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2019 Camino Guides

Ready to look at new footwear for Camino

Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
#1
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#2
I am trying to wear out a pair of shoes on my walks at home, so I can justify trying those same shoes. My problem is my baby toes, which regularly get blisters on the Camino but never at home. I also have a fairly short wide foot, so I'll be following your investigations. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#3
I can't help with the Hokas or Altras, Annie, as I am a keen Keen wearer.
But I will say that I have long since ditched boots for lighter footwear and couldn't be happier - first I walked in the Mckenzie and now Arroyo III (as the McKenzie has been phased out). Just field-tested the Arroyos with a longish hilly walk on a dodgy track, and am quite pleased with them.
Sandals are so much lighter and breatheable, so I get no blisters with them - and I have a very wide forefoot, prone to corns and blisters between the small toes. But even on the Camino I don't have so much trouble anymore, since I stopped walking in closed shoes.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#4
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
Hi Annie,
I love my Hoka One one Tor Speed. Very light and super comfortable to walk in. I use them for Summer walks though, can’t tell how they would fare in Winter. The soles wore quickly though (well, quickly..., after about 1000 km) and they became quite slippery so am now on my second pair.
Of course this is highly subjective, what suits me may not suit you at all.
Worth trying imo. I am not sure where you live but they are quite difficult to find in the UK.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Burgos-SdC May-June 2016; CF: The whole enchilada April-June 2018
#5
Hi Annie, if you already like a Brooks shoe, you might try on a pair of Brooks Cascadias at REI. Two years ago I walked Burgos-Santiago in a pair of Merrills (maybe Moab’s?) and had serious blister problems. They were size 7, a size larger than my regular shoes. This year I walked St. Jean to Santiago in size 8 Cascadias and had no problems.
Happy shopping, and all the best for your future Caminos.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#6
You might want to try looking at men's shoes. Here in the US a normal width women's shoe is a "B". A normal width men's shoe is a "D". So a wide men's shoe is wider than a woman's wide shoe. Also, men's shoes have more room for toes. -- When you try on a shoe, take out the insole and put your foot on it. If your foot overlaps the insole (insert) the sides of the shoe will be pushing your foot into that insole's shape and rubbing against your foot. You also can't use your whole foot and all the muscles for walking if they are squished. -- I met with a sports doctor who told me that foot pain was the most common complaint from women my age (I'm 56.) He thought that my foot pain came from weak muscles because I hadn't used my feet (walked) much, and because the shoes I had been wearing had "supported" my feet in a way so that some muscles had atrophied. -- I wear men's Teva Kimtah, size 8 for walking-- My feet have grown strong and are a size and half bigger than they were before I walked my first camino.
 
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Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#8
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
I just bought the Ghosts about 8 weeks ago as well, so far they have been great, I imagine they will be fine for a Camino, as I do a lot more off-road walking at home than on a camino. I have short, wide feet as well, but apparently I have a very stable foot (in a family of pronators). I walked 2017 Camino in the version before these, similar but not as soft, and had a blister free camino. The big toe box is the solution, I bought them and walked 18km the next day with no issues at all even though my feet got wet. A good thing with the Ghosts is that they dry really quickly.
Brookes are the only shoes I can try on in the shop and have 100% comfort, and guaranteed no problems - its about finding the best shoe for your foot.
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
#9
I wore Altra Timps on my last Camino after wearing Salomon Speedcross' for the first two.

I LOVED the Altras. I have a wide-ish forefoot and the Altra's felt beautifully roomy and spacious and the soles were comfy. (Received quite a few compliments on them as well, bit of an unexpected bonus). I really like zero-drop shoes and Altra seems to be one of very few brands that offer this.

The only negative of the Timps was their lack of grip on wet surfaces - i didn't feel completely secure. However reviews of the Lone Peak 4.0 say that the Lone Peak has drastically improved it's grippiness so I'll be giving them a go on the next round.
 
Camino(s) past & future
APril 2016
#10
thumbs up on both. my Altras, i forget which model, have this nice feature in which the rock plate under the normal insole can also be removed. this gives your foot a little more room and it makes the shoe softer. the Hokas will definitely give you a softer ride.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Will walk the camino francés in October 2018 and beginning of November
#11
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
Good sandals (like Teva) are wonderful. No blister, no heat, no macération, no black toe ! And adjustable when feet swell.

Have been walking for 26 days now and so glad i chose sandals when i see the other people.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#12
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
I'd say that boots are generally best for those with feet and ankle problems, or otherwise height above 6 feet or weight above 100 kilos as well as for all of those walking further than about 1200K, but what I generally recommend for the Francès alone to those with none of these issues are light hiking shoes, not boots, combining good waterproofness with comfortable size for one's toes and room enough for swelling inside one's socks and enough reliability to walk on blazing hot summer rocky surfaces, rain-drenched muddy ones, and yet simple enough that they don't weigh down your feet on every step (that my own army boots that I need to wear for my own problems always do).

Anyway, if your footwear is uncomfortable for your toes when you're wearing your thickest socks, then it's too small, and you need to up the size.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
#13
I have a lot of structural foot issues, and the Altra Lone Peaks worked amazingly well. I need a very wide toe box and zero rise shoes. The Altras felt like walking on clouds. I had no issues, blisters, or foot pain. Plus, they dry quickly when wet.

And for what it's worth, I have tried mens shoes for the width and they never worked for me -- heel too wide or the arch felt misplaced.

Good luck and Buen Camino!
 

backpack45scb

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2001 CF, 04-6 LP, 07 Port, 08-10 Arles, 11 Mozá,12-13 Gen-LP. 00-10 PCT, 15 Norte, 16 Primi
#14
My wife and I both wear the men's version of the Altra Lone Peaks. She has bunions and really appreciates the wide toe box. They have been extremely comfortable, and last fairly well. My current pair is starting to show some wear - slight delamination of sole at toe and some cracking of the fabric at 400+ miles, but I expect them to last at least to 500 miles before I replace them. The zero drop takes several weeks to get used to. Before the Altras, my wife wore Brooks Cascadias, and I'm sure your Brooks will be fine as far as standing up to the trail surfaces. My wife and I walked the Pacific Crest Trail (2600 miles) wearing trail runners with no problems. For most of that distance she was wearing Brooks Cascadias.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Saint Jean to Santiago ( 2018)
#15
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
I wore Altra Zero and loved them! I bought a whole size bigger, used sock liners and Darn Tough wool socks. I suffered only one small heel blister mid way going over rocks on a downward trek. Can't say enough about my Altra's. ( I am a boot hiker too. So glad I went with the Altra's)
 

backpack45scb

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2001 CF, 04-6 LP, 07 Port, 08-10 Arles, 11 Mozá,12-13 Gen-LP. 00-10 PCT, 15 Norte, 16 Primi
#16
Should have added in my initial response, as others have mentioned, always get at least a half size larger than your normal pre hiking size. Also, we both wear only liner socks, so just a very thin sock.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#17
""You might want to try looking at men's shoes. Here in the US a normal width women's shoe is a "B". A normal width men's shoe is a "D". So a wide men's shoe is wider than a woman's wide shoe. Also, men's shoes have more room for toes""
men's shoes also have a wider heel cup. despite my 2E feet fitting a men's toe box, the cup did not work for me even with insert in heel cup
I have used brooks and new balance for their wider choices (Alta not bad)

But look at the tread first : some trail runners don't have enough lug to be safe on gravel or slopes and (there are plenty of those!) eg Brooks Cascadia has heavier lugs than the Addiction
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018)
#18
I’m on the Via Francigena right now. Three of us have the Altra Lone Peak 4 mids withe absolutely zero issues. No blisters or foot pain after 400k. I walked the CF with Altra Timps and also had zero foot issues. I like the mids better as they feel more snug around my heel.
 
#19
I am another Altra convert, which I have said a million times now. But I did want to echo the comments of those who suggested trying a men’s shoe. I have worn men’s shoes for years for the wider toe box. Years ago, I had to get padding put in around my heel because the back of the shoe was too wide. My heel seems to have widened over the years if that is possible, but in any event I don`t need any adjustments now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
#20
H
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
Hi Annie
I note all the discussion is on US makes. As I have been in the EU and walked trails like the VDLP the footwear worn by many Europeans is quite different.
There are two makes I know of that may worth looking for if you can find a stockist. Both are German and very old companies that manufacture in the EU. Both make a wider style. sometimes referred to as a bunion style in low cut as well as boots.
Meindl is the first and Hanwag the second. There footwear can be resolved also. There is a brief review of them on: caminowalkingguide.com.
I am currently on the CF again and trying a pair of Hanwag trail walking shoes. All good so far.
Hope this widens the choices of you can find a stockist.
Buen Camino
Happymark
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#21
My wife and I both wear the men's version of the Altra Lone Peaks. She has bunions and really appreciates the wide toe box. They have been extremely comfortable, and last fairly well. My current pair is starting to show some wear - slight delamination of sole at toe and some cracking of the fabric at 400+ miles, but I expect them to last at least to 500 miles before I replace them. The zero drop takes several weeks to get used to. Before the Altras, my wife wore Brooks Cascadias, and I'm sure your Brooks will be fine as far as standing up to the trail surfaces. My wife and I walked the Pacific Crest Trail (2600 miles) wearing trail runners with no problems. For most of that distance she was wearing Brooks Cascadias.
My 1st pair of Altras (3.0) have been my favorite and I put about 350 miles before they started showing wear. At about 450 mi. I traded them for Altra 3.5's and have about 200 miles on them now. When we walk in the Cascade and Olympic mountains. These are my choice for my next Camino next October. The are comfortable and require no break-in period.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#22
Good sandals (like Teva) are wonderful. No blister, no heat, no macération, no black toe ! And adjustable when feet swell.

Have been walking for 26 days now and so glad i chose sandals when i see the other people.
I carry Teva sandals for the albergues, but haven't walked in them during the day. Are your feet cold? Are your toes protected enough? Do you get stones under your foot? How is going up hill and down hill? -- I guess I should try them out on a hill near home here!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Frances 2018
#23
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie

In June, 2016 I wore Altra Olympus 2.0 and, most recently, last June wore the Altra Timp, which to my mind is better than the Lone Peak model in that the Timp has a most wonderfully roomy toe box--all Altras have a roomy toe box (plus zero drop--which frankly I have not been able to tell the difference between zero drop and a conventional 6-12 mm drop), with the Simps seemingly the roomiest.

Anyway, both the Time and Olympus are soft and comfortable, although both the Olympus and Timp gave me blisters on the inside edge of my heel. On both feet! And in the very same spots, two years apart. On close inspection, I figured out that the rather sharp inside edges of the stock insoles caused the blisters. The blisters weren't that serious, but they were distracting.

But here is what I have concluded after 500 miles with the Olympus and 500 miles on the Timps: The next time I'm going to get a trail/running shoe with a rock plate--both Asics and New Balance have wide and extra wide shoes that are a bit more substantial (and with a rock plate or the equivalent) than Altra, or Hoka, which is out the question for me because Hoka has very few choices if you're looking for a roomy toe box.

But a section of the Camino like that from Cruz de Ferro down through Acebo into Molinaseca is quite uneven and rocky--enough that I felt rocks through the soles of both Altra models. Now, having said all this, do not take my comments about a rock plate as an endorsement of hiking boots. It's not. Hiking boots are simply overkill for the Camino. Dave Bugg has even provided a few links that explain that higher top boots don't really provide significant ankle support. I noticed on both Caminos that Spaniards (who make up almost half of those arriving in Santiago) seemed to get along fine with trainers--not even trail runners. This will sound doctrinaire but I have come to the conclusion that conventional hiking boots and a pack that weighs more than 15 lbs--frankly I don't think any of us need more than 12 lbs--are the two biggest impediments to completing the Camino.

On the 2016 Camino and on this most recent Camino, I took a totally unscientific poll about shoe satisfaction. By far, the best reviews were for Salomon. They are beautifully constructed shoes and I would dearly like to wear them, but they are for a standard width foot, and I need extra-wide.

One final shoe comment. Besides the two Camino, I have many miles and nights in the backcountry of both the Sierra Nevada and the Rockies stretching back decades. Good trail shoes these days are wearable right out of he box. When I hear someone describing a shoe that they expect to "break in so they will be comfortable" I cringe. If it ain't comfortable walking around REI, it is unlikely to become comfortable on the Camino. So, while there are exceptions to all the assertions I make here, I firmly believe that hiking shoes in 2018. should be comfortable the moment you put them on.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Burgos-SdC May-June 2016; CF: The whole enchilada April-June 2018
#24
My wife and I both wear the men's version of the Altra Lone Peaks. She has bunions and really appreciates the wide toe box. They have been extremely comfortable, and last fairly well. My current pair is starting to show some wear - slight delamination of sole at toe and some cracking of the fabric at 400+ miles, but I expect them to last at least to 500 miles before I replace them. The zero drop takes several weeks to get used to. Before the Altras, my wife wore Brooks Cascadias, and I'm sure your Brooks will be fine as far as standing up to the trail surfaces. My wife and I walked the Pacific Crest Trail (2600 miles) wearing trail runners with no problems. For most of that distance she was wearing Brooks Cascadias.
Wow, did one pair of Cascadias last your wife the whole 2600 miles?? I’ve got about 700 on mine and just ordered a new pair.
 

jesper K

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2013 - Camino Portugues 2014 - Camino frances 2016 -
camino frances 2018
#25
H

Hi Annie
I note all the discussion is on US makes. As I have been in the EU and walked trails like the VDLP the footwear worn by many Europeans is quite different.
There are two makes I know of that may worth looking for if you can find a stockist. Both are German and very old companies that manufacture in the EU. Both make a wider style. sometimes referred to as a bunion style in low cut as well as boots.
Meindl is the first and Hanwag the second. There footwear can be resolved also. There is a brief review of them on: caminowalkingguide.com.
I am currently on the CF again and trying a pair of Hanwag trail walking shoes. All good so far.
Hope this widens the choices of you can find a stockist.
Buen Camino
Happymark
So glad you mentioned the thing about european footwear.(european myself). I have hiked for many years and tried many brands, also merrell, salomon and vasque juxt. Though they are all great shoes and boots - I was in sheer heaven after I tried Meindl (german) for shoes and Ecco (danish) for sandals. Been using the same pair of meindl shoes on two full cf caminoes and they are still holding out. Never used boots on a camino. Unless it's winter, the camino is not a boot area. In my humble opinion, people should stop listening to the guys in rei and similar shops, they are there to increase profit and nothing else.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2021
#26
In coming curveball...Reebok trailgrip rs 5.0 gtx...I’m in the UK and tried on several pairs of trail runners like Solomon etc (all the popular stuff) I didn’t find any that were just right then I thought I normally wear Reebok trainers why not see if the do a trail runner and the do I’ve trialed them on the west Highland Way and many other walks in the last 6 months (over 500 miles of walking) and no blisters no problems...I guess what I’m saying is if you have a gym/running shoe that’s comfortable see if they do a trail runner they might just do
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#27
There are so many choices for footwear and what works for one may not work for another.
On my first two Camino's I wore boots and had blister issues on both, massive issues actually. Since then I have worn runners and trail shoes (Merrils).
On my recent Primitivo I wore cheap generic knock off trail shoes I got from Walmart. I had been wearing them just for local walks, working in the yard. They were super comfortable, so I figured I would give them a go on the Primitivo. Long story short I was completely blister free and my feet were in the best shape ever post Camino from these $35.00 shoes. I will buy another pair for my next Camino.
So the moral of the story is that you need to try on a lot of shoes and determine what works best for you personally.
 

Fergus

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning my first
#29
My wife has worn Altras for one of our caminos and La Sportivas for another. She prefers the Altras and they hold up well.
 

Opa Theo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
#30
We finished the Camino Francais 10/5/18. As a fan of through hike youtube vlogers, I bought a pair of Altra long peak 3.5. They are tremendous on difficult forest trails. But I found them miserable on gravel paths and road surfaces. A week before the trip I bought Brooks Ghost. Wore those on the Camino and was pleased. I replaced midsoles with Dr. Schols inserts $24. No blisters no problems. Had Darn Tough, and Smart wool socks but, preferred Addidas compression socks from Costco (about $3 pair).
One thing I realize now is not to insist on the latest model of a shoe. Usually, the previous model is great and is now discounted steeply.
Biggest tip is buy shoes at least a half size larger than your usual. After 10 or more miles it's natural for feet to swell.
But, everyone I spoke to loved their choice of shoe or boot. Some people just wore flip flop sandals.
Ted
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#31
I tried on the Altra Lone Peak but found it a bit too loose in the heel for me. Instead, I chose the Altra Olympus as it fit better, had much more cushioning which is better for my foot style, and has a vibram sole which has excellent traction.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#33
I tried hiking shoes (merrell) but ended up with blisters as I tried to beak them in. So I switched (very happily) to trail running shoes, INNOV-8. Worked well for me.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#34
I love my Altras, which I alternate with Chaco sandals on the Camino. I wear the Men's Altras, which are even wider than the women's. If you get blisters between your toes, you may have to tape them or use those little gel sleeves. For blisters on the outside of the little toe, I recommend Engo pads https://goengo.com/ which are adhered to the inside of your shoe and stop the friction. They hold up for the whole Camino and more.
 

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
#35
I too have always worn boots however this year I tried Merrel walking shoes and found out the hard way they are not for me. I tend to walk fairly quickly and average 30 - 35 k per day, With the shoes, on the second day my left achilles tendon was tender and of course I walked another 30 k on day three to make sure that I damaged it properly. :)

After three months and now that my tendon has healed I have returned to wearing my Meindl Vakuum boots without further problems.

I doubt if sandals would work for me either. I regularly stubb my toes on uneven paths and am sure that my toes would be badly bruised without the propection of a boot or shoe.,

I think the lesson is that we all have different needs not just preferences.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
#36
I too have always worn boots however this year I tried Merrel walking shoes and found out the hard way they are not for me. I tend to walk fairly quickly and average 30 - 35 k per day, With the shoes, on the second day my left achilles tendon was tender and of course I walked another 30 k on day three to make sure that I damaged it properly. :)

After three months and now that my tendon has healed I have returned to wearing my Meindl Vakuum boots without further problems.

I doubt if sandals would work for me either. I regularly stubb my toes on uneven paths and am sure that my toes would be badly bruised without the propection of a boot or shoe.,

I think the lesson is that we all have different needs not just preferences.
I also stubb my toes when wearing boots but when wearing sandals I have never bruised any toes. The sole takes the hit never the toes. And I have hiked quite a lot on uneven paths on the camino and at home over the years. And I walk fast and averaged 38.3 km/day on my latest 1530 km camino. Why not buying a pair and try at home? I love my Teva Tirra. But they are not for anyone as you say.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#37
I am trying to wear out a pair of shoes on my walks at home, so I can justify trying those same shoes. My problem is my baby toes, which regularly get blisters on the Camino but never at home. I also have a fairly short wide foot, so I'll be following your investigations. :)
I had the same problem on the camino last year. I have bought a pair of the altra lone pine 3.5 and love them! They are on sale now as the new 4.0 are out. You should try them.
 

EGaley

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2019)
#38
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
I haven't done a Camino yet, but I walk daily five-six miles on local hills with some rocky terrain. I wear Hoka One-Ones and love them. My foot is high arched and a little wide at the ball. I wore them on a four mile hike straight out of the box and didn't get a blister. No blisters so far, but the longest hike I've done with them is seven miles. It really does depend on your foot. Merrells and Keens both made my knees hurt. I think the big difference is the arch. While my arch is high, my daughter's is much higher, and Hoka is the only running/hiking shoe her feet tolerate. Hope this helps.
 

gerip

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#39
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie
Just returned, walked from Lourdes to Burgos, in a pair of Altra Lone Peak 3.5 mid-mesh. Ankles support up front, very low cut in the back to leave my achilles free. I stuck with women's sizing, as while my forefoot is relatively wide, my heel is quite narrow. I had to order them from the US & had them shipped to the UK, but price-wise it worked out rather well, as I bought at a sale price. Very happy with them, the only problem probably due to the fact that I removed the insoles and replaced them with a pair that did not have as wide a profile as the boot, so I did develop a small blister on my right bunion in the last few days, which may also have been the result of the change in the shape of my foot over the course of the walk. I normally walk in boots, but watching Camino videos on YouTube, I noticed that those who walked in boots all began to complain about achilles pain halfway through their walk. Zero-drop was not a problem, problems with back, hips and knees actually went away after a few days.
 

svanv

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept. 2017
#40
Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

Previously a boot wearer., but have read lots of favourable info on the forum regarding Hoka one ones and also Altra lone peak trail shoes .,
I intend to include a mission to REI when I visit USA in a couple of weeks. They both ‘sound’ comfortable., but I realise the bottom line., they will have to suit my feet.
I have short broad feet and tend to have a variety of foot problems on each camino . So I’ve usually researched each time and have tried a number of wide toe box boots. I’ve never been completely blister free even in my comfy Keens. Wearing Merrell moab non goretex mids., I developed corns between final toes, (I feel they were not quite wide enough for MY foot )..

I’ve recently been wearing (generally) Brooks Ghost trail runners and they are really comfortable but not sure how sturdy the soles would be on rocky terrain.
So... I will check out a selection at REI shortly (USA have a larger selection than Sydney, IMO).

Whilst our resident forum footwear guru @davebugg was posting ., I followed each post and comment. We’re all missing him and I hope we see him back one day when he’s ready for us.
I am interested whether anyone has tried the Altras and the Hokas. I’m guessing they would be pretty much neck and neck .

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie

I am appreciative of any feedback.
Ps. Next camino will be a section of VDLP. (starting in early April 19- and walking as far as 30 days takes me- not intending to complete in one go.. so don’t expect rugged terrain on that one., or too hard when switching to Sanabrés if I get that far )
Annie


Hi OzAnnie,
After reading all of the replies to your post it seems there are some good suggestions for you to try. My husband and I hiked as far as Leon last spring, but had to stop when I developed Achilles tendonitis. I have hiked for years in Keen Targhee IIs, and use Hoka One One Bondi 2 for neighborhood walks but was concerned about durability on the Camino. After reading reviews and trying alternatives I had purchased Lowa Renegades. I have bunions after 40 years of nursing, and weak ankles so I feel I need a boot for support, but the Renegades despite being broke in gave me nothing but trouble. I blame myself that perhaps I didn't give them enough time or maybe a bigger size would work, but like you I am now looking at other options for our return to finish our Camino next April.
A couple of things that were not mentioned by others that might also help: I have become a fan of toe socks. They take a bit of time to get used to but, the toe separation reduces the chance of blisters between the toes, especially if you have bunions that force the toes together. Another consideration is the use of something called a ToePro prior to leaving for the Camino. A Physical Therapist friend recommended this device ($45 online), to strengthen the muscles of the feet, and in my case help heal the Achilles.
Good luck with your search,
Sandy from Colorado
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
#41
IMHO. KURU. Shoes are the best. Wide. Amazing heel stabilty. Very comfortable. BC
 

C.C.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#42
I am trying to wear out a pair of shoes on my walks at home, so I can justify trying those same shoes. My problem is my baby toes, which regularly get blisters on the Camino but never at home. I also have a fairly short wide foot, so I'll be following your investigations. :)
On my first Camino, had the same problem with my baby toes ... horrible blisters. For my 2nd, found "silicone toe sleeves" - worked GREAT - No blisters Wore them every day ! images.jpg
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#43
Act Fast if interested.

The Altra Lone Peaks are on sale at REI with VERY limited quantities and sizes. The women's shoe had size 7 available yesterday but those are now gone leaving only size 6 and 6.5. You might want to "risk" ordering a pair to be sent to your friends you are visiting in the US. You can always return them if the size is wrong when you get here.


REI

Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Trail-Running Shoes - Women's
sizes 6 and 6.5 $59 on sale, normal price $120


Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Polartec Neoshell Trail-Running Shoes - Men's Size 8 only - $79 on sale, normal price $150

MOOSEJAW - click on Moosejaw also, not on sale now but may go on sale soon as they clear out the 3.5 for the 4.0
 
Camino(s) past & future
We are planning to do the Camino Portuguese in May!!
#44
I love my Altra Timp Trails! But when I did the Camino Portuguese I ended up getting Oboz Luna trail shoes because I heard about all the cobblestone I would be walking on. I am so glad I did! I have Plantar Fasciitis and wanted extra protection from the hard ground. My friend who went with me also had Altra Timp Trails and wore them the whole time with no problems. Neither of us got any blisters!
 

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