• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Hoka Alternatives with Similar Padding and heel-to-toe Drop?

Stephan the Painter

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas. ( I already wear custom orthotics).

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

. My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
 
Last edited:
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas.

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found
Have you looked at Topo Athletic? They have several max cushion shoes with a 5mm drop. Wider toe box than Hoka also.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I’m a big fan of Altra. Love the zero drop and big toe box. They do expire eventually, how quickly it occurs is different for everyone. I’m overweight so they have to be replaced sooner than for someone whose normal weight.

I’m getting ready to start the Via Francigena in a new pair of Altra Olympus 5 trail shoes.

Buen Camino
 
I see many Hoka's recently being worn in the US and on my recent Camino than ever before when I chose them for a Camino in 2018.
I have been noticing other brands now imitating the unique "clownish" shape of the Hoka heel. I saw someone wearing a pair of Asics, which is one of the brands I personally have good luck with, and the new style looked like Hokas. I looked them up online and they too, seem rather expensive. You might take a look and read some reviews.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas.

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
I have used altras with good results. They have the type of drop you are looking for and a wide toe box.
 
I have foot challenges as well and Hoka has been my ‘go-to’ for over 4 years. I have accepted that they a short life span ( approx 500km) - less on hard surfaces- asphalt, concrete, cobble & more on trail surfaces. I’ve concluded the comfort outweighs purchasing 2-3 pairs per year.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas.

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
I came across Topoc trail runners and I love them.
Great support and nice wide toe box.
Highly recommend-
 
I have worn nothing but Hokas for last 10 years for both running and walking. However I recently discovered the Asics Gel Nimbus 24 and wore them on Sarria to Santiago Camino last month. They were fantastic. Felt more cushioned than even Hoka Bondi and so far show very little wear. Slightly higher heel to toe drop but very comfortable. Comes in wide sizes as well which I need. Also put Superfeet Green orthotics in. No foot pain, nor blisters. Might want to give them a try.
 
Brooks Cascadia I feel are a good alternative to the Hoka shoe. 10mm heel drop and very stable... Worth considering...
I have Hoka Speedgoats and I love them. My last camino I was thinking of switching to them because I liked them so much. Then I said to myself, are you an idiot. You have walked over 7,000 k and haven't had a hint of a blister in the last 5. If I knew when I got my first blisters how to walk and how to take care of them I probably would have had only 1 or 2 instead of the 5 I have had. I said you will ALWAYS where your Brooks Cascadias. They are the best. I think they are really durable also as I always buy a new pair for my upcoming camino but I train in the pair I used in my last Camino. I will walk about 825k this fall and those new Brooks are in my closet ready to go.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Another vote for Topo Athletic. I’m wearing their lightweight hiker (Trailventure 2) right now on my first Camino (Norte) and am loving them. It’s my first pair so I can’t really speak to their durability yet.
 
I have used altras with good results. They have the type of drop you are looking for and a wide toe box.
I love Altras and have worn them on my last four caminos. But they are not great in terms of heel cushioning. I have had some trouble with a neuroma (better after surgery for that and another structural problem) and plantar fasciitis (probably the result of wearing a surgical boot for months). I am thinking of trying Hokas or one of the suggested alternatives for my next hike.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas.

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
I used Brooks Caldera on the CF this spring and another 100 km on the Portuguese! 900 km in total and there is still a little bit of tread. The textile at the heel has worn out. Loved the shoes, loads of cushion, roomy toebox, very stabile.
 
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas.

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
I wore a pair of Brooks Cascadia, for the whole of the French route and the same pair on the Portuguese route. Over a 1000 km in total. They are retired now as the upper has worn through. But here is the thing… comfort throughout and not a single blister. I would only wear Cascadia.
 
I wore a pair of Brooks Cascadia, for the whole of the French route and the same pair on the Portuguese route. Over a 1000 km in total. They are retired now as the upper has worn through. But here is the thing… comfort throughout and not a single blister. I would only wear Cascadia.
I like Brooks, used them also for running!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas.

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
I love my Hoka, thus I do think it gets a short livewalking… I was told that The North Face belong to the same Group as Hoka, and the have similar models, I do not know much detales
 
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas.

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
Altra7's with orthotics or Superfeet?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Thanks all, I’ll explore all the recommendations.
I also have PF plus arthritis in my ankles. I love my Hokas and wear them for work here at home.

I wore their Anacapas (specifically a hiking shoe) on the Ingles plus another week of touring in cities (so 100% asphalt and cement) and there's very little wear on the sole and lugs, so this might be an option for you.

(My hiking partner managed to kill a pair of Stinsons on the Frances *and* the Speedgoats I brought him for the Ingles. REI credited both pairs and he tried Altas....those are now dead after just 3 weeks (he's doing 10-15k a day now he's stateside again)...and the Altas even managed to get a hole across the toe!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I thought the lone peaks are a zero drop shoe?
My old Lone Peak 4s are. Very comfy but my physio reckons they were the cause of my damaged Achilles.Any. Wore them mainly on long flat parts of the CF and Merrells for the tougher bits (though I think they gave me the blister). I think anyone who manages blister free is very lucky
 
I also have foot problems (Morton's neuroma), and the only shoes that I can wear are Hokas. On my last camino, I wore Stinson ATR shoes and they lasted the entire 1300 km. They were totally thrashed by the time I got to Santiago, but were still wearable. We carried full packs (20+ lbs with water) the entire way. You might want to consider the more 'hiker' style hokas like the 'kaha'. I don't find them quite as comfortable as the Stinson, but they do have a vibram sole that would outlast the Stinson
 
I used Brooks Caldera on the CF this spring and another 100 km on the Portuguese! 900 km in total and there is still a little bit of tread. The textile at the heel has worn out. Loved the shoes, loads of cushion, roomy toebox, very stabile.
Love the Brooks caldera. Used last 4 Caminos. Great cushion. So comfortable.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas. ( I already where a custom orthotics).

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

. My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
If you are doing the full Camino Frances you are walking 800km. Even my relatively new Salomon military boots looked tired after that distance. The soles were also worn flat at my first contact point. You might need to temper your footwear expectations in terms of how long they will last.
 
If you are doing the full Camino Frances you are walking 800km. Even my relatively new Salomon military boots looked tired after that distance. The soles were also worn flat at my first contact point. You might need to temper your footwear expectations in terms of how long they wiI got a full 800 km out of a pair of Hokus
I agree.

Unfortunately, I haven’t used the hokas to do any hiking since I purchased my most recent pair because I’m not able to because I have such bad foot problems. I can’t walk more than a mile or two without extreme pain, even with the hokas. Other shoes are worse.

I Haven’t used the shoes for anything serious but they still wore out. The wearing out is not a problem I have with other shoes.

That’s why I specified light use.

And I don’t see people regularly complaining about other brands wearing out quickly. Hokas are great shoes, but they are not as sturdy as some other brands In my opinion. However, they are much more comfortable for me. Hence, my search.
 
Last edited:
@Stephan the Painter I have walked in Hoka Bondis, Altra Olympus, and Altra Lone Peaks. The Lone Peaks do NOT have the same level of cushioning that the other models have. However, they have lasted the longest.

Altra Olympus wore out about half way. The stitching broke and the internal cushioning was breaking down causing foot pain. The foot pain crept up on me and then lasted after I switched shoes for a while.

Hoka Bondis I was proactive and brought 2 pairs and switched half way. The Bondis were breaking down internally like the Altras. In addition, there was a plastic rear heel cup that became exposed and caused a blister. The inner linning wore a little hole.

I now where the Altra Lone Peaks with a pair of orthotics inside. I have gone through many variations of orthotics including popular off the shelf brands, custom cushioned and custom plates from a podiatrist. None seemed to solve my foot problems plantars and a slight nueroma in a toe. I tried arch pads, wraps, metatarsal pads etc. I decided to try the Good Feet insoles (kindof expensive). However, they worked for me. I walk around barefoot on tile all the time now and have no issues.

Since I experienced a failure mid Camino and could not find wide shoes, I bring 2 pairs. I bounce 1 pair forward throught the Correos (general delivery). Burgos, Leon, Santiago. Worst case is a bus ride to and fro to get my extra pair. #BOUNCE BOX So much for not carrying your worries on the Camino.🤣

Just sharing my experience. Everyone's issues are different.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
@Stephan the Painter I have walked in Hoka Bondis, Altra Olympus, and Altra Lone Peaks. The Lone Peaks do NOT have the same level of cushioning that the other models have. However, they have lasted the longest.


I now where the Altra Lone Peaks with a pair of orthotics inside. I have gone through many variations of orthotics including popular off the shelf brands, custom cushioned and custom plates from a podiatrist. None seemed to solve my foot problems plantars and a slight nueroma in a toe. I tried arch pads, wraps, metatarsal pads etc. I decided to try the Good Feet insoles (kindof expensive). However, they worked for me. I walk around barefoot on tile all the time now and have no issues.
Good information, thank you. Nice to hear from someone who has similar problems.

And what a dream walking around barefoot comfortably!. I’ll take a look at those good feet insoles, thank you.
 
And I don’t see people regularly complaining about other brands wearing out quickly.
My New Balance More shoes do not maintain their super cushioning for more than 400 km (and I've mentioned this on the forum several times 😉). However I am not really "complaining", since I buy them for the comfort they provide as long as they last. Of course, I would like to find some shoes that provide the same comfort for a longer time!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Just wanted to say Topo sucks.

They are the new shoe company headed by Tony Post, the barefoot running huckster who made all kinds of false health claims about barefoot running and had to walk them back.

My pair of Topos died after like 2-3 months of just wearing them to work. I ask for a refund or another pair. They offer me 20% off a new pair. I email Tony Post himself. He offers 30% off.

The shoes are trash, but the company is truly trash.
 
Just wanted to say Topo sucks.

They are the new shoe company headed by Tony Post, the barefoot running huckster who made all kinds of false health claims about barefoot running and had to walk them back.

My pair of Topos died after like 2-3 months of just wearing them to work. I ask for a refund or another pair. They offer me 20% off a new pair. I email Tony Post himself. He offers 30% off.

The shoes are trash, but the company is truly trash.
I strongly disagree - I'm on my fourth pair of Topos, and they've all hold up for a long times/many miles.

That being said shoe wear and preferences are obviously a subjective manner. In other words I believe one person shouldn't be so conclusive, especially if the person have had one pair of shoes from that specific brand 😉

I also experienced really great customer service from Topo, when I had different questions regarding some og their products:)
 
I have worn nothing but Hokas for last 10 years for both running and walking. However I recently discovered the Asics Gel Nimbus 24 and wore them on Sarria to Santiago Camino last month. They were fantastic. Felt more cushioned than even Hoka Bondi and so far show very little wear. Slightly higher heel to toe drop but very comfortable. Comes in wide sizes as well which I need. Also put Superfeet Green orthotics in. No foot pain, nor blisters. Might want to give them a try.
Thank you for sharing this. I've been using Ultraboost for years and find that when I do my walking, I find that they're not comfortable after 8/9 kms. Have you by any chance tried ultraboosts? I wonder how they compare to Nimbus 24?
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
@Stephan the Painter why not just stick with the Hokas & buy very selectively ? I bought my Hoka Challenger 6 ATR for 40% off in early March, did my last two 20km training walks in them before completing the Camino Frances in 27 days across March/April last spring, so they covered about 850km. The heel lugs were coming off during the last 150km or so, but the rest of the soles were fine and after one short wash in my washing machine at home, the uppers looked almost like new.

As soon as I noticed my heel lugs (the black antislip bits) were beginning to come off, I started to check the soles of every pair of Hokas (any model) that I saw in an albergue: mine were the only pair with soles that had started to disintegrate, Vibram or not (I must have checked about 20 pairs). Because I saw no others disintegrating, I sent my shoes back when I returned home, stating that I'd walked a very long way but would appreciate a repair, but specifically not a replacement. They credited them and I ended up with a new pair of Hoka Challenger 7 for just €40 more, as they had just gone on sale.
 
Brooks Cascadia worked well for me, last walk used La Sportiva Wildcat's with 12mm drop.

I need more toe box room than most, was tempted to try New Balance more trail V3, nervous about 4mm drop.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I’ve had a couple of pairs of Hoka Speedgoats now and they are comfortable. But I can get about 300 miles, give or take, depending on the amount of road walking. Last trip, I took a pair of Nike Pegasus trail runners. They worked great, good cushion, super light and I came home with quite a bit of tread. Drop is a bit more, I think 10mm if I remember right..may work well for Plantar Fasciitis to take the pressure off the heel or if you’re a heel striker. I’d say they are best for medium to narrowish feet but I’d definitely use them again.
 
I love Altras and have worn them on my last four caminos. But they are not great in terms of heel cushioning. I have had some trouble with a neuroma (better after surgery for that and another structural problem) and plantar fasciitis (probably the result of wearing a surgical boot for months). I am thinking of trying Hokas or one of the suggested alternatives for my next hike.
I walked the Camino Francis in 2022 in Altra Lonepeak 6’s. I had plantar faciatas in 2018 and was worried about all the pavement on the CF so I put in Dr Scholls gel heel pads from the drugstore. They also give a few millimeters heel height. No foot problems on the walk St Jean to Santiago.
 
I need more toe box room than most, was tempted to try New Balance more trail V3, nervous about 4mm drop.
The V4 is the current model. It has a plastic line positioned right on the widest point of the foot, different from the V3. This feels like an inflexible seam and renders the shoe unsuitable for me. I happily went through 5 pairs of the NB More V3, but must now find a new model. ☹️
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
I have been using shoes from https://www.inov-8.com/ for the last couple of thousand km. Most of my hiking was done in the Roclite G 290, but that is for one unfortunately discontinued and secondly padding is not it's strong suit.
For a 100km/24h hike i got myself the Roclfy G 350, which has 6mm drop and way more cushioning. Also a very wide toe box. You might want to have a look at those.

In regards of durability, i was always very pleased with my Roclites. The hold up for around 1000km before the sole is done (while the upper usually still looks very good). For my newer Rocfly i can not give any long term experience, but i would guess it is similar.
Also had some Altras, but they have been a lot worse in that regard.
 
Unfortunately, I have a lot of foot problems, and the only shoes that I can wear comfortably lately are Hokas. ( I already wear custom orthotics).

They are comfortable to me because of the huge amount of padding and the 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. I haven't found any other shoes that duplicate this. I wonder if anybody here can suggest some brands or specific shoes?

My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw. It's because they use thin, lightweight materials to keep the weight down. This is a sacrifice that serious runners might willing to make, as opposed to hikers and people looking for day-to-day wear.

A shoe that shows significant wear on the uppers in just a few months of light use that costs in the $150 plus range seems like not a good buy to me.

. My foot problems are plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.

I did see that there were some recent threads about people looking for hoka alternatives, but I think my question is more specific. Thanks!
I have worn Brooke's Ghost GTX for my last 3 Caminos. 1 new pair for each.
They are heavenly comfortable and very similar to Hoka.
 
Personally I am a big fan of Brooks trail runner shoes. Currently using Brooks Devide 3 as my standard camino shoes. It's a zero drop shoe perfect for light traiils and normal use. Highly recommended as an alternative to Hoka's.

Screenshot 2023-07-23 at 13.19.48.png
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Check out this test of 3 most capable trail running shoes at the moment. Brooks Cascadia 16/17 is a winner!
I'll have to try on the Cascadia 17 before October walk, I walked in the 16 and no issues. I wonder if the toe box is as roomy on the 17?

Speedgoat 5 was too tight in toe box for me even the wide one! I can't do zero drop so Altra out.
 
Last edited:
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I also suffer from plantar fasciitis, and I've had a similar experience with Hokas, in that the cushioning was great for my plantar fasciitis, but they wore out very quickly.

About a month ago, I purchased a pair of New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail V3 trail runners to replace my Hokas. This was on the advice of the owner of a running gear store here in Lisbon who was very knowledgeable and was familiar both with the Camino and with plantar fasciitis.

I've just returned from a one-month hiking trip in Madeira and the Azores, during which I wore the New Balance trail runners exclusively. This included the 180-kilometre Caminho Real 23 in Madeira, an overnight climb of the Montanha do Pico, and a number of day hikes in the Azores.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with how these shoes performed. The cushioning was even better than the Hokas and really helped to keep the plantar fasciitis pain at bay. The only issue I had was that, when walking down steep hills (and there were a lot of steep hills in Madeira), my 3/4-length custom orthodotic insoles tended to slide out of position, moving down towards my toes.

Eventually this stopped happening though, as the cushioning compacted a bit under the insoles, leaving an indentation deep enough to keep them in place.

You can see from the attached photos that they have lost a fair bit of tread, but they had plenty of it to start with, so they still provided sufficient grip when clambering up and down slippery rocks on Pico at the end of our trip. The uppers are dirty but completely intact, as are the insides of the shoes (unlike my Hokas, where the fabric around the heels unraveled and kept shedding bits of foam).

According to the New Balance website, the shoes have a 4mm drop, and there is also a Men's version.20230729_161142.jpg20230729_161124.jpg
 
I also suffer from plantar fasciitis, and I've had a similar experience with Hokas, in that the cushioning was great for my plantar fasciitis, but they wore out very quickly.

About a month ago, I purchased a pair of New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail V3 trail runners to replace my Hokas.
Thanks for the thorough review. They sound very interesting. I’m sure the Vibram soles are much sturdier than the Hokas. New balance is a local company, actually. (Although I’m sure most of their shoes are made overseas now, anyway) I’ve tried a few of their shoes on, but never those. They have some outlet stores in the region, and if I get lucky they’ll have some there. I’ve been ordering and sending back a half a dozen pairs of shoes since I posted this thread!

I’ve been following your adventures on Instagram and also recently listened to several of your wonderfully conversational podcasts. It sounded like a wonderful trip.
 
Last edited:
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Thanks for the thorough review. They sound very interesting. I’m sure the Vibram soles are much sturdier than the Hokas. New balance is a local company, actually. (Although I’m sure most of their shoes are made overseas now, anyway) I’ve tried a few of their shoes on, but never those. They have some outlet stores in the region, and if I get lucky they’ll have some there. I’ve been ordering and sending back a half a dozen pairs of shoes since I posted this thread!

I’ve been following your adventures on Instagram and also recently listened to several of your wonderfully conversational podcasts. It sounded like a wonderful trip.
Thanks so much, it was indeed a great adventure! We have recorded a podcast episode about the Caminho Real 23, which should drop within a few days. I hope you enjoy it!
 
Thanks so much, it was indeed a great adventure! We have recorded a podcast episode about the Caminho Real 23, which should drop within a few days. I hope you enjoy it!
I did listen to your latest podcast about your walk on the Camino Real! It was wonderful and informative, and sounds like a terrific and beautiful walk. I can’t imagine my feet could cope in their current condition, but maybe in the future:(


Just a follow up question about those new balance x More’s:

Does the New Balance More shoe have the stiff sole and extra padding in the front like the hokas?

I couldn’t find any of those specific shoes locally but ended up trying on a pair of the New balance 860s which the New Balance webchat told me might work for me. Thy had a lot of padding on the heel, but they didn’t have very much padding or stiffness in the front, and unfortunately, I have problems with my toes as well. The Hokas seem to diminish my pain.

I can order the More’s and they’ll even give me a free return if I don’t like them, but it’s still a lot of work if I find it won’t work for me. This would help me decide.

Unfortunately, I think if these don’t work, I’ll just live with the planned obsolescence from Hoka. I am amazed that no one is making more economical knockoffs given their popularity. At least that I could find.
 
I did listen to your latest podcast about your walk on the Camino Real! It was wonderful and informative, and sounds like a terrific and beautiful walk. I can’t imagine my feet could cope in their current condition, but maybe in the future:(


Just a follow up question about those new balance x More’s:

Does the New Balance More shoe have the stiff sole and extra padding in the front like the hokas?

I couldn’t find any of those specific shoes locally but ended up trying on a pair of the New balance 860s which the New Balance webchat told me might work for me. Thy had a lot of padding on the heel, but they didn’t have very much padding or stiffness in the front, and unfortunately, I have problems with my toes as well. The Hokas seem to diminish my pain.

I can order the More’s and they’ll even give me a free return if I don’t like them, but it’s still a lot of work if I find it won’t work for me. This would help me decide.

Unfortunately, I think if these don’t work, I’ll just live with the planned obsolescence from Hoka. I am amazed that no one is making more economical knockoffs given their popularity. At least that I could find.
Hi Stephan,

I'm glad you enjoyed the podcast episode! Hmm, well the uppers of the New Balance shoes have "Toe protect" written on them up near the toes, so they do seem to have some kind of feature there. I'm not sure exactly what you need.

I compared them now, just feeling around the toe area with my hands, and to me the Hokas feel like they have a stiffer sole. The New Balance feel softer. The uppers of the two shoes feel similar around the toe area.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Hi Stephan,

I'm glad you enjoyed the podcast episode! Hmm, well the uppers of the New Balance shoes have "Toe protect" written on them up near the toes, so they do seem to have some kind of feature there. I'm not sure exactly what you need.

I compared them now, just feeling around the toe area with my hands, and to me the Hokas feel like they have a stiffer sole. The New Balance feel softer. The uppers of the two shoes feel similar around the toe area.


Thanks for checking! I have arthritis in my big toes, and it helps if the soles are stiffer. My needs are complicated!

I think all the new balances don't have stiff front soles.... Maybe I'll order another set of Hokas for walking around and the next time I'm in a big city I'll check out all the stores.
 
I also have problematic feet - mainly metatarsalgia. My feet are quite wide, so I have trouble getting much selection in a Women's size 8 or Men's size 6.5 or 7.
Does the New Balance More shoe have the stiff sole and extra padding in the front like the hokas?
Yes.
My problem with the Hokas is that they tend to wear out quickly. I think this is actually intentional, instead of a design flaw.
The same is true of the NB Mores. I don't see at so much as a "design flaw" as a deliberate decision to provide cushioning at the cost of durability. My feet need that, whereas younger or different foot don't. I have tried several other NB models and they are quite different and don't meet my needs.

I have had several pairs of Mores and my only complaint is that they do not maintain that excellent padding for more than 500 km. They still look good on the top, and the soles don't even look too bad, but my feet start feeling sorer and sorer until I get new ones.

The NB More and Hokas are similar, but I find that the NB More fits wider, with more volume, than the Hokas.

In your case, you were happy with the Hokas. The NB Mores are good, but they probably won't last any longer than the Hokas.
 
I also have problematic feet - mainly metatarsalgia. My feet are quite wide, so I have trouble getting much selection in a Women's size 8 or Men's size 6.5 or 7.

Yes.

The same is true of the NB Mores. I don't see at so much as a "design flaw" as a deliberate decision to provide cushioning at the cost of durability.
I need wide shoes as well. It does cut out a lot of models. I agree with you about it being a decision to provide cushioning at the cost of durability. Although I wonder if there aren't other more durable materials that could provide the same amount of cushioning? But I'm not a shoe designer/engineer, so it's hard to say.

Thanks for your input about the new balance Moore's. The biggest problem I'm having with the Hokas is that the uppers seem to wear out way before the lowers do. So maybe it's worth a try for my specific feet.

I'm waiting for someone to put a classic and simple walking style upper on a really padded shoe sole. Everything out there looks like I should be wearing spandex when I put them on.

I guess I just have to accept that my shoe budget is probably going to be much higher than I want it to be!
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20

Most read last week in this forum

OK this is kinda trivial- but it BUGS me so much ..... those EU coins jangling around in my pockets - heavy, damaging the pocket material. So I've decided to bring some type of a pocket-size coin...
Hello 👋! I’ve decided on Topo Ultraventure 3’s for my Camino Frances this July & August. They feel great! I decided on them for the wide toe box with drop, and will pair them with my trusty...
I need a new backpack like a hole in the head, but I was intrigued by the new Flash Air backpack from REI. At 50 liters it's larger than I need, but it's very lightweight. It's currently on...
I don't sew much, and it seems there are many good sewers here, so I thought I'd ask for advice before I start on my bag and liner "upgrade". My slippery quilt (sleeping bag) slides off my bag...
Hi just a few weeks to go now, and my bag is more or less packed. I've decided not to take a water bladder, but to use bottles instead. So my question is, bearing in mind that a litre of water...
Let's see who has worn the most silly looking gear on Camino! I'll start with the knotted handkerchief hat! It was a rainy day and I had my rain pants and jacket on. But the feeling of the...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top