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Training for Camino - my worries

SherlyC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First time Camino in 2018 September
#1
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
#2
15km is a good start, what surface were you walking on? During a long walk you will be able to feel the hardness of the ground without looking, obviously grass is soft, but after a while you will be able to tell the difference between concrete and tarmac, the latter will feel as soft as grass after a stretch on concrete. If your feet are burning now rest for a few days and try again but this time stop before you get to 15 km and take off your shoes and socks to let your feet cool and relax, if necessary change your socks for a fresh pair of yours are wet with sweat.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#3
Hola @SherlyC and welcome to the Forum and the life of a pilgrim on the Camino. Your worries are real as getting hot spots or blisters during training might mean you are pushing it. My advice is reduce back to 10 km three or 4 days per week. Once on the Camino, one ensure your pack is as light as possible (rule of thumb is 10% of your body weight - but this is up to you); once on the camino start slowly. You are starting from St Jean so take 5 days to get to Pamplona. Basically you are getting your feet; your body; your mind into the Camino mind frame. Buen Camino.;)
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
#4
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
There is no firm rule which says you must wal 25 km perday. You can plan your camino according to how you feel, walking as much or as little as you like each day. There are albergues within reasonable distances. Don’t stress and as the other posters say take a rest for a couple days ..then start again or walk less km for a week then increase slowly. Look into supportive insoles and good socks. As always as soon as you feel hotspots stop and take care of it immediately. Occasionally stop take your socks/shoes off sit rest your feet possible change socks before continuing. Keep the weight down in your pack and enjoy the walk.. also believe it or not increased water intake will help with muscle fatigue..Buen Camino!
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
#5
On my first Camino my feet ached in places I had not known existed. It was muscle fatigue between the metatarsals. But it did get better. Resting at least every 10k... keeping feet dry... these things help.
2 days ago we did Arzúa to Santiago... a 41km day. No aches, no pains... I am 51. Spouse is 50. We both work in desk jobs.
Take your first days slowly. Take rest days if you need them.
In line with us today was an 81-year old woman getting her Compostela.
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future (2018)
#7
That 15km you did has put 15km of hard work into your feet. They may ache, but you have improved your foot fitness. Keep going and each walk will mean they will hurt less on the Camino. As per the other advice, don’t push too hard. You want to toughen up the feet but you don’t want to push too much and get blisters. In between walks, pamper your feet like they are new born pups!
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#8
Make sure you have proper fitting shoes.
You do not need to wear heavy hiking boots for the CF.
Stretching helps.
Read on a good web page, or speak with your doctor, how to stretch your feet.
From what you described it sounds like plantar Factiitis. Would be almost sure that is what it is.
Stretching and good shoe inserts will take care of the problem.

Once I got proper light weight shoes, did daily stretching and used shoe inserts like Super Feet or SOLE brand I never had a pain in my feet again.

Lighten your pack load too.
Also using walking staffs helps. Takes weight off your feet and legs. Helps balance. Helps going up and down steep hills.

Take care of your feet. Raise them when resting. I break/rest my feet every hour.
Change socks. Air them out. Alternate pairs. Even moving right sock to left foot. And left sock to right foot.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#9
You do not need to wear heavy hiking boots for the CF.
This cannot be said enough.
I wore lightweight trail runners for my first two Caminos - SJPdP to Finisterre, and sandals for my recent Camino del Norte. Sure, my feet were sore at the end of the day, but they actually felt the best when I wore sandals - even on a 40km day.
 

Lmsundaze

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2016), CP (2017)
#12
Something that helps me — every time you take a rest break, but at least every 2 hours - sit down and take off your shoes and socks. Air your bare feet - wiggle your toes. If my feet err damp I would switch socks (always carried an extra pair.). Good luck, and start with shorter days while your feet and body toughen up.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#13
When you say your feet ‘burn like crazy’ do you mean the ‘soles’ of your feet? If that is so, I will stress what others have already said, that is, invest in good inner soles. Remove the soles that came with your shoes/boots and put in some cushiony soles. This works for me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#14
When I walked in 2016, I did no prior training and had a similar experience. After walking, I would arrive in the albergue exhausted and rest. When I got up I could barely walk. I would hobble around and I expect I looked like a 90 year old man who couldn't find his walker. The plantar fasciitis probably didn't help. Nevertheless, when I got up the next morning, after a few minutes on the road, I could walk normally. As the days went on, my walking in the evening became more normal.

Now, two years after that Camino, I've retained some of that conditioning and can walk 20 km in a day with a backpack without hobbling like an old man in the evening.
 

Dutchwalk53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015 with son #1, CF 2016 alone, CF 2017 with son #2 and husband , CF Sept 2018 with daughter
#15
fitting shoes, good socks, pre tape sensitive area's on feet, stretch before walking. Yes my feet ache too after 15 km at home. As they do on the Camino. However somehow on the Camino 15 km seems not as far as 15 km at home. Way more interesting. That being said, during my first Camino I was aching every morning the first week. But it gets easier. Never ha a blister though :)
Yes take it easy the first few days....then see how all goes. Weather permitting, I always switch to hiking sandals after 15 km to walk the remaining km's of the day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future (2018)
#17
15km is getting close to a regular day on the Camino if you are aiming to walk according to the Brierley book. The difference is that on the Camino you have all day to walk the distance you want. Not have to squeeze it in to a regular day at home. So, it will be easier. My training walks are foot forward and get in with it. I don’t take breaks to consider the views or have food or a coffee or a chat with others. So they are harder work as a result. I’m just bashing out the distance.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#18
Try to understand the posts here...
many posts have different important ideas.

I read many times that feet swell on the Camino, but I did not really understand it (I did not think that my feet swell so much)... even after having read the feet-swelling-idea my newly bought camino-trailrunners were too small (not wide enough at the toe box). The shoes fitted in the morning... but after walking 3 to 5 hours the shoes were not wide enough for my toes... even at 20 degrees at home in Germany... fortunately I bought wider shoes before starting my camino.


When you say your feet ‘burn like crazy’ do you mean the ‘soles’ of your feet? ...
I think this is important.
Does the skin burn (e. g. hotspots)?
Or something inside the foot (e. g. plantar fasciitis)?

Planning is good... but try to be open. Do not overdo it...
Noone has to go 25km... you can start at SJPdP (or at a different starting point). If you see that 25km is too much at the beginning... you can come back and finish your Camino the next time... or go by bus or by bike somewhere in between... if you do not overdo it and if you are not unlucky, you will get fitter on your camino and will be able to walk further later on.
If you start in SJPdP you can make the first day easier (e. g. backpack transport or stop in Orisson (reservation?!)).
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#19
Hola SherlyC,

I really shouldn't reply because it's pretty much all been said very well already but I want to emphasise what @Ian-on-a-stick says. While on Camino walking is basically your only job. A 15km walk crammed into the middle of a busy work week is nothing like a 15km day of hiking where you could be on the trail for as long as 7 or 8 hours maybe even more if you wanted. Take your time and plenty of breaks, especially in the first few days and you'll be surprised how quickly it becomes second nature. If troubles do persist it may well be as others suggest that you need to review your footwear choice.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
 

Tuaruin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sanabres.
Santiago-Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago.
Ingles.
#21
In an ideal world; we would all set off with feet as tough as “old boots”, mule like carrying capacity and athletic level fitness. Like most, I don’t live in that world; in fact I was at the other end of the spectrum prior to setting off last year to walk the Sanabres, having done no training at all. Despite my poor fitness and lack of training, I had a wonderful time and went on to walk the Ingles and Santiago-Muxia-Finisterre and back to Santiago.

The way I did it is certainly not the best, I would advise training and improving fitness as much as one can before setting off but lack of training need not be a barrier, one just needs to ease into the walk and moderate initial daily goals. The body has a remarkable ability to adapt and if one sets off gently, it’s surprising how quickly it happens.

My advice is to use light trail walking/running shoes, keep pack light (but don’t worry too much as you will quickly find what you don’t need and can send it ahead to Santiago), then set your own pace and be flexible with daily distance goals. First few days might feel tough and the overall distance seem impossible but you’ll soon settle into the walk.

Enjoy your Camino!
 

Stacyv

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminó francés (2017)
Planning Caminó portugués (2018)
Planning Lycian Way (2018)
#22
A level of fitness makes the Camino a whole lot more enjoyable. If you find you are struggling don’t hesitate to use a bag transfer service. It will reduce your load and make the distances much more manageable. The transfer service is amazingly reliable and cheap 3-5 euros.
I’m on the Portuguese Camino currently and carrying my pack, but last year on the Frances I only carried it for 300kms then decided to transport my pack. I never regretted it! Buen Camino:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino September-October 2017
#23
I’m sorry your feet are hurting already. I second what everyone else said, but want to make an avid recommendation for get walking sticks, they saved my life on the Camino. Also make sure to do a bit of your training wearing your backpack with weight, especially going up and down hills.

When you get to the Camino, make sure to stretch everyone morning. It isn’t good to just start walking when your body is cold. I would do some push ups, downward dogs, stretch the quads and calves, also you IT band is SO important. Sometimes a tight IT band will present as a knee problem and once you fix that no more IT pain. I also recommend bringing a massage ball with you. I just use a lacrosse ball. There is nothing better at the end of the day as massaging the ball of your foot. It is also great to massage your back and IT. And if you offer it to other pilgrims, you will make instant friends.

I also Vaseline my feet and do the double sock method. The only time I got blisters was when I did a single sock. This will only work if you have big enough shoes of course.

Buen Camino! Your body will catch up with your mind ☺️
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago - twice
Via Francigena - Canterbury to Rome (2017)
Rome to Jerusalem (2017)
#24
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
My experience was to use to Marino socks and insoles that absorb the impact. Listen to you body and stop when it is clear that you need to rest. It is not a race it is a pilgrimage- whatever that means to you. I walked the Camino solo this summer and never booked ahead therefore was able to stop as needed. The physical, spiritual and emotional experience you will have is the silver thread of the Camino. Buen Camino
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
#25
i find than during training I tend to walk all in one go and on the camino i walk over a much longer time as I may rest for coffee, lunch, snacks etc which makes a great difference...

that being said, I just started training too, from desk to 22 on friday, 4 km in I have 2 blisters by the end I have sore feet. Yesterday did 18 km still with blisters and less sore feet, and today I had other plans so did 2+3 km still with blisters but feet were fine...

just keep going, but stop a week before departure to let yourself heal as to not start injured. You will be fine
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#26
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
Try a really good shoe instead of a boot.
 

SherlyC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First time Camino in 2018 September
#27
Try a really good shoe instead of a boot.
Yes, reading all the comments here, I've decided to wear my trail runner (no ankles) which are a lot lighter than my hiking boots. What worries me though, is that in case of heavy rain, water might get into my trail runners more easier than the boots that have high ankles...
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#29
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#30
Something that helps me — every time you take a rest break, but at least every 2 hours - sit down and take off your shoes and socks. Air your bare feet - wiggle your toes. If my feet err damp I would switch socks (always carried an extra pair.). Good luck, and start with shorter days while your feet and body toughen up.
Really good advice. I did May/June 2017 when stopping for lunch - boots off; outer socks off (I always wear a thin liner sock and a thick outer one). This allows the socks to dry out and feet to cool off a little!!
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
#31
Yes, reading all the comments here, I've decided to wear my trail runner (no ankles) which are a lot lighter than my hiking boots. What worries me though, is that in case of heavy rain, water might get into my trail runners more easier than the boots that have high ankles...
If it rains heavily, the water will get into your hikers as quickly as it will get into your walkers. In an emergency, just get plastic bags, cut them out at the sealed end and attach them with rubber bands under the knee. Silly, I know, but quite effective. I give this simplistic solution only because while the weather patterns worldwide have gone beyond erratic, traditionally this isn't the rainy season along the Camino.
In your place, I would put my energy more toward keeping the feet healthy and productive. I can't second enough the repeated comments to change socks 2/3 through every day. If your pack weight can handle it, I would REALLY recommend your carrying a second pair of walkers... a pair of open-air sandals. I changed every day into my Keans with a new pair of socks and never had a blister.
Just go at your own pace, be flexible and enjoy every Camino moment. It's not about the destination... it's all in the journey.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#32
When I first starting walking the camino (in expensive and very good boots) I used to think that I had 15km feet - because they always started to hurt about then. Then I changed my footwear. Now my feet are fine. So it is worth considering that the particular shoe may be the problem, rather than the lack of training.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#33
On my first Camino my feet ached in places I had not known existed. It was muscle fatigue between the metatarsals. But it did get better. Resting at least every 10k... keeping feet dry... these things help.
2 days ago we did Arzúa to Santiago... a 41km day. No aches, no pains... I am 51. Spouse is 50. We both work in desk jobs.
Take your first days slowly. Take rest days if you need them.
In line with us today was an 81-year old woman getting her Compostela.
Buen Camino
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
If the burning you describe is within the structure of the foot, you should see a foot doctor. You might need orthotics. Plantar fasciitis won’t get better on the trail.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October 2018
#34
15km is getting close to a regular day on the Camino if you are aiming to walk according to the Brierley book. The difference is that on the Camino you have all day to walk the distance you want. Not have to squeeze it in to a regular day at home. So, it will be easier. My training walks are foot forward and get in with it. I don’t take breaks to consider the views or have food or a coffee or a chat with others. So they are harder work as a result. I’m just bashing out the distance.
sounds exactly like my training walks at the moment. Finding it hard to get them in, with working full time and needing to be 100% well to walk a long distance. An optimistic attitude might make the difference for me! ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October 2018
#35
I have worn Hokas on 3 Caminos with a good pair of sandals for back up. Yes, the get wet but so far not a problem.
Great to hear, I'll be wearing Hoka Challengers in a couple of weeks when I start my first CF. Thanks for the vote of confidence in Hokas - I absolutely love mine!
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
#36
If the burning you describe is within the structure of the foot, you should see a foot doctor. You might need orthotics. Plantar fasciitis won’t get better on the trail.
My troubles were merely with the micro muscles between the metatarsals— they never hurt anymore, not once I made 10k days part of my regular life.

FWIW, especially for those without insurance coverage, the science on orthotics shows they do not work. People like them because things feel different and cognitively we confuse different with better. If you feel better with them and are not worried about the cost, sure.... use ‘em. But not getting orthotics won’t make your feet worse.

I can’t post the sources for this information cuz I’m on my phone, but multiple biomechanics studies have shown orthotics to be as effective as placebo. IE some people feel better, but there is no consistent improvement across the population.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#38
My troubles were merely with the micro muscles between the metatarsals— they never hurt anymore, not once I made 10k days part of my regular life.

FWIW, especially for those without insurance coverage, the science on orthotics shows they do not work. People like them because things feel different and cognitively we confuse different with better. If you feel better with them and are not worried about the cost, sure.... use ‘em. But not getting orthotics won’t make your feet worse.

I can’t post the sources for this information cuz I’m on my phone, but multiple biomechanics studies have shown orthotics to be as effective as placebo. IE some people feel better, but there is no consistent improvement across the population.
Morgan, I was actually replying to Sheryl’s post. For some reason, my reply also picked up a quote of your post. I don’t know how that happened. Sorry for the confusion. By the way, that’s interesting information about orthotics. I don’t wear them, but my wife has in the past when she had plantar fasciitis.
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
#39
Morgan, I was actually replying to Sheryl’s post. For some reason, my reply also picked up a quote of your post. I don’t know how that happened. Sorry for the confusion. By the way, that’s interesting information about orthotics. I don’t wear them, but my wife has in the past when she had plantar fasciitis.
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
#40
Ah, no worries!
At one point some years ago I *did* develop PF. At that point I considered orthotics, but went fork-tape instead for a few weeks, and made sure all my shoes had superior arch support thence forth. No problems since, and I can still wear any style of shoe I want, and no $800 orthotics.
I am all for “whatever works” but the orthotics cost is shockingly high for something with no objectively measurable effectiveness. So, if cost is a concern, I advise people to buy better shoes, and to do foot exercises. And K-tape for an acute case. See videos on web for how to tape for PF.
K tape also has a lot of unverified claims. I’ve found it useless for shin splints and RSI in the forearm, but brilliantly useful for patellar tendinitis and PF. And the cost is low. Keeps me off ibuprofen too.
Best wishes!
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#41
Ah, no worries!
At one point some years ago I *did* develop PF. At that point I considered orthotics, but went fork-tape instead for a few weeks, and made sure all my shoes had superior arch support thence forth. No problems since, and I can still wear any style of shoe I want, and no $800 orthotics.
I am all for “whatever works” but the orthotics cost is shockingly high for something with no objectively measurable effectiveness. So, if cost is a concern, I advise people to buy better shoes, and to do foot exercises. And K-tape for an acute case. See videos on web for how to tape for PF.
K tape also has a lot of unverified claims. I’ve found it useless for shin splints and RSI in the forearm, but brilliantly useful for patellar tendinitis and PF. And the cost is low. Keeps me off ibuprofen too.
Best wishes!

My custom made orthotics cost me 120 € where I get the half back from our good working national health service.
Without my orthotics I could not have walked all my Caminos in Spain and walks here in this country.
Bursitis in my knee and hip would have been constant and unavoidable. I would have to take strong painkillers.

And I already have state of the art shoes with the Hanwag brand and still I need extra support.

So you might find it " a placebo " but not for me.

General note to new pilgrims seeking advice here : do not rely on medical advice through a forum but always check with a specialist and/or a physiotherapist who can look into your dossier with care and professionalism.
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
#42
My custom made orthotics cost me 120 € where I get the half back from our good working national health service.
Without my orthotics I could not have walked all my Caminos in Spain and walks here in this country.
Bursitis in my knee and hip would have been constant and unavoidable. I would have to take strong painkillers.

If you have good coverage and they help, then orthotics are not a concern. It is not my opinion that they are as good as a placebo; the biomechanics and kinesiology and pain studies on populations of users show that orthotics *change* how we feel and that cognitively humans confuse different with better.
I don’t want people who perhaps— as in North America — don’t have the extra insurance that would cover $800 orthotics thinking that a Camino is inadvisable without them. Foot exercises, arch support, high quality shoes... these things can all help.
And I’m not giving medical advice. I’m reporting on now well-known reasons that many insurers do *not* cover orthotics.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#43
@SherlyC , it's good you're considering ditching the boots. I only took boots once and regretted it, both because of pain and because of weight. They're overkill, except in the perhaps in winter when there would be snow to deal with. This is more a long ramble from village to village rather than a hike - there are rocky bits, to be sure, but mostly it's easy walking.

One question: will you be taking poles?
If you are concerned about the stability and traction of the trail runners, the poles will definitely help - and they take a considerable percentage of weight off the feet, which reduces foot stress and pain.
 

Havnen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Camino, St. Frances (October, 2016)
#44
Do not remember if anyone else mentioned to vasoline your feet before you start each day to cut down on friction?
The vasoline worked wonders for me. Stopped the rapidly growing blisters in their tracks! That, and just before putting on my shoes I pull my socks out several inches past my foot to create a cushion between my toes and shoes. When my toes begin to hurt I take off my shoes and repeat those two tips. Was SO grateful for those pointers...they saved my feet, along with the trekking poles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018 - first time
#45
did my first Camino this year, shared my first night in a cubicle in Ronesevalles with a Swiss family, the father was 90, and did the whole hill (I kid you not) and met them a few stages after, suggestions:
1) buy a pair of hiking boots 1 size too big
2) suggest buying Injinji toe socks or similar, they worked for me
3) build up your stamina, then the rest will follow,
4) when starting, dont be too determined on distance, that will come to you in time,
5) dont pack too much, you can get nearly everything you need en route
6) relax and enjoy every moment
 

Tuaruin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sanabres.
Santiago-Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago.
Ingles.
#46
Agree with comments about poles. I used “Pacerpoles” and loved them. Really comfortable to use and definitely help spread the load.
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
#47
I have to say that I seriously considered all the advice about sizing up one's boots and nearly did it for this past camino (my second). I"m really glad I didn't. The trick, I think, is to know your own body and take account of the season. On my first camino I actually dropped half a size in shoes (and it's stayed that way since). My feet don't swell. Had I bought a half size or full size larger, I'd have had the arch support in the wrong place in the shoe's last. So, if your feet typically swell then yeah, consider sizing up. But if your feet do not typically swell, then I suggest staying with your size so that all the structural elements of support remain to scale, and so that you don't end up with a variety of injuries from flopping around in shoes too big for you.
I know that the standard advice and wisdom is to size up, but my experience (51 yrs with these feet, and I haven bunions, no corns, etc, and I danced 'en pointe' when I was young -- until a shattered pelvis ended that pursuit) says that always spending the money on good shoes and knowing your own structural needs is more crucial than following standard advice.

In the ironies of my life, I wore my Frye boots to walk to work yesterday -- the day after getting home from camino -- and got my only blister of the last 4 years. I'd forgotten to wear my Darn Tough socks over my tights. Oops.

Buen Camino
 

jonnyboy9

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 October?
#48
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
Just focus on walking 2- 2 1/2hours. By then feet are hurting so you stop, boots and socks off for 20 mins then you carry on for another 2 and half hrs. And so on. Your feet need the rest...Good luck x
 

Gcmacrae

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#49
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
I never met a pilgrim who was perfectly fit for the journey on day 1. Get good footwear; there are lots of posts in that. Break in your shoes, walk at least 1 hr a day for a month before you leave and then start. Take it slow and easy for the first few days. Listen to your body. If it says stop, stop! After 5 days you are fit. At day 10, you don’t really notice your pack. Just because the book is broken into stages, you need to decide your stages. The biggest challenge is to slow your mind, be accepting and patient. 10 k might seem a lot but it is only 2 1/2 hrs or there abouts. When you are in the right state of mind, it passes quickly. “Just do it”
 

Opa Theo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
#50
We're preparing for the Camino Francais, Sept 28! I fear blisters. Having run marathons Blisters are horrible. Learned of a simple prevention. Paper surgical tape about an inch wide placed on vulnerable spots before a blister develops is inexpensive and effective. The two other things is make sure shoes have plenty of space to allow the foot to swell as the day progresses and to avoid having toes rub against the front of the shoe and mid weight compression socks.
You are going to be fine. Urge you to use trekking poles with rubber tips.
 

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.
#51
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
20 km a day is just four hours walking slow it down and maybe five, you will be fit by the time you finish, use it as a training walk build up and you will be ok, all the Swiss ladies I’ve seen on the Camino a good walkers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#52
We're preparing for the Camino Francais, Sept 28! I fear blisters. Having run marathons Blisters are horrible. Learned of a simple prevention. Paper surgical tape about an inch wide placed on vulnerable spots before a blister develops is inexpensive and effective. The two other things is make sure shoes have plenty of space to allow the foot to swell as the day progresses and to avoid having toes rub against the front of the shoe and mid weight compression socks.
You are going to be fine. Urge you to use trekking poles with rubber tips.
When you get to Spain but some Omnifix or Hypafix tape. Even better than paper tape. Soft and flexible to conform to your feet, stays on well, yet removes easily.
 

Linnea923

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan on hiking the Camino April-May 2019 and it's my first time and I'll be solo.
#53
I’m sorry your feet are hurting already. I second what everyone else said, but want to make an avid recommendation for get walking sticks, they saved my life on the Camino. Also make sure to do a bit of your training wearing your backpack with weight, especially going up and down hills.

When you get to the Camino, make sure to stretch everyone morning. It isn’t good to just start walking when your body is cold. I would do some push ups, downward dogs, stretch the quads and calves, also you IT band is SO important. Sometimes a tight IT band will present as a knee problem and once you fix that no more IT pain. I also recommend bringing a massage ball with you. I just use a lacrosse ball. There is nothing better at the end of the day as massaging the ball of your foot. It is also great to massage your back and IT. And if you offer it to other pilgrims, you will make instant friends.

I also Vaseline my feet and do the double sock method. The only time I got blisters was when I did a single sock. This will only work if you have big enough shoes of course.

Buen Camino! Your body will catch up with your mind ☺️
All my problems come from my IT band. I'm going to just have to get on the floor daily and do my stretches. Looks weird but will have to do it. I have to get a lacrosse ball too. Thanks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino complteted (2015)
#54
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino complteted (2015)
#55
Hi everyone,
I love the community spirit of this forum! I’ve been thinking about doing the camino for many years and have always read postings on this forum... and finally i could make time this year to do the CF from SJPdP this month!

I’m female in early 40’s from Switzerland. I’m pretty much out of shape (desk job) but I do enjoy walking. I start the camino in two weeks and i’m a bit worried. I’ve started walking more and more during the last couple of months to prepare for the camino. Today i walked 15km in my hiking shoes and my feet burn like crazy already. I came home and took off my socks and i can hardly walk on the wooden floor in my living room! I’m thinking ‘how in the world am I gonna walk 25km a day everyday?’ I guess the first week really must be really hard on the feet. Will I get used to it after a few days and be able to walk so much for 30+ days? I’d love to hear from you who’ve had similar worries.
Hi ShileyC
I walked the entire 800km Camino Frances in 2015 and the best advice I could give to you is ensure you look after your feet as they have to carry you the full Way. Wash them in the morning, then dry and apply VASELINE over all of Both Feet. Take a break in your walk as near as every 2 hours as possible and take your walking shoes off to let the fresh air get to your feet. It worked well for me and as was blister free the entire Way. I even managed to get my daily 32 day walking journal published on Amazon. "SANTIAGO ON TWO FEET" Take care and enjoy YOUR CAMINO. Best wishes. Alastair
 

Withay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2018)
#56
All my problems come from my IT band. I'm going to just have to get on the floor daily and do my stretches. Looks weird but will have to do it. I have to get a lacrosse ball too. Thanks.
Can you tell me what an IT band is? Thank you
 

SherlyC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First time Camino in 2018 September
#57
Try to understand the posts here...
many posts have different important ideas.

I read many times that feet swell on the Camino, but I did not really understand it (I did not think that my feet swell so much)... even after having read the feet-swelling-idea my newly bought camino-trailrunners were too small (not wide enough at the toe box). The shoes fitted in the morning... but after walking 3 to 5 hours the shoes were not wide enough for my toes... even at 20 degrees at home in Germany... fortunately I bought wider shoes before starting my camino.




I think this is important.
Does the skin burn (e. g. hotspots)?
Or something inside the foot (e. g. plantar fasciitis)?

Planning is good... but try to be open. Do not overdo it...
Noone has to go 25km... you can start at SJPdP (or at a different starting point). If you see that 25km is too much at the beginning... you can come back and finish your Camino the next time... or go by bus or by bike somewhere in between... if you do not overdo it and if you are not unlucky, you will get fitter on your camino and will be able to walk further later on.
If you start in SJPdP you can make the first day easier (e. g. backpack transport or stop in Orisson (reservation?!)).
Yes it’s all the round parts of the bottom of my feet that burns. I think it’s because i walked alphalt all day. And Thank you! I reserved in Orisson.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francis (2014). Camino portugese (2015).camino via francigena (2016) camino norte (2017) .
#58
W
This cannot be said enough.
I wore lightweight trail runners for my first two Caminos - SJPdP to Finisterre, and sandals for my recent Camino del Norte. Sure, my feet were sore at the end of the day, but they actually felt the best when I wore sandals - even on a 40km day.
Walking boots nowadays are lightweight.i have worn my boots on every camino i have done.it is all about preference and experience.
Training is important and so are a host of other factors that are found in other threads on this forum.
Good cushioned insoles,vasaline first thing every morning.correct socks.start slowly and set your own pace.you will find someone who's pace will match yours.
A strange tip i picked up on my first camino was to put panty liners in my boots.oh yes it works as they soak up the sweat.
The camino is not a race,it is there to be enjoyed and reflective.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#59
Morgan I am not a podiatrist
And an N=1 of personal experience is anecdotal
But orthotics were a life saving and not placebo for me
Had burning pain in 1 foot during training that was getting worse
Saw a podiatrist who attributed it to a prior ankle fracture and wanted me in a brace
It did not seem to fit my specific signs so sought a second opinion and with orthotics I was able to do the Camino without a problem, trying to work even without it and the signs come back
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
#60
Morgan I am not a podiatrist
And an N=1 of personal experience is anecdotal
...Camino without a problem, trying to work even without it and the signs come back
Nanc, I am glad orthotic worked for you. I have never said that they might not feel valuable to an individual. What I have said is that there is no verification in kinesiology, functional orthopaedics or gait studies to indicate that they successfully treat anything. They make people feel different, and what the studies do show us is that feeling "different" is cognitively the same for humans as feeling "better". Sort of the "change is as good as a rest" idea...

As to things being no better than a placebo.... I forget always that people misinterpret what this means. Placebos can work. We do not know the mechanisms through which they work, but many medications are found to be no more effective than placebos. That does not mean that the medications do not make some some people feel better; it means they do not do it more reliably or more frequently than a placebo.

The Camino itself is a placebo. I mean this very seriously. For those who walk in search of a miracle cure, they may very well find it on Camino. When Lourdes, Canterbury, and Santiago were at their height, they regularly produced miracle cures. The history of the how and the why is quite fascinating. Sometimes it has to do with blindness of the medieval period not being the same thing as what we think of as blindness now; sometimes its that the act of walking removed one from the hazards of poor air and water at home, provided better nutrition in the form of meals provided by good samaritans... sunshine providing vitamin D.... so those who lived to make it to Santiago (or the others) could be cured of diseases (including blindness) associated with malnutrition and poor sanitation.

We also know that like miracle cures of religious sites, that medicines are much more effective on a population whole when they are first released than they are a decade or two later -- wen they also become no more effective (reliable, and standard, with the same results for all users) than placebos.

The point of my original observation, to underscore the point, is to caution that simple advice to get orthotics may dissuade someone who can't afford them from undertaking a camino that would otherwise be very helpful. Thus the advice can do more harm than good -- if we understand that orthotics are an unproven device, but that Camino can provide many benefits that increase overall well-being.

I hope this can put to rest the misunderstanding that "placebo" means "useless". "Not better than a placebo" just means that the reason a placebo works is unknown, and that it won't work for everyone, and that there is no reliable evidence for it to work in any individual case.

If someone told me that I should get orthotics before going on Camino, and I had to pay the $800 for them out of pocket, and I did not know that they were unreliable, there is a real risk that I would give up the dream of camino.

Yet there are many things people can do to ward off foot troubles and treat any that arise. I use K-tape -- also no better than placebo, but it works for me. It's also $12 a roll, so not breaking my bank.
 

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