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How many pairs of shoes did you go through?

BrianLCrabtree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2023
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
I walked the Francés (save for 100k) in new already broken-in Ahnu boots. As I am hard on heels, I’ve since had these boots reheeled, but I could probably get another camino out of them.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I easily got 1000 km from a pair of hiking boots or shoes. I now use running shoes, but haven't walked a long camino in them yet. However, I've found that at home I get 1000 km, but by that time, the cushioning is noticeably less. I am not a large person and I don't think I am particularly hard on my shoes.

Do you need a break-in period for your running shoes at home? I don't, so I wouldn't expect to need it on the Camino. But if I got new ones mid-Camino, I'd probably carry the old shoes for a day or two before tossing them, just to make sure all was OK.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
For late autumn/winter I carried simple sandals for relaxing and wore Decathlon hiking boots. Each pair easily lasted 2 caminos walking from SJPdP to Santiago plus either out to Finisterre/Muxia or down to the Portuguese border at Valenca do Mino. Thus the boots easily covered 2000 km before the sole showed wear. They probably would be ok for 3000 km but for safety sake new boots were purchased every 2 years.
 
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Michael Philip

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017 Frances, 2019 Portuguese, 2018 Rota Vicentina, 2018 Via Algarviana
I walked all my lead up training and the Frances and and Portuguese in the same hiking boots, each person has their favourite brands for comfort though for me I could not fault my Salomon hiking shoes / boots
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
I wore high top Patagonia hiking boots for our first two caminos. I considered wearing them the third time, but they were showing wear on the soles and heels. So I bought a pair of Merrell Moab Gore Tex high tops, which are very similar to the Patagonia. Did fine on our third camino and I'll wear them during our upcoming Camino this fall. After each daily hike, I slip into PR Recovery Sandals. The waffle texture massages tired feet. Sturdy enough to wear around town and inside each evening. Bob
1623004370277.png
 

BrianLCrabtree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2023
I do need to break in running shoes a bit and I have found the same to be true with my Salomon GTX. I rubbed a blister in them after the first couple of hikes, but they're fine now. I've got about 360 km on them so they have plenty of wear remaining. I recently bought a pair of Salomon Speedcross trail runners to try them out. C Clearly, your suggestion of a crossover period of a few days makes sense. With prolonged wear of running shoes I can get plantar fascia issues, so I've been careful about not using them too long. I have the luxury of time to try a few shoes to settle on the best for me. Thanks for the replies.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Used my Trailrunners for about 200km, walked the Camino Frances for 800km. The "midsole" (cushioning?) was somwhat at the end of the lifespan, the sole itself might have lasted another 100-200km. Funnily the rest of the shoe was in remarkably good shape. They been good to walk around towns the week we spent after arriving in santiago, but i guess i was happy i did not have to hike in them anymore.

However, there are shoes that might last longer or shorter. Some Altra models have been known to wear down rather fast.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
New boots every year, I need the ankle support. I could probably do several Caminos in the same boot but I prefer to break-in a new pair each time. I have used lots of different brands. My latest favorite is Keen.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Since my start to walk to the job and getting serious about the Camino in sept ´12, I am now on my 7th pair of boots, 4 different brands, and my third make of orthotic insole...
Boots should last at least 2500 kms!!
I have bought 4 pairs of my latest model of boot , leather- non membrane, as they have discontinued the production ( basically the world has gone mad and will now only make fancy footwear )
Problem is to hide my stash of boots from my wife as she might think /or already knows that I have gone potty...
Anyway, it could have been Gibsons or Harleys!!
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
This is an excellent question!

As other have pointed out, most boots, and many hiking shoes will have >1000 km life in them, some times much more. Most running shoes will not. On my first Camino, the Saucony's I walked in were in tatters when I arrived, and went straight in the trash. I was lucky to get away with it. On my second, I took an absolutely new-in-the-box pair to SJPP, and mailed another pair to Santiago, so I could swap them for the walk to Finisterre. They were pretty ratty in Santiago, and I was happy to get new ones for the remaining few days. On my third, I knew enough about the New Balance shoes I am now wearing, to know that they would go the distance without spares, and they did.

Why not buy new ones on the trail? Easy if you are a standard size and model, but for me the odds of finding exactly the right model in the right size/width are zero in a retail shop, and Sahagun is a lousy place to start experimenting with a new shoe.

I walk year round, 10 -15 km per day, 5-6 days per week. I go through shoes every few months, so I know what the durability of each model is, and trust me, there is a WIDE variation in how long they last, even in different models from the same manufacturer.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
I have walked the Camino's Frances and Portugues in Merrell Moabs, New Balance trail runners and Oboz Sawtooth. All of them I wore on several training walks to make sure they worked well before I walked the Camino(s). Also a break-in period if you will. All of them easily lasted the 800 or so kms without a hitch, but did have quite a bit of wear and tear at the end and no way would I wear them on second Camino. Not worth it. I wear new (newer) shoes.
All the expense I put in on flights, accommodations, other equipment etc and I'm going to risk injury or just a general pain in the rear looking for replacements because I decided to wear worn out shoes? No way. Besides, I do not carry backup walking shoes, just a $1 euro pair of rubber shower sandals I throw away before going home.
On the Frances I can think of a few, for sure places I could get new shoes in the event whatever I was wearing failed me or was stolen (yes, people steal shoes on the Camino lol), lost etc. SJPdP of course, Zubiri, Pamplona, Puente la Reina, Logrono, Burgos, Carrion, Leon, Sarria and Santiago. A few others I am sure.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
You should be able to walk the Camino in one pair. I wear Merrill low cut shoes with vibram soles. They are pretty worn by the end.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have walked 300-500 miles on several various Caminos and used one pair for each of them...Hoka one, one, Saucony twice, and Asic. My feet are not fussy. I try to use them up walking at home, but they all seem to keep on keepin' on.👟👟
 
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BrianLCrabtree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2023
Anybody do more than Spain? My current thinking is to start in Vezelay, so I would be only halfway when I get to Spain. That would somewhere around 1,800 km, in round numbers. Still think a single pair would do it, or be on the safe side and search for a new pair in SJPP?
 
Past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian

Hola Brian; I walked the Frances 780 km, (in May-June 2017) in a pair of well broken in Keen boots. I have another pair waiting for the Porto. I think if you were walking the Via de la Plata (from Serville) then you might wear out a pair of lighter walking shoes. But as I always say - footwear is the most important aspect of successfully completing your Camino. So if (by say Leon) the originals are showing wear then consider replacements. Cheers
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I had a pair of New Balance hiking shoes that easily took me over 2000 km, but they don’t make that shoe any more.

I have purchased new footwear en route, with mixed results. The best experience of that was a pair of house-brand anti-pronation trail runners from Decathlon; I carried my old footwear a few days, in case, before donating them to the left-behind box. My not good experiences were left scattered across donation boxes between Le Puy and SJPDP.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
Yes, one pair, just. 1000km more or less is what my camino shoes have given me for my 5 caminos so that's probably about the norm. Maybe walking wears them out less than running. There are Decathlons and other shops that sell quality equipment (e.g. big brands) in any big or medium sized city in Spain (definitely one in Bilbao). Shoes are comparatively cheap in Spain too.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
You are planning for 2023. Get outside and walk a thousand or 2 km and see how they are. Depends a lot on the shoe and how hard you are on them.
 
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ranthr

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I have walked from Le Puy en Velay to Santiago and from Seville to Santiago without having to change to new shoes. Neither on shorter caminos. In most cases I have used the shoes at home for years after.
 

Jbirk

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018)
Via Francigena Sept (2018)
Del Norte Aug (2019)
I have walked 3 Caminos and each time I get a new pair of Antra LonePeak Mid's. They don't need break in and are usually done by the end
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Anybody do more than Spain? My current thinking is to start in Vezelay, so I would be only halfway when I get to Spain. That would somewhere around 1,800 km, in round numbers. Still think a single pair would do it, or be on the safe side and search for a new pair in SJPP?
I would probably send a pair ahead to the halfway point to change out my shoes.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
I have always worn hiking shoes/boots. You want something with a firm sole. You will be walking over some rough terrain at times & trails with small stones. One thing I would recommend you take are insole replacements. Switch them out halfway.
Ron
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Walked 1,000km in snow, rain, mud, and heat in my Altras (TIMP 1.0) and they made it (but were definitely DONE!) Zero break-in period. Its considered a “trail runner” shoe, so better than just a street running shoe for the various terrain and elements on the Camino.

PS: A shoutout to Jbkirk who answered previously, my Altras walking buddy (who I never met, but we walked two different Caminos at the same times!)
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Anybody do more than Spain? My current thinking is to start in Vezelay, so I would be only halfway when I get to Spain. That would somewhere around 1,800 km, in round numbers. Still think a single pair would do it, or be on the safe side and search for a new pair in SJPP?
If it was me, i would send some ahead. There might be people, that used their runners for that amount, but that will be the rare exception. The more sturdy variants of shoe might be more likely to be good for that distance, but I, again personally, would rather deal with the extra logistics than with heavier footwear.
 

Lupe

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2016)
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
I wore Keen Targhee II waterproof hiking boots the whole way. I trained in them for a couple of months before the Camino as well. They were easy to break in. They had a wide toe box and an ankle guard to help downhill hiking. I was grateful for not getting blisters. Highly recommend them.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
I use NewBalance and their designers say that you normally get about 150-200 miles (say 300K) before the cushioning and support starts to wear out. Their comment to me was that from a foot health standpoint, the cushioning and support will wear before you really notice it and the only symptom you might see is that you have increased heel pain or discomfort. Seemed like a reasonable stance from their standpoint and it matched my own experience. Each vendor would probably have a different design point and given the fact they all want to sell shoes, you probably can take their estimates with a grain of salt.
 
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
I have done 3 Caminos (one really short one in Portugal). I use one pair of Merrell shoes(new for each walk) and a pair of Birkenstocks (hanging around at the Albergues, taking in the town/city, etc). I do train with the new pair, maybe a 200 miles worth. For me this breaks in the shoe really well. The first walk from Rouncevilles, one shoe did start unstitching but that was almost at the end of the walk. However no problem in the other two walks. I was lucky regarding blisters - had none. I wore appropriate socks and didn't get crazy with two pairs at one time, moleskin, etc. The only thing that I did forget was an extra pair of shoelaces.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2019
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
Hi. I have done 2 Camino Frances and also Camino da Costa in the same pair of boots as well as walking at home. they are La Sportiva TRK GTX. They are not cheap but they have lasted me for 9 years heavy use and I am just replacing them this year. They are sturdy and supportive but also light and have good Gortex. I would not advise tackling the Camino in running shoes as some of the terrain I feel needs good ankle support. However if you choose to use them you can probably get away with one pair. I am an athletics coach and in my heyday a 14.17 5k and sub 30 minute 10k runner. The absolute maximum I recommend for training shoes is 500 miles or 800k so you could just about make it. Also you don't want to be carrying an extra pair because of space and weight. I took only the boots for walking during the day and a pair of Teva trekking sandals for the evenings. You can use the sandals to walk comfortably on days where the terrain allows. hope this helps.
Buen Camino
Vince
 

Lee Jackson

Remotelee
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Apr-may 2017 Portugues (2018) Norte (2018) Le Puy (2019) Celtic (2019) Frances (2019)
I wore Keen hiking sandals, same pair for Frances and about 700 k of Norte and Portugue. Now they are my beach sandals
 

Rick Chollett

Member
Past OR future Camino
Spring of 2018.
I bought a pair of hiking shoes from Walmart prior to my Camino. I broke them in over a month and a half in Croatia, Rome and France. They survived the entire walk and I finally threw them away a few months after I returned home as the soles were beginning to split. And they only cost me $21!
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
I have walked all my Caminos so far in the same pair of boots.
Scarpa Delta GTX Activ. I am hoping there is another long Camino in them!
About every 1500 - 2000 Km they get sent away for a complete new sole, I tend to wear
more of the outside parts of the sole, so never get much more than 2000 km from each set.
I have sourced a pair of the same boots without goretex liners to try next.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have walked 5 caminos. Shortest about 675k longest about 1400K. I buy a new pair of Brooks Cascadias. Start walking in them about 2weeks before I start and then I am off. Never had to even worry about a new pair.
 
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biped

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Sept (2017)
I began my Camino (June-July) in a pair of Keen Venice sandals that had already taken me to many places. As I walked into Arre my shoe started to flap and I realized the sole had partially detached. I don't speak Spanish and the host spoke limited English but he told me his wife was taking the kids to the mall that evening and I was welcome to tag along. There was a large sporting goods store there where I found a pair of men's Merrell sandals (I'm female and was desperate) similar to my Keens and I was able to keep on walking. Still have the Merrells but if I were to walk another Camino I would go for Keens.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
As things stand now, I get 1000s of K out of my French Army Boots -- but that has not always been the case.

My first pair was great on the 1993 ; then on the 1994, they broke after about 1500K, and I had to finish on espadrilles. (which was practically barefoot) LOL

After that, well, my feet kept on getting bigger from the hiking (since my first Camino, French size 44 to 50) ; so I needed to get a new pair every few years, except the pair I had did last each time after 1994 on every Camino I wore it on (made sure never to repeat the mistake of not having a solid enough sole and heel).

Now though, my feet seem finally to have settled down to a French size 50, UK 14½, US 15½-16. To the point where I can actually have two pairs of French Army Boots ; the old pair that has been re-soled, the one I started this 2019 & 2021 Camino on ; and now the new pair I'm continuing it on.

My expectation is that these two pairs will last me for many years and many 1000 Ks to come.

Both pairs are the best footwear I've ever owned or used.
 
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Scott Sweeney

Active Member
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
Never had shoe issues. I've done several different Camino routes with Keens. Once they stopped making boots with wide boxes I moved on to Oboz which has done the Portuguese and the Madrid.
 
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Past OR future Camino
None
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
You are in a good position time wise to try on and select the most important piece of equipment (shoes) that will carry you on the Camino. Spare no money here, although the most expensive isn’t necessarily the best for you, but listen to your feet. There is no one shoe that serves everyone...you will decide. Once you do that, use those shoes/boots often...I came across dozens of tossed away boots and blister horror stories along the Camino...three things stood out...poor conditioning, too much equipment and ill fitting shoes. I used my Ecco boots and with a light coating of Vaseline, silk liner and wool socks, had no blisters on 2 Caminos. For me, all my foot ware, hiking and casual, are this one brand after trying many over years of walking/hiking. On the last Camino, I did buy a pair of Ecco sneakers to use after a long day’s hike to give my feet a rest...otherwise, it’s just one pair of boots which will last more than 800 km. Buen Camino.
 

BillW

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I would probably send a pair ahead to the halfway point to change out my shoes.
I was thinking I'd wear one pair from Le Puy to SJPP and have another pre-worn-in pair waiting for me there. That may be overkill, but I'm thinking having a new pair along with new socks and such might be a nice treat after a month of hiking.
 

dgallen

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
I usually go through one pair of Keens boots on each Camino. I prefer the bigger toe box as I normally have issues with the toenails. I've tried shoes, but found the lack of support causes issues with my knees (patella in particular). A few years ago I went through two pairs of Keens, but not by choice. I had learned that while I wear size 12 shoes for everything, by wearing size 13 I avoid blistering at the heel and the dreaded black toenails. I was really happy with my boots. One morning at the Santo Domingo de la Calzada albergue, I was a little late in starting and grabbed the Keens from the boot room and went on my way (there might have been a half dozen pilgrims left in the albergue).

When stopping in Granon for a coffee, a pilgrim approached me and pointed to my Keens mentioning if I had the correct boots and that a pilgrim back at the Santo Domingo albergue mentioned that a pair of Keens were there, but not his. I said that not too many people have size 13 Keens and I'm pretty sure they are mine. I took the boots off and noticed the label was french/english typical of boots sold in Canada.

I carried on, but had a nagging thought in my head that something wasn't right. At the next town I decided to wait at the bar and watch any straggler pilgrims who might be wearing Keens. A couple of hours went by and eventually a lone pilgrim wandered through, saw me and my boots and said, "there are my boots!". I told him to take the boots and I would get a taxi back to Santo Domingo. He said not to bother as he had waited there until stores opened and bought a pair of shoes. He said he liked the shoes better as the boots gave him blisters. I offered him a hundred euros, but he refused saying that the opportunity to write his family back home about honesty amongst pilgrims and the reputation of Canadians being what it is, was worth the cost of the shoes. I bought him coffee and we went on our way.

He was right about the blisters however as by the time I got to Belarado, I had the worst heel blisters ever! Shows to go, that even if you have the same size and manufacturer of show/boot the fit is so different even amongst models. Anyway we managed to see each other a few more times along the way, and I was able to buy him dinner in Boadilla del Camino. And throughout my camino I had to endure hearing from other pilgrims an amazing tale about a pair of boots and to watch out for Canadians with large feet.
 

Darleen Taylor

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Wore out a pair of Salomon GTX on my first Francés. On my second Francés, I switched between Hoka One One Challenger ATR trail runners and a high end pair of Lowa hikers. The Lowas could easily do another camino, but the Hokas were basically done. I am planning to take only Hoka One One Stinson ATR trail runners on the VDLP, with Hoka recovery slides for evenings. They are much more comfortable for my problem feet and have been well 'tested' in training walks.
 
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Past OR future Camino
None
I usually go through one pair of Keens boots on each Camino. I prefer the bigger toe box as I normally have issues with the toenails. I've tried shoes, but found the lack of support causes issues with my knees (patella in particular). A few years ago I went through two pairs of Keens, but not by choice. I had learned that while I wear size 12 shoes for everything, by wearing size 13 I avoid blistering at the heel and the dreaded black toenails. I was really happy with my boots. One morning at the Santo Domingo de la Calzada albergue, I was a little late in starting and grabbed the Keens from the boot room and went on my way (there might have been a half dozen pilgrims left in the albergue).

When stopping in Granon for a coffee, a pilgrim approached me and pointed to my Keens mentioning if I had the correct boots and that a pilgrim back at the Santo Domingo albergue mentioned that a pair of Keens were there, but not his. I said that not too many people have size 13 Keens and I'm pretty sure they are mine. I took the boots off and noticed the label was french/english typical of boots sold in Canada.

I carried on, but had a nagging thought in my head that something wasn't right. At the next town I decided to wait at the bar and watch any straggler pilgrims who might be wearing Keens. A couple of hours went by and eventually a lone pilgrim wandered through, saw me and my boots and said, "there are my boots!". I told him to take the boots and I would get a taxi back to Santo Domingo. He said not to bother as he had waited there until stores opened and bought a pair of shoes. He said he liked the shoes better as the boots gave him blisters. I offered him a hundred euros, but he refused saying that the opportunity to write his family back home about honesty amongst pilgrims and the reputation of Canadians being what it is, was worth the cost of the shoes. I bought him coffee and we went on our way.

He was right about the blisters however as by the time I got to Belarado, I had the worst heel blisters ever! Shows to go, that even if you have the same size and manufacturer of show/boot the fit is so different even amongst models. Anyway we managed to see each other a few more times along the way, and I was able to buy him dinner in Boadilla del Camino. And throughout my camino I had to endure hearing from other pilgrims an amazing tale about a pair of boots and to watch out for Canadians with large feet.
Ha...you wouldn’t get into my 7 1/2 boots😉
 
Past OR future Camino
None
I usually go through one pair of Keens boots on each Camino. I prefer the bigger toe box as I normally have issues with the toenails. I've tried shoes, but found the lack of support causes issues with my knees (patella in particular). A few years ago I went through two pairs of Keens, but not by choice. I had learned that while I wear size 12 shoes for everything, by wearing size 13 I avoid blistering at the heel and the dreaded black toenails. I was really happy with my boots. One morning at the Santo Domingo de la Calzada albergue, I was a little late in starting and grabbed the Keens from the boot room and went on my way (there might have been a half dozen pilgrims left in the albergue).

When stopping in Granon for a coffee, a pilgrim approached me and pointed to my Keens mentioning if I had the correct boots and that a pilgrim back at the Santo Domingo albergue mentioned that a pair of Keens were there, but not his. I said that not too many people have size 13 Keens and I'm pretty sure they are mine. I took the boots off and noticed the label was french/english typical of boots sold in Canada.

I carried on, but had a nagging thought in my head that something wasn't right. At the next town I decided to wait at the bar and watch any straggler pilgrims who might be wearing Keens. A couple of hours went by and eventually a lone pilgrim wandered through, saw me and my boots and said, "there are my boots!". I told him to take the boots and I would get a taxi back to Santo Domingo. He said not to bother as he had waited there until stores opened and bought a pair of shoes. He said he liked the shoes better as the boots gave him blisters. I offered him a hundred euros, but he refused saying that the opportunity to write his family back home about honesty amongst pilgrims and the reputation of Canadians being what it is, was worth the cost of the shoes. I bought him coffee and we went on our way.

He was right about the blisters however as by the time I got to Belarado, I had the worst heel blisters ever! Shows to go, that even if you have the same size and manufacturer of show/boot the fit is so different even amongst models. Anyway we managed to see each other a few more times along the way, and I was able to buy him dinner in Boadilla del Camino. And throughout my camino I had to endure hearing from other pilgrims an amazing tale about a pair of boots and to watch out for Canadians with large feet.
Good man!
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
I buy ONE pair that lasts me all season - walking the Francis as well one other route usually.
 

winewalker3

New Member
Past OR future Camino
VF(2005), CF(2006), CF(2008), VF(2011), CF(2015), CF(2016)
I wore high top Patagonia hiking boots for our first two caminos. I considered wearing them the third time, but they were showing wear on the soles and heels. So I bought a pair of Merrell Moab Gore Tex high tops, which are very similar to the Patagonia. Did fine on our third camino and I'll wear them during our upcoming Camino this fall. After each daily hike, I slip into PR Recovery Sandals. The waffle texture massages tired feet. Sturdy enough to wear around town and inside each evening. Bob
View attachment 101936
I also hike with Merrell Moab GoreTex low riders. 2 trips on the Francis and 1 beginning on the Via Francigena breaking them in the year before. I learnt a painful lesson wearing the standard width Merrell's on the Francis in 2008 that resulted in several blisters and hot spots. Be sure to select a shoe 1/2 size larger in length and also width. Merrells do offer a wide fit and they have a reinforced sole for sharp rocky surfaces. I could walk both directions comfortably. Their good for break-in, weekly training and 2 camino's and still more to go!! Winewalker3
 

O Peracha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
1341
Anybody do more than Spain? My current thinking is to start in Vezelay, so I would be only halfway when I get to Spain. That would somewhere around 1,800 km, in round numbers. Still think a single pair would do it, or be on the safe side and search for a new pair in SJPP?

This is very much a YMMV situation. Even the same brands change from year to year. I did Le Puy to Santiago in 2014 with Lowa renegades (boots). At the end of the trip they had enough wear for another pass-thru hike. Fast forward 3 years later. My Lowa Renegades (not the same pair) started falling apart (soles coming of) in the middle of the trip. Although this time the terrain was rougher (Alps).

Several years ago I switched to trail runners - primarily Salomon and Altra - and they will not last a long trek. Salomon around 500 km and Altra even less. Once again YMMV and, based on informal comparisons with others, I seem to be rougher on my shoes.

If you have big and wide feet, this is a problem in Spain and France. My last trip, in 2019, was from Toulouse to Santiago and I went thru 4 or 5 pairs. The first pair because they started to fall apart (Altra) and subsequently because I couldn't find the right size. I returned to Toulouse and even Salomon were out of wide in trail runners. I tried several stores (one an REI clone) and ended up getting regular width which were supposed to be "wider" than most regulars. They weren't. Ended up having a pair of Salomons shipped from home. Shipping was more than the shoes.
 
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RRat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
HiTec, $59 at Big Five in the USA. SJPDP to Santiago. Upon arrival to Santiago, noticed slight tear at toe but still good enough for another week of sightseeing and the flight home. When I got home repaired with shoe glue (the white residue in the picture). I should throw them away but too many good memories.
 

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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
On my first 2 Camino I used my ancient army leather boots. Norwegian pride. I got blisters.

Then I invested in trekking boots, GoreTex, from Salomon. Never had a blister after that. They last roughly 2 Caminos, or 1.500-2.000 kms.

And whenever I arrive in Castrojeriz (CF), I stop at the old man's shop to buy 2-3 pairs of Lorpen socks:


I am really worried, in this Covid year-and-a-half, about how he has fared in this pandemic. I hope someone can bring some good news about him. Hopefully, I can check it out myself this autumn.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
One point I will observe about “how long footwear lasts” is that I’ve never worn through a sole of any boot, but I *do* turn my very used boots into “casual commuting with public transit” and “tromping around the woods or the garden” work boots once I have developed significant wear on the tread that alters the angle for my heel strike and toe-life-off.

Wearing shoes that have too pronounced an angle of wear can alter your gait and cause subtle injury when you are doing 15,000-30,000 steps every day for days on end.

So, depending on how hard you walk, you might need to hang up your boots at the end of a camino while still finding them useful for less demanding purposes.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
One point I will observe about “how long footwear lasts” is that I’ve never worn through a sole of any boot, but I *do* turn my very used boots into “casual commuting with public transit” and “tromping around the woods or the garden” work boots once I have developed significant wear on the tread that alters the angle for my heel strike and toe-life-off.

Wearing shoes that have too pronounced an angle of wear can alter your gait and cause subtle injury when you are doing 15,000-30,000 steps every day for days on end.

So, depending on how hard you walk, you might need to hang up your boots at the end of a camino while still finding them useful for less demanding purposes.
Indeed. My worn-out boots end up in my cottage as working boots.
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
Had Merrell walking boots a few years before Camino and they lasted a few years after. Usually I have outsides of any shoes in top condition, no wear at all, but insides get thrashed. One way to prevent the wear at least in the heels is a small shoe horn in the outside pocket of my backpack. For walking in albergues, use in shower, and going to city I had crocs ballerina style black shoes, those were not new and got finished on the Camino.
 
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ktchnofdngr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
September 2013, June 2016, and July 2021(hopefully!)
My first Camino from Burgos to Santiago, I used hiking shoes that lasted me the whole way, although I had tendinitis and basically had to skip from Sahagun to O'Cebreiro due to time constraints from the rest days I needed for the Tendinitis. I left the shoes in Santiago as they were awful for blisters.

My second Camino, I started in Hoka trail runners which were a mistake--I got a pair of hiking sandals in Pamplona (Chiruca brand? I can't remember exactly), then had to replace with Tevas in Sarria (the sole cracked along the ball of the foot). With the foot issues that I have, this was only possible because I didn't carry my pack my second Camino. I wore socks and sandals. I had fewer blister problems, and it was nice to really only need one pair of shoes for the whole trip.

As I prepare for my third Camino on the Portuguese, I've come to realize that I really need actual boots if I'm going to be able to walk with my pack until Porto. I'm not sure how well they will hold up, but they are doing well for my training so far. I'm using Merrill's, and they fit my feet like a glove.

All I can say is that, if you have the right shoes/footwear for you, then it will make all the difference in how you do on your walk. Unhappy feet can make a good day bad, and a bad day worse.

If you need recommendations for socks, I would highly recommend Darn Tough merino wool socks. They are incredibly sturdy, and they have a nice cushion on the sole. I bought several pair for my first Camino in 2013, and I've only had to replace any as I've been preparing for my Camino later this summer. I use the quarter length, and they are awesome. Also, if you tend to get blisters on the balls of your feet (like I do), another thing that I've found really helpful are what my dancer niece calls toe undies. They work great to reduce the rubbing under your feet. Finding those were a godsend!

Bom Camhino!

Ruth
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
I walk primarily in a very broken in pair of Hoka Ones. Halfway through the walk, I change to a very good walking sandal. Once in Santiago, I leave my Hokas behind after a traditional photo op on the steps of the cathedral with my shoes showing on the pillar.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
I believe in the 300-500 mile life expectancy and was planning on walking 900 miles over 3 months. I broke in new boots and two pairs of trail running shoes. I shipped one pair of shoes ahead to be held at post office in a large city ahead on my path (since they only hold a package for so long I had to forward it ahead once or twice until it —and I—reached halfway). I alternated shoes and boots depending on weather and terrain, and at the approximately 400 mile point got rid of trail shoes and replaced with the new (broken in) ones i’d shipped ahead). If I’d just been doing the Frances I’d have just alternated the trail shoes and boots, or if weather wasn’t so wet just had two pairs of trail shoes and alternated. I like having the option of changing out wet footwear and since I walked in rain, snow and cold wet shoes/boots didn’t necessarily dry overnight. I have hard to fit feet so the option of just buying shoes on the way, let alone a brand I like, was nonexistent. If for some reason I bought new shoes I’d try to only wear them a few miles at first, switching out with the old ones each day. Just my 2 cents
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Did you walk your entire Camino in the same pair of shoes? I generally get about 500 km or so from a pair of running shoes. Should I expect the same from the shoes I use on the Camino? If you bought new shoes along the way, did you have problems with a break-in period? I'm planning for 2023, hoping to start from Vezelay and connecting from Saint Palais or SJPdP to Irun and the Camino del Norte. Thanks for comments.
Brian
Having just looked up your distances it looks like Vezelay to SdC is a two shoe distance with the life expectancy we both seem to give shoes. If I were you I’d break in two pairs and alternate them the entire distance. But I’m partial to taking good care of my feet and not the type to cut my toothbrush in half to save packing weight.
 

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