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Need your advice on Boots

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2008, Le Puy route 2013
#1
Hi Everyone,

I'm 3 and half months away from the biggest spiritual adventure of my life, (well I hope so... :wink: ) and I'm off to buy my hiking boots this week. I've never bought a pair of boots before, so any advice would be extremely helpful.

Also, do you think 3 and a half months is more than enough time to break them in?

Thanks again everyone
Sonia
:D
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#3
buy them in the afternoon, after walking around town for a couple of hours as your feet will swell. Wear good socks when trying them on. Fit from the heel forward - make sure they are wide enough .. and so on ... Black's, in the UK, have their foot gauges calibrated one size up to allow for the swelling from being 'out there'.

By the way - you are already in the spiritual experience. Enjoy.
 
#4
As you look around this and other message boards on the Camino you will see that this very question raises more varied responses than there are types of boots and walking shoes! My own view is it is a question of personal taste and experience. Bro David has given really good advice about buying later in the day. I also find that if I avoid going to specialist shops at the weekend I am also more likely to find permanent shop assistants with experience than weekend temps. Good hiking shops will have a measuring gauge and they will measure your feet. In the UK Blacks and Field and Treck both additionally have ramps and steps you can walk up and down to test out the boots or shoes. They can also supply socks although I always take my own.

Some people swear by walking shoes, others prefer the ankle support which boots give - my own preference is for a mid boot which is between the two. There are also a lot of people who prefer hiking sandles. Depending on the seasons you will walk in you also have to make a decision about whether or not the boots or shoes need to be waterproof. The subject of Gortex linings (which I have for winter walking) also provokes strong responses. Have a good discussion with the expert you find in the shop you go to!

Then try them out - three months is plenty of time. I started using various walking routes near where I live and built up the distances over time. I also walked with a fully packed rucksack to get used to walking with it on.

Enjoy all of the preparations - the journey has begun :)

Buen Camino
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#5
Perfect advice - and, just a thought - don't feel that if a shop assistant gives you 30 minutes of attention you have to buy! Be willing to walk away, try other places, go back and try the ones you like again .... but only buy when you are sure.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#6
I'd recommend Ellis Brigham. Make sure your toes don't bang on the front of the boot on the downhills and that they don't have too much movement in the heel, or you'll get some horrible blisters.

As far as which boots, that's your choice, but I'd suggest something light... Meindl are my favourites, but you may beg to differ.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2008, Le Puy route 2013
#7
Hi Guys,

Once again thanks again for all your help. Here is my little list (from all your replies) I'll be taking with me when I buy my boots:

* Buy boots in the arvo
* Wear good socks when trying boots on
* Fit from the heel forward - make sure they are wide enough
* avoid going to specialist shops at the weekend
* Goretex
* Lightweight
* Ankle support
* Make sure your toes don't bang on the front of the boot on the downhills and that they don't have too much movement in the heel
* Don't feel that if a shop assistant gives you 30 minutes of attention you have to buy!

With all the great advice you guys have given me, I feel confident I'll be walking out with a great set of boots. I'll let you know which one I end up buying.

Love, light and smiles to you all!
Ciao
Sonia
:D
 
#8
Hi Sonia,
I got my boots from Kathmandu on Kent St in the city... in 1998!! They were, and still are according to some friends' reports, very dedicated to getting you into boots that are right for you and your mission. Last time I was there they had some steps and inclines to walk on to properly test fit. My experience with them was excellent, and my boots are still going strong although they need a polish (just got back form India where the shoe-shine wallahs were universally horrified at their state).
Definitely go during the week, as johnalexander said, and don't be afraid to go elsewhere after a long fitting session.
Paddy Palin, if they are still going, are also good. In fact, there are lots of appropriate shops on 'Hiker's Alley' (aka Kent St between Druitt and Bathurst). Good luck. :D
 
#9
Hi, Sonia

Are you planning on making the whole Camino? It seems to me that what you need will vary according to the distance you plan to travel. If you're only going from, say, Burgos to Santiago, a good pair of trail runners might suffice.

Steve S
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2008, Le Puy route 2013
#10
Hi All,

Steve - I'm planning on walking from SJPP to Santiago, my right knee isn't in its best form and from what others have reported, a walk like this, most suggest to wear boots. I'd prefer to wear shoes, although I have to think about my knee and give it the best support possible, so I think I'll opt for boots....

Alex - A month ago I ducked into all the adventure stores along Kent street for a quick browse and picked up a whole heap of brochures. My test will be trying on different kinds of boots and then turning around and saying to the assistant, 'sorry none appeal to my feet'... :lol: ...

Thanks again for your replies fellow pilgrims.

Ciao per adesso
Sonia
 
#11
Hi Sonia,

My wife and me had the same problem last year, so I started to look around on internet and test-magazines for the best qualities.
We tested different models in the shops and finally decided to choose the LOWA Renegade GTX. (http://www.testberichte.de/test/produkt ... 36513.html)
After a 300km training and a 780km on the Camino, we are again training and we'll soon start our next Camino, still with the same shoes and without any problem.
Jupp
 
#12
Hi, Sonia.

In my opinion you are mixing two different questions.

It's important to wear boots, not shoes, because the boots protect your ankles better than shoes, and because when it rains your boots help you to maintain your feet dry. It's important that you test your boots at home to prevent blisters.

Many people use to wear sport footwear or sandals (on summer) but in my humble opinion, best to prevent any problem is to wear boots. Used boots.

Second question, your knee. To train your knee, to help it to become stronger, you have to walk a lot of kilometres around your home with a eight kilograms knapsack, because these eight kilograms are added to your normal weight to make stronger your leg and kness muscles. And I would suggest you to wear a kneepad in your right knee.

Buen Camino.

Javier Martín
Madrid, Spain
 
#13
It's not essential to wear boots based on a theoretical benefit to the ankles - I prefer trainers that are much lighter (typically 1kg) but do have Vibram soles that give me good grip if needed - and remember that the majority of the Camino takes place on comfortable paths and roads that are somewhat harder but little that demands boots apart from probably during the Winter
 
#14
I agree, spursfan. I have weak ankles but was quite happy with good quality running shoes. They were well and truly worn out by the time I got to Santiago, but I was glad to have lighter weight shoes. The weight of boots can be exhausting after a while. To each his own.
 
#15
hiking boots and walking shoes

I'm probably going going to use my oldest (10 years) boots this year, but I also have a pair of new walking shoes. Like trainers, they have no ankle support.
But, and this can be important for comfort, they are designed to walk on hard surfaces. (softer sole).
My hiking boots are lovely for walks in the nature and absolutely blister free these days. But for my knees, the soles are too hard for long walks on roads.
So if you have problem knees : you may add to your list the question if you want a sole for soft forest paths or hard roads...

If my new shoes are comfortable enough in June I will use them, otherwise I will use my old boots and instead adapt the length of my daily walks to my knees!
I use my new shoes every other day right now, so I hope they will be good by June 12th. :wink:

An extra pair of inner soles can be good and won't weigh much.
 
#16
Your post reminded me - inside my trainers I fit a pair of Sorbothane shock stoppers to ease the strain - and yes, sometimes you will want to mix your walking between hard (road) and soft (path) surfaces
 

lckgj

Active Member
#17
Comfortable boots...

When I first walked the camino from Roncevalles to Logrono I wore old reliable walking shoes but found my feet, though blister free, suffered from the impact of walking on hard surfaces and so bought tougher leather boots with thicker soles. This time, despite no problems when wearing them in at home, I had blisters and found the weight a slight disadvantage. In preparation for my third stage I have bought a goretex mid boot - Salomon Extend Mid XCR (£90 in Cotswold Outdoor but saw them up to £45 cheaper on internet. As Cotswold Outdoor were advertising themselves as having the most competitively priced Salomon available I emailed them and said that whilst I appreciated I should pay for the fitting service the shop provides I thought the price difference quite extreme and surely this would only encourage people to try on boots in their shop and then buy elsewhere. The shop sent me a £30 credit voucher as they said it was a fair point. Good on them - worth an e-mail!) I have found them to be excellent so far. I walked 35 miles in them this weekend and had no problems at all even though it was pouring all day Sunday!
The trouble with buying boots is that you can't really tell what is going to be the perfect boot until you you have worn them for several weeks at least. I found the more I tried on the less I could tell which ones actually fitted. Suggest several trips to same shop until you are sure. Walking sandals are great for the evenings to give your feet a rest and could be used during the day depending on the terrain. Good luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2008, Le Puy route 2013
#18
Hi Everyone,

I'm really taken aback with all the info posted regarding my boots inquiry. Thank you EVERYONE for sharing your advice, seriously if it wasn't for your input I wouldn't have know alot of this stuff, especially shock stoppers.

So I've decided to head out today and purchase shock stoppers as well as a pair of socks (I've noticed most recommend SmartWool or Bridgedale types). It makes sense to wear these when trying on boots.

I'm soooo excited, I feel as though I need to buy something/anything for my Camino just to make it real!

Thanks again
Love, light and smiles to you all
Sonia :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
This upcoming May 31st through July 1st approximately.
#19
Hi Guys,

Once again thanks again for all your help. Here is my little list (from all your replies) I'll be taking with me when I buy my boots:

* Buy boots in the arvo
* Wear good socks when trying boots on
* Fit from the heel forward - make sure they are wide enough
* avoid going to specialist shops at the weekend
* Goretex
* Lightweight
* Ankle support
* Make sure your toes don't bang on the front of the boot on the downhills and that they don't have too much movement in the heel
* Don't feel that if a shop assistant gives you 30 minutes of attention you have to buy!

With all the great advice you guys have given me, I feel confident I'll be walking out with a great set of boots. I'll let you know which one I end up buying.

Love, light and smiles to you all!
Ciao
Sonia
:D
Enjoy your shopping - planning is a wonderful part of the Camino experience.
 

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