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No Blisters!!

JAL

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2014
Le Puy-St. Jean 2015
Via Francigena 2016
Norte/Primitivo 2016
Via de la Plata 2017
8 caminos later, I finally figured it out.

Buy two pairs of the lightest, most ventilated shoes you can find. Preferably different from each other. I like generic slip-on athletic shoes. And I like the Norvan from Arc'teryx very much.

I use the lightest, thinnest socks that Darn Tough makes.

But here's the crux of it. You wear one pair of shoes today. You wear the *other* pair of shoes tomorrow and switch every day.

That little hotspot that you feel on your heel or toe or gets a chance to rest with a different pair of shoes and your shoes are dry every day and don't get funky and start to eat your feet.

I always. And I mean always get blisters on the camino in the past two month long caminos I've gotten zero blisters.
 
Join the Camino Cleanup in May from Ponferrada to Sarria. Registration closes Mar 22.
Cool trick. My own is not advisable, as it was walking so hard that my feet just leathered up, and it's a painful method.

This year, I had my first meaningful blister since 1994, and even that one was on top of the foot, not heel or sole.

From the Galician rain being what it is, and so capable of soaking through the military grade leather of my boots.

All bets are off if it starts to rain in Galicia !!
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
8 caminos later, I finally figured it out.

Buy two pairs of the lightest, most ventilated shoes you can find. Preferably different from each other. I like generic slip-on athletic shoes. And I like the Norvan from Arc'teryx very much.

I use the lightest, thinnest socks that Darn Tough makes.

But here's the crux of it. You wear one pair of shoes today. You wear the *other* pair of shoes tomorrow and switch every day.

That little hotspot that you feel on your heel or toe or gets a chance to rest with a different pair of shoes and your shoes are dry every day and don't get funky and start to eat your feet.

I always. And I mean always get blisters on the camino in the past two month long caminos I've gotten zero blisters.
I have done twelve Caminos and never have had a blister. I believe it's the boots I have worn Keen boots are the best comfortable and you do not have to break them in.
 
8 caminos later, I finally figured it out.

Buy two pairs of the lightest, most ventilated shoes you can find. Preferably different from each other. I like generic slip-on athletic shoes. And I like the Norvan from Arc'teryx very much.

I use the lightest, thinnest socks that Darn Tough makes.

But here's the crux of it. You wear one pair of shoes today. You wear the *other* pair of shoes tomorrow and switch every day.

That little hotspot that you feel on your heel or toe or gets a chance to rest with a different pair of shoes and your shoes are dry every day and don't get funky and start to eat your feet.

I always. And I mean always get blisters on the camino in the past two month long caminos I've gotten zero blisters.
Great advice thank you
 
Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading Abbey to Southampton, 110 kms
Glad you found what works for you! But of course - everyone's feet are different. I know this wouldn't work for me for a couple reasons: 1) IF I am going to blister in shoes - the blister ALWAYS forms in the same spots - so finding the lightest most ventilated shoes wouldn't work for me unless they also happened to be a shoe that I don't blister in (so far I have ONE shoe that works). And 2) I do best with toe sock liners (injinji)and a thicker/medium cushioned merino wool sock (darn tough or injinji). And 3) Altra Lone Peaks so far are the only blister free shoe I have found (sized up). Not the lightest nor the most ventilated, and I don't have to alternate the shoe.

But thanks for sharing - what works for you will probably work for others who may not have thought to try this.
 
Glad you found what works for you! But of course - everyone's feet are different. I know this wouldn't work for me for a couple reasons: 1) IF I am going to blister in shoes - the blister ALWAYS forms in the same spots - so finding the lightest most ventilated shoes wouldn't work for me unless they also happened to be a shoe that I don't blister in (so far I have ONE shoe that works). And 2) I do best with toe sock liners (injinji)and a thicker/medium cushioned merino wool sock (darn tough or injinji). And 3) Altra Lone Peaks so far are the only blister free shoe I have found (sized up). Not the lightest nor the most ventilated, and I don't have to alternate the shoe.

But thanks for sharing - what works for you will probably work for others who may not have thought to try this.
Have you tried Altra Olympus? They have the same width as the LPs but a lot more cushion (this is assuming the width of the shoe was the factor that helped out).
 
Have you tried Altra Olympus? They have the same width as the LPs but a lot more cushion (this is assuming the width of the shoe was the factor that helped out).
Not only does the Olympus have more cushion, it also has a Vibram sole.
You can save money by buying the previous year's model.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Used Oofos sandles as soon as I ended my day and if the weather and road was correct for them I would use them an hour or so on the trail. These were originally designed for recovery after running marathon. They give great support and are very comfortable
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Have you tried Altra Olympus? They have the same width as the LPs but a lot more cushion (this is assuming the width of the shoe was the factor that helped out).
Yes - I wanted so much to like them - but my Camino was riddled with tiny blisters this summer with them. They have more cushion - but the sides are much more rigid which I think affected my experience with them. I think they were a little less breathable too. Going back to Lone Peaks for sure! With my Lone Peaks - I wear them with their normal soles at home - but I did switch out the insoles while in Spain until I found the perfect pair. Still no blisters - but more cushioned insoles made my feet happier. The Olympus were very disappointing - especially given their pricetag!
 
Yes - I wanted so much to like them - but my Camino was riddled with tiny blisters this summer with them. They have more cushion - but the sides are much more rigid which I think affected my experience with them. I think they were a little less breathable too. Going back to Lone Peaks for sure! With my Lone Peaks - I wear them with their normal soles at home - but I did switch out the insoles while in Spain until I found the perfect pair. Still no blisters - but more cushioned insoles made my feet happier. The Olympus were very disappointing - especially given their pricetag!
Fair enough! Interesting comment on the more rigid sides. I’m currently using the LP 6s which I love. What Olys did you use? I haven’t tried the current ones yet
 
Not only does the Olympus have more cushion, it also has a Vibram sole.
You can save money by buying the previous year's model.
@tercile,
I used Altra Olympus 4 in my only Camino from SJPP in May/June (2022) with more than reasonable success, that I bought over $200 before the Camino , and it has about 1400/1500 kms on them , still looking not too bad but are getting to the end of their life cycle. ( wearing sole).

the new Altra Olympus 5 is going around here for $230 plus taxes

I picked up online Altra Olympus 4 ( last year`s model) for $150 ,
too bad could not find of different colours ..
both pairs are Basic blacks and white with orange stripe, 😂.
Cheers and Buen Camino to all. 🇨🇦
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I used Body Glide on my feet, Salomon shoes that "breathed" (recommended because they would dry fast in rainy weather -- and they did!) and Smartwool socks, changed every 2 hours. Not a blister the entire way. I'm thinking the Body Glide (from my days as a distance runner) did the trick..
I don't hear Body Glide used that much on this forum but when I was in buying a couple dry sacks for my camino the other day I noticed they had body glide near the checkout. Never noticed it before so I thought I might give it a try.
 
I wear nylons under my socks too, both turned inside out. 4 Caminos, no blisters. Also wear boots. My feet ache in other shoes.
 
Used Oofos sandles as soon as I ended my day and if the weather and road was correct for them I would use them an hour or so on the trail. These were originally designed for recovery after running marathon. They give great support and are very comfortable
I know three gals/relatives that have struggled with plantar fasciitis and they all "swear by" Oofos sandals which help them immensely.
 
Join the Camino Cleanup in May from Ponferrada to Sarria. Registration closes Mar 22.
Also, I will add that our feet are shaped as different from one another as our bodies are. This makes some folks more prone to blisters than others, and the strategy for prevention is not always the same for everyone.
I once watched a man on the Primitivo spend quite a bit of time in the morning preparing his feet for the day's walk ahead by taping up his toes and feet in an unusual way. I'd never seen such twisted, curled and gnarled feet before, but he was on his third Camino and walked quite fast as he had long legs. Unfortunately I doubt my method of blister prevention would have worked for him.
 
Not only does the Olympus have more cushion, it also has a Vibram sole.
You can save money by buying the previous year's model.
I’m a long time Lone Peaks fan but I read reviews on the Olympus and thought they sounded perfect for the Camino I’m planning to do in the spring of 23. I ordered both the brand new Olympus 5’s and the Lone Peak 6’s and tested them around my house for a few days. (Thanks to REI’s nice return policy.) I also ordered the Hoka Bondi but they weren’t even a contender after trying them on. Too narrow. I REALLY wanted to love the Olympus but they just weren’t as comfortable as the Lone Peak. Putting the Lone Peaks on was like comfortable slippers. The Olympus felt constricting. They also felt much stiffer. They both have the “original” footbed which is supposed to be the widest but the Olympus didn’t feel as wide to me. Maybe because it was stiffer. Anyway, that’s my take. Everybody’s feet are so different. Mine are wide with a high arch. Best of luck to all looking for the right shoe solution!
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I’m a long time Lone Peaks fan but I read reviews on the Olympus and thought they sounded perfect for the Camino I’m planning to do in the spring of 23. I ordered both the brand new Olympus 5’s and the Lone Peak 6’s and tested them around my house for a few days. (Thanks to REI’s nice return policy.) I also ordered the Hoka Bondi but they weren’t even a contender after trying them on. Too narrow. I REALLY wanted to love the Olympus but they just weren’t as comfortable as the Lone Peak. Putting the Lone Peaks on was like comfortable slippers. The Olympus felt constricting. They also felt much stiffer. They both have the “original” footbed which is supposed to be the widest but the Olympus didn’t feel as wide to me. Maybe because it was stiffer. Anyway, that’s my take. Everybody’s feet are so different. Mine are wide with a high arch. Best of luck to all looking for the right shoe solution!
The cushion can make a huge difference at the end of the day but that really depends on how the rest of the shoe feels. If they’re uncomfortable an hour or 2 in then it really doesn’t matter how good your feet would feel at the end of the day. I would recommend, as someone else mentioned above, getting new insoles for the LPs to add cushion. Maybe something like Superfeet Greens or similar.
 
I REALLY wanted to love the Olympus but they just weren’t as comfortable as the Lone Peak. Putting the Lone Peaks on was like comfortable slippers. The Olympus felt constricting. They also felt much stiffer. They both have the “original” footbed which is supposed to be the widest but the Olympus didn’t feel as wide to me. Maybe because it was stiffer.
You described pretty much everything I felt about the Olympus compared to the Lone Peaks. And Lone Peaks are lighter, more breathable, more flexible, and yes - seemed a bit roomier which I attribute more to them being less stiff I think. They also felt broken in from day one, whereas I felt I needed a little more walk time in the Olympus before starting the Camino. With the Lone Peaks - I had tried a couple pairs before my first Camino - and ended up buying a brand new pair to bring with and it worked perfectly. I would NOT have done that with the Olympus.

The cushion can make a huge difference at the end of the day but that really depends on how the rest of the shoe feels. If they’re uncomfortable an hour or 2 in then it really doesn’t matter how good your feet would feel at the end of the day. I would recommend, as someone else mentioned above, getting new insoles for the LPs to add cushion. Maybe something like Superfeet Greens or similar.
Exactly... my only complaint with the Lone Peaks was the cushion when I was on the Frances... so I switched out the insoles. Insoles were fine on the Olympus - but the rest of the shoe just didn't work for me. One more note - the traction on the Olympus does seem a bit sturdier - but I had no issues with the Lone Peaks. Anyhow - that is my assessment of both shoes for me and MY feet. You might find you like the Olympus better. Only negative "giving them a try" is they cost so much - so if you have a shoe store with a generous return policy - I would buy there (like REI in the US).

I will add... I walked across Spain for both Caminos and both my Lone Peaks and Olympus do still have some life left in them.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I walked from Los Arcos to Finistera in pair of olimpus 4 with injinji socks . The only blister I had was caused in one really hot day on my way to Najera I just put leukotape on it and change it every couple of days from there on .
 
I used Body Glide on my feet, Salomon shoes that "breathed" (recommended because they would dry fast in rainy weather -- and they did!) and Smartwool socks, changed every 2 hours. Not a blister the entire way. I'm thinking the Body Glide (from my days as a distance runner) did the trick..
Wondering how many socks did you take with you and what was the average mileage covered in 2 hours?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
8 caminos later, I finally figured it out.

Buy two pairs of the lightest, most ventilated shoes you can find. Preferably different from each other. I like generic slip-on athletic shoes. And I like the Norvan from Arc'teryx very much.

I use the lightest, thinnest socks that Darn Tough makes.

But here's the crux of it. You wear one pair of shoes today. You wear the *other* pair of shoes tomorrow and switch every day.

That little hotspot that you feel on your heel or toe or gets a chance to rest with a different pair of shoes and your shoes are dry every day and don't get funky and start to eat your feet.

I always. And I mean always get blisters on the camino in the past two month long caminos I've gotten zero blisters.
For the entire CF I just took one pair of Merrel mid walking shoes to protect my ankles never wore them until then , except to make sure they were rhe right fit and comfortable .. I treated my feet with Vaseline at the start of each day , en route I took the chance to bathe my feet in water whenever I came across a stream and suffered from no blisters .
. my footwear was a size bigger as the feet tend to swell up ..if you look after your feet then they will see you through with no issues , I believe the weight of your backpack plays a major roll as well
 
Choosing footwear was an issue for me because of brocken ankle (having now instable ankle). Back home, I'm avid hiker and low shoes are no-go for me. Friends, how are trail runners, recommended La Sportiva Ultra Raptor, Salamon X Ultra (all with GTX), but all felt to stif. One of recommodation was also Hoka One Speedgoat4, but we didn't like the sole. Sometimes you just need to be lucky - friendy seller asked us to try Hoka Torrent 2 and that was it!

So, we both (my wife and me) went for Hoka One Torrent2 shoes on CF back in August 2021 and it worked very well. They are lightweight, cushionable & very breathable. I don't belive in low shoes with goretex as you get wet from above, even if you use a poncho. Also, goretex equipped shoes dry much slower than non-membrain shoes. We used thin/medium merino wool sock (one pair per day), didn't treated our feets with any kind of body glide nor vaseline and we had no blisters. On two days we had a some rain and got our feet soacked, but till the end of the day our feets were dry. From time to time, we took off our shoes during break to air the feets, as well as the shoes (not in restaurants 🤣)
 
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Great suggestions. Especially changing socks on longer breaks.
After significant blisters on 3 of the last 4 Caminos, I just finished the Frances and the Portuguese blister free.
What worked for me was:

1) Well ventilated, light, wide athletic shoes that allow the foot to splay properly. The ‘one size bigger’ may do this for most people.
2) Hiking or running socks (synthetic or marino), as tight as possible, without cutting circulation.
3) Lace-lock technique to enable room in the toe box, and hold the heel in the pocket.
4) Engo blister patches on high friction areas.
5) Preventive taping of blister prone areas.
6) Frequent breaks to loosen / remove shoes every 2-3 km initially, increasing to 6-7 km over 1-2 weeks.

While I did not do so on these two caminos, applying body glide only after taping also worked well.

Thanks to all for the great advice on this forum. Particularly Dave Bug and to Rebecca Rushton's great videos.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.

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