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Longevity of Trail and Street Running Shoes vs Boots

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Longevity of Trail and Street Running Shoes vs Boots

Trail and street runners absolutely will not last for as long as a boot or a heavier hiking shoe. When lighter weight and cushioning for the feet are the primary focus of the user, the materials used are more friable than those used on heavier footwear; materials science has not reached a point where durability AND lightweight cushioning coexist. Maybe someday. Keep in mind that the actual reasons for choosing a trail or road running shoe is what makes their overall lifespan shorter.

I used 5 pairs of trail runners on my thru-hike of the 2,650 mile long Pacific Crest Trail. I bought 6 pairs ahead of time and mailed one pair to a resupply point at defined intervals. Only one pair was truly trash-worthy when replaced; the other 4 pair had some good life left to them. I did not have the luxury of waiting for the BEST and optimal time for replacement of shoes as the hike proceeded, so I had to be exceedingly conservative on determining the margin for usability before replacement.

Why would I choose that type of footwear? My preference was for a shoe with significantly lighter weight, lessened drain on energy levels caused by lifting the weight on my feet - step after step - for 24 to 26-miles each day, lessened risk for injury (fatigued ankle and lower leg muscles and supporting structures are more prone to injury), and the extra comfort provided by the cushioning.

Those are my reasons. While these same reasons are shared by many backpacking enthusiasts in the US (I do not know about the rest of the world) others may prefer heavier footwear including more traditional hiking boots. I used to be in that camp at one time early in my backpacking and climbing career, too.

I do not let longevity of footwear determine what I wear. I focus on comfort of the footwear's fit and feel, and what the overall energy expenditure will be in using them. Then I consider what the conditions are expected to be like (cold, snow, ice). From there, I make my decision.
 
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wisepilgrim

Guidebook Author
Past OR future Camino
Many
For me the biggest factor is the rigidity of the sole. The terrain on the Camino, after just a few kilometers, can start to feel like it is shooting up through the sole of shoes closer to the trail runner end of the spectrum. After a full day of walking, for several weeks, this can be damaging.

I give new shoes and boots a flex test, which is to say that the more the flex the less suitable they are. It is not a matter of padding mind you, which is important but not as.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 CF
The reason behind this is quite logical: (Trail)Runners are usually lighter than hiking shoes/boots. Since no manufacturer can do magic and has to use the available materials, less weight usually equals less material used. Less material used equals less durability. Not sure if that behaves linear or exponantial, but you can't cheat physics. There may be some ways to mitigate this by smart use of different materials, using higher end materials or better production technique. But in the end, a lighter shoe will usually be less durable than a heavier one of the same quality.
(There are even more factors influencing this. Like users weight vs. shoe size, or even the way a person walks. I know a guy that gets a good 1000km out of his Lone Peaks while i get around 500-600km out of them)
 

Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Longevity of Trail and Street Running Shoes vs Boots


I used 5 pairs of trail runners on my thru-hike of the 2,650 mile long Pacific Crest Trail. I bought 6 pairs ahead of time and mailed one pair to a resupply point at defined intervals. Only one pair was truly trash-worthy when replaced; the other 4 pair had some good life left to them.

H'mm - Six pairs bought and mailed. 4 pairs OK and one pair trashed. 4 +1 = 5.

Somewhere, presumably, on or near the Pacific Crest Trail sits a lonely pair of mailed Dave Bugg shoes. Possibly antique by now.

Could be valuable! Nike Air Jordans recently sold for around US $6,000. Louis Vitton X Kayne West sneakers US $30,000

Check your local alburgue spare shoes cupboard before you leave!!

😂

Seriously, I agree with Dave, comfort and energy saving is more important when long distance walking but for Portugal, with those trillions of wonderful cobblestones, and for known stony trail Caminos, I recon a hard sole as Wisepilgrim pointed out would be very wise indeed.

Cheers

Graham
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
The reason behind this is quite logical: (Trail)Runners are usually lighter than hiking shoes/boots. Since no manufacturer can do magic and has to use the available materials, less weight usually equals less material used. Less material used equals less durability. Not sure if that behaves linear or exponantial, but you can't cheat physics. There may be some ways to mitigate this by smart use of different materials, using higher end materials or better production technique. But in the end, a lighter shoe will usually be less durable than a heavier one of the same quality.
(There are even more factors influencing this. Like users weight vs. shoe size, or even the way a person walks. I know a guy that gets a good 1000km out of his Lone Peaks while i get around 500-600km out of them)

I think you have identified another factor in determining useful life expectancy of a shoe - - the individual's ability to tolerate advanced wear and tear to the components to the shoe. This could help explain the phenomenon you describe, where individuals achieve way above average life expectancy from shoes.
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
H'mm - Six pairs bought and mailed. 4 pairs OK and one pair trashed. 4 +1 = 5.

Somewhere, presumably, on or near the Pacific Crest Trail sits a lonely pair of mailed Dave Bugg shoes. Possibly antique by now.

I did retrieve them, along with other supplies and food when picking that resupply package I had mailed to myself for an en route pickup. Instead of carrying them, I ended up stuffing them back into a box and shipping them back home.

Could be valuable! Nike Air Jordans recently sold for around US $6,000. Louis Vitton X Kayne West sneakers US $30,000

Nah. . . they got used when I returned home. But, hey, I'll sell that well used pair, which are lurking somewhere in the back of my closet, for cheap :)
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Given the real world concern stated above about bruised feet caused by the print through of trail debris, rocks, cobblestones, etc., perhaps a solution to try, that is cheap and easy to make, could be of help. Below is a repost I wrote on the construction and use of a 'rock plate', and some other stuff.

--------------------
If the imprint of trail debris, cobblestones, etc. is poking at your feet through the outersole of your shoe and making your feet sore, you may try to add more shielding. A simple and effective DIY solution is to make a Rock Plate at home. The Rock Plate will slip under your insole, and provide a very effective level of protection without a huge penalty to the 'feel' of the shoe..

Take a thin and flexible plastic, like that found in milk jugs, or a thin plastic cutting board or plastic sheet

59537




Using your insole as a template, mark an outline of the insole onto the plastic. Cut out the outline. Place the cut out into the shoe, under your insole. If needed, use some double surface tape, like carpet tape, to affix your new 'rock plates' to the bottom of the shoes.

If you still find that you need more shielding, add a second pair and see how that works for you.

Increasing the cushioning to the foot is another method of shielding feet from trail debris. Some shoes, like many models of the Hoka One One, build this into some of their shoe models. Aftermarket insole inserts are another way to add such cushioning, which some folks find effective.

Insoles with effective open cell foams and elastic polymers can provide extra cushioning that will also provide some additional support to your foot structures. As the foot slightly sinks into the cushion, it creates an impression that will slightly fill in the void under your arches. This is an example of this type of insert; there are others that can also be effective.

I always take an extra insole with me, not an extra pair of footwear. For myself, I find that if my footwear feels good walking, it will be sufficiently comfortable for lounging around after a long day of backpacking or walking Camino. Of course, wearing lightweight trail runners rather than heavier footwear make this option easy.

I designate one insole as my walking insole. That's the one I will. . well. . do all my backpacking and Camino walking with. The extra insole that I take with me, is usually the one that came with the shoe.

The factory insoles are usually very light. When I swap out insoles at the end of the day, and will be walking around the village or town seeing the sights, getting dinner, shopping, etc, the factory insoles are more than sufficient for that walking task. Swapping out insoles allows my walking insoles to air out.

Like shoes, aftermarket insoles are an individual fit-and-feel type of thing. No one can reliably tell someone else that the aftermarket insole they like, will be a good match for another. If shopping for an insert, it can take quite a bit of trial and error to match your feet to a specific insole. There is a reason why so many aftermarket products exist; one type does NOT fit all. :)
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Past OR future Camino
2022 Piemont or Arles or Primitivo
4 walks , 4 Altra Lone peaks. By the end of the year they’re shot but I like to feel the surfaces. I find boots distance the surface and lead to slipping whereas soft shoes feel more like I’m gripping like an chameleon. Just my preference. No shoe is perfect across multiple surfaces. I used to swap my insoles until I realized I was swapping out the Altra insoles which were designed to drain water for insoles that didn’t.
I understand the fear of cobblestone. My issue is that I don’t know which route I’ll walk until I arrive. So I err at in favour of trail runners.
I agree with Dave Bugg , I don’t care about longevity, new shoes every Camino.
There’s some evidence that all that cushioning just leads to poor walking mechanics, heal striking and the such. Whereas a softer shoe forces you to adapt to your environment and what your aches and pains are telling you.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Ah...the mystery of Dave Bugg's spare pair of shoes is now solved! Pity they weren't Air Jordons or Louis Vittons. It would be worth flying from locked down Australia to retrieve them.

Gunna pass up on those shoes at the back of your cupboard Dave! Don't think I would be brave enough to venture there! That's a job for David Attenborough.

Love the rock plate idea though Dave. I'm going to try it out shortly.

In Australia the biggest milk bottle here is a mere three litres, might not be enough flat plastic for the size if my foot.

Your US milk bottles look like whoppers - possibly three gallons. Are they from bigger than everything Texas? 🤣 I wonder.

We have dollar stores here too. Everything in them generally costs $2 or more. That's another mystery.

Rock plates are the answer for sure. No weight and easy to carry. Cheap too.

Thank you Dave, BombayBill and Trecile.

Cheers

Graham
 
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GuyA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Longevity of Trail and Street Running Shoes vs Boots

Trail and street runners absolutely will not last for as long as a boot or a heavier hiking shoe. When lighter weight and cushioning for the feet are the primary focus of the user, the materials used are more friable than those used on heavier footwear; materials science has not reached a point where durability AND lightweight cushioning coexist. Maybe someday. Keep in mind that the actual reasons for choosing a trail or road running shoe is what makes their overall lifespan shorter.

I used 5 pairs of trail runners on my thru-hike of the 2,650 mile long Pacific Crest Trail. I bought 6 pairs ahead of time and mailed one pair to a resupply point at defined intervals. Only one pair was truly trash-worthy when replaced; the other 4 pair had some good life left to them. I did not have the luxury of waiting for the BEST and optimal time for replacement of shoes as the hike proceeded, so I had to be exceedingly conservative on determining the margin for usability before replacement.

Why would I choose that type of footwear? My preference was for a shoe with significantly lighter weight, lessened drain on energy levels caused by lifting the weight on my feet - step after step - for 24 to 26-miles each day, lessened risk for injury (fatigued ankle and lower leg muscles and supporting structures are more prone to injury), and the extra comfort provided by the cushioning.

Those are my reasons. While these same reasons are shared by many backpacking enthusiasts in the US (I do not know about the rest of the world) others may prefer heavier footwear including more traditional hiking boots. I used to be in that camp at one time early in my backpacking and climbing career, too.

I do not let longevity of footwear determine what I wear. I focus on comfort of the footwear's fit and feel, and what the overall energy expenditure will be in using them. Then I consider what the conditions are expected to be like (cold, snow, ice). From there, I make my decision.
Many thanks DaveBugg...a very timely post for me. I bought a pair of Hoka One One Bondi V6 a year or so ago after reading one of your previous posts. My walking has consisted entirely of hard surface walking (Toronto) and without doubt this if the most comfortable shoe I have ever used. After about 1,000 kms (have long used this metric for replacing a soft soled shoe) I replaced them with the Bondi V7 model...still great however i find the cushioning a little less on these...maybe a Pandemic reaction!

I am really intrigued that you would have used the Hoka shoes on the Pacific Crest Trail (I have only read the book and seen the movie Wild!). Reflecting on my Camino walks through Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal I would hazard a guess that 95%+ of the time Hoka shoes would have been ideal for me...

For the other <5% I have been wondering...downhill scree...rocky path...wet tree roots (the worst). Clearly you have encountered all of these (>5% I am sure!) on the Pacific Coast Trail. I have assumed a vibram soled shoe would be better in these situations however this may well be incorrect...I am interested in any comments you may have DaveBugg.

Right now I am trying to decide if I go with Hoka's on the Camino Primitivo. After reading this post I am leaning toward yes.

Many thanks for your efforts in helping the Forum community...of immense benefit to all of us!

Guy
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Many thanks DaveBugg...a very timely post for me. I bought a pair of Hoka One One Bondi V6 a year or so ago after reading one of your previous posts. My walking has consisted entirely of hard surface walking (Toronto) and without doubt this if the most comfortable shoe I have ever used. After about 1,000 kms (have long used this metric for replacing a soft soled shoe) I replaced them with the Bondi V7 model...still great however i find the cushioning a little less on these...maybe a Pandemic reaction!

I am really intrigued that you would have used the Hoka shoes on the Pacific Crest Trail (I have only read the book and seen the movie Wild!). Reflecting on my Camino walks through Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal I would hazard a guess that 95%+ of the time Hoka shoes would have been ideal for me...

For the other <5% I have been wondering...downhill scree...rocky path...wet tree roots (the worst). Clearly you have encountered all of these (>5% I am sure!) on the Pacific Coast Trail. I have assumed a vibram soled shoe would be better in these situations however this may well be incorrect...I am interested in any comments you may have DaveBugg.

Right now I am trying to decide if I go with Hoka's on the Camino Primitivo. After reading this post I am leaning toward yes.

Many thanks for your efforts in helping the Forum community...of immense benefit to all of us!

Guy
My advice to you and I am no expert except I do have a PhD on my own feet, and a Jethro Bodine 6th grade education on everyone else's feet. If you loved the Bondi V6 why buy anything else? I love my Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 and I even entertained the thought of wearing them on my next camino. One morning I looked in the mirror and slapped myself across the face and said are you a moron??? You are married to your Brooks Cascadias, in sickness and health and richer or poorer. I promptly came to my senses and ordered a new pair for my October 1100k stroll from Sevilla to Muxia.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Many thanks DaveBugg...a very timely post for me. I bought a pair of Hoka One One Bondi V6 a year or so ago after reading one of your previous posts. My walking has consisted entirely of hard surface walking (Toronto) and without doubt this if the most comfortable shoe I have ever used. After about 1,000 kms (have long used this metric for replacing a soft soled shoe) I replaced them with the Bondi V7 model...still great however i find the cushioning a little less on these...maybe a Pandemic reaction!

I am really intrigued that you would have used the Hoka shoes on the Pacific Crest Trail (I have only read the book and seen the movie Wild!). Reflecting on my Camino walks through Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal I would hazard a guess that 95%+ of the time Hoka shoes would have been ideal for me...

For the other <5% I have been wondering...downhill scree...rocky path...wet tree roots (the worst). Clearly you have encountered all of these (>5% I am sure!) on the Pacific Coast Trail. I have assumed a vibram soled shoe would be better in these situations however this may well be incorrect...I am interested in any comments you may have DaveBugg.

Right now I am trying to decide if I go with Hoka's on the Camino Primitivo. After reading this post I am leaning toward yes.

Many thanks for your efforts in helping the Forum community...of immense benefit to all of us!

Guy

Guy, the shoes I used on the PCT were trail runners that are no longer produced by New Balance.

Because the Bondi series is considered a 'road running' shoe, a Hoka One One model comparable to the New Balance I used would probably be the Hoka Speedgoat 4, which has a more aggressive outersole. The Speedgoat is not as 'plush' of a cushion as the Bondi series, but relative to other brands the cushioning is noticeably greater. The Speedgoat does come in a 'wide' width.

If you want to try a Hoka trail runner that has a similar plush cushion level as the Bondi, The Stinson ATR model would be worth investigating IF you do not need a wider than normal show width. The 'normal' width in Hoka shoes are a 'large' normal, but if you need an extra wide shoe the Stinson will likely not be a good fit.

I have used the Bondi series since v4 for backpacking in varied terrain on trails and for light bushwhacking (off trail and cross country where few trails exist in wilderness areas). I did use them thru-hiking the Colorado Trail and on all Caminos I've done.

I find that aggressive lugged outsoles to be most useful when encountering walking conditions where the trail or path has a loose covering over the base. For example, very granular sand or teensy pebble-like material laying on top of the path. That loose base, especially on a downgrade, can act like ball bearings and cause your shoes or boots to slip.

A more aggressive tread can help because it produces a sole that has many points of contact which direct more downward pressure at specific contact points. A less aggressive sole will keep a large portion of the entire sole on top of the ball bearings allowing more risk of slipping and sliding.

However, walking technique can do a lot to defeat ball bearing surfaces even with less aggressive soles. With each foot plant, put the initial weight of the foot onto the edge of the heel first. That contact pressure is concentrated to a much smaller point and will help force the ball bearings aside.

Oh, and adjust walking speed to the condition of the trail. And trekking poles really help in these dicey conditions as well, even if one does not use them routinely when hiking or walking. I think of trekking poles as Force Multipliers in terms of the number of contact points I am making with the ground.
 

GuyA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Guy, the shoes I used on the PCT were trail runners that are no longer produced by New Balance.

Because the Bondi series is considered a 'road running' shoe, a Hoka One One model comparable to the New Balance I used would probably be the Hoka Speedgoat 4, which has a more aggressive outersole. The Speedgoat is not as 'plush' of a cushion as the Bondi series, but relative to other brands the cushioning is noticeably greater. The Speedgoat does come in a 'wide' width.

If you want to try a Hoka trail runner that has a similar plush cushion level as the Bondi, The Stinson ATR model would be worth investigating IF you do not need a wider than normal show width. The 'normal' width in Hoka shoes are a 'large' normal, but if you need an extra wide shoe the Stinson will likely not be a good fit.

I have used the Bondi series since v4 for backpacking in varied terrain on trails and for light bushwhacking (off trail and cross country where few trails exist in wilderness areas). I did use them thru-hiking the Colorado Trail and on all Caminos I've done.

I find that aggressive lugged outsoles to be most useful when encountering walking conditions where the trail or path has a loose covering over the base. For example, very granular sand or teensy pebble-like material laying on top of the path. That loose base, especially on a downgrade, can act like ball bearings and cause your shoes or boots to slip.

A more aggressive tread can help because it produces a sole that has many points of contact which direct more downward pressure at specific contact points. A less aggressive sole will keep a large portion of the entire sole on top of the ball bearings allowing more risk of slipping and sliding.

However, walking technique can do a lot to defeat ball bearing surfaces even with less aggressive soles. With each foot plant, put the initial weight of the foot onto the edge of the heel first. That contact pressure is concentrated to a much smaller point and will help force the ball bearings aside.

Oh, and adjust walking speed to the condition of the trail. And trekking poles really help in these dicey conditions as well, even if one does not use them routinely when hiking or walking. I think of trekking poles as Force Multipliers in terms of the number of contact points I am making with the ground.
Much appreciated DaveBugg…I appreciate your quick and helpful response…alternate gear suggestions included. I use trekking poles and have found these very helpful especially on a down slope or dicey spots as you mention.

I will keep the foot plant technique in mind…honestly don’t know what I do…however placing the initial weight of the foot on the outer edge of my heel first makes a lot of sense to me.

Now must be patient and wait for the right time for me to get back out on a Camino walk or perhaps another adventure!

Guy
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I can only relate my own experiences in wearing both while walking Camino's (800 km's or more).
Over six months total days of walking various Camino's and in all but one I wore either Merrell Moabs or Oboz Sawtooths (low quarter shoe models). The exception I wore a pair of New Balance trail runners.
The trail runners were absolutely totally trashed when I finished in SDC and barely Fisterre capable (only three more days). Also that Camino was the only time I experienced some serious foot and knee pain (left leg) and it was towards the end, the last week or so. The trail runners were crap by then. In the defense of the trail runners I am a bigger guy and older. Without a doubt when I was younger and a lot leaner and lighter as well as just plain more durable, the trail runners would have worked better for me. Also I have noticed the Oboz and Merrells have a shank in them. I think that makes a difference for my feet.
The Merrells and the Oboz? While I really would not have wanted to walk a second Camino in them, they probably could have done it (two of them could not have made it all the way to SDC again, maybe halfway). At least the Oboz could for sure.
I am going to stick with the Oboz. The right compromise for my walking specifics. They are a bit like trail runners on steroids lol.
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
I can only relate my own experiences in wearing both while walking Camino's (800 km's or more).
Over six months total days of walking various Camino's and in all but one I wore either Merrell Moabs or Oboz Sawtooths (low quarter shoe models). The exception I wore a pair of New Balance trail runners.
The trail runners were absolutely totally trashed when I finished in SDC and barely Fisterre capable (only three more days). Also that Camino was the only time I experienced some serious foot and knee pain (left leg) and it was towards the end, the last week or so. The trail runners were crap by then. In the defense of the trail runners I am a bigger guy and older. Without a doubt when I was younger and a lot leaner and lighter as well as just plain more durable, the trail runners would have worked better for me. Also I have noticed the Oboz and Merrells have a shank in them. I think that makes a difference for my feet.
The Merrells and the Oboz? While I really would not have wanted to walk a second Camino in them, they probably could have done it (two of them could not have made it all the way to SDC again, maybe halfway). At least the Oboz could for sure.
I am going to stick with the Oboz. The right compromise for my walking specifics. They are a bit like trail runners on steroids lol.

Yup, it matches what I would expect for each type of footwear for longevity. If sheer durability is what is needed for longer life, I would not look at trail runners if trail shoe and boots provide sufficient comfort.
 

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
Your US milk bottles look like whoppers - possibly three gallons. Are they from bigger than everything Texas? 🤣 I wonder.
@Walton, the milk jugs in @davebugg's picture are a one gallon, and a half gallon plastic jugs...Texas is known for "ten gallon hats"...nothing to do with milk! 😂
I too, recall the rock plate post Dave mentioned quite awhile ago and had tucked it in my "hat" for future reference.🙂
It has been so nice to have him back with his expert advice in many areas and I have enjoyed reading his posts.
 

GuyA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Yup, it matches what I would expect for each type of footwear for longevity. If sheer durability is what is needed for longer life, I would not look at trail runners if trail shoe and boots provide sufficient comfort.
Great discussion for me as I wore Merrill Moabs for 2,600 kms various Caminos. Then started Camino Portugues in Lisbon (2018) and had the worst and really only blisters on my various walks. Took a train to Porto…medical treatment…off my feet for 4 days and then hobbled painfully to Santiago.

I decided that was it…no more Caminos for me.

Then I bought Oboz subsequent to this to try out…not bad but still wasn’t quite right.

Turn 65 this year and simply want to try another Camino…so many fantastic memories but my last Camino Portugues is not one of them.

So I need to change my approach and this is why I find this tread so interesting. Wearing a shoe like the Hoka would never have occurred to me. It’s a running shoe! Well others much more experienced than me have tried this and been successful so why not?

I understand and totally accept the durability vs comfort equation. Cost will be higher and that is totally fine as I don’t know how many more long walks I have in me.

Having said that I recently heard from a French Pilgrim I met on the Via Podiensis…he turns 80 this year and is planning to walk from Le Puy en Velay to Santiago de Compostela and on to Muxia!

Now that’s inspiring!

Guy
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I wore very lightweight New Balance trail runners on my first Camino, and before I reached León I was concerned about the wear on the treads. However, they ended up lasting all the way to Santiago (I did replace the insoles somewhere along the way), and I still have them. I wore the same model the following year with no problems. Since then I have switched to hiking sandals, and my feet are happier, and they last at least as long as the trail runners. Interestingly, the sandals weigh about the same as the lightweight trail runners, so I think that the soles of the sandals are likely a bit sturdier.
 

Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
It has been so nice to have him back with his expert advice in many areas and I have enjoyed reading his posts.

Referring to Dave Bugg

Absolutely 110% agree Chrissy. Always enjoy his posts and I always learn something.

Although it is a bit of a worry at night when trying to fall asleep, knowing he has old trail shoes at the back of his wardrobe, one wonders what else might be lurking there ? 🤣 Keeps me awake for hours!

Cheers

Graham
 
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Jean Ti

Active Member
Given the real world concern stated above about bruised feet caused by the print through of trail debris, rocks, cobblestones, etc., perhaps a solution to try, that is cheap and easy to make, could be of help. Below is a repost I wrote on the construction and use of a 'rock plate', and some other stuff.

--------------------
If the imprint of trail debris, cobblestones, etc. is poking at your feet through the outersole of your shoe and making your feet sore, you may try to add more shielding. A simple and effective DIY solution is to make a Rock Plate at home. The Rock Plate will slip under your insole, and provide a very effective level of protection without a huge penalty to the 'feel' of the shoe..

Take a thin and flexible plastic, like that found in milk jugs, or a thin plastic cutting board or plastic sheet

59537




Using your insole as a template, mark an outline of the insole onto the plastic. Cut out the outline. Place the cut out into the shoe, under your insole. If needed, use some double surface tape, like carpet tape, to affix your new 'rock plates' to the bottom of the shoes.

If you still find that you need more shielding, add a second pair and see how that works for you.

Increasing the cushioning to the foot is another method of shielding feet from trail debris. Some shoes, like many models of the Hoka One One, build this into some of their shoe models. Aftermarket insole inserts are another way to add such cushioning, which some folks find effective.

Insoles with effective open cell foams and elastic polymers can provide extra cushioning that will also provide some additional support to your foot structures. As the foot slightly sinks into the cushion, it creates an impression that will slightly fill in the void under your arches. This is an example of this type of insert; there are others that can also be effective.

I always take an extra insole with me, not an extra pair of footwear. For myself, I find that if my footwear feels good walking, it will be sufficiently comfortable for lounging around after a long day of backpacking or walking Camino. Of course, wearing lightweight trail runners rather than heavier footwear make this option easy.

I designate one insole as my walking insole. That's the one I will. . well. . do all my backpacking and Camino walking with. The extra insole that I take with me, is usually the one that came with the shoe.

The factory insoles are usually very light. When I swap out insoles at the end of the day, and will be walking around the village or town seeing the sights, getting dinner, shopping, etc, the factory insoles are more than sufficient for that walking task. Swapping out insoles allows my walking insoles to air out.

Like shoes, aftermarket insoles are an individual fit-and-feel type of thing. No one can reliably tell someone else that the aftermarket insole they like, will be a good match for another. If shopping for an insert, it can take quite a bit of trial and error to match your feet to a specific insole. There is a reason why so many aftermarket products exist; one type does NOT fit all. :)

Are you Shure your milk plastic bottles are working?
 

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LakeMcD

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 15' Portuguese 16' GR10/Norte/Primitivo 17' Chemin LePuy 18' Salvador/Prim/Kerry Way 19'
Guy, the shoes I used on the PCT were trail runners that are no longer produced by New Balance.

Because the Bondi series is considered a 'road running' shoe, a Hoka One One model comparable to the New Balance I used would probably be the Hoka Speedgoat 4, which has a more aggressive outersole. The Speedgoat is not as 'plush' of a cushion as the Bondi series, but relative to other brands the cushioning is noticeably greater. The Speedgoat does come in a 'wide' width.

If you want to try a Hoka trail runner that has a similar plush cushion level as the Bondi, The Stinson ATR model would be worth investigating IF you do not need a wider than normal show width. The 'normal' width in Hoka shoes are a 'large' normal, but if you need an extra wide shoe the Stinson will likely not be a good fit.

I have used the Bondi series since v4 for backpacking in varied terrain on trails and for light bushwhacking (off trail and cross country where few trails exist in wilderness areas). I did use them thru-hiking the Colorado Trail and on all Caminos I've done.

I find that aggressive lugged outsoles to be most useful when encountering walking conditions where the trail or path has a loose covering over the base. For example, very granular sand or teensy pebble-like material laying on top of the path. That loose base, especially on a downgrade, can act like ball bearings and cause your shoes or boots to slip.

A more aggressive tread can help because it produces a sole that has many points of contact which direct more downward pressure at specific contact points. A less aggressive sole will keep a large portion of the entire sole on top of the ball bearings allowing more risk of slipping and sliding.

However, walking technique can do a lot to defeat ball bearing surfaces even with less aggressive soles. With each foot plant, put the initial weight of the foot onto the edge of the heel first. That contact pressure is concentrated to a much smaller point and will help force the ball bearings aside.

Oh, and adjust walking speed to the condition of the trail. And trekking poles really help in these dicey conditions as well, even if one does not use them routinely when hiking or walking. I think of trekking poles as Force Multipliers in terms of the number of contact points I am making with the ground.
Hey Dave, I always appreciate the background of the outdoor industry and experience that comes through on your clear and thoughtful responses. I'm in the process of deciding on a different model of shoes for my upcoming LePuy to Santiago camino. Will start about August 20th. After 5 caminos on LaSportiva Wildcats, love the traction and especially the breathable mesh, it's time for a more cushy shoe. I tried on the Hoka SpeedGoat 4and loved the fit, cushion and the good amount of outsole material, the Challenger has too much midsole type of material exposed in the sole, which in my mind leads to a slippery sole in wet conditions and possible premature wear. I am curious why you chose the Bondi over something like the Stinson for your Caminos and the especially the CT through hike which I imagine might be more off-road in nature than the former.

Cheers,
Gary
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hey Dave, I always appreciate the background of the outdoor industry and experience that comes through on your clear and thoughtful responses. I'm in the process of deciding on a different model of shoes for my upcoming LePuy to Santiago camino. Will start about August 20th. After 5 caminos on LaSportiva Wildcats, love the traction and especially the breathable mesh, it's time for a more cushy shoe. I tried on the Hoka SpeedGoat 4and loved the fit, cushion and the good amount of outsole material, the Challenger has too much midsole type of material exposed in the sole, which in my mind leads to a slippery sole in wet conditions and possible premature wear. I am curious why you chose the Bondi over something like the Stinson for your Caminos and the especially the CT through hike which I imagine might be more off-road in nature than the former.

Cheers,
Gary
My oldest son, Caleb, also likes and uses the Speedgoats. :) While the Speed goats and the Challenger ATRs were OK to me, their fit-n-feel were not as good for me as the Hoka One One Bondi model. This has more to do with my individual foot anatomy than a deficiency in either the Speedgoat or Challenger.

The Bondi actually employs micro siping which creates hundreds of edges that engage the walking/running surface to provide surprising levels of traction on wet and even frosty-icy surfaces (I put on micro-spike slip ons to the shoe with ice or snow pack for short distances that are overkill for crampons).

When I chose footwear be they boots, trail runners, or street runners, I chose a 'priority function' for what I wear. In this case, I chose the Bondi because of the cushioning and the fit. My 'priority function' was cushioning. . then finding the most comfortable fit for my right foot (the most picky of the two).

After the priority function has been matched -as best it can be - to 'fit and feel', the decision algorithm goes to protection and stability to match my needs. The level of cushioning in the Bondi is superb at protecting the sole of the foot from trail debris print-through which can make the bottoms of the feet unbearably sore- - no rock plate needed.

Their stability an motion control were more than adequate for my needs. BUT, I recognized that at first, because of the amount of cushioning, that it would be a different 'feel' to how my feet recognized the contact surfaces of what I would walk on. The thinner the sole, the more 'direct' the feel that feet have to the surface they are treading on.

It did take a few hours of use to adapt to the new 'feel' of the cushioning, but the (to me) massive improvement in comfort offered by the cushioning level made choosing the Bondi a no contest issue for me. I still am using them in their 3rd version since the version I was first using.

For mountaineering or winter backpacking at altitude with constant snow or ice conditions and below freezing temperatures at all times, I use my Lowa (model name 'Camino'). Although they do not use cushy materials to deal with the comfort issue, their design and heavy, more rigid sole design works well enough.

BUT - -my Lowas weigh as much as almost 4 pairs of my Bondi. Ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain. . . . and makes lifting each foot tens of thousands of times per day a larger than necessary energy drain, an increased injury risk to fatigued lower leg structures, and, yes, feet that are ache more at the end of the day.

Anyway, that's sorta the main reasons I went with the Bondi for most 3 season walking, hiking, or backpacking.
 
Past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Longevity of Trail and Street Running Shoes vs Boots

Trail and street runners absolutely will not last for as long as a boot or a heavier hiking shoe. When lighter weight and cushioning for the feet are the primary focus of the user, the materials used are more friable than those used on heavier footwear; materials science has not reached a point where durability AND lightweight cushioning coexist. Maybe someday. Keep in mind that the actual reasons for choosing a trail or road running shoe is what makes their overall lifespan shorter.

I used 5 pairs of trail runners on my thru-hike of the 2,650 mile long Pacific Crest Trail. I bought 6 pairs ahead of time and mailed one pair to a resupply point at defined intervals. Only one pair was truly trash-worthy when replaced; the other 4 pair had some good life left to them. I did not have the luxury of waiting for the BEST and optimal time for replacement of shoes as the hike proceeded, so I had to be exceedingly conservative on determining the margin for usability before replacement.

Why would I choose that type of footwear? My preference was for a shoe with significantly lighter weight, lessened drain on energy levels caused by lifting the weight on my feet - step after step - for 24 to 26-miles each day, lessened risk for injury (fatigued ankle and lower leg muscles and supporting structures are more prone to injury), and the extra comfort provided by the cushioning.

Those are my reasons. While these same reasons are shared by many backpacking enthusiasts in the US (I do not know about the rest of the world) others may prefer heavier footwear including more traditional hiking boots. I used to be in that camp at one time early in my backpacking and climbing career, too.

I do not let longevity of footwear determine what I wear. I focus on comfort of the footwear's fit and feel, and what the overall energy expenditure will be in using them. Then I consider what the conditions are expected to be like (cold, snow, ice). From there, I make my decision.
I can only speak from my own experience on the Camino which goes thru GALICIA. There be large herds of bovines whose sole purpose in life at times seem to be dumping large amounts of cow shite in advance of my arrival. Hence, boots, every time! I do not wish to wade thru in cutesy little shoes :) I can dither till the cows come home :) :) no pun intended, but I feel good in my boots MEINDL BHUTAN and yes as I git older (84 this JULY) I could probably do with something lighter but NO.. Do the creatures of the wild in YOUR native habitat not leave slithery stuff ? I do not of course refer to ill-mannered hikers or trainee pilgies!

~Walk soft

Samarkand.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
I can only speak from my own experience on the Camino which goes thru GALICIA. There be large herds of bovines whose sole purpose in life at times seem to be dumping large amounts of cow shite in advance of my arrival. Hence, boots, every time! I do not wish to wade thru in cutesy little shoes :) I can dither till the cows come home :) :) no pun intended, but I feel good in my boots MEINDL BHUTAN and yes as I git older (84 this JULY) I could probably do with something lighter but NO.. Do the creatures of the wild in YOUR native habitat not leave slithery stuff ? I do not of course refer to ill-mannered hikers or trainee pilgies!

~Walk soft

Samarkand.
:) All I can say is that scat, from either bovine or sheep, were never much of a problem, other than for patience at recalcitrant, road hogging bovine :)
 
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Past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
:) All I can say is that scat, from either bovine or sheep, were never much of a problem, other than for patience at recalcitrant, road hogging bovine :)
Beware of the beastie in front of you that loses patience with its fellows and decides to head back down YOUR way as this can lead to a loosening of thine own bowels irrespective of what you are wearing on your tootsies!

Walk soft :) :)

Samarkand.
 

GuyA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Beware of the beastie in front of you that loses patience with its fellows and decides to head back down YOUR way as this can lead to a loosening of thine own bowels irrespective of what you are wearing on your tootsies!

Walk soft :) :)

Samarkand.
I totally get this…on my 2nd day on the Via Jacobi in Switzerland I had a similar incident…at least in my mind. Here is how I described it in my blog

Guy

Cow incident

Sooner or later I was worried this would happen...face to face with a Swiss cow with no fence between us. Well it did on one of the off the beaten path trails...the cow (see facsimile below) was essentially blocking the trail...and not moving.


Disclaimer - not cow in story...it was much bigger!

The mind does funny things in times of severe stress...mine went into option mode...I could think of five options.

Option 1 - try to sneak under the cow
Option 2 - attach my 2 trekking poles and pole vault over the cow

Neither seemed like a good option...pilgrim dies when squished by cow or pilgrim seen riding a cow in pain after failed attempt to pole vault it.

Option 3 - try to shoo it away...however after all my limited communication attempts with people what were my chances with a cow...limited

Option 4 - go behind the cow
Option 5 - go ahead of the cow

Option 4 was possible however was worried it could "backfire" on me if the timing was off so to speak.

I went with Option 5 keeping my eyes locked on the cow ( it had no horns and it's ears were swishing) and all went well until...the cow starting following me. This lasted only a few minutes however I was already wondering how I would explain this at the B&B.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
There was nothing between me and these two on the Norte. I guess that I had become so accustomed to see large animals on the Camino that it didn't bother me, even though I was walking alone.

20180713_091200 small.jpg

There were actually more than just those two.


20180713_091130.jpg
 

LakeMcD

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 15' Portuguese 16' GR10/Norte/Primitivo 17' Chemin LePuy 18' Salvador/Prim/Kerry Way 19'
My oldest son, Caleb, also likes and uses the Speedgoats. :) While the Speed goats and the Challenger ATRs were OK to me, their fit-n-feel were not as good for me as the Hoka One One Bondi model. This has more to do with my individual foot anatomy than a deficiency in either the Speedgoat or Challenger.

The Bondi actually employs micro siping which creates hundreds of edges that engage the walking/running surface to provide surprising levels of traction on wet and even frosty-icy surfaces (I put on micro-spike slip ons to the shoe with ice or snow pack for short distances that are overkill for crampons).

When I chose footwear be they boots, trail runners, or street runners, I chose a 'priority function' for what I wear. In this case, I chose the Bondi because of the cushioning and the fit. My 'priority function' was cushioning. . then finding the most comfortable fit for my right foot (the most picky of the two).

After the priority function has been matched -as best it can be - to 'fit and feel', the decision algorithm goes to protection and stability to match my needs. The level of cushioning in the Bondi is superb at protecting the sole of the foot from trail debris print-through which can make the bottoms of the feet unbearably sore- - no rock plate needed.

Their stability an motion control were more than adequate for my needs. BUT, I recognized that at first, because of the amount of cushioning, that it would be a different 'feel' to how my feet recognized the contact surfaces of what I would walk on. The thinner the sole, the more 'direct' the feel that feet have to the surface they are treading on.

It did take a few hours of use to adapt to the new 'feel' of the cushioning, but the (to me) massive improvement in comfort offered by the cushioning level made choosing the Bondi a no contest issue for me. I still am using them in their 3rd version since the version I was first using.

For mountaineering or winter backpacking at altitude with constant snow or ice conditions and below freezing temperatures at all times, I use my Lowa (model name 'Camino'). Although they do not use cushy materials to deal with the comfort issue, their design and heavy, more rigid sole design works well enough.

BUT - -my Lowas weigh as much as almost 4 pairs of my Bondi. Ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain. . . . and makes lifting each foot tens of thousands of times per day a larger than necessary energy drain, an increased injury risk to fatigued lower leg structures, and, yes, feet that are ache more at the end of the day.

Anyway, that's sorta the main reasons I went with the Bondi for most 3 season walking, hiking, or backpacking.
Thanks for sharing your decision making process. Sometimes it's easy to underestimate the potential of running shoes. I remember hiking and backpacking well over 200 miles on Nike Pegasus in the mid eighties the summer in Glacier National Park. I'm guessing the Bondi probably has more support built in than those old running shoes.
 

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