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Socks for walking in july

2020 Camino Guides

megs 52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk the camino in june 2015
Hi
This is the third questions Ive asked - I will be walking the Camino for the first time in July and I really appreciated the knowledge and experience of those who have walked it - can anyone tell me which socks I should wear walking the camino in July?
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
June 12, 2014
Greetings Margaret,

When walking last July I began with what everyone stresses here, two pair of socks with one consisting of a liner type sock. This did not work for me at all (think heat). I ended up buying my beloved sock, a Lurbel, in Spain, which is simply a cool max type sock. It was perfect. You will need to find what works best for you, however keep in mind July equals heat and sweaty feet. Buen Camino and blessings for much joy on the journey.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I am from the two-pair (thin silk or poly liner and thick wool cushion outer) school of thought. However, and this is critical, the time of year, and your individual foot dynamics must be considered. Just as with hiking sandals, shoes, and boots, everyone has different feet. I doubt that one, standard solution would work for everyone.

For example, I walked the Camino Frances twice (2013 & 2014) wearing the same, well-broken in boots (had them resoled - twice) and socks, both years. BECAUSE the weather is cool and wet in April and May, I appreciated the warmth and relative dryness the double sock layer provided. But, that was then...

In April this year (2015), I walked the 10-day Porto to Santiago route in much milder temperatures. During my first two Caminos, the morning temperatures ranged from 1 or 2 degrees Celsius to afternoon temperatures in the Celsius "teens." In April this year, the temperatures started in the mid-teens in the morning and went to about 27 (80F) in the afternoon. I experienced no rain until the final 36-hours into Santiago (in Galicia of course).

For these conditions, generally warmer and drier than usual for me, the double sock layers caused my feet to sweat excessively. They also swelled more than usual. I could handle the swelling, as my boots are oversized for it. However, I actually developed blisters on the balls of both feet, for the first time in three Caminos! Go figure! :eek:I examined my feet and deduced that the perspiration in the boots caused it. The blisters were dealt with. I also started changing my socks for a dry set after several hours walking. But I was surprised.

My point is that I am training now with, and will plan to wear, a single, compound layer, thick(ish) woven poly sock the next time I am walking a Camino in warmer weather. I plan to test them when I work this July and August as a volunteer at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago. I will be on my feet all day and walking around the entire city daily. So, it should be a reasonable test.

The problem I encountered in April is that, at the last minute the weather forecast was for cooler and wetter weather than I actually encountered. My boots are too large to wear just the poly liner socks. They were sized to accommodate two pair of socks. The Smart Wool outer socks make my sweaty feet itch when worn alone. In any event, having the ankle-high uppers would cause excessive sweating regardless of the type of socks I wore.

I have plenty of these single layer, compound weave socks. I buy them at REI. They have lateral compression panels woven into ball of the foot and insole areas, so they provide very good lateral support. They are also available as low-ankle socks to be worn with sandals or low-shoes, or crew height that are good with mid-height boots.

I usually wear them as "knock-around" casual socks during the winter months. So, on returning home, I recently invested in a pair of Keen Arroyo II hiking sandals, sized to handle the same two-sock system as I wear in my April-May Caminos. However, and this is important, I also tried them with the single, compound woven socks, adjusting them and walking around the store so I was comfortable that I could adjust the speed-lacing system to fit the overall thinner socks. As a bonus, my custom-made orthotics fit both my mid-height boots and sandals exactly.

So, the plan for a warmer weather Camino is likely to be hiking sandals with a single compound layer hiking sock. However, to ensure that my feet remain fairly dry, I will bring an extra pair of dry socks to change into during the day. This increases my sock "carry" by one pair.

I either accept that weight penalty or carry the weight of additional foot fixing stuff. Based on experience, I think the few ounces / grams of prevention "outweigh" the several ounces / grams of palliative care supplies. We shall see.

BTW - for those of you who are brand and model junkies, here is some useful information relating to the Keen boots and sandals I wear:

3- Cool Season (late fall, winter, early spring) - Keen Targhee II mid height "waterproof" boots. The manufacturer indicates this boot runs ONE-HALF SIZE SMALL. So, my street size 11 / 44.5 feet, upscaled for: two pair of socks (+ .5 size); daily heat-related swelling (+.5 size); and splaying after several weeks walking with a pack, require a size 12.5 / 46.5 boot. As these boots run 1/2 size small, the stock size 13 / 47 boot works PERFECTLY.

3- Warm Season (late spring, summer, early fall) - Keen Arroyo II hiking sandals. The manufacturer indicates this boot runs ONE-HALF SIZE LARGE. So, using some of the criteria above, and factoring in the heat and added heat related swelling, I arrived at the same size 12.5 / 46.5 conclusion. But, considering Keen's size statement, the stock size 12 / 46 Arroyo II hiking sandal worked out PERFECTLY. The net fit is exactly like the cool season Targhee II boots. In fact, they use the identical sole / outer and tow box, so my feet are very well protected when dealing with rocks, gravel, and on downhills.

BTW - Another interesting feature of the sandals is that the manufacturer claims they are MACHINE WASHABLE. I regularly remove and hand wash the insoles, factory or custom orthotic every night after hiking anyway. But being able to toss the sandals into a gently cold water cycle after slogging through mud is a nice to have feature.

FYI - I have no ownership or commercial interest in Keen (www.keenfootwear.com). However, the lasts (foot molds) they use to manufacture the shoes / boots / sandals are the closest I found to my feet.

The only other manufacturer that comes close is Mephisto, the French shoe company. However, they do not offer the right sort of boots and sandals for walking the Camino. :oops:

That is one reason why many serious walkers or people who spend all day on their feet frequently find one footwear manufacturer that suits their shape of foot, then remain loyal to that brand.

I hope this helps.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
For me and my feet, for spring/summer/fall hiking and walking ... I wear "Lightweight" wool hiking socks. Single layer only. Sometimes I will wear "Ultra Lightweight" wool hiking socks. Again, single layer only. Most of my wool socks are DARN TOUGH light hikers but I also have some SMARTWOOL "phd" wool light and ultra-light hiking socks. I dislike medium or heavyweight hiking socks as they overheat my feet.

I typically hike/walk in light hiking boots or light hiking shoes. If I wore heavy boots/shoes my sock choices might differ.

Light Hiking boots & shoes are defined as shoes designed for hiking/walking with a lightweight pack or no pack at all. They typically weight less than 1# per boot, less per shoe, they typically have flexible but grippy soles, they typically provide moderate cushioning but excellent ground feel.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
It's a walk, not a hike, but the weather is warm. Personally to me, it makes no sense to layer up your socks and wear waterproof shoes/boots. This will make your feet perspire more and stay that way which can lead to blisters.
I can tell you what worked for me (two Caminos, zero blister problems). A single layer of socks. That being a thin, lightweight synthetic type made for running. They wash and dry easily too.
cheers
 

Jan_89

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés: July/August 2014

Camino Francés: May/June 2017
It's a walk, not a hike, but the weather is warm. Personally to me, it makes no sense to layer up your socks and wear waterproof shoes/boots. This will make your feet perspire more and stay that way which can lead to blisters.
I can tell you what worked for me (two Caminos, zero blister problems). A single layer of socks. That being a thin, lightweight synthetic type made for running. They wash and dry easily too.
cheers
Totally agree..
 

scikowski

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 Camino Portugues 2016
There are probably as many answers as there are pilgrims. All feet are different! I like two layers (silk and wool). The most important thing is to have a dry pair of socks available and to change your socks when you break for lunch. Your feet will be happy to feel the air and you will love the feel of the dry socks!
 

CaptBuddy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
Smartwool PHD light or medium (any good merino wool). Change them at lunchtime.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
Injinji Performance 2.0 socks. Currently doing the VDLP and no blisters after 5 days whereas other people do have them already. Get the high ones with a decent cuff if you don't want gaiters because grit does get in.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
Everyone is different. I have walked and trekked in many countries for the past 60 years. Until I walked the Caminos I always wore one pair of socks. I have now walked roughly 3500 kms on various caminos and always worn 2 pairs of socks. Yet I have never had blisters except when I was in the army where the quartermaster is the sole arbiter of size of feet and invariably different size boots. The only common factor is that I wear woollen blend socks and the outers I now have are what you might call working mens socks at AUD$6 per pair (US$5, GBRpound 3)
I suggest to Megs 52 that she tries various combination during her training walks. The inners could the cut off feet from a pair of pantyhose.
 

froghollowgal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2013 Leon to Santiago
Hi
This is the third questions Ive asked - I will be walking the Camino for the first time in July and I really appreciated the knowledge and experience of those who have walked it - can anyone tell me which socks I should wear walking the camino in July?
Margaret
We spent a fortune experimenting with socks before the Camino and took several different pair with us. The best for us was a brand called WrightSock from REI. Tried the liners, but they weren't helpful in July.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Hi
This is the third questions Ive asked - I will be walking the Camino for the first time in July and I really appreciated the knowledge and experience of those who have walked it - can anyone tell me which socks I should wear walking the camino in July?
Margaret
Wearing 2 pairs of socks works for me, thin inners and some type of Smartwool socks, but as other people rightfully mentioned, everyone's different . This year I'm wearing Bridgedale socks, so far they 're great!
Buen camino.
PS: make sure you try them with your shoes before you start the camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
Great answers above (summary - everyone is different and you need to practice walking using several options before you start your camino).
A point I have not seen made above is the ‘size' of sock. It’s really important to ensure that your sock is not too big as it will rub and potentially cause hot spots. Slightly smaller than your foot works for me (always merino, only one layer) ;)
 

megs 52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk the camino in june 2015
Greetings Margaret,

When walking last July I began with what everyone stresses here, two pair of socks with one consisting of a liner type sock. This did not work for me at all (think heat). I ended up buying my beloved sock, a Lurbel, in Spain, which is simply a cool max type sock. It was perfect. You will need to find what works best for you, however keep in mind July equals heat and sweaty feet. Buen Camino and blessings for much joy on the journey.
Thank you
 

megs 52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk the camino in june 2015
Great answers above (summary - everyone is different and you need to practice walking using several options before you start your camino).
A point I have not seen made above is the ‘size' of sock. It’s really important to ensure that your sock is not too big as it will rub and potentially cause hot spots. Slightly smaller than your foot works for me (always merino, only one layer) ;)
Thanks!
 

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