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Shoes or Boots?

tark1959

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Baiona to Santiago May 25 - June 1 2017
Just signed up and this is my first post. Very excited first timer walking from Baiona to Santiago starting this Friday, May 26th. Any advice on whether to wear my well worn-in waterproof boots or very comfortable, lightweight, not waterproof hiking shoes? Thanking you in anticipation.
Tony
 
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MKalcolm M

Solvitur ambulando - It is solved by walking
Past OR future Camino
north route spring 2013
Congratulations on signing up and heading off on your first camino.

I would definitely suggest walking in well -worn in boots, and if your weight capacity allows it take your lightweight shoes or a pair of sandals as well. This means after a long day of walking, when you arrive at your destination, you can leave your boots in the bootrack and change into something light and comfy for your feet. Some alberges require you to leave boots outside, especially if its rained a lot and the paths have been muddy. I know the pleasure of taking off hot and sweaty boots and exchanging them for fresh socks and light footwear, its like being given new feet!

Hope you have a great camino.
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Where what YOU like. I've always worn shoes for all of my Caminos as I feel no need for heavy boots. It's not mountain climbing.
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
I've been doing a lot of training hikes on the weekend, most of it on rugged terrain, and have been experimenting with how boots vs trail runners feel. I've been going back & forth a lot, and finally decided on shoes. Here's my take:

Boots, pro: Insanely better on wet trails with lots of rocks, roots, and steep sections. I have a lot more stability, and can handle tricky sections with confidence. They should last longer than shoes.

Boots, con: They're heavier (even though mine are light weight). At the end of the day I want them off. I felt like my natural walking pace was much slower in boots. And even though they fit properly, mentally I feel like my feet are boxed in.

Shoes, pro: They're much lighter. They're more versatile. They're better for urban areas and non-technical trails (though we don't have many of those here). My walking pace is a bit faster.

Shoes, con: Less stability. I rarely grab a walking stick when I have boots on, but with shoes I absolutely want one in steep sections or in muddy and slippery areas. Possibly less rugged - I know my boots will last a whole camino. I'm not convinced my shoes will.

In the end, what swayed me was this: If I bring my boots, I will be wearing those boots every single day. If I bring shoes, I can switch out for sandals once in awhile & tie my shoes onto my pack.
 
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MichaelC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
Mandatory edit: I just rode home through a downpour, and my shoes are drenched. I doubt they'll be dry by morning. Score one more major plus for boots: they won't get so thoroughly soaked as trail runners. I'll need to reconsider. Again.

On the plus side: my Castelli biking jacket kept me warm and comfy! It stays on my packing list.
 

DougWilliams55

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
I'm not sure there is a 'right answer! I finished the Camino yesterday wearing trail running shoes. On the positive side, they are lightweight, flexible, dry quickly should they get wet, cushioned so good on the (many) stretches of pavement, cement and hard packed gravel. The downside, for me, has been that it seemed i felt every stone along the way, and in some parts there are many. If you are going with trail running shoes, be sure to have a rock plate insert.
 

tark1959

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Baiona to Santiago May 25 - June 1 2017
Thanks to all for the helpful responses. I was veering towards the shoes because I think the weather is going to be pretty good for the week and my shoes are well worn in and very light. I am really looking forward to it and can't wait to get going.
 

Digz

New Member
Past OR future Camino
camino from porto in May 2022
Good to read up on all these suggestions. Same with you MichaelC my gait is not the same if I wear my mid cut hiking shoes and I feel my toes are boxed in. The plus is, they do support my ankle on rocky and slippery terrain. With the normal walking shoes, I walk faster coz they are lighter but no ankle support so I have to get my poles to help my balance. I think I'll bring both and swap along the way if I feel I need to.
 

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