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How long should a pair of shoes last?

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
How long should a pair of walking shoes last back at home?

At the suggestion of the maker of my orthotics, I recently gave up my beloved Merrell Moabs (sob!) and switched to a pair of Keens with greater support.

Now just two months later the sole has started to separate (see pic). I assumed that for that to happen so quickly the shoe must be defective so I took it back to the store to ask for advice. To my surprise, the sales clerk said that since I do a few miles a day on city pavement I shouldn’t expect the soles to last more than 90 days. He pointed to the tread wear as a sign that the shoes are nearing their natural end of life (pic 2, although I don’t see much wear).

Was he right? Should I expect to go through a pair of shoes every two to three months?

8EBF753E-B4E6-4EAF-A837-7CC09293A434.jpeg 79CD19F5-C18A-4C99-824E-509D6E3E95B5.jpegc
 

Scott...O

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Leon (15)
SJPdP-SdC-Finisterre-Muxia (16)
Lisbon-SdC (17)

Le Puy-Pamplona (19)
That doesn’t sound right to me.
I’ve done over 3,500km in my boots, in a mixture of terrains (including road and pavement) and they look and feel as good as new.
 

Dorpie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
Hi Prentiss,

Must say I was slightly disappointed with the life span of my Keen's (hiking sandals) too, maybe 1300kms. I did however find them extemely comfortable out of the box and I appreciate that given my "stature" shall we call it, I make my footwear work harder than most.

The first thing I had an issue with was their no tie laces which frayed within a month. I contacted Keen (UK) about this and they responded well sending me two pairs for free to make sure I made it through the Camino. So I'd definitely consider contacting the company directly if I were you.

Having said all that I'm not sure judging by your picture that sole is strictly speaking separating, at least not from the rest of the shoe. I'd be inclined just to glue that bit down again unless there are signs of it elsewhere.

Rob.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
On my first Camino, at 500k there was a small hole at the point on the back of the heel which was perfect for giving me a blister. It was in the days of free access to desktop computers in Castilla and Leon. I contacted the makers and informed them that I would be in touch on my return home. In a very easy procedure, I sent them my shoes and they sent me a new pair. Meindl. I subsequently wore them day in and day out till after the next Camino, eight years later...
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I walk in Brookes running shoes, they are super comfortable and I dont have any problems, usually no blisters, they are light and perfect for my feet.
However they are rated for 700-800kms, although they cut out faster on the harder surfaces.
Last year, 2017, I had to buy 3 pairs of shoes, which is a bit ridiculous.
I bought new shoes in December 2016 for the March NZ Oxfam trailwalk event. By the time I had done the training and the event, the tread was entirely gone (no blisters though). I bought new shoes for my Camino (May/June), that tread was gone by August, and I was skidding down hills on the wet concrete, so I had to buy another pair then. Thats 3 pairs purchased in 10 months.
The tread on that pair is getting pretty low now, and I really should get another pair before winter sets in and I slide over in them.
.
I'll stick to my Brookes as they work for me, but I do think that they must have the technology to make them last longer. Walking is not cheap when you have to buy 3 pairs a year.
I complained to the guy at the sports shoe place where I get my shoes, and he told me I was an 'extreme' walker. What a cop-out. Given I know a lot of people who do the sort of km's I do or more, that's just an excuse. He obviously doesn't get anything back from the manufacturer for worn out soles, so he tells me I've walked further than what they are rated for, and gives me a % off the next pair to shut me up.

Its a trade-off I think, the heavier and sturdier boots last longer, but don't have the lightness and comfort of a shoe. Personally I think the shoe makers could do better.
I have purchased hiking boots that have lasted 8 years or so.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
How long a shoe or boot should last should normally be a matter from your weight plus your hiking regimen, but even so, 90 days of use is ridiculously low in any case -- unless you walk say 2000 K + in that time at a very brisk pace and putting a large and heavy body on them, which I seriously doubt is your personal experience.

And that vendor's "city pavement" line is BS, by the way -- hiking footwear generally wears out far more quickly out in rough terrain ; though cheap flat concrete walking surfaces do murder them as well (so if that's the sort of surface you have locally, then he's right), but brick, ceramic, or tarmac surfaces are typically not more damaging than a normal hiking path (though when you can, walk on the tarmac instead of the sidewalk, tarmac is a much softer and more elastic surface). The truth is more likely to be that you were badly advised to buy those shoes.

Having said that, lighter hiking shoes do have lower life spans than an army boot or a heavy leather hiking boot and so on, and they might only last for about 1000 K + (assuming they're well made). On the Camino this is not really a problem for most people nowadays, as there are a number of specialist pilgrim shops all along the Way where a new pair can be purchased -- but it's obviously a problem or at least an annoyance during training off-Camino, and potentially worse on a less peopled hike if they should break somewhere out in the sticks.

It cannot however be ruled out in your individual case that some characteristic of your walking gait might be damaging your footwear. From your pic 2, I'd tend to agree that those shoes are dying. You may need sturdier soles and especially heels from the look of it, and you may want to think about boots rather than shoes, though I'd say hiking boots not army ones (unless you have bad ankles, in which case army instead, which is the ONLY situation that I would recommend them for).
 

Galaxy1

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September to October 2017
How long should a pair of walking shoes last back at home?

At the suggestion of the maker of my orthotics, I recently gave up my beloved Merrell Moabs (sob!) and switched to a pair of Keens with greater support.

Now just two months later the sole has started to separate (see pic). I assumed that for that to happen so quickly the shoe must be defective so I took it back to the store to ask for advice. To my surprise, the sales clerk said that since I do a few miles a day on city pavement I shouldn’t expect the soles to last more than 90 days. He pointed to the tread wear as a sign that the shoes are nearing their natural end of life (pic 2, although I don’t see much wear).

Was he right? Should I expect to go through a pair of shoes every two to three months?

View attachment 40949 View attachment 40950c
I'm not familiar with the maker of those shoes but any good pair of shoes should last much longer. Hopefully, you've brought it to the maker's attention? I wore Salomon's for 500 miles CF last year and the tread didn't even look worn after walking on mostly hard ground.
 

Johnlewis47

West of England Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in 2019 is my plan. I’ve had a tough 4 years with personal issues & need guidance
I’ve got the cheapest UK brand shoe on the market, walk in them on the road everyday, everyday and they’ve lasted me 2 years so far easily 1000k or more
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
The sales clerk is talking complete BS. Either he doesn't know shit or just wants to sell another pair of shoes.

I have my low cut Salomons for 4 years. Wore them almost everyday on hard surfaces and over 1000km on Levante/Sanabres and apart from shoe laces they still have I'd say at least 3/4 of the rubber profile on soles.
 

Jbirk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018)
Via Francigena Italy Sept (2018)
Del Norte Aug (2019)
Preparing I also used a pair of MOABs. I had a small separation on the top, nothing significant. I contacted Merrell by text. They requested several pictures of the damage and immediately sent me new shoes. From the time I contacted them to the time I got the shoes was 4 days.
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
How long should a pair of walking shoes last back at home?

At the suggestion of the maker of my orthotics, I recently gave up my beloved Merrell Moabs (sob!) and switched to a pair of Keens with greater support.

Now just two months later the sole has started to separate (see pic). I assumed that for that to happen so quickly the shoe must be defective so I took it back to the store to ask for advice. To my surprise, the sales clerk said that since I do a few miles a day on city pavement I shouldn’t expect the soles to last more than 90 days. He pointed to the tread wear as a sign that the shoes are nearing their natural end of life (pic 2, although I don’t see much wear).

Was he right? Should I expect to go through a pair of shoes every two to three months?

View attachment 40949 View attachment 40950c
Keens have a 12 month guarantee. If you still have your receipt they should be able to do it, although it takes a long time to get it back. Ian’s boots were repaired two years ago. The eyelets tore. The soles of my boots came loose after 5 years. Yes I wore them for a long time and I loved it! I took them to a normal shoe repair place who glued and stapled it. It was just never quite the same although I still wore them for a while. I bought another pair and I never wore them for three years because I had my old boots. I have been trying to wear them in now for six months and we are going to Spain shortly. They are just not the same. I understand that Mountain Designs are no longer viable so we were unable to buy the boots we wanted.
Sorry for rambling but they were the best boots for us
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I wear Keen sandals almost exclusively at home -- they have been my go-to shoes for years. And I've walked in up to 15 miles at a stretch on pavement (or on trails) with them. They last me well over a year, and I've never had that happen.

I agree with the advice of contacting the Keen folks. You have a defective sandal. And I'd also contact the store manager about the salesperson's unhelpfulness (I think I just invented a word).
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
This is a tad long, but necessary I think. The correct answer is... "it depends..." the reasons are thus:

1. Everyone walks on this earth differently. No two feet are aligned the same, even on the same body. I have one foot (left) that points directly straight ahead and has a "normal" foot at the end of it. This left foot is relatively straight, flat, and has normal arch, instep, ball and heel.

My other leg & foot points out from the centerline of travel at a 5 degree angle, and the foot at the end of this wayward stump is canted out and up at another 3 degree angle at the heel. The result is that I get calluses on my right foot that would stump a farrier (the fellow the shoes horses hoofs). AS I get older, this odd geometry also does wonders (NOT) for my knees and hips.):eek:

Since my first & near-last Camino in 2013, I now get regular monthly pedicures, and just had my pre-Camino pedicure 2 days ago. The young lady has to use a kitchen rasp - the device one uses to remove 'zest' from citrus fruit for baking, etc. It functions for food and feet the way a rougher rasp works in the mechanic or carpenter's shop for shaping wood or metal. THAT is why I make the farrier reference. It is true. We joke about it. The young lady usually says "good morning horsey man..."o_O

These are the parts I was assigned at birth. I have no medical condition or prior injury causing it.

2. If you read above, you understand that no one wears any pair of footwear the same. Even one person (like me) can have a pair of shoes, each of which wears differently.

3. Even if all things are "normal and perfect," the terrain and surface you walk on causes more or less wear on your footwear. Friction = abrasion. Abrasion results in loss of sole and heel material. More abrasion means more wear and less distance.

4. Beyond #1 and #3 above, if you weigh more, or carry more, the net abrasion increases. Thus, you increase wear.

5. Every person has a different gait and step. That means the geometry with which each step hits and recovers from whatever surface you are walking on.

Some people walk from the heel to the balls of their feet in a more or less rocking motion. This is considered a normal step. Some folks walk primarily on the balls of their feet. Others "pronate" or have feet that tend to roll out or inwards as they take each step. This is among the range of "normal" feet." Then you have folks with specific geometric / architectural (non-disease) issues. Things like flat arches, high insteps, chronic corns, bunions, calluses, bone spurs, etc. The result is that one hundred people all walking the same route can have two hundred different "foot prints."

Also, some folks pick their feet up when they walk, and others literally scrape their heels along. This adds to the abrasion issue discussed above.

6. Every manufacturer uses different tread patterns, and material compounds for their heels and boots. Some are intended for smooth surfaces, and others for hard rocky surfaces. Most hiking boots have to be designed for mixed surface use. A boot designed for off-road through hiking will not stand up as well to the constant abrasion of paved surface and road walking, as is found on most the Camino routes.

So, when considering any footwear for the Camino, try to find out what the intended use of that footwear was, from the manufacturer, not the shop clerk. You need to do your research. It is no different than buying a new car. The type of tires DO make a difference in the intended use, handling and fuel mileage. The same paradigm holds in this discussion.

So, when I said "it depends" I meant it. Getting back to the original question, I too wear Keens.

My preferred "weapon" is the Keen Targhee mid-high hiking boot. I am on my second pair. The first pair did four full Caminos before I retired them...with being resoled.

The first outsole / heel only lasted about 1,000 km, 600 - 700 miles (+/-) before I sent them out for resoling. This was accomplished with training walks pre-Camino in 2013, then the full Camino Frances from SJPdP twice, Camino Portugues from Porto, and the Camino Madrid from Madrid.

Yes, these Caminos add up to more than 1,000 km, closer to 3,000 actually. The fact is that when I finished my first Camino in 2013, after maybe 1,000 km total - training (200 km) and the Camino (800 km), the mid-lining of the heels were popping through.

I wrote to Keen to complain. Also, I enclosed photos with my e-mail. Within several days of receiving my e-mail, they issued me a credit for a FREE pair of replacement boots from their website. So, I ordered the exact same boots because I really like them a lot, and still do. THEN I sent the original boots out for resoling as discussed here. IIRC the whole experience with resoliing by mail cost about USD 85. This might seem expensive, but consider that these boots were already well broken in, and ready to go...

Most folks do not know it but if you Google or Bing "hiking boot resoling" you can find someone to help you. Even if their web site does not list your specific shoe or boot, contact them and ASK. I did, and found a shop that offered mail service, both ways and resoled my Keens, TWICE, with factory supplied "findings" (parts). They used the same vulcanizing process to adhere the new bottoms to the shoe upper. The boots, when returned appeared new to me. They had new outsoles / heels, and new sock liner, and new laces (if needed).

So, my first pair of Keens had three soles (original + two resoles) and did four Caminos. After the fourth, the uppers were starting to show wear. So into the local donation box they went and out came the Keen-provided NEW preplacement.

To answer the original question: "How long should my hiking boots last?", the original answer pertains, it depends...

Hope this helps.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
Thanks, everyone.

I walk to work on concrete surfaces at a brisk pace several times a week and realistically speaking I’d say I put in 80-100 miles a month (130-160 km).

I’d been going through 2-3 pairs of Merrell Moabs a year including an annual walking trip but my pedorthist (orthotics maker) pointed out compression lines in the supporting structure of the shoes (the spongy bit on the side), which is part of why she suggested moving to the more boot-like Keens.

My experience with the salesman was at REI, with its famously generous return policy. He did say that if I went to customer service there’s a good chance they’d give me my money back. He said he was a less generous person. :)

But I don’t want my money back. I want shoes (not boots) that won’t wear out in a matter of weeks with a moderate amount of city walking!
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
That salesman is misinformed.
How long a shoe lasts depends on the material and style. Boots can be resolved and repaired. However, the cushioning in running shoes breaks down in approximately 500 miles. They may look fine but the support breaks down. My husband and I have walked the entire Pacific Crest Trail and mailed shoes to ourselves every 500 miles and the one time my husband thought he could get more wear from his Trail runners, they started falling apart before the next town. I buy two pairs of Trail runners each Camino, one for training and one for the walk. Although this year my last year's Altras are comfortable for training. Boots vs Trail runners is a heated debate on this site but shoes are a very personal decision. I shake my head when I see the same people who insist on boots carrying their boots and wearing sandals due to blisters.
My Altras are worth the comfort on my right foot Morton's neuroma. No blisters in 5 Caminios and they feel like walking on a cloud.
Smile, take the faulty shoes back and buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I have to agree with the folks who have said about 500 miles. That's particularly true for shoes that aren't "boot" design (i.e. cross trainers, running shoes etc.). The cushioning does break down and even though the sole may look good the shoe is pretty much done. I find that every 3 to 6 months I have to get a new pair. Since I walk about 3 miles a day on average that comes out to about 500 miles over six months. Seems to work for me. As another reference point, when I walked the Camino Frances I started with a broken in pair of trail runners (New Balance V4) and threw them away at the end of the trip. They still had some life but no more cushion. Just my opinion.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I had a pair of Merrells that did not survive the CF. The inside lining was completely shredded be fore I got to SdC. Merrell replaced them at no charge.
A shoe salesman at REI in Denver talked me into a Salomon over ankle boot because of nerve damage in my feet. These boots have the ankle support of a ski boot, I walked last in my first pair and bought a new pair for this year. I don't believe in pushing a pair of boots beyond 1000 to 1500 kms.
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
This is a tad long, but necessary I think. The correct answer is... "it depends..." the reasons are thus:

1. Everyone walks on this earth differently. No two feet are aligned the same, even on the same body. I have one foot (left) that points directly straight ahead and has a "normal" foot at the end of it. This left foot is relatively straight, flat, and has normal arch, instep, ball and heel.

My other leg & foot points out from the centerline of travel at a 5 degree angle, and the foot at the end of this wayward stump is canted out and up at another 3 degree angle at the heel. The result is that I get calluses on my right foot that would stump a farrier (the fellow the shoes horses hoofs). AS I get older, this odd geometry also does wonders (NOT) for my knees and hips.):eek:

Since my first & near-last Camino in 2013, I now get regular monthly pedicures, and just had my pre-Camino pedicure 2 days ago. The young lady has to use a kitchen rasp - the device one uses to remove 'zest' from citrus fruit for baking, etc. It functions for food and feet the way a rougher rasp works in the mechanic or carpenter's shop for shaping wood or metal. THAT is why I make the farrier reference. It is true. We joke about it. The young lady usually says "good morning horsey man..."o_O

These are the parts I was assigned at birth. I have no medical condition or prior injury causing it.

2. If you read above, you understand that no one wears any pair of footwear the same. Even one person (like me) can have a pair of shoes, each of which wears differently.

3. Even if all things are "normal and perfect," the terrain and surface you walk on causes more or less wear on your footwear. Friction = abrasion. Abrasion results in loss of sole and heel material. More abrasion means more wear and less distance.

4. Beyond #1 and #3 above, if you weigh more, or carry more, the net abrasion increases. Thus, you increase wear.

5. Every person has a different gait and step. That means the geometry with which each step hits and recovers from whatever surface you are walking on.

Some people walk from the heel to the balls of their feet in a more or less rocking motion. This is considered a normal step. Some folks walk primarily on the balls of their feet. Others "pronate" or have feet that tend to roll out or inwards as they take each step. This is among the range of "normal" feet." Then you have folks with specific geometric / architectural (non-disease) issues. Things like flat arches, high insteps, chronic corns, bunions, calluses, bone spurs, etc. The result is that one hundred people all walking the same route can have two hundred different "foot prints."

Also, some folks pick their feet up when they walk, and others literally scrape their heels along. This adds to the abrasion issue discussed above.

6. Every manufacturer uses different tread patterns, and material compounds for their heels and boots. Some are intended for smooth surfaces, and others for hard rocky surfaces. Most hiking boots have to be designed for mixed surface use. A boot designed for off-road through hiking will not stand up as well to the constant abrasion of paved surface and road walking, as is found on most the Camino routes.

So, when considering any footwear for the Camino, try to find out what the intended use of that footwear was, from the manufacturer, not the shop clerk. You need to do your research. It is no different than buying a new car. The type of tires DO make a difference in the intended use, handling and fuel mileage. The same paradigm holds in this discussion.

So, when I said "it depends" I meant it. Getting back to the original question, I too wear Keens.

My preferred "weapon" is the Keen Targhee mid-high hiking boot. I am on my second pair. The first pair did four full Caminos before I retired them...with being resoled.

The first outsole / heel only lasted about 1,000 km, 600 - 700 miles (+/-) before I sent them out for resoling. This was accomplished with training walks pre-Camino in 2013, then the full Camino Frances from SJPdP twice, Camino Portugues from Porto, and the Camino Madrid from Madrid.

Yes, these Caminos add up to more than 1,000 km, closer to 3,000 actually. The fact is that when I finished my first Camino in 2013, after maybe 1,000 km total - training (200 km) and the Camino (800 km), the mid-lining of the heels were popping through.

I wrote to Keen to complain. Also, I enclosed photos with my e-mail. Within several days of receiving my e-mail, they issued me a credit for a FREE pair of replacement boots from their website. So, I ordered the exact same boots because I really like them a lot, and still do. THEN I sent the original boots out for resoling as discussed here. IIRC the whole experience with resoliing by mail cost about USD 85. This might seem expensive, but consider that these boots were already well broken in, and ready to go...

Most folks do not know it but if you Google or Bing "hiking boot resoling" you can find someone to help you. Even if their web site does not list your specific shoe or boot, contact them and ASK. I did, and found a shop that offered mail service, both ways and resoled my Keens, TWICE, with factory supplied "findings" (parts). They used the same vulcanizing process to adhere the new bottoms to the shoe upper. The boots, when returned appeared new to me. They had new outsoles / heels, and new sock liner, and new laces (if needed).

So, my first pair of Keens had three soles (original + two resoles) and did four Caminos. After the fourth, the uppers were starting to show wear. So into the local donation box they went and out came the Keen-provided NEW preplacement.

To answer the original question: "How long should my hiking boots last?", the original answer pertains, it depends...

Hope this helps.
Thorough, and smart. Perfectly explained reasons why “your mileage may vary”.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
So some of you follow the principle that a pair of shoes should last 500 miles (800 km), which is probably what I was putting on my Merrells.

At ~200 miles my Keens could be considered a 40% empty glass and the salesperson was a pessimist to already be looking ahead to their demise, but I’m being unrealistic if I think they shouldn’t be showing wear & tear at this point.

Hm. Food for thought.
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
So some of you follow the principle that a pair of shoes should last 500 miles (800 km), which is probably what I was putting on my Merrells.

At ~200 miles my Keens could be considered a 40% empty glass and the salesperson was a pessimist to already be looking ahead to their demise, but I’m being unrealistic if I think they shouldn’t be showing wear & tear at this point.

Hm. Food for thought.
Kinda... I wear Keens because they fit me perfectly, don’t require “breaking in” (I don’t think a good shoe ever requires ‘breaking in’ — just means it’s too rigid or does not fit properly, etc.). I am 50, danced, wore heels every day for 25 year before I became a pedestrian commuter.... all that. I still don’t suffer foot troubles.
Even if I have a shoe that is in good condition, mans have their gait peculiarities that I see expressed in the lifts, heels, treads, etc. of every pair of shoes after a few hundred miles. If you don’t replace that worn sole, or replace the shoes in cases in which the sole cannot be redone, then that wear on the treat is going to amplify gait problems, which then translate to spine and hip injury. I figured out that by purchasing my boots on sale, that they generally work out to about 10 cents per kilometre. Much cheaper than the bus, or a car...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
I walk in Brookes running shoes, they are super comfortable and I dont have any problems, usually no blisters, they are light and perfect for my feet.
However they are rated for 700-800kms, although they cut out faster on the harder surfaces.
Last year, 2017, I had to buy 3 pairs of shoes, which is a bit ridiculous.
I bought new shoes in December 2016 for the March NZ Oxfam trailwalk event. By the time I had done the training and the event, the tread was entirely gone (no blisters though). I bought new shoes for my Camino (May/June), that tread was gone by August, and I was skidding down hills on the wet concrete, so I had to buy another pair then. Thats 3 pairs purchased in 10 months.
The tread on that pair is getting pretty low now, and I really should get another pair before winter sets in and I slide over in them.
.
I'll stick to my Brookes as they work for me, but I do think that they must have the technology to make them last longer. Walking is not cheap when you have to buy 3 pairs a year.
I complained to the guy at the sports shoe place where I get my shoes, and he told me I was an 'extreme' walker. What a cop-out. Given I know a lot of people who do the sort of km's I do or more, that's just an excuse. He obviously doesn't get anything back from the manufacturer for worn out soles, so he tells me I've walked further than what they are rated for, and gives me a % off the next pair to shut me up.

Its a trade-off I think, the heavier and sturdier boots last longer, but don't have the lightness and comfort of a shoe. Personally I think the shoe makers could do better.
I have purchased hiking boots that have lasted 8 years or so.
I also walk in Brooks and wear them out fast but for the comfort I’ll keep spending the money. I
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
I've been wearing Keen Voyageur shoes since 2013 - they look very much like your shoes. I wear them walking around the city, all day at work, and I have walked the camino twice. I'm not sure how often I replace them, but I walked the full 850 km in a pair in 2015 and the sole never separated. That pair I wore for 2 months before I left, then 7 weeks in Spain and I know I didn't replace them as soon as I returned home. You definitely have a defective shoe. I think you should send the pictures to Keen and see what they have to say.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I forgot to include that I boots in early 2013 I bought my original pair of Keen Targhee mid-highs at my local REI. After my first 2013 Camino, I went back to REI. The fellow who sold me the shoes agreed that they should have worn better, and suggested I contact Keen directly. I did, and the result is reported above.

So, I recommend that, whatever maker you bought, go to their website and make your case known. Do attach photos if the wear is that obvious. Mine showed a filler material poking through the heels.

Hope this helps.
 

lovetoread3

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Abril 2018; Primitivo May 2018
Hmm. Disappointing to say the least that those shoes did not last and also your experience with REI. OTOH, I bought a pair of Salomon GTX shoes for my camino that begins in 2 weeks and will include the Frances and Primitivo. I got them in Jan on sale in Madrid. I've been wearing them since. Yesterday, I noticed the inside heel has worn through already on the right shoe. The most external covering on the toe box is shredding. At least I could have talked REI into giving me a new pair but not here. However, I will contact Salomon about it. Thanks for the comments, even though they were not about my particular shoes, you helped me out. Regarding the keens, the first pairs of keens I had were leather work shoes that lasted 4 years. I've had other trainers and sandals that are still going strong. Unfortunately, I left them in the US. But I've never had them fall apart like what your photo shows. Good luck replacing yours :)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have walked three Caminos all between 600-800 kilometers and wore a completely different brand of trailrunner/shoes each time and all have served me well with no blisters....Saucony, Keen, Asic, and this coming June I will be wearing Hokas.
 

truthseeker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, (fall, 2018)
I have a pair of Salomon trail runners which I plan to use on the Camino. I have never had the "no--tie" laces before and wonder how long they will last, and whether I can get a spare pair in case they break en route to Santiago! Does anyone have info about this issue?
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
This is a tad long, but necessary I think. The correct answer is... "it depends..." the reasons are thus:

1. Everyone walks on this earth differently. No two feet are aligned the same, even on the same body. I have one foot (left) that points directly straight ahead and has a "normal" foot at the end of it. This left foot is relatively straight, flat, and has normal arch, instep, ball and heel.

My other leg & foot points out from the centerline of travel at a 5 degree angle, and the foot at the end of this wayward stump is canted out and up at another 3 degree angle at the heel. The result is that I get calluses on my right foot that would stump a farrier (the fellow the shoes horses hoofs). AS I get older, this odd geometry also does wonders (NOT) for my knees and hips.):eek:

Since my first & near-last Camino in 2013, I now get regular monthly pedicures, and just had my pre-Camino pedicure 2 days ago. The young lady has to use a kitchen rasp - the device one uses to remove 'zest' from citrus fruit for baking, etc. It functions for food and feet the way a rougher rasp works in the mechanic or carpenter's shop for shaping wood or metal. THAT is why I make the farrier reference. It is true. We joke about it. The young lady usually says "good morning horsey man..."o_O

These are the parts I was assigned at birth. I have no medical condition or prior injury causing it.

2. If you read above, you understand that no one wears any pair of footwear the same. Even one person (like me) can have a pair of shoes, each of which wears differently.

3. Even if all things are "normal and perfect," the terrain and surface you walk on causes more or less wear on your footwear. Friction = abrasion. Abrasion results in loss of sole and heel material. More abrasion means more wear and less distance.

4. Beyond #1 and #3 above, if you weigh more, or carry more, the net abrasion increases. Thus, you increase wear.

5. Every person has a different gait and step. That means the geometry with which each step hits and recovers from whatever surface you are walking on.

Some people walk from the heel to the balls of their feet in a more or less rocking motion. This is considered a normal step. Some folks walk primarily on the balls of their feet. Others "pronate" or have feet that tend to roll out or inwards as they take each step. This is among the range of "normal" feet." Then you have folks with specific geometric / architectural (non-disease) issues. Things like flat arches, high insteps, chronic corns, bunions, calluses, bone spurs, etc. The result is that one hundred people all walking the same route can have two hundred different "foot prints."

Also, some folks pick their feet up when they walk, and others literally scrape their heels along. This adds to the abrasion issue discussed above.

6. Every manufacturer uses different tread patterns, and material compounds for their heels and boots. Some are intended for smooth surfaces, and others for hard rocky surfaces. Most hiking boots have to be designed for mixed surface use. A boot designed for off-road through hiking will not stand up as well to the constant abrasion of paved surface and road walking, as is found on most the Camino routes.

So, when considering any footwear for the Camino, try to find out what the intended use of that footwear was, from the manufacturer, not the shop clerk. You need to do your research. It is no different than buying a new car. The type of tires DO make a difference in the intended use, handling and fuel mileage. The same paradigm holds in this discussion.

So, when I said "it depends" I meant it. Getting back to the original question, I too wear Keens.

My preferred "weapon" is the Keen Targhee mid-high hiking boot. I am on my second pair. The first pair did four full Caminos before I retired them...with being resoled.

The first outsole / heel only lasted about 1,000 km, 600 - 700 miles (+/-) before I sent them out for resoling. This was accomplished with training walks pre-Camino in 2013, then the full Camino Frances from SJPdP twice, Camino Portugues from Porto, and the Camino Madrid from Madrid.

Yes, these Caminos add up to more than 1,000 km, closer to 3,000 actually. The fact is that when I finished my first Camino in 2013, after maybe 1,000 km total - training (200 km) and the Camino (800 km), the mid-lining of the heels were popping through.

I wrote to Keen to complain. Also, I enclosed photos with my e-mail. Within several days of receiving my e-mail, they issued me a credit for a FREE pair of replacement boots from their website. So, I ordered the exact same boots because I really like them a lot, and still do. THEN I sent the original boots out for resoling as discussed here. IIRC the whole experience with resoliing by mail cost about USD 85. This might seem expensive, but consider that these boots were already well broken in, and ready to go...

Most folks do not know it but if you Google or Bing "hiking boot resoling" you can find someone to help you. Even if their web site does not list your specific shoe or boot, contact them and ASK. I did, and found a shop that offered mail service, both ways and resoled my Keens, TWICE, with factory supplied "findings" (parts). They used the same vulcanizing process to adhere the new bottoms to the shoe upper. The boots, when returned appeared new to me. They had new outsoles / heels, and new sock liner, and new laces (if needed).

So, my first pair of Keens had three soles (original + two resoles) and did four Caminos. After the fourth, the uppers were starting to show wear. So into the local donation box they went and out came the Keen-provided NEW preplacement.

To answer the original question: "How long should my hiking boots last?", the original answer pertains, it depends...

Hope this helps.
I too wear Keen Targhee mid-height hiking boots. The soles shown in the photo look like my 2015 pair. They don’t look like they have a Camino left in them. I wore a one-year old pair of Targhee boots on my first Camino Frances. By Santiago they were fit to be put out of their misery, so I left them behind in a trash bin. I have begun breaking in the pair of Keen Targhee mid-heights I will wear when walking next Spring.

I second the benefit of regular pedicures. At my wife’s insistence, I started getting pedicures before my first Camino. I’ve kept it up.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
Hi Prentiss,

Must say I was slightly disappointed with the life span of my Keen's (hiking sandals) too, maybe 1300kms. I did however find them extemely comfortable out of the box and I appreciate that given my "stature" shall we call it, I make my footwear work harder than most.

The first thing I had an issue with was their no tie laces which frayed within a month. I contacted Keen (UK) about this and they responded well sending me two pairs for free to make sure I made it through the Camino. So I'd definitely consider contacting the company directly if I were you.

Having said all that I'm not sure judging by your picture that sole is strictly speaking separating, at least not from the rest of the shoe. I'd be inclined just to glue that bit down again unless there are signs of it elsewhere.

Rob.
I agree that I’m not sure the photo is showing full separation. My other Keen Targhee boots tended to develop cracks right at that point.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
How long should a pair of walking shoes last back at home?

At the suggestion of the maker of my orthotics, I recently gave up my beloved Merrell Moabs (sob!) and switched to a pair of Keens with greater support.

Now just two months later the sole has started to separate (see pic). I assumed that for that to happen so quickly the shoe must be defective so I took it back to the store to ask for advice. To my surprise, the sales clerk said that since I do a few miles a day on city pavement I shouldn’t expect the soles to last more than 90 days. He pointed to the tread wear as a sign that the shoes are nearing their natural end of life (pic 2, although I don’t see much wear).

Was he right? Should I expect to go through a pair of shoes every two to three months?

View attachment 40949 View attachment 40950c
My Kodiaks are running on their third year, starting next Camino very soon and plenty of km left in them. That is about 4 million steps or 2,800 km. By July, adding another 1.4 million steps or 1,000 km. Only minor heel tread loss.

Two or three months seems extremely short, even for Keens. Maybe worth a call to them
 

Jim_Hyde

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Le Puy to Navarrenx April/May 2018 Planning to walk RLS Trail & GR78 Carccassonne in 2019
I wear Hanwag Banks GTX I'm now on my 3rd pair and I reckon on 2,000 miles or 3,200 km of mixed use, hill walking with some hard tracks and road work. I am a heavy guy over 15st or 210 pounds which obviously puts extra wear on them. I love the seamless inside of Hanwag boots cuts down the possibility of blisters as there are no rubbing points
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
I've been wearing Keen Voyageur shoes since 2013 - they look very much like your shoes. I wear them walking around the city, all day at work, and I have walked the camino twice. I'm not sure how often I replace them, but I walked the full 850 km in a pair in 2015 and the sole never separated. That pair I wore for 2 months before I left, then 7 weeks in Spain and I know I didn't replace them as soon as I returned home. You definitely have a defective shoe. I think you should send the pictures to Keen and see what they have to say.
Yes, these are Voyageurs. To add to the complexity of my decision, REI is dropping the Voyageur and the closest thing they still carry is the Targhee. I could still get the Voyageur at Amazon. I’m not sure what the difference is between the two models.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
Your shoes or boots start breaking down in the support area of the inter soles. Outsides May look great but the support is what counts. I got custom made orthotics for my shoes and they amount of wear on the soles is unbelievable. They may now last thru the whole Norte and not be ducted taped together like last summer. No matter what you pay shoes only last a certain time.
 

Jbirk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018)
Via Francigena Italy Sept (2018)
Del Norte Aug (2019)
I have a pair of Salomon trail runners which I plan to use on the Camino. I have never had the "no--tie" laces before and wonder how long they will last, and whether I can get a spare pair in case they break en route to Santiago! Does anyone have info about this issue?
My first started to slip at 200 miles. Just bring an extra pair and watch the video on how to install them. You need scissors and a lighter
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF August to September 2016
I walk in Brookes running shoes, they are super comfortable and I dont have any problems, usually no blisters, they are light and perfect for my feet.
However they are rated for 700-800kms, although they cut out faster on the harder surfaces.
Last year, 2017, I had to buy 3 pairs of shoes, which is a bit ridiculous.
I bought new shoes in December 2016 for the March NZ Oxfam trailwalk event. By the time I had done the training and the event, the tread was entirely gone (no blisters though). I bought new shoes for my Camino (May/June), that tread was gone by August, and I was skidding down hills on the wet concrete, so I had to buy another pair then. Thats 3 pairs purchased in 10 months.
The tread on that pair is getting pretty low now, and I really should get another pair before winter sets in and I slide over in them.
.
I'll stick to my Brookes as they work for me, but I do think that they must have the technology to make them last longer. Walking is not cheap when you have to buy 3 pairs a year.
I complained to the guy at the sports shoe place where I get my shoes, and he told me I was an 'extreme' walker. What a cop-out. Given I know a lot of people who do the sort of km's I do or more, that's just an excuse. He obviously doesn't get anything back from the manufacturer for worn out soles, so he tells me I've walked further than what they are rated for, and gives me a % off the next pair to shut me up.

Its a trade-off I think, the heavier and sturdier boots last longer, but don't have the lightness and comfort of a shoe. Personally I think the shoe makers could do better.
I have purchased hiking boots that have lasted 8 years or so.
You might want to try Hoya One One’s. I am a runner so bought a pair, and then also wore them on the Camino in Sept. 2016...I still have them and run in them!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
A lot of factors determining how long footwear should last, and some mentioned already.
Merrells, Keens, NB's, and most of the popular brands are comprised of rubber, synthetic cloth, foam, some stitching and a lot of glue. Mass produced in a large factory, probably in Asia by low wage workers. The quality of the glue can vary even day to day. Sometimes the companies change factories and the overall quality changes. I look upon this type of footwear as pretty much disposable. I am happy when I get a full Camino walk out of a pair. I have noticed separation at glued points is common. In extremely hot environments I have seen entire outsole come completely off. The glue just couldn't take it anymore.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
They should last until the moment you look in your closet and call to your wife, “Honey, have you seen my Camino sneakers (fill in whatever) and you hear, I threw those disgusting smelly things out. How can you wear those things???????? You looked like a homeless person!! That’s how long they will last.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Hanwags. 2500 kms a pair....
 
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Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
Hanwags. 2500 kms a pair....9
For those of you with a particular brand recommendation for long mileage (e.g., Hanwag), are you talking about boots or shoes? To you like a particular model?

Hanwag has some low-rise models but mostly seems to make honking big boots...
 

Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
Well, I'm around 70kg and am hard on shoes and boots. I wore out a new set of hiking boots by Ponferrada. Bought a new pair there, around a tenth of what they cost in Australia and they were done in by A Coruna. Re runners, bad experiences too, but mainly with one brand. Runners World "running shoe of the year", some time back. The well-supported sole had collapsed to virtually a hard board in a fortnight. But by then I was back in Oz, not Washington DC where I bought them. Bought same brand a while later. In Hobart, and again top of the line model. They lasted a week before the uppers parted from the soles. I was then back on the mainland. So I'll never buy New Balance again.

Re others, all brands ,whether runners or boots have trouble with uppers departing soles. Even the expensive hiking boots (sewn through soles are best but mega expensive and heavy) but we were doing some really tough stuff. The original glues were deemed carcinogenic so they switched to something else which doesn't seem to stick nearly as well. A long time ago now. Most runners seem to be about the same now, except the aforementioned for me, but the "pro" marathon runners here mostly seem to recommend Asics, and commonly one of the cheaper in the range. Must ask again.

Re runners, I now just buy Aldi. When they come apart I glue them up with Sikaflex 260, also build the soles up with it. They look really poxy by then but I get my money's worth. Last pair $4.99 in the Aldi throw-out bin. Obviously because they were a vile luminescent green, but I'm not proud. They're as good as any I've had.

De Colores

Bogong
 

gml

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago, Sept/Oct 2012
Le Puy to Roncesvalles, Oct/Nov 2014
I have a pair of Salomon trail runners which I plan to use on the Camino. I have never had the "no--tie" laces before and wonder how long they will last, and whether I can get a spare pair in case they break en route to Santiago! Does anyone have info about this issue?
I have had two pairs of Salomon Ultra GTX shoes with the "no tie" laces and have not had a single problem with the shoes or the laces. In pair #1, I walked the Camino Frances, and in pair #2, I walked the Le Puy route, and both pairs had enough life left in them after those walks to serve me for an additional three years (each) on all kinds of terrain, including slushy-salty Toronto streets in winter. As you can imagine, the shoelaces have been deployed thousands of times - and without a hitch or a hesitation.
 

ronhenry2

New Member
How long should a pair of walking shoes last back at home?

At the suggestion of the maker of my orthotics, I recently gave up my beloved Merrell Moabs (sob!) and switched to a pair of Keens with greater support.

Now just two months later the sole has started to separate (see pic). I assumed that for that to happen so quickly the shoe must be defective so I took it back to the store to ask for advice. To my surprise, the sales clerk said that since I do a few miles a day on city pavement I shouldn’t expect the soles to last more than 90 days. He pointed to the tread wear as a sign that the shoes are nearing their natural end of life (pic 2, although I don’t see much wear).

Was he right? Should I expect to go through a pair of shoes every two to three months?

View attachment 40949 View attachment 40950c
 

ronhenry2

New Member
How long should a pair of walking shoes last back at home?

At the suggestion of the maker of my orthotics, I recently gave up my beloved Merrell Moabs (sob!) and switched to a pair of Keens with greater support.

Now just two months later the sole has started to separate (see pic). I assumed that for that to happen so quickly the shoe must be defective so I took it back to the store to ask for advice. To my surprise, the sales clerk said that since I do a few miles a day on city pavement I shouldn’t expect the soles to last more than 90 days. He pointed to the tread wear as a sign that the shoes are nearing their natural end of life (pic 2, although I don’t see much wear).

Was he right? Should I expect to go through a pair of shoes every two to three months?

View attachment 40949 View attachment 40950c
I wear Brooks running shoes. Brooks says running they should last at least 200 miles. Last year I walked Camino Portugues and rewalked sections of the Frances--probably about 350 miles. I continued to wear these shoes back home. The tread is still pretty good. I'm not heavy--about 140 pounds. I'm sure it depends on the shoe and manufacturer. And what kind of surfaces. But the Camino has all kinds of surfaces.
 

RIZALBONIMABINI

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPDP), Sept-Oct 2016, CDN (Irun); Sept-Oct 2017; CI & CP (Porto), Aug-Sept 2018
This is a tad long, but necessary I think. The correct answer is... "it depends..." the reasons are thus:

1. Everyone walks on this earth differently. No two feet are aligned the same, even on the same body. I have one foot (left) that points directly straight ahead and has a "normal" foot at the end of it. This left foot is relatively straight, flat, and has normal arch, instep, ball and heel.

My other leg & foot points out from the centerline of travel at a 5 degree angle, and the foot at the end of this wayward stump is canted out and up at another 3 degree angle at the heel. The result is that I get calluses on my right foot that would stump a farrier (the fellow the shoes horses hoofs). AS I get older, this odd geometry also does wonders (NOT) for my knees and hips.):eek:

Since my first & near-last Camino in 2013, I now get regular monthly pedicures, and just had my pre-Camino pedicure 2 days ago. The young lady has to use a kitchen rasp - the device one uses to remove 'zest' from citrus fruit for baking, etc. It functions for food and feet the way a rougher rasp works in the mechanic or carpenter's shop for shaping wood or metal. THAT is why I make the farrier reference. It is true. We joke about it. The young lady usually says "good morning horsey man..."o_O

These are the parts I was assigned at birth. I have no medical condition or prior injury causing it.

2. If you read above, you understand that no one wears any pair of footwear the same. Even one person (like me) can have a pair of shoes, each of which wears differently.

3. Even if all things are "normal and perfect," the terrain and surface you walk on causes more or less wear on your footwear. Friction = abrasion. Abrasion results in loss of sole and heel material. More abrasion means more wear and less distance.

4. Beyond #1 and #3 above, if you weigh more, or carry more, the net abrasion increases. Thus, you increase wear.

5. Every person has a different gait and step. That means the geometry with which each step hits and recovers from whatever surface you are walking on.

Some people walk from the heel to the balls of their feet in a more or less rocking motion. This is considered a normal step. Some folks walk primarily on the balls of their feet. Others "pronate" or have feet that tend to roll out or inwards as they take each step. This is among the range of "normal" feet." Then you have folks with specific geometric / architectural (non-disease) issues. Things like flat arches, high insteps, chronic corns, bunions, calluses, bone spurs, etc. The result is that one hundred people all walking the same route can have two hundred different "foot prints."

Also, some folks pick their feet up when they walk, and others literally scrape their heels along. This adds to the abrasion issue discussed above.

6. Every manufacturer uses different tread patterns, and material compounds for their heels and boots. Some are intended for smooth surfaces, and others for hard rocky surfaces. Most hiking boots have to be designed for mixed surface use. A boot designed for off-road through hiking will not stand up as well to the constant abrasion of paved surface and road walking, as is found on most the Camino routes.

So, when considering any footwear for the Camino, try to find out what the intended use of that footwear was, from the manufacturer, not the shop clerk. You need to do your research. It is no different than buying a new car. The type of tires DO make a difference in the intended use, handling and fuel mileage. The same paradigm holds in this discussion.

So, when I said "it depends" I meant it. Getting back to the original question, I too wear Keens.

My preferred "weapon" is the Keen Targhee mid-high hiking boot. I am on my second pair. The first pair did four full Caminos before I retired them...with being resoled.

The first outsole / heel only lasted about 1,000 km, 600 - 700 miles (+/-) before I sent them out for resoling. This was accomplished with training walks pre-Camino in 2013, then the full Camino Frances from SJPdP twice, Camino Portugues from Porto, and the Camino Madrid from Madrid.

Yes, these Caminos add up to more than 1,000 km, closer to 3,000 actually. The fact is that when I finished my first Camino in 2013, after maybe 1,000 km total - training (200 km) and the Camino (800 km), the mid-lining of the heels were popping through.

I wrote to Keen to complain. Also, I enclosed photos with my e-mail. Within several days of receiving my e-mail, they issued me a credit for a FREE pair of replacement boots from their website. So, I ordered the exact same boots because I really like them a lot, and still do. THEN I sent the original boots out for resoling as discussed here. IIRC the whole experience with resoliing by mail cost about USD 85. This might seem expensive, but consider that these boots were already well broken in, and ready to go...

Most folks do not know it but if you Google or Bing "hiking boot resoling" you can find someone to help you. Even if their web site does not list your specific shoe or boot, contact them and ASK. I did, and found a shop that offered mail service, both ways and resoled my Keens, TWICE, with factory supplied "findings" (parts). They used the same vulcanizing process to adhere the new bottoms to the shoe upper. The boots, when returned appeared new to me. They had new outsoles / heels, and new sock liner, and new laces (if needed).

So, my first pair of Keens had three soles (original + two resoles) and did four Caminos. After the fourth, the uppers were starting to show wear. So into the local donation box they went and out came the Keen-provided NEW preplacement.

To answer the original question: "How long should my hiking boots last?", the original answer pertains, it depends...

Hope this helps.

Thanks for good writeup! Here are my footwear experiences:

1. CF in sept-oct 2016. I started from SJPDP with Merrell Moab Mid Hiking Boots. Its sole (left foot) unglued 5 Km before Los Arcos. A south African peregrina gave me her extra shoe string to tie it together and reach Los Arcos, though not easy.

2. Took photos of shoe, emailed REI and Merrell, former referred me to latter,no response. Bought two new pairs, one casual,other hiking boots, both Spanish brands. Used the casual on paved roads.

3.Camino Del Norte in sept-oct 2017. Wore Keen Targhee II, excellent!!!! No issues. Very light, very comfortable, inside kept dry even on very wet, muddy tracks; quick dry after rain.

4. Btw, I NEVER had blisters,etc. in both Caminos! I feel and think the reasons are: walking slower than most (usually alone and not racing for the next albergue even without reservations), keeping feet dry (waterproof shoes, synthetic socks/merino/Darn Tough brand, shower at night/dry feet in morning).

5. Booked to do Camino Ingles and Portuguese come late July -Oct 2018. May revisit a few Basque towns. Will reuse my Keen Targhee II.

6. Also bought a Keen Durand because it's Made in USA! LOL. more expensive. Currently breaking it in. Bit stiffer. Must be for heavier backpack loads. But in next Caminos, I will bring no more than 18 lbs.

Buen Camino!!☺
 

Xara712

Catriona
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2011
Porto -Santiago 2012 inland
Porto-Santiago June 2014 coastal route
I have done the CF, Portugese Central and Portugese in Meindl, and they are still going strong. Also wear them to hike at home, so when I do need another pair, it is going to be another pair of Meindl. My daughter also has them and done CF and Portugese Coastal as well hiking in England, and would not go past Meindl.
 

Levi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
The Via de la Plata via Astorga. The Portuguese (from Lisbon). The Sanabres. And their last Camino yesterday...the Celtic Camino. Now going into a happy retirement home for worn out but much loved boots.
 

Brunoalfeo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future
How long should a pair of walking shoes last back at home?

At the suggestion of the maker of my orthotics, I recently gave up my beloved Merrell Moabs (sob!) and switched to a pair of Keens with greater support.

Now just two months later the sole has started to separate (see pic). I assumed that for that to happen so quickly the shoe must be defective so I took it back to the store to ask for advice. To my surprise, the sales clerk said that since I do a few miles a day on city pavement I shouldn’t expect the soles to last more than 90 days. He pointed to the tread wear as a sign that the shoes are nearing their natural end of life (pic 2, although I don’t see much wear).

Was he right? Should I expect to go through a pair of shoes every two to three months?

View attachment 40949 View attachment 40950c
No you should not go through a pair of Keens every few months, I have had great luck with them lasting many months and miles, and my husband has had his last just as long. Probably a poorly made pair.
 

Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
It depends on the person. Although I've heard of people getting several Caminos out of a set of boots and shoes, I've found that for me I'm very hard on boots and shoes. From the cheapest to the most expensive they tend not to last very long. The worst I've ever had were two pairs of the top New Balance runners. The soles on the first collapsed in a week, the uppers on the second parted company from the soles in a fortnight. The next worst were a pair of "Hike and Bike" from Rivers - after a few short weeks I was walking on my socks. On my Camino walk I wore out a pair of boots by Ponferrada and wore out the replacements by Muxia. The longest lasting pair of runners I have had were $4.99 on the Aldi throwout table. Even these eventually developed the parting company phenomenon.

One of the problems with soles parting from uppers is that the glues they use now are nowhere near as good as they used to be - the old stuff came to be regarded as carcinogenic. You can get a bit more life out of them by glueing them back together with one of the Sikaflex adhesives, such as Sikaflex 260, which can also be used to build up the soles although it may take several weeks to cure on the latter depending on the thickness you are adding. But the stuff is quite expensive - I make engine mounts for my old cars out of it, and use any leftovers for my shoes.

Re your Keens, this is not satisfactory. Under our consumer law there is a case for claiming they are not fit for purpose/ of merchantable quality, and you may wish to follow this up. They will again try to fob you off, but tend to cave in if you follow up with the Consumer Protection authorities or even threaten to. And it's up to the merchant you bought the things off to sort it out so don't fall for the stunt of them claiming it's up to you to contact the manufacturer (at least that's the situation here).

De Colores

Bogong
 

Jim_Hyde

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Le Puy to Navarrenx April/May 2018 Planning to walk RLS Trail & GR78 Carccassonne in 2019
I have been using Hanwag boots for the past 10 years and I find a pair lasts around 1,000 miles (1,600 km) with a mix of trail and road walking. I have an arthritic ankle which affects my walking gait, I find it is the stitching on the uppers which tend to go on the instep of the affected foot, though the soles are getting thin around this time too.
 
D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
How long should a pair of walking shoes last back at home?

At the suggestion of the maker of my orthotics, I recently gave up my beloved Merrell Moabs (sob!) and switched to a pair of Keens with greater support.

Now just two months later the sole has started to separate (see pic). I assumed that for that to happen so quickly the shoe must be defective so I took it back to the store to ask for advice. To my surprise, the sales clerk said that since I do a few miles a day on city pavement I shouldn’t expect the soles to last more than 90 days. He pointed to the tread wear as a sign that the shoes are nearing their natural end of life (pic 2, although I don’t see much wear).

Was he right? Should I expect to go through a pair of shoes every two to three months?

View attachment 40949 View attachment 40950c

Talk to the manager. Fit for purpose. I usually get 2000km of rough wear out my boots
 

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