant! Where did you buy the foam? I suppose I could use an old yoga mat. :) I also switched out my insoles during the camino but didnt think of swapping insoles in the evening.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Brilliant! Where did you buy the foam? I suppose I could use an old yoga mat. :) I also switched out my insoles during the camino but didnt think of swapping insoles in the evening.

The mat I used is the thin, light sleeping pads found at places like Walmart, Kmart, etc in the 'camping' departments. A yoga mat would work, too. The material just needs to be a closed cell foam so that it doesn't absorb water.
 

dfunghi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Future (2019) Portuguese.
Having recently begun both training and testing equipment for my Spring 2019 Camino let me say this. Wear your boots around the (carpeted hopefully) house for hours before you step outside. Once you step outside it is nearly impossible to return them. I just threw away $125 on a pair of Timberlands that fit well in store but after a mile or so on the trail I noticed a "rubbing" on top of my toes. I had to walk back the mile I already went and by then the damage was severe. Three toes on each foot rubbed raw. There is a weird seam by the end of the tongue and toe of shoe. I had not felt that in the store. I have them in a closet now with stretchers in them but doubt I will ever be able to use them. Surely not on a hike.

I want to keep trying shoes and once I find a great pair I plan to put them away until I leave for Portugal. Bought a new pair of Columbia boots (gore tex mid high) that feel great so far. I hope these will be the "ones".

Your feet are the single most important thing to protect on hikes because once they get damaged your fun ends. Liners, hiking socks and great fitting shoes.

The second pair, I always bring lightweight slip ons for plane travel / airport (TSA) and walking around and nearby the hotel. Two pairs of boots would be way too much for this size 13 foot guy to carry. I hang my boots off my carry on a clip and use my laces tied together to attach.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Having recently begun both training and testing equipment for my Spring 2019 Camino let me say this. Wear your boots around the (carpeted hopefully) house for hours before you step outside. Once you step outside it is nearly impossible to return them. I just threw away $125 on a pair of Timberlands that fit well in store but after a mile or so on the trail I noticed a "rubbing" on top of my toes. I had to walk back the mile I already went and by then the damage was severe. Three toes on each foot rubbed raw. There is a weird seam by the end of the tongue and toe of shoe. I had not felt that in the store. I have them in a closet now with stretchers in them but doubt I will ever be able to use them. Surely not on a hike.

I want to keep trying shoes and once I find a great pair I plan to put them away until I leave for Portugal. Bought a new pair of Columbia boots (gore tex mid high) that feel great so far. I hope these will be the "ones".

Your feet are the single most important thing to protect on hikes because once they get damaged your fun ends. Liners, hiking socks and great fitting shoes.

The second pair, I always bring lightweight slip ons for plane travel / airport (TSA) and walking around and nearby the hotel. Two pairs of boots would be way too much for this size 13 foot guy to carry. I hang my boots off my carry on a clip and use my laces tied together to attach.

Sometimes, but not always, an irritating seam, protrusion, or attachment point -- like a lacing hook's rivet -- which rubs on the foot can be fairly easily corrected. A thin piece of moleskin or a strong adhesive-backed tape, like Gorilla duct tape -- can be put over the irritation, sticking it to the lining of the shoe. I have even taken an ultrathin piece of chamois leather (the stuff used for drying a car after rinsing it) and use contact adhesive to glue it to the inside of the boot or shoe.

You can also put the offending footwear on Ebay or Craigslist to see if you can recoup some of your dollars. Although I didn't pay for them, I had good luck doing that with 6 pairs of shoes sitting in my closet which had been sent to me for testing by various companies since last year. Oh, and I gave away one pair to a Forum member since they were basically barely used before I had the company send me a larger pair to continue their test.

And let me echo your wise caution to others to always check a store's return policy for shoes. Some places, like REI, will take footwear returns no matter if they've been worn and used outside or not within their return policy time limits. Other stores will not, no matter if it has only been 10 minutes after leaving the store; if the shoes touch outside dirt, they are yours.... period.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Here's another alternative to ponder :)

Rather than take sandals, I made a pair of shower shoes out of some closed-cell foam mat. They weigh about 1 ounce for the pair.

For walking around town in the evenings, I use the same shoes which I walked in during the day. They are already comfortable enough. I swap out my 'walking' insoles, with an extra lightweight pair of 'evening' insoles. That allows the 'walking' insoles to air out.

Here is a picture of something very similar to my D.I.Y. sandals.

1303776074_41904.jpg
Christian Louboutin will be quivering with envy!
 

Seabeejefe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Leon to Santiago (2016)
Camino Frances St Jean to Santiago (2018)
Greetings, I will be walking the Camino Frances in September. My question, I have 2 pairs of hiking shoes, Both brand new, A set of Merrills and a set of colemans. My question, can I do the camino with one pair, or do I need to bring both paris. Your advice. Thank you.
 

Seabeejefe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Leon to Santiago (2016)
Camino Frances St Jean to Santiago (2018)
I walked over 500 miles in my Merrels and I’m still wearing them
 
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Willtravel

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis
Cirrently camino Cluny
Greetings, I will be walking the Camino Frances in September. My question, I have 2 pairs of hiking shoes, Both brand new, A set of Merrills and a set of colemans. My question, can I do the camino with one pair, or do I need to bring both paris. Your advice. Thank you.
 

Willtravel

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis
Cirrently camino Cluny
Hi
I've currently walked from Cluny to Saint Jean Pied de Port (>1000km) and am on my 10th day of the Camino Frances and all with the one pair of hiking shoes!
Last year I took a second set and never used them. There are plenty of shops to buy more if you need them. Don't carry the extra weight needlessly.
 

long trails

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2012
My best advice is to avoid anything with goretex or similar lining. If your feet get hot in goretex shoes it can literally ruin your hike as I found out a couple of times.

They also take ages to dry out too. I use hiking shoes with mesh so they are very breathable.
 

Teej41

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April/May 2018
Greetings, I will be walking the Camino Frances in September. My question, I have 2 pairs of hiking shoes, Both brand new, A set of Merrills and a set of colemans. My question, can I do the camino with one pair, or do I need to bring both paris. Your advice. Thank you.
I will be using Salomon trail/walking shoes as the MAIN pair - upon which my hopes of a successful and problem free Camino are very firmly based. A couple of years of walking experience have endeared my feet to them. But I will be taking other footwear for use after the day's walk has finished but NOT for hiking in. These will be for use in the shower and for walking around the albergues, hotels, cafes & restaurant outside in local villages etc. I think it will be very important to allow the feet to breath and the hiking shoes to have a rest after the day's walking efforts.
I devoted a lot of time deciding what to use as this 2nd pair. The criteria were :-comfortable/lightweight/quick-drying/reasonably durable soles. To cut a long story short and with the help of comments on this Forum I am taking Birkenstock Arizonas. They 'squeak' a bit in the shower, but weigh just 250 g per pair and you can wipe them dry for use immediate outside of the shower. I'm sure 5-6 weeks on the Camino will test their durability.
 
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