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AMV

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 1, 2023
Hello. We are planning our Camino for Late April 2023 (thanks to this forum) and about ready to try out shoes. We normally wear New Balance Fresh Foam 880 for our daily 5-6 mile walks, but not sure if such a shoe would be the wrong shoe for the Camino. I have read many threads already but I am interested in what one wears during the early spring months. Unfortunately we don’t know and can’t predict the weather so we can only take advice from those that have been on the Camino during those months. Lowtops, midtops, high tops, boots, trail shoes….. makes my head spin. Thanks for your advice.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Hello. We are planning our Camino for Late April 2023 (thanks to this forum) and about ready to try out shoes. We normally wear New Balance Fresh Foam 880 for our daily 5-6 mile walks, but not sure if such a shoe would be the wrong shoe for the Camino. I have read many threads already but I am interested in what one wears during the early spring months. Unfortunately we don’t know and can’t predict the weather so we can only take advice from those that have been on the Camino during those months. Lowtops, midtops, high tops, boots, trail shoes….. makes my head spin. Thanks for your advice.
If you like the Fresh Foam model, you might try the Trail Runners in the same line. That is what my husband wears.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
We normally wear New Balance Fresh Foam 880 for our daily 5-6 mile walks, but not sure if such a shoe would be the wrong shoe for the Camino.
Then wear the ones you know! There is no shoe that is perfect for all conditions that you will encounter, and you don't know in advance exactly what conditions (e.g. weather) you will find. There is a very common opinion on the forum that regular running shoes such as you (and I) wear are as good an answer as any.

The only downside that I see is that my Fresh Foam Mores lose significant cushioning after 500 km or so. For most people that is not a big problem. For me it is a bit of a problem because I have old and fussy metatarsals, and also I wear a women's wide shoe that is not so easily replaced. I use custom orthotics, so I can't even try sandals. However, these days I am not planning any Caminos longer than about 600 km.

(I have tried the corresponding Trail Runner - which might be more durable - but find it is a slightly tighter fit, even in Wide, and I've already gone up a size in length, so I am sticking with the regular runner.)

Since you know your shoes, get a new pair to start your Camino - wear them a few times to make sure there is no defect or wayward stitching, but generally save them for Spain.
 

AMV

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 1, 2023
Hello. We are planning our Camino for Late April 2023 (thanks to this forum) and about ready to try out shoes. We normally wear New Balance Fresh Foam 880 for our daily 5-6 mile walks, but not sure if such a shoe would be the wrong shoe for the Camino. I have read many threads already but I am interested in what one wears during the early spring months. Unfortunately we don’t know and can’t predict the weather so we can only take advice from those that have been on the Camino during those months. Lowtops, midtops, high tops, boots, trail shoes….. makes my head spin. Thanks for your advice.
I also worry about snow or ice on the trail in April/May.
 

AMV

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 1, 2023
Then wear the ones you know! There is no shoe that is perfect for all conditions that you will encounter, and you don't know in advance exactly what conditions (e.g. weather) you will find. There is a very common opinion on the forum that regular running shoes such as you (and I) wear are as good an answer as any.

The only downside that I see is that my Fresh Foam Mores lose significant cushioning after 500 km or so. For most people that is not a big problem. For me it is a bit of a problem because I have old and fussy metatarsals, and also I wear a women's wide shoe that is not so easily replaced. I use custom orthotics, so I can't even try sandals. However, these days I am not planning any Caminos longer than about 600 km.

(I have tried the corresponding Trail Runner - which might be more durable - but find it is a slightly tighter fit, even in Wide, and I've already gone up a size in length, so I am sticking with the regular runner.)

Since you know your shoes, get a new pair to start your Camino - wear them a few times to make sure there is no defect or wayward stitching, but generally save them for Spain.
I myself also have custom orthotics and have found my current shoes work well with them. I will try the Trail Runner for comparison. Thank You.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2012
I also worry about snow or ice on the trail in April/May.
Yup. It’s also worth worrying about clay soils in Navarra and Rioja that will cling to your shoes like dog poo only heavier. Whether a shoe designed for jogging made-surface tracks will handle asphalt, gravel, compacted rock, un-compacted rock, slate roadways, brick or granite paviours, sand, mud and cow poo slurry, cobblestone, marble church floors and well polished wood. I could extend this list but I hope you get the gist.
If the shoe fits, wear it.
You’re wearing your shoes for daily 5 - 6 mile walks? OK, now try that with your laden Camino backpack on. Then try doubling your distance.
If your shoes work for you they are the perfect shoe for you.
 

AMV

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 1, 2023
Yup. It’s also worth worrying about clay soils in Navarra and Rioja that will cling to your shoes like dog poo only heavier. Whether a shoe designed for jogging made-surface tracks will handle asphalt, gravel, compacted rock, un-compacted rock, slate roadways, brick or granite paviours, sand, mud and cow poo slurry, cobblestone, marble church floors and well polished wood. I could extend this list but I hope you get the gist.
If the shoe fits, wear it.
You’re wearing your shoes for daily 5 - 6 mile walks? OK, now try that with your laden Camino backpack on. Then try doubling your distance.
If your shoes work for you they are the perfect shoe for you.
Whoa!!! So now that I got my pack I will fill it with my items and take some walks and figure out if the shoes still work as well. A lot to consider, glad I have time and this forum to figure things out. Thank You.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
I walked four times in mid April in running shoes, the last two times in NB 840's. Snow and ice might be a feature for an hour: at the top on Day 1. Other than that, snow is possible, but not a thing to be concerned with that time of year. It's a trail walk, not mountaineering. My running shoes have been just fine at the snowy part on the top of the Napolean pass.

The wear-out concern is REAL. My wife's Mizunos go the distance for her. For me, the 840 does not quite make it. I've arrived, after once mailing a pair to myself in Leon, at a simpler solution: I take two pairs. Running shoes are light enough to get away with this. The second pair are worn in the Albergues at night, and are "clean". I also have dry shoes to wear after a rainy day. About Leon, I retire the main walking pair by cleaning them up with a hose, and then use the worn out ones at night, while using the fresh pair to finish off the walk.

The advice to verify your shoe WITH your backpack is good advice. Things change with 7 extra kilos on your back, but in your shoes, I would start with what you know works for you. Just make sure. There is nothing more important than setting off with a shoe that works for you. Lucky duck, you probably already have one.
 

AMV

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 1, 2023
I walked four times in mid April in running shoes, the last two times in NB 840's. Snow and ice might be a feature for an hour: at the top on Day 1. Other than that, snow is possible, but not a thing to be concerned with that time of year. It's a trail walk, not mountaineering. My running shoes have been just fine at the snowy part on the top of the Napolean pass.

The wear-out concern is REAL. My wife's Mizunos go the distance for her. For me, the 840 does not quite make it. I've arrived, after once mailing a pair to myself in Leon, at a simpler solution: I take two pairs. Running shoes are light enough to get away with this. The second pair are worn in the Albergues at night, and are "clean". I also have dry shoes to wear after a rainy day. About Leon, I retire the main walking pair by cleaning them up with a hose, and then use the worn out ones at night, while using the fresh pair to finish off the walk.

The advice to verify your shoe WITH your backpack is good advice. Things change with 7 extra kilos on your back, but in your shoes, I would start with what you know works for you. Just make sure. There is nothing more important than setting off with a shoe that works for you. Lucky duck, you probably already have one.
Thank you for sharing your advice. I am anxious to get training to figure out how it all works out.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
Thank you for sharing your advice. I am anxious to get training to figure out how it all works out.
Ramp up the weight in your pack slowly, over a couple of weeks. Some take to a pack easily, for others it's a significant problem, because "it felt so light"......for the first hour. After carrying it for six hours, it was a real burden.

Bonus points: Buy some of those ridiculously expensive merino wool socks - they are worth every penny. I like heavy socks, others don't. Depending on your preferred sock, you may want to size up your shoe a little bit. Some people find their feet swell over time, and their shoes become too small. Common advice is to go a full size above your usual shoe size. I have not found this applies to me, but another thing to watch out for once you start training seriously.
 
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Jeff B

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Primitivo, Fisterre and Ingles
Hello. We are planning our Camino for Late April 2023 (thanks to this forum) and about ready to try out shoes. We normally wear New Balance Fresh Foam 880 for our daily 5-6 mile walks, but not sure if such a shoe would be the wrong shoe for the Camino. I have read many threads already but I am interested in what one wears during the early spring months. Unfortunately we don’t know and can’t predict the weather so we can only take advice from those that have been on the Camino during those months. Lowtops, midtops, high tops, boots, trail shoes….. makes my head spin. Thanks for your advice.
Whatever you decide on for shoes, consider investing in a good pair of insoles - the ones that come with most any running/trail/hiking shoe are good for ****.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Whoa!!! So now that I got my pack I will fill it with my items and take some walks and figure out if the shoes still work as well. A lot to consider, glad I have time and this forum to figure things out. Thank You.
I recommend that you do this for at least 3 consecutive days, walking at least 10 miles each day.
This way you will learn what trouble spots you have, if any with your chosen shoe/sock combination.
 

Micah26

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino France's (2018)
Hello. We are planning our Camino for Late April 2023 (thanks to this forum) and about ready to try out shoes. We normally wear New Balance Fresh Foam 880 for our daily 5-6 mile walks, but not sure if such a shoe would be the wrong shoe for the Camino. I have read many threads already but I am interested in what one wears during the early spring months. Unfortunately we don’t know and can’t predict the weather so we can only take advice from those that have been on the Camino during those months. Lowtops, midtops, high tops, boots, trail shoes….. makes my head spin. Thanks for your advice.
Hi,

I’ve only walked one Camino and it was in the Fall, but I had to reply! For over a yr I ordered multiple trail runners, walking shoes, hikers. I have wide feet so it took awhile to find a good shoe. I ended up taking NB 940 and Keen Newport closed toe sandals. I wore darned tough wool socks. The combination worked great! I ended up wearing the Keens mostly but switched into NB here and there. I did not get 1 blister. I think because my feet were aired most of the time. Anyways take you time and find what works for you! Safe travels😊
 

Christine Leneghan

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2018) and Portuguese Coastal Camino (2019)
Hello. We are planning our Camino for Late April 2023 (thanks to this forum) and about ready to try out shoes. We normally wear New Balance Fresh Foam 880 for our daily 5-6 mile walks, but not sure if such a shoe would be the wrong shoe for the Camino. I have read many threads already but I am interested in what one wears during the early spring months. Unfortunately we don’t know and can’t predict the weather so we can only take advice from those that have been on the Camino during those months. Lowtops, midtops, high tops, boots, trail shoes….. makes my head spin. Thanks for your advice.
Hello. We are planning our Camino for Late April 2023 (thanks to this forum) and about ready to try out shoes. We normally wear New Balance Fresh Foam 880 for our daily 5-6 mile walks, but not sure if such a shoe would be the wrong shoe for the Camino. I have read many threads already but I am interested in what one wears during the early spring months. Unfortunately we don’t know and can’t predict the weather so we can only take advice from those that have been on the Camino during those months. Lowtops, midtops, high tops, boots, trail shoes….. makes my head spin. Thanks for your advice.
I’ve had wonderful luck with Salomon’s.
 
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Hilarious

Hilarious
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
The advice here is gold. I have walked one Camino - the Frances from SJPdP to SdC in Autumn 2019. I bought my shoes a size larger than I would normally wear. I wear good Merino wool socks. I trained with my backpack - on concrete/asphalt pavements and gravel, both steep and flat. As I live in an area in Queensland, Australia that has high humidity I discovered during training I was getting blisters on my long training walks due to the heat. Darn☹️. I did lots of research on blister prevention and discovered Armaskin anti-blister socks under the lite Merino wool socks. They work for me😄 - no blisters again, either on training walks and on my Camino. I love my socks, I love my Salomon shoes. As others here have said - build up your training to mirror what you may encounter on your Camino. Train in the rain and wind, when it’s hot, when it’s cold. Be grateful when you encounter a problem with any of your gear when you are training - you can get things sorted out prior to your Camino. I am now preparing 12 months out for sections of the Via Francigena in Switzerland and Italy - gotta love those hills⛰
 

AMV

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 1, 2023
The advice here is gold. I have walked one Camino - the Frances from SJPdP to SdC in Autumn 2019. I bought my shoes a size larger than I would normally wear. I wear good Merino wool socks. I trained with my backpack - on concrete/asphalt pavements and gravel, both steep and flat. As I live in an area in Queensland, Australia that has high humidity I discovered during training I was getting blisters on my long training walks due to the heat. Darn☹️. I did lots of research on blister prevention and discovered Armaskin anti-blister socks under the lite Merino wool socks. They work for me😄 - no blisters again, either on training walks and on my Camino. I love my socks, I love my Salomon shoes. As others here have said - build up your training to mirror what you may encounter on your Camino. Train in the rain and wind, when it’s hot, when it’s cold. Be grateful when you encounter a problem with any of your gear when you are training - you can get things sorted out prior to your Camino. I am now preparing 12 months out for sections of the Via Francigena in Switzerland and Italy - gotta love those hills⛰
Thank you for this great advice. I will look for the Armaskin socks or something similar. I also heard of some goop (not sure of the name) to rub on the feet for anti-blister. I will try several items till I find one that will work for me. Buen Camino in the upcoming future.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
+ others
Yup. It’s also worth worrying about clay soils in Navarra and Rioja that will cling to your shoes like dog poo only heavier. Whether a shoe designed for jogging made-surface tracks will handle asphalt, gravel, compacted rock, un-compacted rock, slate roadways, brick or granite paviours, sand, mud and cow poo slurry, cobblestone, marble church floors and well polished wood. I could extend this list but I hope you get the gist.
If the shoe fits, wear it.
You’re wearing your shoes for daily 5 - 6 mile walks? OK, now try that with your laden Camino backpack on. Then try doubling your distance.
If your shoes work for you they are the perfect shoe for you.
You forgot fine sand on flat granite slabs on a downhill stretch... (I achieved a perfect pancake landing!)
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
Thank you for this great advice. I will look for the Armaskin socks or something similar. I also heard of some goop (not sure of the name) to rub on the feet for anti-blister. I will try several items till I find one that will work for me. Buen Camino in the upcoming future.
Perfecto❣️ It’s all about what works for you. Buen Camino to you. My only warning as some others may have already said - you will love it, but Caminos are extremely addictive. 🤣
 
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