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Salomon shoes and sizing up

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#1
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.
 
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rector

ONE HALF
Camino(s) past & future
SJ-Sdc MAY (2011)
SJ-Sdc MAY (2014)
Sar-Sdc Oct (2015)
Pon-Sdc Ju (2016)
SJ-Log (2018)
#2
All that I can do is add to your confusion I had a pair of said shoes and they were ok but after about 200+ miles last year I found them too tight for my feet and I went back to good old Merrels and this year was so much more comfortable. The assistant in the shop told me that, in general, Salomons were narrow fitting I do hope that you can get this sorted out before you go because there is nothing worse than going downhill in tight shoes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#3
Thanks! I think particularly with a teenager with no experience, that sizing up is crucial.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#4
I have always been annoyed by the instruction to buy a size or 2 larger than one's "normal" size. My normal shoes are all quite roomy, by choice, and going larger arbitrarily is not a good idea.

Salomons are my favourite brand. However, it is not logical that they are any different in terms of sizing up. It fits you or it doesn't. It is too big/small or it is not. The number doesn't matter. If his feet swell or grow or have tight points, he will need a larger size whether it is a Salomon or something else!!!

I like to wear as big a shoe as I can, as long as it doesn't seem TOO big when I give it a good trial walk around an indoor mall. (My daughter's feet look the same size as mine but I wear a full size larger.) Did he seriously try out the size 9 to confirm that it was way too big? It is better to be a bit large, and need to wear thicker socks (or 2 pairs), than to have them too small.

A 15-year-old boy's feet could grow half a size in a couple of months!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#5
Thanks, C! They fit him like a regular everyday shoe would, which allows no room for foot spreading with extra feet or with heat or with extended walking or with downhills or, as you mention, teenage feet growing. They were purchased entirely on the recommendation from the REI person that Salomon are "special" because they already take into account the need for roomier shoes when long distance walking. This is, IMO, absurd, because the shoes aren't "long distance walking" shoes, so how could they possibly be specially designed for that purpose?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#6
I love Salomon walking shoes and boots. I have owned about 8 pairs over the last 5 years and I think they are great. The "need for roomier shoes" is only met if the shoes are in fact roomier than some alternative. The size number does not tell you if that particular shoe is roomy enough! If they feel "right" in normal wear, they are probably on the small side for a camino for a 15-year-old.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#7
"The "need for roomier shoes" is only met if the shoes are in fact roomier than some alternative. " Brilliant. Thank you. Common sense way of putting it.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#8
Hi, Faith...

In the most gentle way possible that I can write this, your husband is 100% wrong. Both from professional experience (I just finished doing a test for Salomon of one their Pro series shoes), and as a casual user, there's nothing special about Salomon footwear with regard to size. I did find that for me, even the EE width, which is their widest, was bordering on being too narrow for my left foot.

NEVER buy shoes based on a static measurement, even when being measured for size in a store; that number is far too arbitrary. Why? Because each shoe manufacturer will use different 'lasts' (foot models) on which to build their shoes. And sometimes they will even use different 'lasts' (foot models) with different models of their shoe lineup, with the rational that the type of function for the differing models, like a trail runner, will have differing uses with the incorporation of things like different socks and insoles.

Here is a repost of guidelines for buying footwear for trekking/backpacking/hiking/etc. Perhaps it may help you as you consider your options.

As you go looking for shoe, here are some tips which I have posted before that may help you.
  1. When you go to the store, do so toward the end of the day.... you will have been up on your feet, so that will help with getting the correct fit. Additionally, you will need to wear the same backpack with the same gear you will be carrying... you want this additional weight on you as this will put the same downward pressure on the foot that you will be having while on Camino.
  2. Wear the exact same sock(s) you will be wearing while you are walking on the Camino. And if you have a special insole or orthotic, bring it with you.
  3. At the store, the measuring that will be done on your feet is only to get you in the ballpark for the correct shoe size.
  4. Start by standing up; never measure while sitting. You want the full weight of your body, with the pack on, to put the same pressure on your feet to spread them out as will happen while walking. That alone will increase the volume and size of your feet.
  5. Make sure those 'Camino' socks are on your feet; if you wear socks with liners while walking, do the same thing at the store.
  6. While standing, have someone near to you that you can use to steady yourself. With the measuring device on the ground, step onto the instrument and center all of your weight onto the foot being measured. Do the same for the other foot.
  7. Start with that size, but be aware that both the width and the length need to feel like there is adequate room for your feet. Ideally, like Goldilocks, everything will be just right. But, don't count on it. Be picky.
  8. If you have special insoles or orthotics, put them into any shoe you try on as they will take up space inside the shoe.
  9. When you find what you think will fit you well, you will need to see if your toes have enough clearance. Toes should not be able to be forced to the front of the shoe and touch the shoe. Not even a little. If they do, long walking and downhill grades on the trail or path or road will traumatize the bed of the nail, and that is when toenails can blacken and fall off.
  10. With your shoes tied securely, but not too tight, walk around the store with your pack on. Go up stairs and down stairs, scuff the shoes to the floor so that your feet are forced to do any movement they will do and see if your toes so much as butterfly kiss the front of the shoe. Kick the front of the shoe into a post or stair or wall or someone's shin.... does that make any of your toes touch the front of the shoe? That goes for all the little piggies.
  11. Next, pay attention to the width of the shoe. It shouldn't feel snug on the sides and there should be no rubbing or pressure points at all. They will not go away with "break in". They will create soreness, pain, and blistering. Even if it seems to be tolerable, it is like water torture; as your feet are continually exposed to those pressure points your feet will break down against them bit by bit, and bruising, blisters, and soreness will follow.
  12. You may need to go up a size to a size and a half in length, and go with a wider width to avoid those things I mentioned above. The notion that one avoids blisters by wearing snug footwear has been shown to do just the opposite.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#9
Thank you, Dave! Alas, he is not my husband and it isn't my son, or I'd have more influence in the proceedings... it's the son of a dear friend, so I have to be more diplomatic than with a husband. ;-)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF: SJPdP to Burgos/Leon to SdC
2018, CF: partial
#10
I wear Salomon boots (Quest GTX 4D 3). I've worn them hiking mountain trails and on the Camino. Throughout all of my training/prep for Camino 2016, I wore my normal size and never got a blister. However, by 10 days into the Camino, I thought my little toes would fall off each time I took off the boots. I also had a hard time getting them back on in the mornings. For the Camino this fall, I bought the same boots as in 2016 (newest model) and bought a half size up. I can tell by how they fit during training that I should have sufficient room when my feet "grow" this time. Best of luck in helping your friends find the best resolution.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#11
Thank you, Dave! Alas, he is not my husband and it isn't my son, or I'd have more influence in the proceedings... it's the son of a dear friend, so I have to be more diplomatic than with a husband. ;-)
Drat... I read too fast for my brain to keep up :) I don't know if it will help any, but I am hired by a few manufacturers, like New Balance, Nike, and Salomon, to actually do quality control testing of their footwear. In fact, New Balance requires me to provide them with a model of my feet each year so that they can control my reported observations with objective measurements to control for variations.... it involves alginate casting at home with precise directions of positioning while standing and sitting; it sounds more complicated than it is, although the first time was a bit confusing and required a speakerphone connection to one of NBs Quality Control folks to help me :)

A bit ago, I had posted this bit about REI and the "Grain of Salt" required with their sales staff's recommendations. This only part of that post, but it still gets the idea across.

The reason for REI recommending ANYTHING has little to do with 'best practices' for climbing, biking, backpacking, hiking, or trekking as far as knowledge about the current and proven state of the art (which does not have to mean expensive, btw) in equipment and clothing and techniques.

It has to do with what they choose to stock in their stores, which -- at least for the big gear and clothing items -- is tremendously affected by negotiations and agreements with manufacturers. Like Walmart, if manufacturers wish access to REI's huge buyer base, they need to accept REI's conditions, which among other things, cuts the wholesale product costs to REI, and certifies an ability to meet inventory supply for its stores.

Today's REI is hardly recognizable to what REI was in the first 30 years of its existence, some of that time under the management of Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Everest. I am member 25,707, and joined in 1965 at the age of 12 ... with my dad's permission and consent :). I still have that original card. This was at a time when REI led the bleeding edge of climbing, backpacking, and hiking gear. They actually worked with cottage manufacturers and new companies who were innovating the gear and clothing at a furious pace, trying to provide lighter and more resilient gear than the normal Army surplus store stuff that was so prevalent to that point in time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#12
Thanks, Dave. Yes, I also weighed in about the problem with REI recommendations on that same thread. I am at my wit's end with their bad advice when it comes to the Camino, not just with shoes, but with having sold the kid I'm walking with an oversized pack...sigh.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#13
Thanks, Dave. Yes, I also weighed in about the problem with REI recommendations on that same thread. I am at my wit's end with their bad advice when it comes to the Camino, not just with shoes, but with having sold the kid I'm walking with an oversized pack...sigh.
Do you have time to take the pack back? That is one of the positives with REI. I don't recall if you had already addressed that question.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#14
Yes. We don't leave till July 8. But I'm picking my battles... the shoes are the more urgent issue. Too big a pack is a Camino Lesson for him, but the wrong shoes is a Camino Problem... for me. ;-)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#15
Hi! I bought Salomon boots twice and every time I chose 1 1/2 size higher, just like I do for other makes (I am size 5 but for walking wear 6.5). If anything, Salomon are a bit narrower than others.
Even a good shop in London insisted I only needed size 6 (those were Meindl) so I gave in. After trying them at home for a few days, I had to go back and exchange them for 6.5) Grr...
Has the boy tried them with the socks he will be wearing? Preferably in the afternoon after he's walked a while.... (I wear 2 pairs of socks btw so it makes a difference).
All this said, there are some people (I think on this forum?) who don't 'upsize'.... I think.
Best of luck anyway :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#16
Thanks, Domigee. Yes, he did, but only in the store (and apparently not even on the incline). The shoes fit just the way his regular everyday shoes fit -- that is to say, with a thumb's gap between his toes and the front. His father is worried about his toes banging into the front in a larger size and also the heel slipping. I tried to explain that this is exactly why he should size up and that heel slipping is a function of how well they are laced rather than room in the toe box, but so far, I am unpersuasive.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#17
I wear Salomon boots (Quest GTX 4D 3). I've worn them hiking mountain trails and on the Camino. Throughout all of my training/prep for Camino 2016, I wore my normal size and never got a blister. However, by 10 days into the Camino, I thought my little toes would fall off each time I took off the boots. I also had a hard time getting them back on in the mornings. For the Camino this fall, I bought the same boots as in 2016 (newest model) and bought a half size up. I can tell by how they fit during training that I should have sufficient room when my feet "grow" this time. Best of luck in helping your friends find the best resolution.
Hi, Phoenix...

Just a mention.... sizes in shoe length are actually incrementally pretty small. You have a lot of walking experience so I don't wish to presume anything, but if you have as yet to wear your Camino gear and socks and insoles/orthotics that you usually do when testing your new shoes, it may give peace of mind to do so at the end of the day. Then really try to force your toes to the front of the boot. Do this without tightening your laces more than a moderate bit. This test requires a bit of allowance for your foot to be able to slightly move.

Going down stairs or an incline while forcing the toes forward is good... so is kicking a post :)

If you feel even the slightest kiss of your toes touching the front of the boot, then go up another half or full size and repeat the test.

In practical terms, even with shoelaces snugged tight with a locking pattern of lacing, a foot will still move forward on a downhill decline. The key to preventing toe trauma and blackened/damaged toenails, is to compensate for this by increasing the length of the footwear beyond the point where the toes cannot be forced forward far enough to brush to front of the shoe.

If you have already done this, drop this post in the nearest disposal bin, brush the dust from your hands, and forgive my presumptions . :)
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#18
Yes. We don't leave till July 8. But I'm picking my battles... the shoes are the more urgent issue. Too big a pack is a Camino Lesson for him, but the wrong shoes is a Camino Problem... for me. ;-)
Good plan :)

I don't know if this will help the dad about the backpack, but these are among the better videos I have seen on how to get a correct pack size.... ignoring the manufacturer, the principle applies to all packs.



If there is anything that you think I can help with, feel free to send me a PM. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#19
Thanks! I'll take a look. I'm a bit out of the norm when it comes to pack sizes, I think, being a minimalist. I walked in January with a day pack weighing seven pounds and felt like it was too much... I always think everyone's pack is too big... :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF: SJPdP to Burgos/Leon to SdC
2018, CF: partial
#20
Hi, Phoenix...

Just a mention.... sizes in shoe length are actually incrementally pretty small. You have a lot of walking experience so I don't wish to presume anything, but if you have as yet to wear your Camino gear and socks and insoles/orthotics that you usually do when testing your new shoes, it may give peace of mind to do so at the end of the day. Then really try to force your toes to the front of the boot. Do this without tightening your laces more than a moderate bit. This test requires a bit of allowance for your foot to be able to slightly move.

Going down stairs or an incline while forcing the toes forward is good... so is kicking a post :)

If you feel even the slightest kiss of your toes touching the front of the boot, then go up another half or full size and repeat the test.

In practical terms, even with shoelaces snugged tight with a locking pattern of lacing, a foot will still move forward on a downhill decline. The key to preventing toe trauma and blackened/damaged toenails, is to compensate for this by increasing the length of the footwear beyond the point where the toes cannot be forced forward far enough to brush to front of the shoe.

If you have already done this, drop this post in the nearest disposal bin, brush the dust from your hands, and forgive my presumptions . :)
I appreciate you taking the time to respond with some good info. I've worn them exactly as I will for the upcoming Camino (with Superfeet insoles and the WrightSock dbl layer socks), both at home (for several weeks before venturing outside with them) and on trails both here in Colorado and around Israel on a recent trip. I have lots of wiggle room in the toe box, even at the end of a day of trekking. I also believe that there have been some improvements between the design of the 4D 2 (2016) and the 4D 3 model I'm wearing now.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#21
It's summer. July will be hot. If the boy starts bruising his tootsies, just borrow a sharp knife and do a little "minor Surgery" on the toebox of the shoes; the "sandal look" is quite fashionable, I hear. :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Burgos-SdC May-June 2016; CF: The whole enchilada April-June 2018
#22
Will this young man be doing some practice walking/hiking in these shoes in the time remaining? Not just around the block a few times, but in conditions that simulate the Camino — at least 6-8 miles, for a number of days together, enough to really know if the shoes are the right size? Frankly I would hesitate to take on the task of being responsible for this young man if the father (who I assume has NOT walked a Camino as you have) is so inflexible.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#23
I appreciate you taking the time to respond with some good info. I've worn them exactly as I will for the upcoming Camino (with Superfeet insoles and the WrightSock dbl layer socks), both at home (for several weeks before venturing outside with them) and on trails both here in Colorado and around Israel on a recent trip. I have lots of wiggle room in the toe box, even at the end of a day of trekking. I also believe that there have been some improvements between the design of the 4D 2 (2016) and the 4D 3 model I'm wearing now.
I kinda thought you had your bases covered :) And you are correct that Salomon made some changes in your 4D 3s from the previous version.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#24
I have never "sized up" my footwear to walk the Camino or for any backpacking trip and we never "sized up" our boots in the military when we did marches. It's not necessarily a necessity.
 

kinnear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2007 (September 2017)
#25
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.
I went one and a half sizes up in Salomons last year ....previous Camino ten years ago I went two sizes up and had no issues. This time I developed big toe problems probably caused by pressure on descents and padding only increased the pressure. I resorted to wearing only a nylon stocking liner on the injured foot. Make sure his father gets him some Teva sandals at least!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#26
I have never "sized up" my footwear to walk the Camino or for any backpacking trip and we never "sized up" our boots in the military when we did marches. It's not necessarily a necessity.
I think that it depends on how much room you usually like to have in your shoes.
 

AML

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
#27
In my experience Salomon is one brand that definitely needs sizing up as they are quite narrow fitting.
Hope all works out for you and the young man.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#28
I have never "sized up" my footwear to walk the Camino or for any backpacking trip and we never "sized up" our boots in the military when we did marches. It's not necessarily a necessity.
I think that it depends on how much room you usually like to have in your shoes.
YES...Yes...Applause!!! Measurement numbers are an attempt to objectively quantify the unquantifiable: how a foot actually fits and feels in a shoe or boot. One can use all the rulers, foot measuring devices, traced outlines, and voodoo chicken bones one chooses to use, including sales people, but at best, that is only a starting place to begin.

Let's say that someone claims that they are a size 9 medium because they squeeze into that same shoe size with a dress sock to wear for work. One day, they decide to walk the Camino.

They listen to the advice for getting a good fit for their Camino footwear: they go shopping toward the end of the day; they bring their loaded Camino pack; they wear the same sock(s) and insoles/orthotics, etc. When being measured, they wear the socks and loaded pack, stand while centering the weight on the foot being measured.

After doing all that stuff, they find that the size that is most comfortable and has the appropriate toe box space for the toes to not get banged up, is a size 11 EE. Guess what? They did not "size up". They are wearing the actual size shoe which fits the foot. :)

To think any other way means that one is guessing at what will work by simply adding some multiple of a number, to a different number, which can be drastically different from manufacturer to manufacturer.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#29
I think that it depends on how much room you usually like to have in your shoes.
Yes, of course. When I say I just wear my normal size in footwear on the Camino and on hikes, my normal size is a comfortable size with plenty of toe box, etc and they are the same size I wear in the shoes when not walking the Camino. I just have never found the need to go a size or two larger due to feet swelling. Also these days I wear the knee high compression type socks they make for runners, etc. I have found they really help.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF: SJPdP to Burgos/Leon to SdC
2018, CF: partial
#30
To think any other way means that one is guessing at what will work by simply adding some multiple of a number, to a different number, which can be drastically different from manufacturer to manufacturer.
This. I wear a 10.5 in most shoes. However, the best fit in Chuck Taylor All Star is a 9 (which is my go-to leisure shoe) while the best fit in New Balance running shoes is 11.5. That's quite a spread between shoe sizes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan Sept/Oct 2014
#31
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.

I feel your fears! It is fortunate that these were purchased at REI because they have a very liberal return policy. As someone who has walked the Camino, across Ireland, and many other long-distance treks, I can tell you from experience with boots that there is no way of telling how they will react to a person's feet until they actually walk at least 10 miles in them with a full pack. Since you are leaving in July, it may be wise to take him out for a hike of at least 10 miles with a full pack on a varied terrain of hills, rocky paths and pavement. His feet may be sore from being tired, and possibly blistered from his toes rubbing together, but if he has blisters from pressure points on the boots, he should try another pair and do the same thing again. REI will take back the boots if they are not working for him. I hope your and his Camino experience is a positive one that will last you both a lifetime. Been Camino!
 
#32
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.
I wore Saloman shoes for the Portuguese Camino (Lisbon to Santiago) and I did not size up, The shoes were perfect and I did not get any blisters. They are a wider shoe so lots of room to spread as your feet swell during the day.
 

Dave J

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2015
#33
Hi Faith. I have hiked now for nearly 40 years and my Camino was in Sept 2015, and I wore Salomons - a full size larger, and they were narrow (which caused its own problem) but my toes were fine. Everyone’s advice so far is great so I won’t add to or repeat their words of wisdom. Here’s an idea that might help with the father though - for years I led college students on hiking trips of 2 weeks or more, carrying traditional packs with full gear and food (see “heavy” in Webster’s). We always had a 3-4 day pre-trip after conditioning and training. This helped with gear shakedown and problems with packs and shoes/boots. It was normal for some students to switch out a pack or boots after that pre-trip. And the best part was that after having them for those 3 days and checking, coaching or questioning every day, they made the changes themselves without any further input from me. Maybe the son would find he can explain it to his Dad on his own...
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#34
I'm on my 2nd pair of Salomon boots. Both times i sized up by one and a half....

Maybe ask the Father to give you $200 in case you need to buy the kid new footwear after a week !
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
#35
I love my Salomons. They are .5 size larger than my regular shoes. Lately I started wearing compression socks instead of woolen thicker hiking socks. I think I would be ok with a size 8 nit 8.5 as well.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#36
I think there is some confusion in some of the posts.
What is meant by "sizing up" when choosing a shoe or boot for long distance walking or hiking, is that let's say you go to the shoe shoppe to buy some shoes to wear on the Camino and find a pair of footwear you like, and they fit well, have plenty of room in the toe box. Let us say these shoes are size 11. You have heard from place like this forum that you should size up for long distance walking, like on the Camino, so you buy the same shoes in size 12. This sizing up is done because your feet may or may not swell up to a larger size when walking long distance. Not everyone's does. Mine do not. It is not something that everyone experiences. Different factors come into play in whether or not feet swell up. Could be health factors such as obesity and age.
Sizing up is not to be confused with different brands or types of shoes not running true to size. That would be like if you wear size 11 in brand X shoes, but wear size 10-1/2 in brand Z shoes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago April - June, 2016
#37
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.
I prepared for my Camino in a pair of Solomon GTX's, in my normal shoe size. Initially they were OK, but soon were exchanged, at no charge, (thanks, REI,) for a 1/2 size larger. I am SOO glad I did. Walking much of the CdS without blisters, or discomfort, I attribute the results, in no small way, to this decision. Wearing a sock liner and wicking socks also proved beneficial. You did not say how long you will be on your Camino, but as 15 year old's may grow like bamboo, his shoe sizes may change. Ignore the REI silliness about the size advice, (which I suspect is a personal opinion,) and plead with his dad. If he further insists, then have the lad try on the pair, with several pairs of sock and take a short walk. They will soon find our the truth and send them back for an upsize exchange.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#38
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.

The folks at REI told me the same for Salomon. I tried on Merrill's one size up and clearly they were too big for me. As soon as I slipped on the Salomons in my OWN size, they felt great! And I've been walking in them for nearly a month now with now complaints. As far as I am concerned, they are perfect. If there is too much room, feet will slide and blisters are inevitable. Good luck to both of you and Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#39
To clarify: I didn't intend to imply in my original post that it was about size numbers -- I was referencing that the shoes were the same size as his school shoes only as a way of illustrating that they'd been purchased as though they would be everyday shoes with no allowances made for long distance walking conditions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#40
Hi Faith. I have hiked now for nearly 40 years and my Camino was in Sept 2015, and I wore Salomons - a full size larger, and they were narrow (which caused its own problem) but my toes were fine. Everyone’s advice so far is great so I won’t add to or repeat their words of wisdom. Here’s an idea that might help with the father though - for years I led college students on hiking trips of 2 weeks or more, carrying traditional packs with full gear and food (see “heavy” in Webster’s). We always had a 3-4 day pre-trip after conditioning and training. This helped with gear shakedown and problems with packs and shoes/boots. It was normal for some students to switch out a pack or boots after that pre-trip. And the best part was that after having them for those 3 days and checking, coaching or questioning every day, they made the changes themselves without any further input from me. Maybe the son would find he can explain it to his Dad on his own...
Thanks, Dave! Unfortunately, the son is a very passive person, which is part of why I suggested he come along. He is not motivated enough to have any opinion on this at all and it's like pulling teeth to even get him on a test hike. (Yes, I know... I'm not quite sure why my intuition said to ask him along, but it did and I'm honoring it.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
#41
I am one who has not needed to 'size up'. But I think I'm in the minority.

He should be doing training walk with the shoes and a full pack. You may want to talk him into bringing a pair of good sandals just in case...

Buen Camino, and I so honor you for taking on this journey with a 15 year old who is not even yours!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#42
I am one who has not needed to 'size up'. But I think I'm in the minority.

He should be doing training walk with the shoes and a full pack. You may want to talk him into bringing a pair of good sandals just in case...

Buen Camino, and I so honor you for taking on this journey with a 15 year old who is not even yours!
We are walking the Camino Luxembourg (plus a few other long trails in Luxembourg), which seems to be something of a mystery Camino.... I had planned to walk alone, but my intuition said, take him along, and so here we are... :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past: CF: Sarria to Santiago May 2017
VdlP/ Sanabres: Salamanca to Santiago May 2018
Fisterra Muxia
#43
Best of luck Faith
I have hiked for years with normal shoe size 41mm (US7.5) but my hiking was limited to 3 or 4 day hikes and never longer like on the camino
On my recent Camino by day 5 my right foot swelled up more than my left - but both swelled I developed blisters under the pad of my right foot and it was agony to walk - eventually on day 7 of my camino I bought a pair of size 43.5mm (US 9.5) 2 sizes up
Salomons
The remaining part of the Camino was better no further blisters on either foot
Some folk used Vaseline on toes everyday
I used foot powder which seemed to work
A multi day test walk is recommended - the 15 year old can then decide after the multi day hike if walking is what he would like to do.
The Camino needs to be his camino for him.
Your Camino needs to be your Camino for you
Whatever happens ....good luck with the preparations
The preparation is an important part of the Camino
With best wishes
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#44
Best of luck Faith
I have hiked for years with normal shoe size 41mm (US7.5) but my hiking was limited to 3 or 4 day hikes and never longer like on the camino
On my recent Camino by day 5 my right foot swelled up more than my left - but both swelled I developed blisters under the pad of my right foot and it was agony to walk - eventually on day 7 of my camino I bought a pair of size 43.5mm (US 9.5) 2 sizes up
Salomons
The remaining part of the Camino was better no further blisters on either foot
Some folk used Vaseline on toes everyday
I used foot powder which seemed to work
A multi day test walk is recommended - the 15 year old can then decide after the multi day hike if walking is what he would like to do.
The Camino needs to be his camino for him.
Your Camino needs to be your Camino for you
Whatever happens ....good luck with the preparations
The preparation is an important part of the Camino
With best wishes
Buen Camino
Thanks, Barry!

Agreed about his Camino being his Camino. Except that as an adult in charge of a minor child, his problems become my problems. And he would never do a multi day hike beforehand -- that's precisely why he's going on this trip. He's spoiled, sheltered and bubble wrapped, but basically a good kid. I hope walking the Way might connect him with at least a bit of his power in the world, and might connect me with my Wisewoman patiently showing him the way.

That said, I've decided to tell his parents that if I'm not satisfied that proper due diligence was done in shoe selection, I'm retracting the invitation. I'm not going to let his poor shoe choices torpedo my walk! But I think it will not come to that... I bought a nice bottle of wine and printed out Dave's shoe shopping instructions for a re-approach tonight... :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#45
I’m thinking.... (wow, steady! ;))... As someone else mentioned above, make sure he’s got a good pair of sandals with him. Other than that, I would leave it well enough alone....If the kid can’t walk because the shoes don’t fit, just send him back. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances "2016"
#46
In my experience Salomon is one brand that definitely needs sizing up as they are quite narrow fitting.
Hope all works out for you and the young man.
Me too. They are very narrow and I always need to go up one size for my wide hooves.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
#47
Best
Thanks! I think particularly with a teenager with no experience, that sizing up is crucial.
Best of luck walking all that way with a teenage boy, salomons probably going to be the least of your worries,
ps I love my salomons, which aren't that waterproof in Scotland, but hoping that's not a problem in Spain in August,
pps Dave what a great job testing footwear, never heard of REI , guess it's American.
Bill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino (June 2013)
#48
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.
In general, I find Solomon shoes to be made extremely generous size-wise. I am female and cannot wear them as they are made too wide. But- they are a GREAT shoe....
On a side note..... I needed to purchase a new pair of shoes while on the Camino- first pair got a hole in the sole.... second pair I got talked into buying a pair of $240 dollar shoes that were too small- resulted in a big, painful blister on my little toe and my feet were SO swollen. End result- I was in such pain and knew that I would have to buy yet another pair if I were to finish my camino in Santiago. I walked into a store and explained that I needed shoes for size 8.5 feet. I put them on- pulled the laces tight and left doing a happy dance. My feet felt totally comfortable. When I got home I discovered that I had purchased a pair of men’s 8.5.... unbelievable! I wear inserts in them and SUPER thick hot spots Sox in them during the winter.... so much for a perfect fit. They worked like a charm!

I tell people to go up a full size - you can always make a shoe smaller but not bigger.
I wear a size 8/8.5. My Vasque Breeze boots are 9.5 - on my 3rd pair- LOVE them!
I took out the insole, and I put in a toe insert (cut from a full insole), a full Dr. Schol’s insole, and then my orthotic- perfect!
I wear a thicker sock (light cushioned merino blend Wright sock) in the am. (I dry my feet, and change my socks every 2- 3 hours.) I wear Darn Tough (light cushioning) which is a bit thinner than the Wright Sox, as my feet swell after a few hours of walking... or I can remove the insole to create more space for my swollen feet....
I also tape my big toes and sometimes my baby toe (and I cover hot spots) with hypafix (medical gauze tape that has a stretch to it).
No blisters - ever. Hypafix has been a saviour- check it out....
I also suggest that buyers check to see if their boot/shoe is big enough. Wear the socks you will to walk. Lace up the boot/shoe. Next, kick a hard wall (concrete) with toe of the boot. If you can feel the end of the boot with your toe(s)- the boot is too small. Or... if you walk down a steep decline (some stores have one to try), and your toes hit the front of the boot- the shoe is too small!
Losing toe nails from wearing shoes/boots that are too small is painful- I know hikers who did so... some had to quit!

Good luck!
Brenda
 

RFB

New Member
#49
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.
I walked my first Camino in Salomons and absolutely needed to go up a size and not only that but although I have a narrow foot for a female and Salomon’s are a more narrow fitting, I wore the men’s boots!! I’m planning on walking the Camino North next year and had my second pair of Salomons fitted this weekend! Same deal- next size up and I’ve still gone for the men’s boot to give added space and availability to loosen or tighten to a greater degree the laces. In my opinion and experience with Salomons, the advice given to your friend is absolutely incorrect. Good luck with having him review his decision as footware is the number one deal maker or breaker.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#50
@Faith831 I've been thinking about your dilemma and the need for diplomacy while avoiding a practical catastrophe on the trail. As many of you know, I walk in sandals, over every kind of terrain. How about insisting that he have a good pair of hiking sandals? I'd suggest open toed ones with adjustable straps, so room is not an issue - ostensibly so that he has something to change into after walking. Then, if the worst comes to the worst, you have a ready-made solution. Obviously, my thoughts go to my own - Ecco OffRoad, like these: Ecco Offroad.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
#51
I am merely fascinated that I may be the only walker who went *down* a half size on first go (SJPDP-SDC, 2014). I left with a pair of Keen 7's, mid-height. Every pair since has been a 6.5 and I walk abut 10K every day (Unless I"m really sick or injured) with a few 15-30 K days thrown in each month. (Now I'm worrying that for 25-30k each day for 3 weeks I should be sizing back up???)

My thinking about the 15 y/o is that sandals will be a big help *and* that if the current boots end up being all wrong, he will know pretty quickly. Make it easy for the kid to say, "We got bad advice at REI and I need to get new boots ASAP." Photograph his feet and bill the father for the cost of the proper shoes.

One can make it easy for kids to speak their needs even if they've been trained to be passive. It happens by showing a combination of mature grasp of the bigger picture, respect for their feelings, and flat-out letting them know that it's OK for them to *learn* by doing and to make needed alterations on the go.

I had no idea on my first camino that I would benefit from *sandals*. I was 47 and had never even heard of hiking sandals -- I thought they were some bogus thing for campers to wear around the fire at the end of the day. But by Santo Domingo I was ready to be introduced to them as the solution to ankle tendonitis, and I walked in them exclusively until the day after Astorga. And I needed to be gentle to myself about what I had not known, and about spending the money (Maybe 40 or 50 euros??). I had to be tighter with my food and sleep budget for a few days as a result.

If I am ever travelling with my young adult son and he has a similar need for alteration, I remember to be as gentle to him as I would be to myself (especially, but not only, if it's about feet).
 

sandyecds

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
july 2016
#52
Apologies for the shoe post.

I'm walking my second Camino in July/August, this time with a 15 year old boy who has zero outdoor experience. He is not my son, but the son of a dear friend. All well and good, but his father has purchased for him a pair of size 8.5 Salomons. The boy wears a size 8.5. I explained about sizing up, but the father insists that the people at REI told him that Salomons were made differently and did not require sizing up for long distance walking.

I can find no evidence to support this claim re: Salomons.

I'm not going to jeopardize my own walk by setting out with a 15 year old who isn't equipped to complete the walk safely, but all of my efforts to convince the father to return them and buy a size up have so far fallen on deaf ears because of the assurances of the people at REI (who in my experience, at least at this particular store, are always wrong about shoes for the Camino. Always.)

Can anyone either reassure me that they are correct and upsizing is not necessary, or offer me some more persuasive info to convince the father otherwise?

Deeply grateful.
No no no, avoided solomans like the plague. Worst fit ever. I prefer merrill's go 1 size larger than regular shoes, wear them on concrete for a month and be willing to return them for a 1/2 size larger if necessary. Skimp on everything else but shoes
 

Nanio

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk in July 2016
#53
Thanks, C! They fit him like a regular everyday shoe would, which allows no room for foot spreading with extra feet or with heat or with extended walking or with downhills or, as you mention, teenage feet growing. They were purchased entirely on the recommendation from the REI person that Salomon are "special" because they already take into account the need for roomier shoes when long distance walking. This is, IMO, absurd, because the shoes aren't "long distance walking" shoes, so how could they possibly be specially designed for that purpose?
Leave him and the shoes behind
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#54
No no no, avoided solomans like the plague. Worst fit ever. I prefer merrill's go 1 size larger than regular shoes, wear them on concrete for a month and be willing to return them for a 1/2 size larger if necessary. Skimp on everything else but shoes
Fit is very personal. A shoe that fits badly for one person can be perfect for another. Many people wear and love Salomons. I know that most people would not like the fit of my favorite New Balance trail runners, because they run narrow, but they are perfect for my foot.
 

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