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Keen sandals and orthotic insoles

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Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Previously I have always worn train runners with my orthotic insoles when walking in Spain and France.

However, I've recently been wearing my Columbia sandals, which have a lip at the back of the heel which holds my half length orthotic in place. I find these sandals very cool and comfortable but only a for short time. After a couple of days of walking, the strap across the top of the foot starts to irritate the tendon below because I have a high arch. I can loosen the top strap off but the strap across the toes is just not enough to hold my foot securely in the sandal.

So my question to all you Keens fans is: is there a Keens walking sandal that has a lip at the back of the heel that would keep my insole in place? Our nearest stockist has a poor selection and ordering over the internet is the best way to go for me at the moment.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral2019; Finisterre/Muxia2019
I visited an insole store last week and they recommend a little dot of velcro to keep your insole in place while wearing sandals.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I tried insoles on my Keen Newport H2 sandals, really comfortable but they worked their way backwards so no good - I like the Velcro idea!
 

Pilgy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
Keen Arroyo
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Hmm, thanks Pilgy, I’ll have a proper look at the Arroyo. My first thoughts were that it looks too heavy and does not have a neutral footbed (which I need). Then I read more and they do not sound at all heavy, and their insole is removable. Now, I will go on an arroyo hunt!
 

Pilgy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
Felica, they seem to be hard to get in women sizes in Canada anyway. I think they are deceptively heavy looking. Good luck!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
My first thoughts were that it looks too heavy and does not have a neutral footbed (which I need). Then I read more and they do not sound at all heavy, and their insole is removable. Now, I will go on an arroyo hunt!
I just walked in the Arroyo iii this year - it was a men's model. They are heavy. And hot.
There's a mesh heel that keeps inserts in place, but with the inserts they were snug, volume-wise (I have a high arch, so you experience may be different).
 

Phil Smith

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)StJ to Viana (2017): Viana to Castrojeriz (2018) Castrojeriz to Leon
(2019) León to Sarria
Regarding keeping insoles in place in sandals - I bought some double sided sticky squares from a stationery shop - keeps them in place good and proper!

However, my sandals always seem to break at same point. Would be interested to hear opinions on the most robust sandals that one can actually walk in.
 

pusser

New Member
Regarding keeping insoles in place in sandals - I bought some double sided sticky squares from a stationery shop - keeps them in place good and proper!

However, my sandals always seem to break at same point. Would be interested to hear opinions on the most robust sandals that one can actually walk in.
In conversation with my orthotics guy I mentioned the difficulty in being unable to use the orthotics when wearing sandals. He recommended sandals supplied by a company called Fit Flop https://www.fitflop.com/uk/en/shop/ryker-back-strap-sandals-p-V77#689. I bought a pair of these Ryker sandals and have found them to be supremely comfortable for all day walks on even ground. Apparently the shape of the footbed, particularly at the front, helps to compensate for the absence of an orthotic.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
VN, I have a high arch too, that's why sandals with a strap over the top of the foot aggravate my tendon.

My orthotics tilt my heel by 4mm, which is more than the average arch supporting footbed manages to do, so I'd rather have a neutral footbed and add my own insoles.

Arroyos seem to only be available online in the UK, and only in men's sizes. Fortunately my feet are large enough that a size 7 might work. Trouble is that it is an expensive gamble.

I've got another pair of my favourite cheap trainers for September's walk, but when they are worn out, (they do about 5-700 km before I don't trust the soles any more) there's nothing else similar available, so I'm going to have to make a change then.
 

babylon2505

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
Previously I have always worn train runners with my orthotic insoles when walking in Spain and France.

However, I've recently been wearing my Columbia sandals, which have a lip at the back of the heel which holds my half length orthotic in place. I find these sandals very cool and comfortable but only a for short time. After a couple of days of walking, the strap across the top of the foot starts to irritate the tendon below because I have a high arch. I can loosen the top strap off but the strap across the toes is just not enough to hold my foot securely in the sandal.

So my question to all you Keens fans is: is there a Keens walking sandal that has a lip at the back of the heel that would keep my insole in place? Our nearest stockist has a poor selection and ordering over the internet is the best way to go for me at the moment.
Orthotics would be more effective with a closed shoe to hold the foot in proper alignment
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I don't know, @Felice , maybe they're worth a try. But I won't be buying them again.
A wonderful hybrid between a closed shoe and a sandal was the Keen McKenzie - but they do not make them anymore. Orthotics were fine in them.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I tried the Arroyos, but they stretched out, rubbed my feet the wrong way, and smelled bad. I went back to just sandals, in my case, Chacos. More air moving around, which reduces blisters and has a variety of benefits. While I have orthotics for my shoes, I haven't needed them, walking in Chacos. Hope you find something that works for you.
 

happymarkos

HappyMark
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
I have the same Arroyos sandals and they are designed to have the inner sole removed and replaced with an orthotic. They still pick up a few small stones. I wear mine with socks to avoid rubbing.

Worth a serious look
Hmm, thanks Pilgy, I’ll have a proper look at the Arroyo. My first thoughts were that it looks too heavy and does not have a neutral footbed (which I need). Then I read more and they do not sound at all heavy, and their insole is removable. Now, I will go on an arroyo hunt!
 

Carolethecatlover

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2018
Podiatrists (and LOL, Chiropodists) use 'chiropodists' felt, which is thick felt with peel off sticky on one side, stocked in varying thicknesses by good chemists, which can be stuck to the underside of straps, and shoe tongues for those with high arches, and into hard heels to minimize friction. Wear your most comfortable shoes, and take all comfortable pairs you can, you can leave them in hostels and albergues if you don't want them. Limiting yourself to one or 2 pairs of shoes is a false economy. I walked Le Puy to Cahors with 3 pairs of shoes and lots of socks, one thin under a thick one, and not a single blister.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
I tried insoles on my Keen Newport H2 sandals, really comfortable but they worked their way backwards so no good - I like the Velcro idea!
Hi David! I’m sitting here wearing my Newports and seriously thinking of wearing them on the Camino Frances next month. Is this what you’ve done? If so, I’d be very curious as to how it went for you. How did you do socks? I’m still getting over blisters I got from my Merrill low cut hiking shoes. Any advice? Many thanks! Tom
 

Jenny@zen

Jenny
Camino(s) past & future
Francesx2 Le Puy Primitivo Mozarabe Arles Norte Rota Vicentina Portuguese Stevenson Madrid Salvador
Previously I have always worn train runners with my orthotic insoles when walking in Spain and France.

However, I've recently been wearing my Columbia sandals, which have a lip at the back of the heel which holds my half length orthotic in place. I find these sandals very cool and comfortable but only a for short time. After a couple of days of walking, the strap across the top of the foot starts to irritate the tendon below because I have a high arch. I can loosen the top strap off but the strap across the toes is just not enough to hold my foot securely in the sandal.

So my question to all you Keens fans is: is there a Keens walking sandal that has a lip at the back of the heel that would keep my insole in place? Our nearest stockist has a poor selection and ordering over the internet is the best way to go for me at the moment.
Hi Felice
Have a look at Keen McKenzie. I bought these for same reason - so I could wear my orthotics. And have worn many times. Recommended. Not as easy to find as other Keen sandal models - but I love them.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hi David! I’m sitting here wearing my Newports and seriously thinking of wearing them on the Camino Frances next month. Is this what you’ve done? If so, I’d be very curious as to how it went for you. How did you do socks? I’m still getting over blisters I got from my Merrill low cut hiking shoes. Any advice? Many thanks! Tom
Hi Tom - I go to Camino twice a year (to do first aid) and always wear my Newports - I never take any other footwear. I wear them whatever the weather throws at me and find them supremely comfortable, hot, cold, wet, dry, and haven't had a blisters for years. (I wear just socks in refugios, nice and foot soft).

Worth considering that I never wear a heavy backpack but always walk with a trailer behind me - allows me to walk upright, relaxed, and with normal gait, and I do think that may help.

Regardless of the pointed fingers, stares, an outright laughter I would receive over here wearing them with socks (joke) I have done on Camino when it has been bitterly cold and found them even more comfortable.

I have super wide feet and hate having them enclosed, squashed, and the Newports are the only footwear I have owned that just a few minutes after putting them on I am completely unaware that I am wearing footwear.

I find the shaped footbed support great for me and that bumper keeps most stones out though tiny ones do get in occasionally, usually from the rear somehow - the only downside I have found is that they do get smelly so when I evening wash I 'soapy flannel' them and have no problem. As with all sandals, as the foot isn't enclosed and moist the skin can get dry - and will get dirty - so I deep cream them every evening. Though - enclosed moist skin and rubbing? Hey Presto! blister! so that 'open to air' is a good thing.

I tried some inserts that I had in a drawer, went for stroll, and I really liked that, really cosy, but they worked backwards so took them out - so cannot speak about how they are over a long period - and to be fair, the Newports are good as they are. I may try again with the fixative ideas posted above - I love comfort :)

It is absolutely certain - unless I go and do a deep snow walk - that I shall never wear boots again.

Oh dear - this so sounds like a fictional paid review! -

As an aside - there is no reason whatsoever anyone should ever have a blister. A blister is a protective body response to what is essentially a friction burn and the body gives a clear warning first - the 'hot spot'. You can feel a specific burning feeling, or hot feeling, very localised. Take the footwear off immediately, cover that hot spot with a plaster (bandaid) or anything that will act as a protection barrier - even a folded Kleenex - and the friction point is removed and the blister will not develop. Most of my first aid work is blisters and with every single one it is because pilgrims have not listened to their bodies and reacted to the warnings. Even carried on for days without taking care of them! - Still, gives me something to do out there I guess ;):D
 
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John Briscoe

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2014
Camino Portuguese 2016
Keens are good. I guess it is just whether you want the closed toe and open heel (Newports) or Closed heel (the Arroya )
But you can do a strip of that double sided tape and run it right along the footpad.
 

Glynis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
France (2016)
Portuguese (2018)
Finisterre (2018)
My podiatrist firmly attached the orthotics to my (open backed) Keen sandals with velcro. It worked very well on the Portuguese last year. I had a separate set of orthotics for my trail shoes so I didn't risk loosening the velcro in the Keens.
 

BlackRocker57

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route May–July 2018
Keen Arroyo II [women's are available through amazon] work beautifully with orthotic insoles ... after four caminos and local everyday wear I am on my fourth pair ... I wear them with both aetrex and superfeet orthotic insoles ... excellent in all conditions, including this year during the June heatwave 🌻
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.

Last weekend, I was in Sheffield where there is a big Go Outdoors shop, so I went along to try out a few sandals.

I started by trying some Keen sandals, to get an idea of my size, so that I could order online more confidently. Nice sandals, shame about the inability to hold an insole in place.

Then I tried a couple of pairs of sandals they had in store, which had a lip at the back. Both held my half orthotic in place nicely, whilst my full length orthotic was out the back of the shoe within about 20 paces around the store. Both shoes (one Hi Tech, the other Karrimor) were quite chunky sandals, and looked a bit like the Keen Arroyo (but without the extra bit at the heel). I found them hot, even just walking around the store for 5 mins or so.

So bottom line is that I will continue with my trainers for my next walk, but keep an eye open for new models that might be suitable in future years, when I can't get the type of trainer that I like.
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk in 2020
Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.

Last weekend, I was in Sheffield where there is a big Go Outdoors shop, so I went along to try out a few sandals.

I started by trying some Keen sandals, to get an idea of my size, so that I could order online more confidently. Nice sandals, shame about the inability to hold an insole in place.

Then I tried a couple of pairs of sandals they had in store, which had a lip at the back. Both held my half orthotic in place nicely, whilst my full length orthotic was out the back of the shoe within about 20 paces around the store. Both shoes (one Hi Tech, the other Karrimor) were quite chunky sandals, and looked a bit like the Keen Arroyo (but without the extra bit at the heel). I found them hot, even just walking around the store for 5 mins or so.

So bottom line is that I will continue with my trainers for my next walk, but keep an eye open for new models that might be suitable in future years, when I can't get the type of trainer that I like.
Recently I was also looking for sandals which could accommodate my orthotics. I have keens and I do wear them for short periods without my inserts but was hoping to find sandals I could wear with the inserts.
I found this site which offers some fisherman style sandals. I have not purchased any as I am hoping to find some which I could wear in water. Not sure if these fit the bill but they might be just the thing for folks with foot issues.
 

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