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How important is a rock plate for CF?

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
 
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OTH86

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021
If the rock plate is to protect your feet from sharp stones, you don't really need to worry about that on the Francés. The trails are mostly natural paths and some small gravel. There ARE some irregular stones on the "roman roads", but an ankle brace would help more than the rock plate.
I second @Anniesantiago 's suggestion, and maybe add lightweight.
Buen Camino!
 

Peacemaker

Member
Past OR future Camino
Future - planned for late March and April 2022
Use your insole as a template to cut out a piece from a thin plastic kitchen cutting board. I put them underneath my insole and they served quite well on sections with jagged rocks. When you don’t need them you can take them out and they take up almost no space in your pack.
 
Past OR future Camino
LePuy07, CF 08, Arles17, Via Regia '18,
Agree. Not necessary. Lots of good options. The Topo terradventure 2 model does have a rock plate and a somewhat stiffer Vibram sole than the earlier model.
 
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Use your insole as a template to cut out a piece from a thin plastic kitchen cutting board. I put them underneath my insole and they served quite well on sections with jagged rocks. When you don’t need them you can take them out and they take up almost no space in your pack.
I know of no sections with jagged rocks on the Camino.
 
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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
If the rock plate is to protect your feet from sharp stones, you don't really need to worry about that on the Francés. The trails are mostly natural paths and some small gravel. There ARE some irregular stones on the "roman roads", but an ankle brace would help more than the rock plate.
I second @Anniesantiago 's suggestion, and maybe add lightweight.
Buen Camino!
Hola, there are sections of the Via De La Plata - north Merida that had I known about a rock plate I would have had one in a second. But I do agree there is not any real need on the Frances. Just have boots that fit with a sturdy sole.
 

JoroAtanasof

Member
Past OR future Camino
one too many
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
You don’t need rockplate . Plus ultraventure have 30 mm stack height and vibram mega grip . It is more than enough:)
 
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Dilbin

Active Member
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Irun to Santander del Norte
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
Hi. What's a rock plate. 😁 1400kms later on Del Norte and Portuguese. If its important then maybe that's why I should have had one. Seriously don't worry about it. More weight on your feet that you can do without. Buen Camino
 

Hiker-jill

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte 2016
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
This is more like a walk than a hike. I wore lightweight trailrunners…Could do in sandals except gravel gets inside.
 

Stroller

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
The climb out of Atapuerca has edge on strata, most uncomfortable, and rock plates or better still a hacked up milk bottle would help a lot to stop bruising.
 
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A Crackpot Abroad

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Via de Plata, Norte, Levante in 2022???
+1 for the rock plate/shank. I saw several pilgrims with stone bruising carnage by day 2 on my CF. Several people limping around the alburgues with a U.S. quarter/ .50 euro coin sized red dot in the ball of their feet. Mostly people wearing running shoes. I won't leave home without a rock plate.

That said, I have a 63 year old friend that has completed the Pacific Crest trail, Rocky Mountain trail and Appalachian trail in running shoes. Swears by them. Your milage may vary. Have fun!

Crackpot
 
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JordonOzero

New Member
Past OR future Camino
CF x 3
Your personal weight plays a big part. “Average” size people are probably ok without, however, a shank (aka rock plate) can also reduce foot fatigue over the long haul. A heavier person may benefit greatly from a shank as they will compress the mid-sole of their footwear much more and become susceptible to rocks (sharp or small round ones) hurting their feet. Even for average sized people carrying 12-20lbs packs may benefit over a 800km walk.
 

Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
+1 for the rock plate/shank. I saw several pilgrims with stone bruising carnage by day 2 on my CF. Several people walking around the alburgues with a U.S. quarter/ .50 euro coin sized red dot in the ball of their feet. Mostly people wearing running shoes. I won't leave home without a rock plate.

That said, I have a 63 year old friend that has completed the Pacific Crest trail, Rocky Mountain trail and Appalachian trail in running shoes. Swears by them. Your milage may vary. Have fun!

Crackpot
Then they are not wearing a good walking shoe. I've seen people with work boots on thinking those have to be an equal to a hiking boot and they're not stones and cobblestone can wreak havoc on the bottom of your feet. I think you'll find most trail running shoes have a cloth Rock plate in them a piece of carbon material not a piece of hard plastic. That's why I always choose Keen or Oboz to walk in. Keen and oboz or technically the same boot just different partners.
 
Past OR future Camino
Future Camino Frances (2022)
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
Currently on the Camino Frances with 60 miles to go to Santiago. I had some serious problems with deep-seated bruised forefeet developing from the rocky paths on the first few days in early May out of SJPP. I was wearing some Salomon Quest 4 Forces boots, and despite doing a proper 50mile break-in before starting, the combination of my “svelte” 100kg body + a 10kg pack seems to obliterated the forefoot midsole of the boots. Salomon have been great with their customer response to my emails and it looks like an unforeseen failure of the midsole compound, but unfortunately the damage has been done and without the luxury of healing time I have resorted to a mix of North Face walking shoes with thick soles and Mammut mid-cut boots which have a great spring steel plate in the midsole (Salomon should steal this idea!)
The steep and pebbly descent from the Iron Cross a few days ago certainly reminded me that my feet aren’t 100% yet.
As I said, Salomon have been great however a U.K. purchase warranty and a walk in Spain are not the best mix for a warranty replacement. Not Salomon’s issue, international import/export processes make a mess of any efforts to help me. All will be resolved once I am back in the U.K.
The idea of a removable sole plate might be an option to test out before you walk.
 
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Future Camino Frances (2022)
Your personal weight plays a big part. “Average” size people are probably ok without, however, a shank (aka rock plate) can also reduce foot fatigue over the long haul. A heavier person may benefit greatly from a shank as they will compress the mid-sole of their footwear much more and become susceptible to rocks (sharp or small round ones) hurting their feet. Even for average sized people carrying 12-20lbs packs may benefit over a 800km walk.
Agree! See my recent reply.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!

Rock plates will most likely destroy your feet after 200 km
 

RussB

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Still planning
Got the amount they weigh I would use. We are talking ounces and if they give a bit more protection why not use. I have in my Lone Peaks and no issues over the 1,000 km of Mozarabe and VdlP I’m currently doing
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
I believe that it was my pair of Altra Superior shoes that came with a removable rockplate that could be inserted under the insole. A number of us use aftermarket insoles which are useful to stableize the foot and also protect against sharply angled rocks. I use Powerstep insles, others use Superfeet. A rockplate is not necessary, just eases your mind.
 
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Len Dacombe

Len from Canada
Past OR future Camino
April/May 2015 & September 2015
I believe that it was my pair of Altra Superior shoes that came with a removable rockplate that could be inserted under the insole. A number of us use aftermarket insoles which are useful to stableize the foot and also protect against sharply angled rocks. I use Powerstep insles, others use Superfeet. A rockplate is not necessary, just eases your mind.
I concur! i used Salomon 4D Quest boots with Powerstep Pinnacle insoles. Great combination. Changed out the insoles to new ones at about 2/3 of the Camino Frances.

I wear Power Steps in every pair of shoes I own. In my experience, it doesn't matter how great your shoes or boots are, the “stock” insoles tend to be crap.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances/Portuguese/Ingles/Sanabre/Frances/Fineste
If the rock plate is to protect your feet from sharp stones, you don't really need to worry about that on the Francés. The trails are mostly natural paths and some small gravel. There ARE some irregular stones on the "roman roads", but an ankle brace would help more than the rock plate.
I second @Anniesantiago 's suggestion, and maybe add lightweight.
Buen Camino!
You don’t need a rock plate, but I did and made one after that sharp rock. I now wear thicker shoes
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016 SJPP>Santiago
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
Based on my personal experience, I would suggest something either that is part of the shoe or homemade. I walked the entire Frances from SJPdP in a pair of shoes that held up great. I'm still using them. I had no blisters the entire trip. My one and only complaint was that after walking several days, I began to feel every little pebble through the soles. "Unfortunately" the shoes were such a good fit, I could not add additional insoles or I would have done that. I am not familiar with what a rock plate is, but something to reduce the spot pressure of stones or rocks would be my choice. If homemade, try is out on several hikes to make sure it doesn't create more problems than it solves. It might also change the fit and create blisters, so beware. I see you go to REI. Take along your solution when shopping to ensure a good fit. And if it doesn't feel right on training hikes, you can always return the shoes at REI.
 
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chinacat

Veteran Member
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!

Hi,
here’s an old thread from @davebugg on making your own rockplates:

 

A Crackpot Abroad

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Via de Plata, Norte, Levante in 2022???
My one and only complaint was that after walking several days, I began to feel every little pebble through the soles.
Same thing occurred to me during training before CF. The therapist told me it was stone bruising. I was sensitive to the constant pressure being transmitted through my then mostly new Merrill Moabs I was going to use on my then upcoming CF. The ache was right in the center of the ball of my foot. She told me to find shoes with a shank (rock plate) built into the sole. No issues (or blisters) on CF, VdlP, Norte and most of Levante with my shanked boots. I think some people are blessed with strong (younger) feet and don't need a rock plate.

crackpot.
 
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Viggo

California
Past OR future Camino
CF, CP, Norde, Finister, VDLP, VF, Via Postumia
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
In general, if your shoe has Moderate to Max Cushioning, you sould be fine without a rock plate.
 
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A Crackpot Abroad

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Via de Plata, Norte, Levante in 2022???
Your personal weight plays a big part. “Average” size people are probably ok without, however, a shank (aka rock plate) can also reduce foot fatigue over the long haul. A heavier person may benefit greatly from a shank as they will compress the mid-sole of their footwear much more and become susceptible to rocks (sharp or small round ones) hurting their feet. Even for average sized people carrying 12-20lbs packs may benefit over a 800km walk.
This! "Mananath" (needed quotes bcuz my spell check kept changing I to Manawatu), if you're young, lean and have a light load, you might not need a rock plate. I'm old, chubby and mostly feeble minded. I need a rock plate. Well said Jordan!

Crackpot
 

mattythedog

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
I myself just use trailrunners and never have problems; however, I once met a man on the CF who, even with bonafide hiking shoes, said he could feel every rock and they made his feet ache. Suggest you get whatever shoes fit you best and then go to a stone/gravel supply yard and walk on the various sizes of crushed rock to see if YOU need plates.
 

mattythedog

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I know of no sections with jagged rocks on the Camino.
I returned from CF last week. From SJPP to Finisterre there are multiple sections where they have laid new crushed stone; some large and some small. They are jagged, but dont bother me. I much prefer the crushed stone to the bank run smooth stones they dumped all over the trail going down from Alto de Perdon last year.
 

peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
april 2022
i vote rock plate. the path is comprised of sharp jagged stones and gravel that are very hard on the feet for day after day walking. you need something that will prevent your feet from getting pummeled. (i just got back last week from CF 45 days)
 
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Descent in Zubiri might be an exception, although the risk is more of losing one's balance and landing on the sharp rocks ...
I guess those could be considered sharp rocks, but to me, to buy special shoes for one day out of 60 is more than I'd do.
 

peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
april 2022
Yes, but as I said earlier, one day out of 45-60 doesn't warrant special shoes in my opinion. But that's me. People should do what makes their hearts happy.
i just got back and experienced the majority of 45 days with those jagged sharp rocks. i know you have done CF a lot but i wonder how you can say one day?….or where the heck have i been walking? lol- but i feel i could count on one hand the number of days i didn’t have the jutting sharp rocks! (and another hand or two for the side-of-the-highway turf)
 
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A Crackpot Abroad

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Via de Plata, Norte, Levante in 2022???
I have no idea what a rock plate is.
Just buy some shoes that fit and are comfortable.
You don't need anything special.


FromTrail Runner:

Rock plate​

"Specific to trail-running shoes, rock plates are hard plastic inserts situated between the midsole and outsole of the shoe to prevent sharp objects from injuring the foot. They can run the full length of the shoe, only under the forefoot or some variation thereof."

From Outside magazine:

SHANK

"A shank is a semi-rigid insert that fits in the midsole of the boot. They serve several functions: they protect the foot from sharp objects, give the boot enough stiffness so it flexes at the ball of the foot even when loaded, and provides stability on rough terrain. Without them, your feet will feel bruised and tired after a long day on the trail."

My boots, the shanks are built into the sole. I can't remove it like liner/foot pad.


 
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Buffalo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planned 2022 Francis
i vote rock plate. the path is comprised of sharp jagged stones and gravel that are very hard on the feet for day after day walking. you need something that will prevent your feet from getting pummeled. (i just got back last week from CF 45 days)
I am currently in Sairria from SJPP. I have Hoka Speedgoats but my walking companions have Lone Peaks. They all have thrown out the original insole and purchased new inserts. I’m doing fine. The egg shaped rocks imbedded in the trail are painful. And there are a bunch of sections that are filled with them. I guess if you send your pack ahead it’s not an issue but if you carry a full load it’s going to hurt.
 

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
I am currently in Sairria from SJPP. I have Hoka Speedgoats but my walking companions have Lone Peaks. They all have thrown out the original insole and purchased new inserts. I’m doing fine. The egg shaped rocks imbedded in the trail are painful. And there are a bunch of sections that are filled with them. I guess if you send your pack ahead it’s not an issue but if you carry a full load it’s going to hurt.
Thanks for this. Originally I was going to get lone peaks for the Camino but a friend who did it in them warned against using them due to the lack of cushioning. The topo has 5mm more cushioning... hopefully it is! But if not I assume it will be easy to buy insoles along the way.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Thanks for this. Originally I was going to get lone peaks for the Camino but a friend who did it in them warned against using them due to the lack of cushioning. The topo has 5mm more cushioning... hopefully it is! But if not I assume it will be easy to buy insoles along the way.
Altra has other models with more cushion than the Lone Peaks, like the Olympus and Timps.
 

Richard Smith

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
Dave Bugg posted an article that mentioned how you can cut out your own rock plate (and I saw one reply above that seemed to link to that). If/when I walk in trail runners I intend to do this.
However, regarding rocks on the CF - I walked in my several year old Italian leather walking boots that had served me well over many multi-day walks in OZ and NZ carrying twice the back pack load as the CF and my comment at the time was "the rocks in Spain are hard!"
Same boots, same replacement inner sole, new pairs of the same sox, and I never/rarely got blisters before but the CF was different.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Specific to trail-running shoes, rock plates are hard plastic inserts situated between the midsole and outsole of the shoe to prevent sharp objects from injuring the foot. They can run the full length of the shoe, only under the forefoot or some variation thereof."
Thanks for posting this explanation.

I, too, did not know what a rock plate is but of course I googled it immediately and saw that it is specific to trail-running shoes. Not even owning any trail-running shoes let along being knowledgeable about their composition of materials, it decided that it is not for me to give advice. I only know this for sure: at least for me and my feet, there is no single pair of shoes that is ideal for the whole 500 miles long Camino Francés - or even longer if you add the trails before you reach the Pyrenees.

As I walked in annual sections, I used sometimes proper Hanwag and later Meindl hiking shoes and sometimes Hoka One Ones (marketed as 'cushioned running shoes' but not as trail-running shoes). Each of these pairs of shoes were ideal and even bliss for some sections and awful for some other sections to the extent that I once cursed for having chosen them for that trip in particular.

I now think that many of the complaints on the forum about 'treacherous' or 'difficult' sections of the Camino Francés have to do with the fact that those pilgrims are not wearing the right shoes for those sections and that is why they struggle.

So perhaps this comment is of some use for the OP after all, despite it coming from someone who does not wear or own trailrunners. Buen Camino to @Mananath!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Hi Annie, one that automatically comes to mind is the down into Monlinaseca. I found that path to be particularly jagged, but I think that was about it.
This is actually where I cursed my choice of shoes for the day. I don't recall it as jagged, just stony in places. I would classify this trail as longish but easy peasy when wearing proper hiking shoes. It was the length of the trail, the frequent 'feeling' of stones under my feet where you could not avoid stepping on them, and my choice of shoes (cushioned trainers / soft sports shoe / Hokas) that made walking to be slower, tiring and very annoying to walk towards the end. Also, it was a hot day.

Some posters may not remember this because they chose to walk on the tarmac road or took a taxi down to Molinaseca. :cool:

Edited to add: To me, the shoes that the OP favours - Topo Ultraventure 2 - looks as good a pick as any other.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
"How important is a rock plate."

I would say it is fairly far down the list of criteria for footwear - after size, width, general fit, cushioning, support, breathabilty, traction, for example. I have never gotten to the point where a rock plate was the deciding factor.
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!

Have walked more days on the CF than I care to remember.

Never heard of a rock plate, ever.

I use Keen walking sandals on Summer CF and vibram soled hiking boots on Winter CF.

My tuppence worth.

Every pair of feet is different.

Enjoy...
 
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JordonOzero

New Member
Past OR future Camino
CF x 3
Have walked more days on the CF than I care to remember.

Never heard of a rock plate, ever.

I use Keen walking sandals on Summer CF and vibram soled hiking boots on Winter CF.

My tuppence worth.

Every pair of feet is different.

Enjoy...
For what it's worth, it seems Keen sandals have a shank built into the midsole (same idea as rock plate which sits on top of the midsole) as noted here:
Other characteristics worth mentioning are the secure lace capture system, a TPU stability shank, as well as the Metatomical Footbed that supports the wearer’s arches. Once we combine these features with the model’s non marking rubber outsole, we get a pair of hiking sandals whose excellent performance is hard to match.
Nice technology that has been enjoyed by Keen sandal wearers without necessarily knowing about it :)
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
FromTrail Runner:

Rock plate​

"Specific to trail-running shoes, rock plates are hard plastic inserts situated between the midsole and outsole of the shoe to prevent sharp objects from injuring the foot. They can run the full length of the shoe, only under the forefoot or some variation thereof."

From Outside magazine:

SHANK

"A shank is a semi-rigid insert that fits in the midsole of the boot. They serve several functions: they protect the foot from sharp objects, give the boot enough stiffness so it flexes at the ball of the foot even when loaded, and provides stability on rough terrain. Without them, your feet will feel bruised and tired after a long day on the trail."

My boots, the shanks are built into the sole. I can't remove it like liner/foot pad.


Thanks for posting that.
A lot of the hiking shoes and boots out there have shanks for support and stability. Merrell Moabs and Oboz Sawtooth have them, as I've walked the Camino in both those shoes and the shank helps me. It's not a rock plate, and while there's a few days on the Frances where you have to negotiate some rocks on the path, I don't think it even comprises 10% of the entire walk. Not enough IMO to warrant rock protection in footwear.
 

Buffalo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planned 2022 Francis
Thanks for this. Originally I was going to get lone peaks for the Camino but a friend who did it in them warned against using them due to the lack of cushioning. The topo has 5mm more cushioning... hopefully it is! But if not I assume it will be easy to buy insoles along the way.
There are a number of sport shops along the way. My companions bought them in Burgos.
 

JoroAtanasof

Member
Past OR future Camino
one too many
Thanks for this. Originally I was going to get lone peaks for the Camino but a friend who did it in them warned against using them due to the lack of cushioning. The topo has 5mm more cushioning... hopefully it is! But if not I assume it will be easy to buy insoles along the way.
I finished CF 2 weeks ago in pair of altra olimpus (33mm stack height) yes there was some paths where they put small rocks material and it was fine for me but honestly the asphalt was way worse .
With altra it is always the same super comfortable the first 200 / 300kms and then the cushioning is gone . But i had no blisters and I really enjoyed walking with them + pushed serious kms couple of times . I noticed so many pilgrims wearing lone peaks and some of them definitely needed more supportive shoes . My plan was to walk with topo terraventure 3 but they arrived at home at my second day on CF :) .
From all my research I think that Topos are great alternative to Altras . But like someone here said there isn’t all around shoes .
 
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donalomahony

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
For what it's worth, it seems Keen sandals have a shank built into the midsole (same idea as rock plate which sits on top of the midsole) as noted here:
Other characteristics worth mentioning are the secure lace capture system, a TPU stability shank, as well as the Metatomical Footbed that supports the wearer’s arches. Once we combine these features with the model’s non marking rubber outsole, we get a pair of hiking sandals whose excellent performance is hard to match.
Nice technology that has been enjoyed by Keen sandal wearers without necessarily knowing about it :)
👍👍
 

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
I finished CF 2 weeks ago in pair of altra olimpus (33mm stack height) yes there was some paths where they put small rocks material and it was fine for me but honestly the asphalt was way worse .
With altra it is always the same super comfortable the first 200 / 300kms and then the cushioning is gone . But i had no blisters and I really enjoyed walking with them + pushed serious kms couple of times . I noticed so many pilgrims wearing lone peaks and some of them definitely needed more supportive shoes . My plan was to walk with topo terraventure 3 but they arrived at home at my second day on CF :) .
From all my research I think that Topos are great alternative to Altras . But like someone here said there isn’t all around shoes .
How was the asphalt sections for the first 200km before the cushioning wore down?
 
Past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2021 SJPdP to Finisterre
I wore Cascadia trail runners sold by Brooks last fall. They worked well except when walking on cobblestones. Ugh, I was painfully aware of each and every cobblestone I stepped on. On my next camino, I hope to find a lightweight shoe that fits well and has a sturdier rock plate. Everyone has their own preferences.
 

sarahchicago

Trail snail
Past OR future Camino
May 2022
It was great I had couple of 40+kms days with no issues . The first really challenging day was the asphalt section after Ponferada .
Uh oh. I’m in Ponferada now, icing a shin splint that flared up with the tough downhill from Cruz de ferro today. I’m wearing Saucony Peregrine Ice trail runners and have felt great except on long stone,asphalt or concrete stretches, like entries into Logroño, Najera and León, as well as the not-scenic alternative route after Leon. I use Ibuprofen gel when they get really achy, elevate my feet at every rest stop (above my head on shady park benches when possible) and try to find bits of grass or dirt to walk on. I might wear my brooks adrenaline tomorrow after reading your description. Thanks!
 
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Bookiemama

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances May 2022
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
I also vote for rock plate. I am currently in Sarria and have been 4 weeks walking since SJPP. At the last minute I bought new Brooks Cascadia for the trip, trail runners with a type of rock plate and am SO glad I have at least those. Many sections on the CF with huge, loose, chunky, sharp rocks, especially on steep descents, way more rocky sections than I anticipated.
 

Pilgrino21

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Hi- spent some time in REI the other day trying on lots of trail runners. I found the Topo Ultraventure 2 to be a good fit and I think I will use it when I start the CF next month. However I noticed it lacks a rock plate. How important is that feature for the Camino, specifically the Frances? All the choices are a bit overwhelming!
Thanks!
Hi,

I used the same pair of LP 5 on both stages of the CF (last winter and this past May). I'd say as someone who actually used trail runners I benefited from this feature. Why? Because when I walked to Muxia and Finisterre after Santiago, I could feel every bit of stone and gravel, unlike before. I'm also hard on my heel as well. This is my experience. I know others will diagnose you without knowing how your feet are. Some walking sandals are effective for a reason because of the solid layer of protection. Boots as well.

Take my word not as advice but as a data point. Most important thing is know your body well. If you've done enough walking you'll know what you like. If I used boots, I may have a different opinion so take everyone's opinions as they are, and make the best decision for yourself. Same with cushioning, it offers a different purpose than a rock plate. So if you're trying for protection vs comfort, answers may vary. Happy hunting. I know it took me awhile to decide which pair to use. There will be trade offs, just have to be okay with them.

Happy to offer my insights further. Feel free to send a DM if you wish.
 

peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
april 2022
For what it's worth, it seems Keen sandals have a shank built into the midsole (same idea as rock plate which sits on top of the midsole) as noted here:
Other characteristics worth mentioning are the secure lace capture system, a TPU stability shank, as well as the Metatomical Footbed that supports the wearer’s arches. Once we combine these features with the model’s non marking rubber outsole, we get a pair of hiking sandals whose excellent performance is hard to match.
Nice technology that has been enjoyed by Keen sandal wearers without necessarily knowing about it :)
no wonder! i ditched my altra lonepeaks for keen newport H2 sandals in logrono and never looked back- they were fantastic all the way.
 
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OTH86

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021
I wonder if we all have different experiences - duh :rolleyes: ;)
BUT, it seems to me I've come upon sections of trails where new gravel has just been put down... sometimes the guys are still there raking stuff around... Has anyone else noticed these trail "improvements"? Seems reasonable considering the number of feet mushing and scattering the stones and pebbles around....
 

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
Well after my pair of Topos arrived in the mail today I am not quite happy with the fit. Much too tight to wear with injinji liners and an outer sock. Much better fit with one or the other. I am mixed on the two sock setup given the temps of July. Also not quite sold on how the insole cradles my foot.
The search continues. Gonna hit up a few local shops tomorrow and see what else I can find. I have three weeks til Camino!
 

peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
april 2022
Well after my pair of Topos arrived in the mail today I am not quite happy with the fit. Much too tight to wear with injinji liners and an outer sock. Much better fit with one or the other. I am mixed on the two sock setup given the temps of July. Also not quite sold on how the insole cradles my foot.
The search continues. Gonna hit up a few local shops tomorrow and see what else I can find. I have three weeks til Camino!
try keen newport h2 sandals- worth a shot you might be surprised!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@Anniesantiago Specific to trail-running shoes, rock plates are hard plastic inserts situated between the midsole and outsole of the shoe to prevent sharp objects from injuring the foot. I don’t find trail runners supportive enough and my feet do not like them. So I continue to wear hiking shoes which are heavier but do provide the support for me to avoid bruising onlong distance walks.
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
The only part with loose rocky surface comes to my mind was the descent from the Alto de El Perdón down to Uterga.

But you can walk with any type of shoe and get to SdC safe and sound.

BC
Roland
 
Past OR future Camino
Future Camino Frances (2022)
For what it's worth, it seems Keen sandals have a shank built into the midsole (same idea as rock plate which sits on top of the midsole) as noted here:
Other characteristics worth mentioning are the secure lace capture system, a TPU stability shank, as well as the Metatomical Footbed that supports the wearer’s arches. Once we combine these features with the model’s non marking rubber outsole, we get a pair of hiking sandals whose excellent performance is hard to match.
Nice technology that has been enjoyed by Keen sandal wearers without necessarily knowing about it :)
Which Keen model is this relevant to?
 

JoroAtanasof

Member
Past OR future Camino
one too many
Well after my pair of Topos arrived in the mail today I am not quite happy with the fit. Much too tight to wear with injinji liners and an outer sock. Much better fit with one or the other. I am mixed on the two sock setup given the temps of July. Also not quite sold on how the insole cradles my foot.
The search continues. Gonna hit up a few local shops tomorrow and see what else I can find. I have three weeks til Camino!
Well after my pair of Topos arrived in the mail today I am not quite happy with the fit. Much too tight to wear with injinji liners and an outer sock. Much better fit with one or the other. I am mixed on the two sock setup given the temps of July. Also not quite sold on how the insole cradles my foot.
The search continues. Gonna hit up a few local shops tomorrow and see what else I can find. I have three weeks til Camino!
Did you consider yourself walking with injinji socks only ? Why do you need 2 pairs , are you prone to blisters ? Sorry i never used Vaseline and 2 layer socks system , but also never had abhot spot or blister which can’t be fixed with leukotape :)
 
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peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
april 2022
Did you consider yourself walking with injinji socks only ? Why do you need 2 pairs , are you prone to blisters ? Sorry i never used Vaseline and 2 layer socks system , but also never had abhot spot or blister which can’t be fixed with leukotape :)
i did a thin wool liner with darn tough outer socks and vaseline- never had a blister or even a hot spot
 

sarahchicago

Trail snail
Past OR future Camino
May 2022
The only part with loose rocky surface comes to my mind was the descent from the Alto de El Perdón down to Uterga.

But you can walk with any type of shoe and get to SdC safe and sound.

BC
Roland
Cruz de ferró to el aceibo was jagged rock and narrow a couple of days ago. Looked like someone had dumped large unecmven rocks all over it (they didn’t look natural) 53DE98CA-2A7C-4B5F-B269-31AB83850AAC.jpeg The next 5-8 kms were nearly as rough.
 

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
Did you consider yourself walking with injinji socks only ? Why do you need 2 pairs , are you prone to blisters ? Sorry i never used Vaseline and 2 layer socks system , but also never had abhot spot or blister which can’t be fixed with leukotape :)
TBH I just read about it on this forum and thought I would give it a try. I have never done liner socks before and my feet tend to sweat so I am still on the fence. I am keen for the toe socks to prevent blisters forming in between my toes. Earlier in the year I did a couple of multi night treks in NZ and ended up with blisters in between my pinky toes and would like to avoid that. Although I was wearing poorly fitted boots on those so that probably played a role.
 
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sarahchicago

Trail snail
Past OR future Camino
May 2022
TBH I just read about it on this forum and thought I would give it a try. I have never done liner socks before and my feet tend to sweat so I am still on the fence. I am keen for the toe socks to prevent blisters forming in between my toes. Earlier in the year I did a couple of multi night treks in NZ and ended up with blisters in between my pinky toes and would like to avoid that. Although I was wearing poorly fitted boots on those so that probably played a role.
I’m on day 26 on the Frances and have been wearing “wrightsocks” double layer socks and putting Vaseline on the balls of my feet and on my toes in the morning. No blisters yet. I also often change my socks midway through the day, elevate my feet above my head on a park bench at midday and I just tried wearing my brooks adrenaline running shoes for 2 days of walking on roads (from Ponferrada to las Herrerías).
 

Pilgrino21

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
TBH I just read about it on this forum and thought I would give it a try. I have never done liner socks before and my feet tend to sweat so I am still on the fence. I am keen for the toe socks to prevent blisters forming in between my toes. Earlier in the year I did a couple of multi night treks in NZ and ended up with blisters in between my pinky toes and would like to avoid that. Although I was wearing poorly fitted boots on those so that probably played a role.
I'm relatively new to wearing toe socks. On my two legs of the CF, my blisters are around my toes on two occasions. One ironically was from wearing one but I attributed it to extra threads rubbing on my toe (make sure to get rid of excess threads). The latest was from wearing regular socks and the shoe was loose so my feet were moving all over. I get toe blisters because my toes bunch up and rub on each other in weird ways. Toe socks minimize this and would continue wearing them while blisters are relatively fresh. Of course this is my experience and you may have a different result so take this with a grain a salt, not as a guarantee.

I tried double socks but didn't work for me on my training hikes. I do use a cream on my feet tho.
 

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
Well after my pair of Topos arrived in the mail today I am not quite happy with the fit. Much too tight to wear with injinji liners and an outer sock. Much better fit with one or the other. I am mixed on the two sock setup given the temps of July. Also not quite sold on how the insole cradles my foot.
The search continues. Gonna hit up a few local shops tomorrow and see what else I can find. I have three weeks til Camino!
Spent a few hours yesterday visiting 4 shops and trying on about 15 different types of trail runners. I was pretty happy with the Hoka Bondi and the NB Hierros. Wasn't able to try the Speedgoat but just ordered a few pairs that should be arriving in a few days to see how they fit. Unless I love the SG I suspect I will end up with the Bondi (of course the most expensive one I tried on lol).
 

dbier

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
I wear Bondi 7s for flat events...just make sure the toe box is wide enough for your foot, downhill, after swelling. ;) I actually used Hoka trail boots for the Camino. Worked for me, but again, be certain that the shoe has enough room..
 

tlw06

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Well after my pair of Topos arrived in the mail today I am not quite happy with the fit. Much too tight to wear with injinji liners and an outer sock. Much better fit with one or the other. I am mixed on the two sock setup given the temps of July. Also not quite sold on how the insole cradles my foot.
The search continues. Gonna hit up a few local shops tomorrow and see what else I can find. I have three weeks til Camino!
3 of us walked CF in Topo Ultraventures last August with only darn tough wool socks. Only on the descent of Alto del Perdón, did I wish for a sturdier shoe. 2 of us experienced no blisters and were pretty happy overall with the shoes. My husband got a couple of blisters after 2 weeks on the trail. He had a bad hip at the time and needed hip replacement surgery and his gait got increasingly uneven. That may have contributed to the development of blisters?
 
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Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
3 of us walked CF in Topo Ultraventures last August with only darn tough wool socks. Only on the descent of Alto del Perdón, did I wish for a sturdier shoe. 2 of us experienced no blisters and were pretty happy overall with the shoes. My husband got a couple of blisters after 2 weeks on the trail. He had a bad hip at the time and needed hip replacement surgery and his gait got increasingly uneven. That may have contributed to the development of blisters?
Thanks for the feedback. I ordered a 1/2 size up as well and will see how they feel. Did you find the cushioning adequate? Were you feeling every rock and cobblestone?
 

tlw06

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks for the feedback. I ordered a 1/2 size up as well and will see how they feel. Did you find the cushioning adequate? Were you feeling every rock and cobblestone?
Good idea on half size up, we did the same. We live in Washington state where we do a lot of hiking and we spent 4 months hiking mountain trails (various terrain) in these shoes prior to CF and so had a good idea of to expect. Yes I felt the cushioning to be adequate, but everyone is different.
 

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
Good idea on half size up, we did the same. We live in Washington state where we do a lot of hiking and we spent 4 months hiking mountain trails (various terrain) in these shoes prior to CF and so had a good idea of to expect. Yes I felt the cushioning to be adequate, but everyone is different.
Between the 1/2 size increase and removal of the liner socks (which prob would have been too hot in July) I am finding the UV2 to be much better. Now trying to decide between it and the Speedgoat 4.
 
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JoroAtanasof

Member
Past OR future Camino
one too many
Between the 1/2 size increase and removal of the liner socks (which prob would have been too hot in July) I am finding the UV2 to be much better. Now trying to decide between it and the Speedgoat 4.
I still own pair of Speedgoat 4 but they are too tight for my relatively normal feet .
I use them for short treks and i can't imagine doing 25 kms + .
 

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
I still own pair of Speedgoat 4 but they are too tight for my relatively normal feet .
I use them for short treks and i can't imagine doing 25 kms + .
Yeah that is my problem with the SG4. The normal is too tight but the wide feels a bit too loose. I have put about 20mi into them and I love the comfort but even with different lacing I get get rid of the heel slippage and the tongue is bulging!
 

JoanL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks for this. Originally I was going to get lone peaks for the Camino but a friend who did it in them warned against using them due to the lack of cushioning. The topo has 5mm more cushioning... hopefully it is! But if not I assume it will be easy to buy insoles along the way.
Decided to return my Altra Olympus and go back to my Lone Peaks (this is PRE-Camino). Olympus in .5 size larger is too roomy - foot slides and am unstable, they are much heavier than LP5, my foot isn’t enjoying the less flexible sole, the laces are thin and cut in. LP rock plate is much bigger. Gonna chance it on my SHORT Camino
 

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