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Trail Runners or Boots?

2020 Camino Guides

Evvie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
I'm walking the Camino Frances from September 7 to late October. I'm aware of the debate regarding trail runners vs. boots and I'm still undecided! Lowa Renegades vs. Hoka One One's? One thing I'm questioning is warmth, especially during October. All advice is appreciated!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I wouldn't worry about warmth a factor on the Camino in October. Comfort and fit of shoe choice much more important. Wear whichever pair works the best on a 10 kilometre training walk before you go. Only way to know.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Trail runners. Unless you have very weak ankles or NEED support, boots are overkill.
The Camino is a walk/trekking path, not a mountain climbing path.
There is really no need for boots.
Besides that, if it DOES rain, boots will be wet and trail runners can be dry by morning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (July 2016), Primitivo (July 2018), Portuguese (March 2019)
I'm walking the Camino Frances from September 7 to late October. I'm aware of the debate regarding trail runners vs. boots and I'm still undecided! Lowa Renegades vs. Hoka One One's? One thing I'm questioning is warmth, especially during October. All advice is appreciated!
A decent pair of well padded trainers with a well padded insole. Perfect for the concrete and tarmac on any of the caminos. Boots are for proper mountains, trail runners for rough trails, trainers for caminos including the Primitivo and the Norte and very, very especially for the Frances. If you want to walk decent distances, say 25km - 40km, without blisters or soft tissue damage, trainers every time.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Another thing to take into consideration is pack weight. The weight of your pack has a direct influence in the type of footwear you use. That is something not brought up very often in discussions on footwear choice on here. Obviously you want to carry as light a pack as possible. You should be able to throw your pack up as high in the air as you can and comfortably catch it. At least that is what I do. If it is painfully heavy to catch (or hazardous lol) I would lighten it.
The lighter the pack, the less pounding on your feet, and actually your entire body. Less pounding affects footwear choice.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Trail runners all the way for me. But it is personal. Boots weigh more. There are lots of trail runners out there that have great support in the soles and arches of your feet. In my completely unscientific observations during my caminos it seems like people with boots had more blisters and bigger ones. But there is no basis except my eyes to confirm this. Fit and comfort is everything. Buy one size larger and the time you are walking you should have no worries about the weather and warmth. But who can predict the weather.
 

Håkan Wiik

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk in September this year
I'm walking the Camino Frances from September 7 to late October. I'm aware of the debate regarding trail runners vs. boots and I'm still undecided! Lowa Renegades vs. Hoka One One's? One thing I'm questioning is warmth, especially during October. All advice is appreciated!
I walked the Camino Frances two years ago in four weeks in september and walked in running shoes. They just worked smoothly and if you count every step you take, you save att least nearly half a kilo for every two steps you walk and you will in the end have walked much more than one million steps before you reach Santiago. So go for running shoes.
 

Pilgy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
Aha! The good old debate continues! I keep considering trail runners but the Altras are SOOOOO flimsy and unsupportive even with my custom insoles. I think they are also hugely overpriced (although I will readily pay big bucks for shoes that work for me as realize their significance) ) and the zero drop continues to feel strange. I am still in my Keen Targhee II mids and likely will be again. Boots take a lot of criticism yet there are many levels of "boots" ranging from mountaineering boots to mid cut "boots" that are otherwise trail walkers shoes with a higher top, i.e. my Keens. So we need to be careful about generalizing when using the term "boots". RJM raises the point about pack weight. For those having packs transported daily there is far less need for any support in a shoe. For those of us who carry our own we might be far happier with more shoe structure and a thicker sole, especially as the miles pass. Odd that with all this movement to trail runners, I continue to notice that most of the shoe racks on the the Frances, Portugues and Ingles are filled with mainly mid height boots of varying weights and robustness.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Odd that with all this movement to trail runners, I continue to notice that most of the shoe racks on the the Frances, Portugues and Ingles are filled with mainly mid height boots of varying weights and robustness.
And that makes it easy for me to quickly spot my sandals on the shoe racks!
 

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