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Stuff I was wrong about - And Trail Runners

Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#1
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore one walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot weather as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to try trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?
 
Last edited:

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hotelmedicis

Commercial Interests
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2001 (+more)
VDLP 2013, 2018
#2
I love my boots too! They're wonderful on rocky mountain peaks at 2,500 meters, but they hurt my feet and legs walking on asphalt. I now wear New Balance running shoes for any sort of Camino. Not even trail runners since the majority of the walking is on hard-packed ground, asphalt, concrete and the like. I swear by Superfeet insoles. I wear the green ones. Lots of support. I love my running shoes! :)

images.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#4
Something I found out about age and feet :oops:

From my podiatrist. He made us special orthotics and really knows what he's doing. He works at the Sport Medicine centre at Olympic Park here in Sydney with Athletes and Sports people.

He explained that as we age, the soft part of our feet, particular under the heels breaks down. So as we age, we really need softer and softer shoes / insoles. Kind of makes sense. I find I prefer really thick outer socks because they cushion my feet more.

So in selecting lighter weight shoes, I'll be conscious of making sure their is enough cushioning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#5
How about a rice cooker update? ;-)
Well as you know the Rice Cooker died during pre-camino testing :rolleyes:

Pat managed to find plenty of yummy food along the way.
So much so in fact, that we both arrived home at the same weight we started :eek:

We did cart along a coil and mug to cook eggs. I think I used it twice. Won't bother with that again ;)

In fact I won't bother with a lot of stuff again. I reckon my pack weight next time will be down to 5.5 kg (plus food and water)
 

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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Norte/Liebana (Planning)
#6
Good to read that about Merino. I also feel very itchy with them and never took one to the camino. Maybe I should now, for camino number 3 :)
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#7
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore on walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot wear as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?
Rob, it sounds like the physio you saw wasn't immediately concerned about a tendon rupture. So, for helping to soothe and heal the existing aggravation for Achilles issues, pay attention to where the back of the shoe's collar rests above your heel and toward the tendon itself. A lot of shoes have heel cups which are deeper than others. The theory is that it will cradle and snug the heel into a 'locking' position better. What it can actually do to a lot of folks is to push against the Achilles tendon aggravating it even to the point of tendonitis. The other thing it can do is create hellacious blistering in that area as the the shear friction force is multiplied by the snugness of the heel cup.

All else being equal, if you find a shoe you like in every other regard, but the heel cup is pushing against your achilles, all is not lost :). Firm and heavy duty felt padding can be glued into the heel cup to keep the back collar from pressing the achilles. It will take a bit of trial and error to get just the right thickness, which won't likely need to be very much, so that you get the best fit of the heel cup with your heel and back of the foot.

Another option is to use an inserted heel cup which will help lift the heel a bit and also help keep pressure off the the tendon. By lifting the heel a touch, it can help reduce movement in the tendon.

https://www.amazon.com/Silicone-Gel...ywords=heel+cups+for+achilles+tendonitis&th=1

There is also a wearable type of achilles pad, which I have heard can work well but I would be watchfull for any bunching up of the surrounding material as you walk.

https://www.amazon.com/Silipos-Achi...&sr=8-6&keywords=silipos+achilles+heel+sleeve

The above products are examples, not recommendations. Just stuff to help you visualize what I am writing about. I have seen similar products in farmacias along Camino Frances.

And I am never adverse to minor surgery on a shoe that has it in for me. At the middle of the back of the shoe, you can split the back of the shoe at the top of the collar, cutting downward a bit, thereby expanding the collar a bit so it relaxes away from your tendon. If cutting it makes the edges 'pokey', add some moleskin type of padding, or some tape to seal the edges from their 'pokiness' :) Go a little at a time, though. You can always increase the depth of the cut to make it fit better, but not visa versa :)

For shin splints, too much pronation can be an aggravating factor, as it can for tendonitis, too; so if that is a contributing factor in your specific case, stay away from a shoe with 'neutral' motion control, and look for a bit more aggressive control. Depending on the amount of pronation, any orthotics or specialty insoles that you are planning on using (and try on with your new prospects), the amount of motion control can be lighter or more aggressive in nature. Generally, a shoe with a wider outer sole, especially at the heel, also helps in this regard. The heel cup area should feel firmer rather than soft. And most shoe will announce that they are of help for pronation.

Shoe brands to that I might try include New Balance.... the 910s have a good consistent quality for pronation control. The Brooks 'Beast' is famous for pronation control. I didn't care for the cushioning, though; it felt to firm for my liking, but many adore it. It's a personal thing.

Hoka One One makes the Bondi 5. I am really enamored of this shoe, but I can't tell yet if I'm in love with it, or just infatuated. :)

I hesitate to tell folks what I like because I am not endorsing anything. But some of the qualities that I find interesting in this shoe, are qualities that could be beneficial for you if the shoe has a good fit and feel on your feet.

This shoe is an exercise in contradictions.

  1. It is advertised as being a neutral motion control shoe, but as a pronator, and after 60+ miles with them on trails, they behave like a more stable motion control shoe. I see not one hint of the upper heel area rolling to the side.
  2. The Bondi is one of the few models in Hoka One One's lineup which offer a wide width. It doesn't say how wide that width is, but with my 3E left foot, it just makes the grade. That is a different way for a manufacturer to do sizing... no labels.
  3. The outsole traction looks insufficient. It seems marginal at best for off road trails and pathways. But they are surprisingly grippy on wet, on loose granules on hardpan going down a fairly steep grade, and do well on rocks and sidewalks and such. In looking closely at the sole, I figured out how it does that.
  4. There is no rockplate, but it actually absorbs protrusions and debris from poking at the foot better than some shoes with rock plates. And that's because of the....
  5. .....cushioning. In my experience, the level of felt cushioning on this shoe would make me expect wobbliness and instability when going over even modestly uneven terrain. This shoe doesn't suffer from those tendencies in the least for me. The cushioning effect to my left foot, which hates me by the way, is amazing. The most I've walked in them is a little over 11 miles. At that distance I expect to feel some light pressure ache in that left foot which hates me. I forgot to even pay attention to how much of the ache I feel until after I got home and took off the shoes. Hmmmmm.... that's a good beginning.
  6. The thing that I will be determining over the next month, is how much measurable, and felt, compression to that cushioning will have occured. Compression has to occur; it is the way of shoe wear and tear which is normal and expected. It can't be avoided. The question is: how much, and how fast? In another thirty days, I expect to have over 300 miles on these puppies, and then I will know if I am falling in love. :)
  7. The shoe is fairly light, as are the other shoes mentioned above, the more weight on your feet when walking the more exacerbation of lower leg problems. That is one reason I haven't made mention of the Salomon XA 3D Pro. It is a good shoe, but it is heavier than the others. Not as heavy as boots, though :)
  8. All of the shoes are adequately ventilated, and if you choose any of them over a GTX (goretex) model, they will drain and dry quickly.
Any concerns or worsening of symptoms get back to the medics. Things can blow up quickly, so follow their lead, as I am in no doubt that you will. Keep with the ice as recommended, and check with the doc about supplementing it with heat in an cycle. Tendonitis is a bit different than other inflammatory processes, and it is sometimes part of the therapy to switch cold and hot. But check first. I would also recommend a wintergreen astringent, if you can get it. It needs to be used regularly, but with restraint as to length of application.

Dang it all, Rob, I know that things happen that can make us stronger, more thankful and patient and empathetic to others.... but I hope you don't get THAT much stronger, patient, and empathetic; and that you get better soon :).
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#8
Thanks Dave. As always a VERY comprehensive reply!! :)

When my Podiatrist saw my boots prior to this Camino, he remarked that the 'angle' of the back of the boot seemed to press in on the Achilles a bit too much. But it didn't cause me any issues thankfully.

Great tips. Now I can go shopping ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#9
Good to read that about Merino. I also feel very itchy with them and never took one to the camino. Maybe I should now, for camino number 3 :)
They need to be washed a few times I think........
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#10
If I decide to walk the Portuguese next year I am thinking of shoes with lots of padding instead of my usual sandals - because of all the stone sets and cobbles. I have a very wide forefoot but New Balance don't work for me. I'd be trying the Hoka One One Bondi 5. Mainly for the cushioning.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#11
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore on walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot wear as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?
Great blog Rob - recommended!
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Norte/Liebana (Planning)
#12
If I decide to walk the Portuguese next year I am thinking of shoes with lots of padding instead of my usual sandals - because of all the stone sets and cobbles. I have a very wide forefoot but New Balance don't work for me. I'd be trying the Hoka One One Bondi 5. Mainly for the cushioning.
Probably a wise choice, Kanga. I walked the Portuguese last year in Mizunos and was perfectly fine. My husband wore Merrels (same brands we used for CF), and he felt the cobblestones.

According to him, best cure were extra insoles and lots of Pasteis de Nata. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances mid May 2018
#13
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore on walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot wear as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?
Haha. We never stop learning, at? Am on my camino 1. Bought trail runners from Salomon and am happy as Larry. Never considered boots in the first place. Bought hiking wool (as live in NZ and it’s our product there) but only been giving it away to poor blister suffered. My feet been fine from day 1 to now. Using mainly Lorpen sock (Merino/Tencel mix) and icebreaker Merino, and icebreaker Ts Merino/Tencel. Very soft, light weight, cool and warm depending on weather. No prob so far re lasting.
 
#14
I totally endorse HOKAs!! Finished the Francés with a pair and avoided all blisters and problems even though I have been prone to them in the past. I now have a new pair of HOKA Bondis and really like them. Amazing shoes. At times on the CAmino I would walk along marveling at how good each step felt!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
#15
Rob, it sounds like the physio you saw wasn't immediately concerned about a tendon rupture. So, for helping to soothe and heal the existing aggravation for Achilles issues, pay attention to where the back of the shoe's collar rests above your heel and toward the tendon itself. A lot of shoes have heel cups which are deeper than others. The theory is that it will cradle and snug the heel into a 'locking' position better. What it can actually do to a lot of folks is to push against the Achilles tendon aggravating it even to the point of tendonitis. The other thing it can do is create hellacious blistering in that area as the the shear friction force is multiplied by the snugness of the heel cup.

All else being equal, if you find a shoe you like in every other regard, but the heel cup is pushing against your achilles, all is not lost :). Firm and heavy duty felt padding can be glued into the heel cup to keep the back collar from pressing the achilles. It will take a bit of trial and error to get just the right thickness, which won't likely need to be very much, so that you get the best fit of the heel cup with your heel and back of the foot.

Another option is to use an inserted heel cup which will help lift the heel a bit and also help keep pressure off the the tendon. By lifting the heel a touch, it can help reduce movement in the tendon.

https://www.amazon.com/Silicone-Gel-Heel-Cups-ViveSole/dp/B01IQ0G338/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1529639179&sr=8-8&keywords=heel+cups+for+achilles+tendonitis&th=1

There is also a wearable type of achilles pad, which I have heard can work well but I would be watchfull for any bunching up of the surrounding material as you walk.

https://www.amazon.com/Silipos-Achi...&sr=8-6&keywords=silipos+achilles+heel+sleeve

The above products are examples, not recommendations. Just stuff to help you visualize what I am writing about. I have seen similar products in farmacias along Camino Frances.

And I am never adverse to minor surgery on a shoe that has it in for me. At the middle of the back of the shoe, you can split the back of the shoe at the top of the collar, cutting downward a bit, thereby expanding the collar a bit so it relaxes away from your tendon. If cutting it makes the edges 'pokey', add some moleskin type of padding, or some tape to seal the edges from their 'pokiness' :) Go a little at a time, though. You can always increase the depth of the cut to make it fit better, but not visa versa :)

For shin splints, too much pronation can be an aggravating factor, as it can for tendonitis, too; so if that is a contributing factor in your specific case, stay away from a shoe with 'neutral' motion control, and look for a bit more aggressive control. Depending on the amount of pronation, any orthotics or specialty insoles that you are planning on using (and try on with your new prospects), the amount of motion control can be lighter or more aggressive in nature. Generally, a shoe with a wider outer sole, especially at the heel, also helps in this regard. The heel cup area should feel firmer rather than soft. And most shoe will announce that they are of help for pronation.

Shoe brands to that I might try include New Balance.... the 910s have a good consistent quality for pronation control. The Brooks 'Beast' is famous for pronation control. I didn't care for the cushioning, though; it felt to firm for my liking, but many adore it. It's a personal thing.

Hoka One One makes the Bondi 5. I am really enamored of this shoe, but I can't tell yet if I'm in love with it, or just infatuated. :)

I hesitate to tell folks what I like because I am not endorsing anything. But some of the qualities that I find interesting in this shoe, are qualities that could be beneficial for you if the shoe has a good fit and feel on your feet.

This shoe is an exercise in contradictions.

  1. It is advertised as being a neutral motion control shoe, but as a pronator, and after 60+ miles with them on trails, they behave like a more stable motion control shoe. I see not one hint of the upper heel area rolling to the side.
  2. The Bondi is one of the few models in Hoka One One's lineup which offer a wide width. It doesn't say how wide that width is, but with my 3E left foot, it just makes the grade. That is a different way for a manufacturer to do sizing... no labels.
  3. The outsole traction looks insufficient. It seems marginal at best for off road trails and pathways. But they are surprisingly grippy on wet, on loose granules on hardpan going down a fairly steep grade, and do well on rocks and sidewalks and such. In looking closely at the sole, I figured out how it does that.
  4. There is no rockplate, but it actually absorbs protrusions and debris from poking at the foot better than some shoes with rock plates. And that's because of the....
  5. .....cushioning. In my experience, the level of felt cushioning on this shoe would make me expect wobbliness and instability when going over even modestly uneven terrain. This shoe doesn't suffer from those tendencies in the least for me. The cushioning effect to my left foot, which hates me by the way, is amazing. The most I've walked in them is a little over 11 miles. At that distance I expect to feel some light pressure ache in that left foot which hates me. I forgot to even pay attention to how much of the ache I feel until after I got home and took off the shoes. Hmmmmm.... that's a good beginning.
  6. The thing that I will be determining over the next month, is how much measurable, and felt, compression to that cushioning will have occured. Compression has to occur; it is the way of shoe wear and tear which is normal and expected. It can't be avoided. The question is: how much, and how fast? In another thirty days, I expect to have over 300 miles on these puppies, and then I will know if I am falling in love. :)
  7. The shoe is fairly light, as are the other shoes mentioned above, the more weight on your feet when walking the more exacerbation of lower leg problems. That is one reason I haven't made mention of the Salomon XA 3D Pro. It is a good shoe, but it is heavier than the others. Not as heavy as boots, though :)
  8. All of the shoes are adequately ventilated, and if you choose any of them over a GTX (goretex) model, they will drain and dry quickly.
Any concerns or worsening of symptoms get back to the medics. Things can blow up quickly, so follow their lead, as I am in no doubt that you will. Keep with the ice as recommended, and check with the doc about supplementing it with heat in an cycle. Tendonitis is a bit different than other inflammatory processes, and it is sometimes part of the therapy to switch cold and hot. But check first. I would also recommend a wintergreen astringent, if you can get it. It needs to be used regularly, but with restraint as to length of application.

Dang it all, Rob, I know that things happen that can make us stronger, more thankful and patient and empathetic to others.... but I hope you don't get THAT much stronger, patient, and empathetic; and that you get better soon :).
I totally endorse HOKAs!! Finished the Francés with a pair and avoided all blisters and problems even though I have been prone to them in the past. I now have a new pair of HOKA Bondis and really like them. Amazing shoes. At times on the CAmino I would walk along marveling at how good each step felt!
I have been wearing Hoka shoes for years at work now. I walk and stand for most of the day on lino-type floors. When I put them on, it feels like I'm walking on clouds. I love my walking boots, but I have decided to use my Hokas for the next trip. The shoes are light, my feet feel stable, I don't have any foot or knee problems (I pronate) and the shoes dry out quickly, unlike my goretex walking boots, which are not waterproof and are very hot.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#16
If I decide to walk the Portuguese next year I am thinking of shoes with lots of padding instead of my usual sandals - because of all the stone sets and cobbles. I have a very wide forefoot but New Balance don't work for me. I'd be trying the Hoka One One Bondi 5. Mainly for the cushioning.
I tried Hoka One One anclehigh trailshoes walking the Camino de Invierno in May.
Best caminoshoes ever!! On the Invierno there were a lot of hardroad too, but not as bad as I think the Portoguese was from Porto with all the cobblestones.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April-June, 2016
Portuguese Lisbon-Santiago - October, 2017
#17
Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I'm never going back to tech shirts!
Agree! Mine have lasted through 2 Caminos, but the moths got to one of them.
Hikers Wool. Rob - I took your advice and bought some before my first Camino, and what a Godsend! My little toes seem to blister easily (even with wide toebox) and I wrap them in wool and tape them.
Boots. I'm going to trail runners! I switched to Hokas also - Speed goats - and love, love, love them. What a difference on the cobblestones of Portugal!
 
#18
If I decide to walk the Portuguese next year I am thinking of shoes with lots of padding instead of my usual sandals - because of all the stone sets and cobbles. I have a very wide forefoot but New Balance don't work for me. I'd be trying the Hoka One One Bondi 5. Mainly for the cushioning.
Widest forefoot of all is Altras trail runners. You might take a look. That’s why I wore them this year, never thinking I would feel like I was walking on air in them.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#19
I'm going to find myself some cobblestones to try out the sandals on them. The sandals do have a very thick and tough tread (no signs of wear after a couple of thousand km) so they may be OK. They have always been fine on stony surfaces, I've never felt any stones through them. The only time I've wished they had a bit more internal padding is after walking on concrete or bitumen all day.
 

MicheleK

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first one, Camino Frances, in September 2018.
#21
I totally endorse HOKAs!! Finished the Francés with a pair and avoided all blisters and problems even though I have been prone to them in the past. I now have a new pair of HOKA Bondis and really like them. Amazing shoes. At times on the CAmino I would walk along marveling at how good each step felt!
Did you go over the pyrenees with them? If so how were they when hiking up and down steep inclines? I am having a hard time finding shoes that feel good and fit my feet well. Just bought a pair of Merrell's Moab, not wp, to try at home for a few days, as my wp Merrell boots are too hot. BUT wonder if I should go for trail runners instead and wonder if they would be enough on the mountains on the Francés?
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#22
Did you go over the pyrenees with them? If so how were they when hiking up and down steep inclines? I am having a hard time finding shoes that feel good and fit my feet well. Just bought a pair of Merrell's Moab, not wp, to try at home for a few days, as my wp Merrell boots are too hot. BUT wonder if I should go for trail runners instead and wonder if they would be enough on the mountains on the Francés?
Trail runners are more than enough. They are the primary footwear that many backpackers use for wilderness hiking, so Frances is fine in them. i used them on my thru hikes of the Pacific Crest Trail and the Colorado Trail, as well as hundreds of miles backpacking each year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#23
Good to read that about Merino. I also feel very itchy with them and never took one to the camino. Maybe I should now, for camino number 3 :)
I found some Merino shirts on sale today and bought 6!

I use Icebreaker. OK. why 6?
Because......
They have stopped making the ones I like.

Same old story. Pants, boots..... wish I had bought more of those 4 years ago.

Anyway, the shirts. And itchy or not?

I have tried these. Too heavy. Too itchy.
https://au.icebreaker.com/en/mens-t...nnel-shirt/102932.html?dwvar_102932_color=402

I use these. But the very lightweight fabric. 120 weight.
The light fabric is not really itchy.
They have stopped making the lightweight with half zip.
That is why I bought loads at the discount outlet today.
This is the 150 weight. Bit heavier. Slightly itchy.
https://au.icebreaker.com/en/mens-t...e-half-zip/103434.html?dwvar_103434_color=402

I got them at about $40 each....

The lightweight are not as durable. Abrasion of pack straps etc.
But better in warm weather.
And of course moths LOVE merino.
I just threw out three old ones!

The new ones will be packed away with moth balls!

I use long sleeve for flexibility.
Warmer if required.
Sun protection if required.
Easy to pull up sleeves and pull down zip if too warm.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
#26
If I decide to walk the Portuguese next year I am thinking of shoes with lots of padding instead of my usual sandals - because of all the stone sets and cobbles. I have a very wide forefoot but New Balance don't work for me. I'd be trying the Hoka One One Bondi 5. Mainly for the cushioning.
Kanga, my feet just about did me in on the Portuguese. I’ve never had a Camino injury... in fact was a big runner in my younger age with no injuries. I will always wonder why I had so much foot pain, now home three weeks my heels still throb.
I switched to Bondis and it helped and I was able to continue...
You are smart to think ahead!!! Those mosaic paver rocks just about killed me!!!
Hope you just hop along them in Kanga style!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Piamonte
#27
I'm going to find myself some cobblestones to try out the sandals on them. The sandals do have a very thick and tough tread (no signs of wear after a couple of thousand km) so they may be OK. They have always been fine on stony surfaces, I've never felt any stones through them. The only time I've wished they had a bit more internal padding is after walking on concrete or bitumen all day.
I know we have discussed this issue before but be aware there is a substantial difference between stony surfaces and cobblestones. The latter are granite and have absolutely no 'give', and are undulating. They really separate the feet from the chaff...
 

suzTeach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future (October 2018)
#28
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore on walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot wear as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?
My daughter got keen hiking shoes for her trip to Europe. She loved them!
 

Andrea Mayfield

it's about the journey.....
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Portugues - Porto to Santiago (June 2018)
#29
Did you go over the pyrenees with them? If so how were they when hiking up and down steep inclines? I am having a hard time finding shoes that feel good and fit my feet well. Just bought a pair of Merrell's Moab, not wp, to try at home for a few days, as my wp Merrell boots are too hot. BUT wonder if I should go for trail runners instead and wonder if they would be enough on the mountains on the Francés?
I wore Merrell Moab for both Frances and Portuguese Coastal. A few little blisters on the Frances and none on the Portuguese. Needed the extra sole support for the cobblestones. Love these shoes ❤
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully 2014
#30
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore on walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot wear as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?
I've been wearing Hokas for the last 6mos on all type of terrain and they have performed beautifully. No blisters or hotspots. Hardly feel the rocks under my shoes they are cushioned so well. Very light weight also. However am wearing 1000 mile socks also which are guaranteed no blister or your money back. Did the Camino Francis in 2014 with boots and had many problems with blisters and didn't know about the 1000 mile socks then. Was laid up for about a week all total having to rest my feet n two occasions to let the blisters heal. Will be doing the Portuguese Coastal Camino starting in August and will take my Hokas instead of boots.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2019 will be my first
#32
If I decide to walk the Portuguese next year I am thinking of shoes with lots of padding instead of my usual sandals - because of all the stone sets and cobbles. I have a very wide forefoot but New Balance don't work for me. I'd be trying the Hoka One One Bondi 5. Mainly for the cushioning.
Try the Saucony in the half nr's. Quite wide at the forefoot
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 Seville - Finestere, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#33
They need to be washed a few times I think........
Good to see you found icebreaker, their plain shirts are great but since they sold the company their stuff is more designy and not always as functional. I dig through their sale bins for the old shirts and socks, great for winter on the farm and the Camino. Not sure about their no-stink claims. Some of their thinner cycle stuff is good too as it is smooth, wicks well and breathes... But does wear out faster
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte April/May 2016
Norte May 2018
#34
Hi, great post. Will look for where to get hikers wool. A friend had his family in Austria mail deer fat cream to Canada for us to rub on feet daily - this and hobbit feet sounds appealing.

My wife and I both wore Scarpa Rapid LT with super feet insoles for our Norte/Primitivo and are pretty sold on them. Not quite a trail runner certainly not a boot.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Zip
#35
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore on walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot wear as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?


I walked the French in Hokas last year, I believe the Arahi. They were so comfortable, light weight, came in wide and saved my lower back. And no blisters! The down side is that I developed plantar fasciitis about 4 months later. The podiatrist believes it's because I didn't have enough arch support, which allowed too much side-to-side rotation. So by all means, consider Hoka runners, but make that appointment with a professional and get serious about some custom insoles. I've heard there are silicon orthotics available: haven't tried them. Oh, and stretch your feet and calves many times per day. I wish I'd known that!
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
#36
I also use Hokas. That cushioning is wonderful. The best camino for my feet was walking the Portuguese in the Hoka Stinson shoe. It was Heaven!

For my last camino (the Arles/Aragones) I used the Hoka Tor boot. It's a little less easy on the feet, but the steep, rocky ascents and descents for me require the extra support of the boot. I noticed my ankles were beginning to suffer by the time we completed the first days in the Haute Langedoc, even with the boots. The boots are still my favorite for more rigorous mountain terrain, but the shoes are great for walking hard surfaces, including cobbles and rocks.
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
#37
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore on walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot wear as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?
Great stuff mate agree on most everything good advice on your experience only I like the bladder and it’s cooler water
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF011, CF012, CP013, CF014, CA015, S.Anton015, CF015, CI015
Ditch Pig016, CF017, CP017, CdN(018)
#38
I have been wearing Salomon Quest 4D for my last 2 Caminos, they have the fit and feel of a ski boot, great ankle support and feel like you are walking on air when you hit cobblestones.
 

witsendwv

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015)
#39
Something I found out about age and feet :oops:

From my podiatrist. He made us special orthotics and really knows what he's doing. He works at the Sport Medicine centre at Olympic Park here in Sydney with Athletes and Sports people.

He explained that as we age, the soft part of our feet, particular under the heels breaks down. So as we age, we really need softer and softer shoes / insoles. Kind of makes sense. I find I prefer really thick outer socks because they cushion my feet more.

So in selecting lighter weight shoes, I'll be conscious of making sure their is enough cushioning.
Hi Robo, I got the impression from your posts on this thread that you are from Australia. If so, it would be far easier for you to purchase Armor Skins than it is for us here in the US. My husband and I wear them while walking in the mountains where our farm is located as well as on caminos. We have never had a blister. I wear them every walk I take. Also, if you need more room in the toe box for expansion as I have found as I have become a jubilado, the Altra trail runners are nice. There are several models with different levels of cushioning.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#40
I'm going to find myself some cobblestones to try out the sandals on them. The sandals do have a very thick and tough tread (no signs of wear after a couple of thousand km) so they may be OK. They have always been fine on stony surfaces, I've never felt any stones through them. The only time I've wished they had a bit more internal padding is after walking on concrete or bitumen all day.
Don't forget you need to practice on flat block paving rather than rounded stone (which we used to use in the UK to make walking on bits of the pavement/sidewalk as uncomfortable as possible) although there was one section of round stones where we got forced onto a stony beach as they were constructing a car park but that was in 2015, I think north of Vila do Conde?
 

Lizhk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#41
I used Hoka one ones last year and got huge heel blisters on the inner side heels of both feet while crossing the Pyrenees in wet weather.. it could be because they were a half size bigger. Everyone told me to get a half size bigger so when your feet swell at the end of the day they won't be too tight....my feet never got swollen. But they had the best soles for being like walking on air! This year...I bought another pair but a half size smaller.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#42
Hi Robo, I got the impression from your posts on this thread that you are from Australia. If so, it would be far easier for you to purchase Armor Skins than it is for us here in the US. My husband and I wear them while walking in the mountains where our farm is located as well as on caminos. We have never had a blister. I wear them every walk I take. Also, if you need more room in the toe box for expansion as I have found as I have become a jubilado, the Altra trail runners are nice. There are several models with different levels of cushioning.
ArmaSkin socks are a bit intriguing. They are intriguing because they rely on two methods to achieve what would be needed in order to prevent blistering, or to prolong the time it takes for bistering to occur which would give more time for someone to recognize a pre-blister 'hot spot' and take action.

I have never tried them, but I have looked carefully at what the manufacturer claims will happen if you wear them and their theory of function, the materials and construction of the socks, and if the claims of blister prevention by the interruption of shear friction forces are plausible.

I ignore testimonials and other anecdotal observations, whether the anecdotes are positive or negative. After all, every blister prevention scheme ever concocted works for the believers who have had success with each method, and is a bitter failure to those who tried the same method but developed blisters anyway.

Bottom line for me: They hold promise, and I am going to purchase a pair for real world wear. I will be able to test the performance of each characteristic of the sock's construction as it contributes to blister prevention. The biggest factor I will be looking at is:
  1. The usable life span of the sock. Since there is a large number of variables which affect that measurement -- from the types of footwear and insoles used, to the weight of the wearer, to the number of steps it takes to cover a set distance from one individual to the next, etc -- my findings of this measurement cannot be an expected set standard for anyone else. But it will give a general indication of the friability of the sock in either the short or longer term.
  2. The repeat-ability of the sock's performance during the life span of the sock: does the sock perform at the end of its usable life as well as it did on the first day of wear?
Why am I going to try them? Because they are a new variation, almost a hybrid, in the implementation of blister prevention strategies. From what I have determined from my own research on these socks, they are said to prevent blistering by employing two tactics which can already be done, but which require extra steps to accomplish:
  • Providing a barrier to the skin from the effects of shear force friction. This is now done with tapes, moleskins, super glue and other coatings which harden on the skin after application, etc. ArmaSkin does this by a silicon coating which is slightly tacky, that is said to create a sort of 'gripping' stick to the skin quality to it which is designed to keep the sock immobile on the skin.
  • Creating a shear force reaction which is directed away from the sock to the skin, and places it between the shoe and the sock. ArmaSkin do this by sizing the sock to be a snug fit allowing the outer material of the sock to slide over the the interior of the shoe. That is now done by making sure that the socks, any socks, that are used for hiking are sized to be snug -- not tourniquet tight -- on the foot.
ArmaSkin socks will not function with a third strategy that is commonly employed, and that is to use lubrication to reduce friction as the sock slides on the skin in order to reduce or offset shear force friction. In other words, you cannot use vaseline or body glide or hiker's goo, etc. If you do, then it takes away from the way the socks are said to function. On the other hand, you can still employ a barrier to the skin, like tape, and the sock will still function as intended.

ArmaSkin socks are claimed to be able to wick moisture away from the feet. I will have to test that out to believe it, but I have no reason to doubt the claim based on the information of the sock's construction. Because ArmaSkins require an outer sock to work, I am going to look hard at whether or not my feet get too warm with the increased insulative effect. I normally use a lightly-padded, lightweight Merino wool sock.

I do reject the manufacturer's contention that the moisture wicking is an important factor in blister prevention. I look at this claim as feeding into the 'old hiker's tales' of failed theories. Although wicking moisture is good for foot hygiene and reduction of fungal growth, I view ArmaSock's focus on such as a blister prevention feature to be marketing hype, rather than science.

Wet skin does not promote shear force friction in and of itself. Having wet skin does not mean that blisters are inevitable or even likely. Wet conditions can soften the skin over time (maceration) and so can be more easily damaged by the effects of shear force friction which create blisters. However, if there is sheer force friction against the skin, it doesn't matter whether is wet OR dry, blisters will form. If the skin is wet, but there is no shear force from the sock to the skin, there should not be any blistering.

This will be an interesting test. I will have to get used to the change in the feel of using a double sock before I focus on the testing, as I don't want to have that new sensory input confusing or biasing the actual performance of the sock itself.

Are these socks a gimmick? I'll see for myself. A lot of people have used them and report that they work as advertised. There are very few negative reviews, but relatively speaking, this product has not seen a big user base. The primary negatives listed are that:
  1. The stated sizes recommended are extremely tight and needed to buy a bigger size.
  2. The socks are a bit difficult to put on.
  3. Cost. I am purchasing two pairs through Amazon. Shipping is free. The cost for the two pair is about $70.00 :eek:o_O I am buying one pair in the size recommended by the ArmaSkin size chart; and I am buying one pair, different color, one size larger. I will return the one which fits the least well.

As a a backpacker who puts hundreds of miles covering rugged wilderness trails each year, I will be able to feel confident in my personal assessment on the suitability of the socks as an effective blister prevention strategy for myself -- and whether or not these socks provide a justifiable cost/benefit ratio compared to the current existing methods which are known to also be effective.
 

rohanmce

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
{Sept-Oct 2019/SJPDP-Finisterre}
#43
Widest forefoot of all is Altras trail runners. You might take a look. That’s why I wore them this year, never thinking I would feel like I was walking on air in them.
Thanks for this tip. I just looked at their site and OMG! they also go up to size US15 which is what I need. Now I just need to find a stockist in Australia.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
VDLP 2017
Camino de Levante (2018)
#46
Good to read that about Merino. I also feel very itchy with them and never took one to the camino. Maybe I should now, for camino number 3 :)
I love my merino camisole for walking, hot or cold days. I do not understand the itch factor, but I notice that there are many merino shirts that are a blend and cheaper. The 100% Merino shirts are more expensive, but I dont find them itchy...hate itchy!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#47
I love my merino camisole for walking, hot or cold days. I do not understand the itch factor, but I notice that there are many merino shirts that are a blend and cheaper. The 100% Merino shirts are more expensive, but I dont find them itchy...hate itchy!
Sometimes the way one launders a Merino wool shirt can drastically affect its "itch" factor. Generally speaking, Merino wools, with their unique fiber structure, do not share the issues of itchiness caused by regular wool. However, Merino fibers can 'break' into shorter structures which can produce itching when exposed to high heat, either in the washing machine or/and the dryer. Those who hand wash in cool water and allow to air dry have the least problems. Those who machine wash in cool water on gentle cycle and do an air-only drying in the dryer also report faring well. The complaints go up with normal washing in hotter water and less than gentle cycles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June/July (2017) Camino Frances (couldn't finish)
June/July (2019) Complete Astorga to Santiago
#49
Rob, it sounds like the physio you saw wasn't immediately concerned about a tendon rupture. So, for helping to soothe and heal the existing aggravation for Achilles issues, pay attention to where the back of the shoe's collar rests above your heel and toward the tendon itself. A lot of shoes have heel cups which are deeper than others. The theory is that it will cradle and snug the heel into a 'locking' position better. What it can actually do to a lot of folks is to push against the Achilles tendon aggravating it even to the point of tendonitis. The other thing it can do is create hellacious blistering in that area as the the shear friction force is multiplied by the snugness of the heel cup.

All else being equal, if you find a shoe you like in every other regard, but the heel cup is pushing against your achilles, all is not lost :). Firm and heavy duty felt padding can be glued into the heel cup to keep the back collar from pressing the achilles. It will take a bit of trial and error to get just the right thickness, which won't likely need to be very much, so that you get the best fit of the heel cup with your heel and back of the foot.

Another option is to use an inserted heel cup which will help lift the heel a bit and also help keep pressure off the the tendon. By lifting the heel a touch, it can help reduce movement in the tendon.

https://www.amazon.com/Silicone-Gel-Heel-Cups-ViveSole/dp/B01IQ0G338/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1529639179&sr=8-8&keywords=heel+cups+for+achilles+tendonitis&th=1

There is also a wearable type of achilles pad, which I have heard can work well but I would be watchfull for any bunching up of the surrounding material as you walk.

https://www.amazon.com/Silipos-Achi...&sr=8-6&keywords=silipos+achilles+heel+sleeve

The above products are examples, not recommendations. Just stuff to help you visualize what I am writing about. I have seen similar products in farmacias along Camino Frances.

And I am never adverse to minor surgery on a shoe that has it in for me. At the middle of the back of the shoe, you can split the back of the shoe at the top of the collar, cutting downward a bit, thereby expanding the collar a bit so it relaxes away from your tendon. If cutting it makes the edges 'pokey', add some moleskin type of padding, or some tape to seal the edges from their 'pokiness' :) Go a little at a time, though. You can always increase the depth of the cut to make it fit better, but not visa versa :)

For shin splints, too much pronation can be an aggravating factor, as it can for tendonitis, too; so if that is a contributing factor in your specific case, stay away from a shoe with 'neutral' motion control, and look for a bit more aggressive control. Depending on the amount of pronation, any orthotics or specialty insoles that you are planning on using (and try on with your new prospects), the amount of motion control can be lighter or more aggressive in nature. Generally, a shoe with a wider outer sole, especially at the heel, also helps in this regard. The heel cup area should feel firmer rather than soft. And most shoe will announce that they are of help for pronation.

Shoe brands to that I might try include New Balance.... the 910s have a good consistent quality for pronation control. The Brooks 'Beast' is famous for pronation control. I didn't care for the cushioning, though; it felt to firm for my liking, but many adore it. It's a personal thing.

Hoka One One makes the Bondi 5. I am really enamored of this shoe, but I can't tell yet if I'm in love with it, or just infatuated. :)

I hesitate to tell folks what I like because I am not endorsing anything. But some of the qualities that I find interesting in this shoe, are qualities that could be beneficial for you if the shoe has a good fit and feel on your feet.

This shoe is an exercise in contradictions.

  1. It is advertised as being a neutral motion control shoe, but as a pronator, and after 60+ miles with them on trails, they behave like a more stable motion control shoe. I see not one hint of the upper heel area rolling to the side.
  2. The Bondi is one of the few models in Hoka One One's lineup which offer a wide width. It doesn't say how wide that width is, but with my 3E left foot, it just makes the grade. That is a different way for a manufacturer to do sizing... no labels.
  3. The outsole traction looks insufficient. It seems marginal at best for off road trails and pathways. But they are surprisingly grippy on wet, on loose granules on hardpan going down a fairly steep grade, and do well on rocks and sidewalks and such. In looking closely at the sole, I figured out how it does that.
  4. There is no rockplate, but it actually absorbs protrusions and debris from poking at the foot better than some shoes with rock plates. And that's because of the....
  5. .....cushioning. In my experience, the level of felt cushioning on this shoe would make me expect wobbliness and instability when going over even modestly uneven terrain. This shoe doesn't suffer from those tendencies in the least for me. The cushioning effect to my left foot, which hates me by the way, is amazing. The most I've walked in them is a little over 11 miles. At that distance I expect to feel some light pressure ache in that left foot which hates me. I forgot to even pay attention to how much of the ache I feel until after I got home and took off the shoes. Hmmmmm.... that's a good beginning.
  6. The thing that I will be determining over the next month, is how much measurable, and felt, compression to that cushioning will have occured. Compression has to occur; it is the way of shoe wear and tear which is normal and expected. It can't be avoided. The question is: how much, and how fast? In another thirty days, I expect to have over 300 miles on these puppies, and then I will know if I am falling in love. :)
  7. The shoe is fairly light, as are the other shoes mentioned above, the more weight on your feet when walking the more exacerbation of lower leg problems. That is one reason I haven't made mention of the Salomon XA 3D Pro. It is a good shoe, but it is heavier than the others. Not as heavy as boots, though :)
  8. All of the shoes are adequately ventilated, and if you choose any of them over a GTX (goretex) model, they will drain and dry quickly.
Any concerns or worsening of symptoms get back to the medics. Things can blow up quickly, so follow their lead, as I am in no doubt that you will. Keep with the ice as recommended, and check with the doc about supplementing it with heat in an cycle. Tendonitis is a bit different than other inflammatory processes, and it is sometimes part of the therapy to switch cold and hot. But check first. I would also recommend a wintergreen astringent, if you can get it. It needs to be used regularly, but with restraint as to length of application.

Dang it all, Rob, I know that things happen that can make us stronger, more thankful and patient and empathetic to others.... but I hope you don't get THAT much stronger, patient, and empathetic; and that you get better soon :).

Thank you for all this info. My issue - after roughly 300 miles on the CF which sent me home - was bursitis in both heels, which I'm pretty sure came from my boots. I had never had this before the Camino (and I hike at home a lot); my doctor said it was from the constant day-in and day-out walking. I am going back one day to finish my Camino from Astorga and have been considering trail runners (have never used) but I know they will be lighter. Will definitely do some research and this info helps a lot. Thanks much!!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#50
Thank you for all this info. My issue - after roughly 300 miles on the CF which sent me home - was bursitis in both heels, which I'm pretty sure came from my boots. I had never had this before the Camino (and I hike at home a lot); my doctor said it was from the constant day-in and day-out walking. I am going back one day to finish my Camino from Astorga and have been considering trail runners (have never used) but I know they will be lighter. Will definitely do some research and this info helps a lot. Thanks much!!
Hi, bbates....

I am sorry to hear about the bursitis; that is no fun. The good news is, that day in and day out walking, in and of itself, is not a sole causative of foot problems. :) If that were the case, no one would be able to complete big thru-hikes, like the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail without a crippling foot problem. :) Five months of backpacking on the PCT and I had no real foot problems. So, I would slightly modify what the doctor said thusly, "Underlying foot structure problems can be amplified or surface from the constant day-in and out of walking."

I would include in this the normal, anatomical foot structures which are weak and have not been strengthened or conditioned prior to such a walk like on Camino. You mentioned that you hike at home a lot, which is great, as that probably kept the bursitis from rearing its ugly head earlier in your Camino. The good news is, that after recovery it is likely that you can condition that area of your achilles tendons to be able to do continuous walking.

Heavier footwear, like boots, can exacerbate the problem of even a slightly weak achilles tendon, which is a big culprit in your kind of bursitis. The extra weight, as well as any pressure from the footwear on the achilles, will have a potential negative impact. The greater the weight, the harder the tendons have to work. Add to that the increasing likelihood that the further onto the achilles tendon the footwear extends, the greater the risk of developing tendonitis or other conditions like bursitis.

Your inclination to more cushioned and lighter footwear will be of help in the prevention of the problem from recurring. It should also have good motion control if you have a foot that tends to either pronate, or to a lesser degree, supinate. And you should incorporate exercises to strengthen both the Achilles tendon, and the foot itself with exercises that help in the prevention of Plantars Fasciitis. I can re-post that information to you in a PM; just send me a PM if that might be of help. :)
 
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#51
Hi, bbates....

I am sorry to hear about the bursitis; that is no fun. The good news is, that day in and day out walking, in and of itself, is not a sole causative of foot problems. :) If that were the case, no one would be able to complete big thru-hikes, like the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail without a crippling foot problem. :) Five months of backpacking on the PCT and I had no real foot problems. So, I would slightly modify what the doctor said thusly, "Underlying foot structure problems can be amplified or surface from the constant day-in and out of walking."

I would include in this the normal, anatomical foot structures which are weak and have not been strengthened or conditioned prior to such a walk like on Camino. You mentioned that you hike at home a lot, which is great, as that probably kept the bursitis from rearing its ugly head earlier in your Camino. The good news is, that after recovery it is likely that you can condition that area of your achilles tendons to be able to do continuous walking.

Heavier footwear, like boots, can exacerbate the problem of even a slightly weak achilles tendon, which is a big culprit in your kind of bursitis. The extra weight, as well as any pressure from the footwear on the achilles, will have a potential negative impact. The greater the weight, the harder the tendons have to work. Add to that the increasing likelihood that the further onto the achilles tendon the footwear extends, the greater the risk of developing tendonitis or other conditions like bursitis.

Your inclination to more cushioned and lighter foot will be of help in the prevention of the problem from recurring. It should also have good motion control if you have a foot that tends to either pronate, or to a lesser degree, supinate. And you should incorporate exercises to strengthen both the Achilles tendon, and the foot itself with exercises that help in the prevention of Plantars Fasciitis. I can re-post that information to you in a PM; just send me a PM if that might be of help. :)
I’m thinking we might need a new sub-forum in the equipment section that is entitled:
Advice from DaveBugg!
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 Seville - Finestere, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#52
Sometimes the way one launders a Merino wool shirt can drastically affect its "itch" factor. Generally speaking, Merino wools, with their unique fiber structure, do not share the issues of itchiness caused by regular wool. However, Merino fibers can 'break' into shorter structures which can produce itching when exposed to high heat, either in the washing machine or/and the dryer. Those who hand wash in cool water and allow to air dry have the least problems. Those who machine wash in cool water on gentle cycle and do an air-only drying in the dryer also report faring well. The complaints go up with normal washing in hotter water and less than gentle cycles.
On the Camino the merino gets a quick hand wash, ring out and dry overnight on the bedpost. Down on the farm the merino gets chucked into the machine and washed with whatever else is going through, then dried on a line. Does shorten their life but nothing a bit of darning doesn't fix, not tape @Robo

@davebugg are you writting a best seller pilgrim advice guide? If so @peregrina2000 appears to have found you a working title.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#53
On the Camino the merino gets a quick hand wash, ring out and dry overnight on the bedpost. Down on the farm the merino gets chucked into the machine and washed with whatever else is going through, then dried on a line. Does shorten their life but nothing a bit of darning doesn't fix, not tape @Robo

@davebugg are you writting a best seller pilgrim advice guide? If so @peregrina2000 appears to have found you a working title.
On the Camino the merino gets a quick hand wash, ring out and dry overnight on the bedpost. Down on the farm the merino gets chucked into the machine and washed with whatever else is going through, then dried on a line. Does shorten their life but nothing a bit of darning doesn't fix, not tape @Robo
Related to washing Merino... one thing about Merino wool as a baselayer or a shirt that some folks are not aware of, it doesn't develop the funky stink when wearing it while hiking and sweating like other fabrics. It can allow you to skip a few days of washing without asserting an offal oder penalty to those around you. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela
#54
We never stop learning do we? Every Camino I learn something new and this is true of Gear too!

So with 3 Caminos done, (Yes I'm a real Newbie compared to many members here), I'm thinking about gear for number 4. And reflecting on things that I have changed my mind about, or new bits of gear I love.

Just thought I would share the following.

Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore on walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)

As counter intuitive as it is, Merino shirts are good in hot wear as well as cold. They keep you dry and the sweat evaporates....

They don't last too well though. My walking shirt was patched with foot tape by the end. Will need to buy a couple more.

So I was wrong on the shirts!

Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/

Umbrella. Worth it's weight in Gold! Mainly for hot days. Keeps me really cool and reduces my water consumption by about 40%
Quite handy in the rain too. (see the video under water bladders)

Water Bladders. Never again. I used them on #1 and #2. They are extra weight and sadly 'out of sight' so hard to monitor usage.
I'm now 'sold' on water bottles attached to the front pack straps with a drinking tube.
See video: http://robscamino.com/2018/packing-list/

Boots. The additional weight of boots may be causing or aggravating my foot problems. (Achilles, Shins). On advice from a Physio in Spain I'm going to trail runners! Another Sacred Cow gone........ I love my boots!

What brands should I try? @davebugg?
Why don’t you try Salomon. They are very durable, and above all, much lighter than Merrills etc.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#55
Related to washing Merino... one thing about Merino wool as a baselayer or a shirt that some folks are not aware of, it doesn't develop the funky stink when wearing it while hiking and sweating like other fabrics. It can allow you to skip a few days of washing without asserting an offal oder penalty to those around you. :)
Why do you think that I love it?! :p
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#56
Hikers Wool. Have loved this stuff since #1. Great for treating hot spots. Though if Pat is walking with me I need an extra pack! Her feet each morning looked like a Hobbit's .......... And thank you to the suppliers for mailing me a 2nd pack for pick up en route......
http://robscamino.com/2018/hikers-wool/
Sounds like a good compromise for those unwilling to simply wear good, preferably military-quality, 100% woollen socks -- which can of course be far too hot for some people's comfort.
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 Seville - Finestere, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#57
Why do you think that I love it?! :p
We really tested the no stink claims of merino both on the way and on the farm, I thought it worked a treat, my hi tech fibre wi break was called mr smelly and even after repeated washing always retained a slight wiff... More then slight on the Camino if I am honest... But despite living in the merino for often more then a week at a time, overnight airing was all it needed...,

While merino may be no stink, same can not be said of wearers, pilgrims should always wash the sweat, salt and dust off at the end of the day. Important for your own hygiene and the comfort of others.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#58
Why don’t you try Salomon. They are very durable, and above all, much lighter than Merrills etc.
My current boots are Salomon ;)
I like them, but might try lighter 'shoes'.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#59
Sometimes the way one launders a Merino wool shirt can drastically affect its "itch" factor. Generally speaking, Merino wools, with their unique fiber structure, do not share the issues of itchiness caused by regular wool. However, Merino fibers can 'break' into shorter structures which can produce itching when exposed to high heat, either in the washing machine or/and the dryer. Those who hand wash in cool water and allow to air dry have the least problems. Those who machine wash in cool water on gentle cycle and do an air-only drying in the dryer also report faring well. The complaints go up with normal washing in hotter water and less than gentle cycles.
I am a knitter,and have found that washing the yarn after dying with plenty of fabric softener definitely improves the feel of the yarn on my hands when knitting. A fine gauge 28 micron Romney for instance, which is just on the borderline for 'next to skin' becomes OK to knit with.
I prefer 'nicer' yarns in the 16-23 micron range, in merino, polwarth (cousin to the merino), silk etc to knit with, but for longevity, the higher micron fibres pill less, and wear better. For the record 16 micron feels like a cloud to knit with.
Moths still eat them unfortunately, they are not discerning about the micron only the source of the fibre.

I have made my own merino T's and tops, buying the fabric by the metre, and overlocking them. Just as nice as the icebreaker etc, but because of the width of the fabric (very wide) you get a couple of tops in the same colour. You obviously have to buy a nice quality fabric but its worth it. I always use a woolwash and softener as well, and they do feel nicer. Obviously that's not possible on a Camino, but for hiking at home, people who can feel the itch of wool, could try and see if the fabric softener helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#60
I used Hoka one ones last year and got huge heel blisters on the inner side heels of both feet while crossing the Pyrenees in wet weather.. it could be because they were a half size bigger. Everyone told me to get a half size bigger so when your feet swell at the end of the day they won't be too tight....my feet never got swollen. But they had the best soles for being like walking on air! This year...I bought another pair but a half size smaller.
Same experience minus the wet weather. Blisters in the same spots. Some New Zealanders saved the day with some fresh wool for some pretty bad blisters.

But .... I love the Hokas. The cushioning and stability are fantastic. I have since bought two more pair of Tor Ultra His (basically looking for steep discounts) in my normal size. I’ve also purchased the sandals (which have a similarly wide sole) and the high top Tor Tech Mid. The latter does not have quite the same sole width, and the cushioning is not as soft.

Hoka has added a high-top Speedgoat trail runner shoe to its hiking shoe line. I share some of the skepticism about high tops and ankle support generally, but I have severe neuropathy from above my ankles down, and high tops allow me to use a less constraining ankle-foot orthotic because I can rely on the shoe for ankle stability. If you’ve got ankle issues, they may be a good alternative.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#62
I totally endorse HOKAs!! Finished the Francés with a pair and avoided all blisters and problems even though I have been prone to them in the past. I now have a new pair of HOKA Bondis and really like them. Amazing shoes. At times on the CAmino I would walk along marveling at how good each step felt!
Just finished the Le Puy route in HOKA's and loved, loved, loved them! I gave a quick review of them yesterday as an update on my old thread when I asked if anyone liked them.
 

Lindy Lou

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018 Portuguese
#63
If I decide to walk the Portuguese next year I am thinking of shoes with lots of padding instead of my usual sandals - because of all the stone sets and cobbles. I have a very wide forefoot but New Balance don't work for me. I'd be trying the Hoka One One Bondi 5. Mainly for the cushioning.
Hi there. I am walking the Portuguese in 10 weeks. I have a wider foot. I’ve read good things about Altra Lone Peak 3.0 etc. I have ordered them. Fingers crossed they will stop the sore little toes issue I have.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#64
If I decide to walk the Portuguese next year I am thinking of shoes with lots of padding instead of my usual sandals - because of all the stone sets and cobbles. I have a very wide forefoot but New Balance don't work for me. I'd be trying the Hoka One One Bondi 5. Mainly for the cushioning.
Kanga, I think the Hoka's would performvery well for you in Portugal. The soles of my Hoka's were incredible on all rocks and roots, so the Portugal cobbles should be no problem either. The soles are like pillows of marshmellow's and very springy. :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#65
I will probably stick to the sandals - but I’ll try the Hoka and also the Altra Lone Peak.
 
Camino(s) past & future
frances(Sept 2018)
#66
Those Hair Shirts! (Merino) I have owned some since Camino #1 and only used them for evening wear. Too hot, too itchy...... This year I wore one walking........... I'm never going back to tech shirts! (they are like wearing a plastic bag in comparison)
Merino wool has kind of barbs at the end of the strands of fibres.
lower cost merino uses shorter ( and less expensive fibres). Top quality merino uses the longest fibres and has less - if any of those barbs that make some merino itchy. I bought a cheap one at Costco and can't stand it after 10 minutes. i bit the bullet and bought an ice breaker T and it was like night and day.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#67
Merino wool has kind of barbs at the end of the strands of fibres.
lower cost merino uses shorter ( and less expensive fibres). Top quality merino uses the longest fibres and has less - if any of those barbs that make some merino itchy. I bought a cheap one at Costco and can't stand it after 10 minutes. i bit the bullet and bought an ice breaker T and it was like night and day.
It boils down to micron. (Excuse the pun, dont boil your wool). The lower the micron, the softer the fabric. The thick wool work socks my dad wears on the farm, are probably around 33-65. Under 29-30 is considered next to skin (borderline) but there is a huge difference between 28 micron, and the low 20's which we find most comfortable (eg Icebreaker). That number is a good mix of practicality and comfort. Obviously the lower the micron the higher the price - which is why people can be caught out by cheap deals. The milling makes a difference as well.
The lowest micron I have knit with is 16 micron, beautifully soft - feels like cotton wool, but pills like crazy so it has to be treated with care but feels heavenly. Another weird thing is how much softer organic fibres are. It seems to make a big difference. On the same weight yarn, spun in the same mill, undyed, the organic usually has a much softer handle than the standard. (it seems we really are what we eat - or at least sheep are)
The higher end brands like Icebreaker are quality fibres, sourced specifically. I think it would unlikely that staff would know anything about the source fibre for the cheaper brands.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#68
It boils down to micron. (Excuse the pun, dont boil your wool). The lower the micron, the softer the fabric. The thick wool work socks my dad wears on the farm, are probably around 33-65. Under 29-30 is considered next to skin (borderline) but there is a huge difference between 28 micron, and the low 20's which we find most comfortable (eg Icebreaker). That number is a good mix of practicality and comfort. Obviously the lower the micron the higher the price - which is why people can be caught out by cheap deals. The milling makes a difference as well.
The lowest micron I have knit with is 16 micron, beautifully soft - feels like cotton wool, but pills like crazy so it has to be treated with care but feels heavenly. Another weird thing is how much softer organic fibres are. It seems to make a big difference. On the same weight yarn, spun in the same mill, undyed, the organic usually has a much softer handle than the standard. (it seems we really are what we eat - or at least sheep are)
The higher end brands like Icebreaker are quality fibres, sourced specifically. I think it would unlikely that staff would know anything about the source fibre for the cheaper brands.
Really interesting information; thanks, Anamiri.
 

LoriLosch

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago (Sept 2015)
#69
Just finished the Le Puy route in HOKA's and loved, loved, loved them! I gave a quick review of them yesterday as an update on my old thread when I asked if anyone liked them.
Hi Chris! May I ask what exact Hokas you used? Thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#70
Hi Chris! May I ask what exact Hokas you used? Thanks!
They were Hoka One One's, possibly an older model, so they have no specific name for me to tell you. Here's a couple of photos. Lol.
 

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