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Missing shoes

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
#1
Hey guys! My friend JJ woke up yesterday morning in San Juan de Ortega to find his walking shoes missing. We searched the albergue and left his contact information, and he walked on in just his sandals. We are in Burgos now, and he could buy a new pair but then he'll have to break them in. If you get any wind of his MIA boots, let us know!
 

nathanael

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#3
Similar thing happened to me. Breaking in shoes ain't that bad. Just use the anti blister kit. Finding shoes is easy in Burgos. There is a sport store near the bus station. And a decatlon outside town
The fact of the matter is that things do go missing on the Camino. People don't seem to want to admit the fact human nature is human nature people do steal on the Camino. Sadly this individual had to experience this.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#5
Sorry to hear that essential kit has gone missing.
I pair one of my shoes (size 14) with one of my wife's (size 4) and tie their laces together.
Admittedly if a set goes astray we are both in trouble.
Being a tall chap I also plonk them on the highest shelf as far back as possible.
Decathlon in Burgos is a large store outside of town. we took a taxi there and back. There is a free bus - see post below.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#6
I doubt your boots were stolen. It's easy to pick up the wrong ones early in the morning. There is a free bus to Decathlon in Burgos - It stops on the east side of the statue on El Cid in front of the Teatro Principal, just north of the Puente de San Pablo. The bus is clearly marked - not a regular city bus. Good luck and Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#7
This is one reason I don't purchase the most expensive "best" brands for the Camino. I've never had a blister wearing less expensive shoes and I don't think mine are very desirable to anyone with roaming eyes at the boot racks. Also, with potential rain and mud, I don't care how beat up and dirty mine may get.

A very popular men's boot on the Camino ihas been the Merrill Moab. I was walking with a man one day who complained that his Merrill's felt tight as we walked and he ended with blisters by day's end. Later at dinner that night another man mentioned his friend had grabbed the wrong boots that morning and developed blisters from his feet swimming in the boots. By the end of day the two men thankfully were brought together and swapped out their Merrill Moabs, giving them a good laugh in spite of blisters! "All's well that ends well"! :)
 
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#8
I can't understand why a pilgrim or a hiker would steal "old" and possibly smelly and/or infected shoes/boots!

It could probably be mistaken by the pilgrim who started their walk early morning while it was dark as well as the area hosting the boots/shoes was also dark.

However, common sense should prevail.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Via de La Plata, Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan and Aragones
#9
One possible solution in order to avoid this problem would be to personalise your footwear. This can be done by sewing a bit of coloured thread on your shoes making it easy to identify them in the semi-gloom of the morning chaos that is every albergue.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#10
...
A very popular men's boot on the Camino has been the Merrill Moab. I was walking with a man one day who complained that his Merrill's felt tight as we walked and he ended with blisters by day's end. Later at dinner that night another man mentioned his friend had grabbed the wrong boots that morning and developed blisters from his feet swimming in the boots. By the end of day the two men thankfully were brought together and swapped out their Merrill Moabs, giving them a good laugh in spite of blisters! "All's well that ends well"! :)
As @Camino_chris mentions, it's easy to pick up a pair of similar-looking boots, especially if leaving early and in the dark. It's always a good idea to at least tie the laces together when placing them on the shelf. I also recommend using a bright-colored ribbon or cord (orange, pink, lime green, etc) to tie the boots together through the heel loop. You might also consider replacing the original laces with bright-colored replacement laces as an added measure -- anything that helps them stand out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
#11
As @Camino_chris mentions, it's easy to pick up a pair of similar-looking boots, especially if leaving early and in the dark. It's always a good idea to at least tie the laces together when placing them on the shelf. I also recommend using a bright-colored ribbon or cord (orange, pink, lime green, etc) to tie the boots together through the heel loop. You might also consider replacing the original laces with bright-colored replacement laces as an added measure -- anything that helps them stand out.
I have bright red shoe laces on brown boots
Some odd looks at times
But lots of smiles too
Can be a good ice breaker
Best wishes
Annette
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#12
I would guess that if your boots go missing....and there is not a lonely pair still on the shelf....they probably were not accidently taken. If you have a new pair of boots and the ones left behind are a old worn pair of a different color and brand....they probably were not taken accidently. = :( Sadly, not uncommon on the camino
these days.
The suggestion above to match your shoes up with someone else and tie the laces together is a good one and something we have always done when it becomes crowded in albergues.
Mixing gender helps to avoid anyone from "accidently" taking the wrong shoes. It also makes it more difficult for anyone wanting to take them for other reasons.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#14
...
Mixing gender helps to avoid anyone from "accidently" taking the wrong shoes. It also makes it more difficult for anyone wanting to take them for other reasons.
That's a great idea, especially if walking with a spouse or partner.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#15
LOL...
Pilgrim's shoes/boots and other equipment does get deliberately stolen while walking the Camino. Pilgrim's have always been ripe, juicy low hanging fruit for victimization. Thus the need for the fine lads of the Templars. No need to sugarcoat it, or try to come up with other explanations.
I always take out the insoles of my shoes/boots before putting them on the albergue rack while walking the Camino. Lessens their desirability. Insoles should be cleaned anyway.
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, July 2014
Via di Francesco (Italy), July 2015
Frances, Sept-Oct 2016
Portugues Oct. 2017
#16
Having done extensive shoe shopping in Burgos (don't ask), the best store I found was not Decathlon. It was Base Desportes. From the old city, go out the arch with all the dead kings holding swords. Go across the bride and straight up Calle Madrid. Go about 4 blocks and look for it on your left (if you get to the Ave. Valiente El Cid, you've gone too far).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Levant from Avila 2013
Frances (2018 or 2019)
#17
As a result of reading an earlier & similar thread, my boots are now fitted with garish orange laces, in the hope to avoid an inadvertent "swap". Walking poles will also be personalised.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#18
I think sometimes it may be an accident. A lot of us have similar looking shoes. One morning, as we were leaving, a young guy had his shoes taken by someone, but an identical but one size smaller pair, was left behind. Its possible the half asleep pilgrim never noticed the extra room in his shoes. But the poor guy left with the smaller ones definitely did. He had to walk off in flip flops until he could buy more shoes.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Aragones/Frances/Finisterre (2018), Operation Sabre (2018), Marin Ramble (2017)
#19
photo or description of the boots? At that hostel as I type and would be happy to check if they have reappeared since he left
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#21
As a result of reading an earlier & similar thread, my boots are now fitted with garish orange laces, in the hope to avoid an inadvertent "swap". Walking poles will also be personalised.
You actually don't really have to leave your trekking poles in at the door in a bin/basket. Many times I didn't and simply collapsed them and clipped them onto my pack, which I always places against the legs at the foot or head of the bunk. Being clipped onto my pack did not add to their bulk or cause any inconvenience to anyone in the sleeping quarters.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#25
As one who both a long foot, but also a wide one & a high arch to add to the equation for me finding a comfortable & acceptable replacement is just not an option. I have adopted the high & back method & I also take out the insert orthotics. So if some uncaring / unthinking pilgrim did try to "borrow" them it would be bloody uncomfortable walk. On at least one occasion I totally ignored the boot rules and simply hid them under the backpack. My pacer poles are now virtually a part of me, they were personalised with reflective tape but do also find their way to my pack overnight. Removing from temptation is a feel a better option!!:confused:
 
Camino(s) past & future
May, 2017; return, leaving SJPP May 24, 2018
#26
The trick is not to put both shoes together. Mix them in with all the others
Wow, thanks for the suggestion! I do that with my skis and poles---i'll do it with my shoes and poles next month when I return to the Camino.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#28
@RJM, I sometimes did that, too and never had any flack from anyone.
Yes, I really do not think fellow pilgrims have any concern about it and do not even notice. I washed my shoes as often as I could on the Camino and would also keep them next to my pack after cleaned and dry. None of my fellow pilgrims even noticed or cared.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
#29
He's been reunited with his boots, all is well! They were accidentally taken (as many people suggested, and as we were hoping had happened) and thrown into some luggage
I kept an eye on this thread, hoping it would happen. I'd like to think they came running towards him like eager puppies. And then they hugged. :cool::cool:

Have a great Camino!
 
#31
I know one weirdo who likes yellow laces, Jeff, just sayin' :cool: And they do not look so bad. And I like the shock cord thing too.

For me, I will take my boots / shoes with me, put them upside down under the bed. Or if I have my pack at the end of the bed, they will be tucked under the bed with the pack in front of them. No one sees, no one knows.
 

DebraK

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Spring 2016)
#33
This is why I often put my trail runners on top of a plastic bag under the bed ... I fold up my walking poles and attach them to my backpack ... :eek:
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#34
The basic rule in many albergues regarding leaving poles at the entry is based on the damage they can do to floor with the metal tips and foolish people walking with them inside. The second reason is that they are often leaned against a wall and fall into the walking areas.
It is just easier to require people to leave them out of the sleeping areas.
I do not know of any hospitalaro who would care if they were in your pack.
 

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