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UK Ladies Share Your Shoes Info!

2020 Camino Guides

Lucyev

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances July 22nd (2020)
Hi, I'm 51, with slightly wide feet and will be walking the Camino Frances next July. Never done anything like it before. I've been reading the forum for footwear advice. Going to start looking at shoes etc soon, so I can train in them. I've got a couple of questions I hope you lovely ladies can help me with.

Firstly, what are these "liners" I see mentioned so often, for wearing under wool socks? I have no idea!

Secondly, can anyone tell me their preferred make/model of shoe/boot?

And lastly, your preferred other footwear you take? I'm thinking maybe a walking sandal type shoe I can maybe wear in the evenings, plus possibly wear to walk part of the trail, plus even in the showers maybe?

I've had an excellent response to my osprey pack recommendations request, so hopefully you will be as helpful here.


Buen camino

Lucy
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hi Lucy, and welcome to the forum! I am not from the UK, so cannot help with brands sold there, but I see you are walking in the heat of July, so your reference to "boots" has me thinking your feet would become hot and sweaty. The majority of Camino walkers seem to be choosing more of lightweight trail runner shoes. I've walked five long caminos and have been very happy using them, even in spring weather.
I'm positive you will get many helpful suggestions. All the best to you and Buen July Camino!
 

Lucyev

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances July 22nd (2020)
Hi Lucy, and welcome to the forum! I am not from the UK, so cannot help with brands sold there, but I see you are walking in the heat of July, so your reference to "boots" has me thinking your feet would become hot and sweaty. The majority of Camino walkers seem to be choosing more of lightweight trail runner shoes. I've walked five long caminos and have been very happy using them, even in spring weather.
I'm positive you will get many helpful suggestions. All the best to you and Buen July Camino!

Thank you Camino Chrissy, (what a great name!), yes, you are right, I guess I am thinking more of a light weight shoe.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Liners are a thin sock worn under another sock, that shifts the point of friction away from your skin to help prevent blisters.

Search for posts about footwear made by forum member davebugg who is our resident gear expert. He has made some detailed posts about how to choose a properly fitting shoe.

What others wear, in the end, is fairly irrelevant, as you need a shoe that fits you and everyone's feet are different. Everyone has an opinion and you'll find many on them here with a simple search. Find a good quality sporting goods or outdoor store and try everything on.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Not UK based either. I might be the odd one out but I wear boots winter and summer.
Although I must say that I always walk a Camino in spring aside from the Portugues ( from Porto ) that I walked end of August/ beginning of September.

Living in Belgium in an area known for the clay ground so I'm very happy with my sturdy Hanwag brand.

I have hallux valgus so I love these Alta Bunion boots. Pricey but worth every cent.

 

Shazenalan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018
Hi Lucy - I am from the UK. Cotswold Outdoor offer a free fitting service which we took full advantage of and have had no foot issues at all. They recommended socks, insoles for oronation, and even showed us ways to lace the boots to reduce foot movement. I went for a Meindl lightweight waterproof boot and walked the CF in September with the comfiest feet. I either wore two pairs of liner socks, or 1 pair Bridgedale Fusion, and changed these midday. No blisters at all. AND if you're a caravan club member, or a member of s range of membership organisations, you'll get s decent discount too. 😊👍
 

Lucyev

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances July 22nd (2020)
Hi Lucy - I am from the UK. Cotswold Outdoor offer a free fitting service which we took full advantage of and have had no foot issues at all. They recommended socks, insoles for oronation, and even showed us ways to lace the boots to reduce foot movement. I went for a Meindl lightweight waterproof boot and walked the CF in September with the comfiest feet. I either wore two pairs of liner socks, or 1 pair Bridgedale Fusion, and changed these midday. No blisters at all. AND if you're a caravan club member, or a member of s range of membership organisations, you'll get s decent discount too. 😊👍

Thank you! There is a Cotswold Outdoor in Cardiff which is about 45 minutes from me. Will definitely pay them a visit!

Lucy
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Hi and welcome! I live in the UK and use Cotswold for their knowledge, customer service and also my 15% Ramblers discount ...
If you are walking in the summer, or just if you have hot feet like me, I would go for a non-waterproof trail shoe like my previous favourite Salomon X-Ultra, or Hoka One Ones if you need or want extra cushy suspension for things like plantar fasciitis. Altra and New Balance are pilgrim favourites for wider toe box. Some trail shoes have vibram soles which has good grip and makes them more hardwearing, which you might need depending on how far you go. I used Hoka One One Mafate for a 45 day Camino Frances last year, with a wider toe box, and loved them. Have used Speedgoats since, but I have a narrower foot. I take a spare set of regular insoles in case my shoes get soaked, then just put them back on again with dry insoles and dry socks if I need to go further in them. Unlike waterproof shoes they dry overnight no problem.
After walking I just use Birkenstock EVA sandals, which are great for use in the shower, going to the loo in the night and generally relaxing in and near the albergue after a day's walk. For more support look at Teva or similar walking sandals, but they weigh more. Depends on your feet and what they want/need!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Hi, I'm 51, with slightly wide feet and will be walking the Camino Frances next July. Never done anything like it before. I've been reading the forum for footwear advice. Going to start looking at shoes etc soon, so I can train in them. I've got a couple of questions I hope you lovely ladies can help me with.

Firstly, what are these "liners" I see mentioned so often, for wearing under wool socks? I have no idea!

Secondly, can anyone tell me their preferred make/model of shoe/boot?

And lastly, your preferred other footwear you take? I'm thinking maybe a walking sandal type shoe I can maybe wear in the evenings, plus possibly wear to walk part of the trail, plus even in the showers maybe?

I've had an excellent response to my osprey pack recommendations request, so hopefully you will be as helpful here.


Buen camino

Lucy

Worth bearing in mind that what you’re planning to undertake is essentially a village to village walk through a very developed civilised country.

What makes it different from most regular walkers’ experience is

1. It is a multi-day venture
2. It is predominantly on hard surfaces, with a fair proportion of tarmac.

That’s sufficient information for an experienced footware-fitter in any reputable outdoor shop to make recommendations.

The recommendation of Birkenstock EVAs as your evening/shower footwear is excellent, in my opinion - your feet may not agree.
 

TAF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug 2019
Hi Lucy, I am from the UK and I walked last July/August. I too have slightly wide feet and usually take a 4 in trainers. I did a lot of research before buying my footwear and it paid off as I experienced no problems at all with my feet. I ended up with Salomon Xa Pro 3d but in a size 5 which gave me more room in the toe box. These are non goretex as I was more bothered about them being quick drying and breathable. I walked in rain twice and although my feet got wet, they dried really quickly. I used a lightweight merino blend sock, no liner, and used a foot cream to protect my feet from friction. I changed socks and re applied cream halfway through the day. The Salomon shoes were fantastic, they have an ortholite insole which felt really comfortable and supported the foot well. My advice would be to try on loads of different shoes and when you find some, wear them at home for a few days around the house to check if there are any issues. As long as you stay inside you can return them if they don't suit. I took with me flip flops for in showers and also some walking sandals for wearing in the evenings. Hope this helps!
 

Tollymore

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(CF June 2018)
Hi, I'm 51, with slightly wide feet and will be walking the Camino Frances next July. Never done anything like it before. I've been reading the forum for footwear advice. Going to start looking at shoes etc soon, so I can train in them. I've got a couple of questions I hope you lovely ladies can help me with.

Firstly, what are these "liners" I see mentioned so often, for wearing under wool socks? I have no idea!

Secondly, can anyone tell me their preferred make/model of shoe/boot?

And lastly, your preferred other footwear you take? I'm thinking maybe a walking sandal type shoe I can maybe wear in the evenings, plus possibly wear to walk part of the trail, plus even in the showers maybe?

I've had an excellent response to my osprey pack recommendations request, so hopefully you will be as helpful here.


Buen camino

Lucy
Hi Lucy.

I’m in NI and I walked SJPP to SdC in Asics trail runners for overpronation (c. £50) and wore these with basic Decathlon ankle socks and wasn’t bother by blisters at all. The trainers had good grip and support and roomy toe box. I wanted something that would dry easily if they got soaked. I taped most of my toes with a cheaper variation of KT tape so I’d no friction or compression.

I also took basic Karrimor walking sandals for afternoon/evenings and flip flops for showers.

In the months leading up to Camino I wore Asics for training walks and got a fresh pair of same style for the Camino. This was really worthwhile. Found out that my feet swell a bit when walking and even more when they get wet. I went up an extra half size too.

Hope you have a great Camino. I remember the excitement of planning and training. I wish you health to wear whatever footwear you decide upon.
 

TatiLie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues Variante Espiritual July 2019
Finisterre next!
Hi Lucy,
I used the socks in merino from Smartwool (model PhD outdoor light micro socks) and Icebreaker (model run ultralight micro). I got the short ones so that is faster to dry overnight and they were great on Summer. For shoes, I had a Merrell non-waterproof and worked great for me (narrow feet, high arch). I advise trying in the shop. I had done a ton of online research prior to trying them, and when I got to the shop I just went for the one which felt right.
For other shoes, I got my everyday runners (I'm not a sandals person). I figured that if they are great for my urban everyday, they will do ok for a few hours daily, and if I happen to need an emergency shoe to walk in the Camino, it would handle well a day walk.
Buen Camino!
 

denholl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino France's from August 22nd, 2019.
Hi, I'm 51, with slightly wide feet and will be walking the Camino Frances next July. Never done anything like it before. I've been reading the forum for footwear advice. Going to start looking at shoes etc soon, so I can train in them. I've got a couple of questions I hope you lovely ladies can help me with. Firstly, what are these "liners" I see mentioned so often, for wearing under wool socks? I have no idea! Secondly, can anyone tell me their preferred make/model of shoe/boot? And lastly, your preferred other footwear you take? I'm thinking maybe a walking sandal type shoe I can maybe wear in the evenings, plus possibly wear to walk part of the trail, plus even in the showers maybe? I've had an excellent response to my osprey pack recommendations request, so hopefully you will be as helpful here. Buen camino Lucy
Hi Lucy. I’m in NI and I walked SJPP to SdC in Asics trail runners for overpronation (c. £50) and wore these with basic Decathlon ankle socks and wasn’t bother by blisters at all. The trainers had good grip and support and roomy toe box. I wanted something that would dry easily if they got soaked. I taped most of my toes with a cheaper variation of KT tape so I’d no friction or compression. I also took basic Karrimor walking sandals for afternoon/evenings and flip flops for showers. In the months leading up to Camino I wore Asics for training walks and got a fresh pair of same style for the Camino. This was really worthwhile. Found out that my feet swell a bit when walking and even more when they get wet. I went up an extra half size too. Hope you have a great Camino. I remember the excitement of planning and training. I wish you health to wear whatever footwear you decide upon.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
You might find you’d be more comfortable in sandals, such as Chacos or Teva Terra Fi during June.

Like Sabine, I found my lightweight leather boots (Salomon Mountain X - 20 years old and very well looked-after, as befits boots that fit like a glove) were perfect ... though boots are not particularly popular with most folk on here. I can dance in mine, so when they finally ‘go home’ I’ll really miss them. The only time I felt any discomfort was on a stretch of horrible black ‘oily’ gravel ... on the way from Burgos to Rabé.
I wore Rohan socks .... merino mix.
I had no blisters.
We walked late September-October.

I took some Tevas, too, (the ‘standard’ ones, not the Terra Fi) that wouldn’t have provided enough support with a pack on my back. They were good for the evenings and for the walk to Eunate, from Obanos.

I’m trying some Hoka Challengers at the moment and intend to wear my Chacos as much as possible next autumn (or possibly my Tevas, if I’ve worn out the Chacos.)

If they suit your foot, Chacos are incredibly comfortable and supportive, with very deep soles and a great footbed. Teva Terra Fi have ultra-grippy soles and they ‘cradle’ your foot, offering good protection and they’re also very supportive.
The Hoka Challenger seems wide enough for my broad-ish shallow foot.
(incidentally, I sent my Croc flipflops, designed for post-walking/running wear, home ... they were an unnecessary weight in my pack. The Tevas were fine for the shower.)

But do read @davebugg’s posts on choosing and fitting footwear ... he is the oracle on here, not only for footwear but also for all things lightweight when walking long distances.

Cotswold are very reliable, but try other reputable outlets too, such as Blacks (Cardiff) - or Snow and Rock and/or Ellis Brigham in Bristol.
 

CamTrek

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Aug/sept/oct 2019
I have just completed the Camino Frances route from SJPP with no major foot issues! I used Merrell Moab goretex shoes. I got caught in 2 torrential downpours and my feet got soaked and shoes didn’t dry out over night even with newspaper! Next day I changed socks 3 times as they soaked the water in 😊 As you are going in summer hopefully you won’t have two much trouble regarding rain. Next time I will use trail runners, no goretex! Also the lightest wool socks you can buy ( I used bridgedale)! No liners. Keep your feet dry, take of shoes and socks throughout the day when you can, change of socks even half way through if you can. I used Birkenstock EVA sandals- fabulous! Another huge tip is to start SLOWLY. Pace and km wise so you can to build up a tolerance! Also LIGHT pack! Good luck and enjoy !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018
(Camino Ingles 2019)
Lots of good shoe advice here. I'd say consider socks carefully because you want your shoes to fit over the socks!

I get blisters between my two smallest toes so I used Injinji toe liner socks followed by Icebreaker merino light hiker socks.(No blisters on two Caminos.) My shoes are Goretex and my feet did get hot so I would air them during breaks and change into fresh socks on long stages. I bought shoes a size larger than my usual to accommodate this sock arrangement. My feet don't swell and I found it necessary to tighten my laces later in the day and/or for downhill sections.

Injinji also make merino hiker toe socks. I use these with smaller shoes (my regular size) on day hikes but am less keen on the feel of these socks against my feet. The liner socks are coolmax and soft.

Good luck on trying everything and finding what works best for you. I have used Cotswold Outdoor extensively. I would add a little note of caution about their advice. I had a couple of instances when their advice might have been technically correct e.g. backpack sizing but the reality was different. So always try at home so you can return or exchange if necessary.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
I'm not a lady nor do I live in the UK. Pardon me for jumping in.

As far as I experienced my CF in July this year I would like to recommend some sort of leather-boot.
I walked in Meindl Jersey Pro and my Camino would have ended on the 4th day of walking down the hill behind Alto del Perdón with torned ligaments or worse.

Not everyone will have fun with boots in the summer, but my experienced "counsellor" in my favourite mountainsupply store recommended those boots b/c I have some trouble on my right foot (torn ligaments easter 2017). Boots give you an extra stable support for your ankle and protect your feet from sharp cornered pebbles.

Maybe take a look at: https://meindl.de/produkt/meran-lady/

He mentioned also that full leather in summer is better than Gore-Tex or other membranes. The leather will not heat up as fast as the membrane-textiles.

First of all your shoes must fit perfectly, you have to walk 20-30km per day.
Give an extra 1-1.5 sizes plus to have more space for your toes (feet lenghten while walking).
Break them in, I wore mine for 100km before my Camino and that was the minimum recommended.

I did wear Wrightsocks (standard w/o wool, with built-in Liner) that were perfect.
I did develop a very small blister on my right pinky-toe down from Cruz de Ferro to Molinaseca that had to be opened in Triacastela, it was to annoying and painful. After that treatment I did walk like before.

For shower / free time I did bring Teva Terry Fi that were comfy, they dry fast after shower and I did walk in them the stage from Ponferrada to O'Cebreiro.

Have fun looking for your gear and planning your Camino!
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Whatever shoe you decide on be sure to wear them with the fully loaded backpack you plan to take. Even 10 pounds puts pressure on your feet that changes how comfortable a shoe is. And some people are advising carrying a heavier Chaos for a second pair. Mine weigh over 2 pounds.
What I do is wear comfortable Altra trail running shoes and have no need for a second pair of walking shoes. I bring flip flops for my second pair because I carry my own backpack.
A word on socks:. I wear Wrightsocks ultralight. For an experiment I wore one pair every day for entire 35 day trip. If I was taking a lunch break in the sun I would take them off and let my socks and feet air out. Then I would wash them at night and they dry very quickly. Not one blister. I did carry a back up pair which I wore once for a walk in town after my shower.
All this said remember your age plays a big part in the shoes you can wear. I used to hike in Chaos in my early 60s but now at 72 my feet hurt so bad on the roads that I had to buy new shoes in Spain. But it's easy to find shoes in Spain.
Good luck and Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Technically, I count as a UK lady, so here is my tuppenceworth: I tried on a pair of the boots recommended by @SabineP but, like a poor old ugly sister, they did not fit. My friend’s mother once said: you have a short fat foot. The shop assistants have a more polite way of referring to wide, high arch, high volume... Cutting to the chase, I once more bought Meindl Vitalis walking boots. I will live in them for the winter. They are the widest footwear I have found so far in Dublin. They are actually roomier than my Meindl shoes. Last camino I took only a pair of Birkenstock plastic toe grip sandals as after walking and shower shoes. They weigh almost zero.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I too have found Meindl footwear to be the best fit for my wide feet and I have got boots as well as shoes. They are quite pricy but very sturdy. I have walked at least a 1000 kilometers in them and there is hardly any wear on the soles. If you are after the wider fit then go for the ones labeled "comfort fit".

PS: I'm not a British lady, so pardon me 🙂
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We have HiTec Ravine from Cotswold outdoor. A good light leather boot. Coolmax liner socks by Bridgedale from Millets with mid weight and cushion soles from Corrymoor, mail order. Always buy our boots wearing our chosen socks to ensure the fit is correct.
We also have HiTec synthetic walking shoes.Great for walking around but we find them much more sweaty than the boots.
I will post again tomorrow with some links. Not on computer today.☺
 

JudeD

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago "2016"
SJPP to Burgos "2017" Burgos to Hornillos "2018" SJPP to Finisterre "2019
I returned on 1st Sept after walking SJPdP to Finisterre wearing Altra trail runners with injinji socks (after reading about them on here). No foot problems whatsoever. My friend started with expensive (supposedly correctly fitted) Merrell leather waterproof walking shoes, got blisters and ended up buying Altras in Solorunners in Burgos. She wore them straight away with no breaking in, but best of all no more blisters. These Altra trail runners are perfect if you want width at your toes - I wore with toe socks and plenty of room for toes to spread, and they're very cool, breathable, with squishy comfortable insoles and light weight to carry if I changed into Terra Teva walking sandals.
 

Lucyev

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances July 22nd (2020)
Oh my gosh, so much valuable information here I am going to read and reread it all. Thank you all so much.

I will definitely be googling Meindl shoes, Altra trail runners and I think a purchase of Birkenstock Eva's is definitely on the cards!

You are all amazing!
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
I used 1,000 mile socks last time which were good. They have a built-in liner but are not too bulky. Meindl hiking trainer type shoes suit my feet best.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Hi @Lucyev -

I hope all is going well with your selections ... it's a really exciting and enjoyable part of your Camino preparation, isn't it?

I'll throw another brand of shoe into the mix ... La Sportiva trail runners. They're made in Italy and all being well are probably available in the UK. I'm now on my fourth pair of La Sportivas. I had three pairs of Wildcat and as the Wildcat is no longer available I now wear the Bushido. They have a wide toe box and are supremely comfortable. They're also lightweight, they breathe and they'll more than handle Camino paths and road walking - they're strong. The price point is reasonable too.

The great thing about some (not all) of the La Sportiva trail runners is that they have a soft, moulded tongue. There's no stitching or heaviness which can create pressure on the top of your foot. Here's a photo:

IMG_2579.JPG

I hope this helps.

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I think the main messages to be learned from this thread are:
  1. Footwear is important.
  2. Comfort is the main criterion.
  3. Ensure that the shoe/boot is roomy enough to accommodate swelling. You might even change to thinner socks during the day if necessary. Take some different socks on the camino, and your favourite will declare itself after a few days.
  4. No one shoe/boot will be "the best" for every circumstance.
  5. Every foot is different and has different requirements, so our recommendations of brands and models mean very lttle.
I recommend you try on every shoe you can, pick the one that is most comfortable and then consider that shoe in the next size up. If you are uncertain, confirm that they can be returned to the store, and take both pairs for some brisk 30 minute walks around an indoor mall. Listen to your feet - they know best.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
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
I have wide feet as well. When I buy shoes/ boots I always choose the male variant, not W shoes.
1000-MILES socks with 2 layers in one sock has worked out well for me for many years. Bought my first pair in UK. My favourite shoes at the moment is Hoka.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Hi Lucy, here's another suggestion to add to your confusion :)

I wore Salomon Trailster trail running shoes on this year's Caminos. I got them from Runners Need (part of the Cotswold group). They worked very well and I'm just about to order another pair for next year. They're a wide fit and are sturdy enough for mixed terrain.

I wear injinji lightweight trail running socks or synthetic running socks. I love merino socks for Ireland/UK hiking, but not on the Camino.

Enjoy your search!

Nuala
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I'm not a lady nor do I live in the UK. Pardon me for jumping in.

As far as I experienced my CF in July this year I would like to recommend some sort of leather-boot.
I walked in Meindl Jersey Pro and my Camino would have ended on the 4th day of walking down the hill behind Alto del Perdón with torned ligaments or worse.
I disagree. If you like wearing boots, great, but they really aren't necessary. Unless you wear a high cut, stiff boot they really don't give much ankle support and the rates of ankle injuries are very little different between lighter, lower cut boots and trail shoes. Also, the old one about a pound on your feet being the equivalent of 5 pounds in your pack really is true, the US army tested it quite carefully.

The other thing is that if people do not usually wear boots there is a fair chance that they will end up suffering from Achilles tendon problems.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Oh my gosh, so much valuable information here I am going to read and reread it all. Thank you all so much.

I will definitely be googling Meindl shoes, Altra trail runners and I think a purchase of Birkenstock Eva's is definitely on the cards!

You are all amazing!
Here are the promised links re boots and socks.
Hi-Tec boots and Bridgedale coolmax liner socks, both available from Cotswold Outdoor.
We wear a pair of coolmax liners, then a pair of the thinner Corrymoor Sportsman with a final layer of the cushion sole Corrymoor Companion. If you prefer knee length then they are 'Woodlander cushion sole. No blisters and if it is hot then we can replace the mid-layer with a second pair of coolmax.

Corrymoor do not need frequent washing (see their notes) so a set to wear and a spare set are sufficient and 4 pairs of the coolmax which need daily washing should be all you need if you choose them.

We have always bought our boots wearing a full set of socks and have had no problems with fit and have made sure that, as Cotswold advise, we can get a finger between our heel and the back of the boot when not tied.

Their other advice, also made on the forum, is to always make sure your boots (or shoes) are tied sufficiently tight before going downhill - to stop your foot sliding forward and toes hitting the end of the toe box and bruising your toe nails.
Buen Camino and happy boot/sock hunting.
 

BarbaraW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances part (2019)
I was glad I took my normal walking boots (made by Meindl, whose boots tend to have wider fittings) for comfort on steep stony downhill sections. For evenings (Sept/Oct) the lightest cheap flip flops I owned, were fine.
I too am grateful for the advice here as I'm planning to complete my Camino Burgos to Santiago next spring, and don't think the flip flops will be up to it. It amused me that you could always spot the pilgrims in towns in the evening by their flip flops and (usually) stiff gait.
Enjoy your planning.
 

DeansFamily

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18 VdlP
I’m walking in a pair of New Balance 590 V3 All Terrain trail running shoes and they are brilliant. I have a normal width foot but went to a 2E width so my toes have plenty of wiggle room but are perfect around the ankle and heel. These shoes are light,cushioned, they keep out the dust and have a great grip sole, perfect for Camino walking. And price wise they are excellent value. Definitely the best shoe I have walked a Camino in so far. Team it with a pair of toe socks for protection from blisters and you’ll be set to go.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
No matter what you end up deciding on as your shoe/boot and sock combination, you will only know if they will work for you on the Camino by walking several 5 or 10 kilometre walks with them on before you embark on your journey. Simply wearing them around the house will not suffice. This is especially true if you have not done any long distance walking before.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
If you are walking in July, it’s likely to be hot. I’m an advocate of walking sandals. Now, after many caminos, this is what I wear.
image.jpg
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
I too have found Meindl footwear to be the best fit for my wide feet and I have got boots as well as shoes. They are quite pricy but very sturdy. I have walked at least a 1000 kilometers in them and there is hardly any wear on the soles. If you are after the wider fit then go for the ones labeled "comfort fit".

PS: I'm not a British lady, so pardon me 🙂
Meindl here too for me although lately I have used (in Summer) Hoka one One which I found perfect for hot weather. They’re difficult to find in the UK now though...
After walking, I wear sandals - either Merrell or Teva.
Socks: Bridgedale plus liner socks (Look at the Cotswold website)
Happy shopping!
 

specialk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte
Hi Lucy, this is a great question I walked the Camino del Norte this summer and didn’t get a single blister. My advice may be a little different to others. I am a fan of one sock with no liner. I have always used the bridge dale trekker. I took two pairs of shoes: a teva sandal which I wore with socks (how else will people know I’m a Christian 😂) and I took a pair of Salomon midi outlines. I took my shoes off at every coffee stop and aired and shared my feet and I switched socks when they were wet. I also used to check my feet for hot spots and put Vaseline. I also packed safety pins to hang my socks on to dry. This foot admin helped as much as the footwear x x
 

Jacqueline17

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (2016/2017)
Camino Ingles (2017)
Santiago to Muxia (2018)
Hi Lucy
I wear boots Summer and Winter. I use Cotswold Outdoor who have a great boot fitting service. I have slightly wide feet too (no bunions though) and I bought Keen Galleo Mid WP boots. They have been perfect.
 

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Mont St Michel-SdC. Budapest-Vezelay. Alicante-Burgos
Walk: Le Puy-SJPdP. Dax-(CF)-SdC.
Lots of good advice already posted.
Your Camino is likely to be hot and mainly dry. The Camino is not mountaineering. There are hilly days, but comfortable, hard-wearing soles and breathable uppers are more important than grippy soles and waterproof or stout (heavy) uppers.

What do you wear for a walk to a country pub or along a well-made canal towpath? If the answer is full-height walking boot, is that because of fears about ankle stability or waterproofing? If it's the former, I suggest a walking shoe/light boot; if it's the latter, or you would choose an ordinary shoe or trainer, trail-runners (eg Hoka) may be your answer. Your weight may also be a factor - heavier suggests more structure and cushioning.

Expert help in an outdoors shop and trying many on is vital. You really need the shop staff to understand it is hot, multiday walking on well-made trails and tarmac. I'm in the UK too. I would use Cotswold, Snow and Rock, Blacks or a local specialist hiking shop ahead of Sports Direct or a regular shoe shop. But you might like to test the trail-runners at one of the many good running shops.

Usually I choose a pair which has spare toe wriggle room even when wearing two pairs of thick walking socks (you won't wear them on the Way, but they simulate the swelling caused by heat and distance). Also note: as I've got older, my feet have become bigger standing up than sitting down (fallen arches)! So if they feel too big, walk around in them before shortlisting/rejecting. I wear Superfeet insoles to address my fallen arches.

Socks - I wear Injinji thin toe-separating liners under bridgedale hiking socks. If my feet swell too much, I wear just the liners. You can buy Injinji at reasonable cost online and try them out. They stop my toes fighting each other! But you may or may not need them or like them.

Whatever you do choose, practise with your loaded pack and other kit, on long walks on consecutive days, at least a couple of months before you go, so you can make adjustments/ experiment with different sock combos as well as toughen your feet.

it is worth spending time and money buying the right footwear and wearing them in. Once you have the right shoes they will be your best friends!
Buen Camino!
 

Leandra

Leandra
Camino(s) past & future
French Way, starting on may 21st 2019
Hi, I'm 51, with slightly wide feet and will be walking the Camino Frances next July. Never done anything like it before. I've been reading the forum for footwear advice. Going to start looking at shoes etc soon, so I can train in them. I've got a couple of questions I hope you lovely ladies can help me with.

Firstly, what are these "liners" I see mentioned so often, for wearing under wool socks? I have no idea!

Secondly, can anyone tell me their preferred make/model of shoe/boot?

And lastly, your preferred other footwear you take? I'm thinking maybe a walking sandal type shoe I can maybe wear in the evenings, plus possibly wear to walk part of the trail, plus even in the showers maybe?

I've had an excellent response to my osprey pack recommendations request, so hopefully you will be as helpful here.


Buen camino

Lucy
Hi! I’m 54 and I walked the Camino this year without any physical preparation for it!
I was wearing my sneakers on the first 3 days and then I just could any longer! I stopped at a Puente de La Reina, at a shop called Planeta Água and I got the best pair of sandals ever! Without those sandals I don’t know what could happened to me! My feet were bleeding due to many blisters that got very sore and inflamed! Anyway, terrible situation!
ah, and I got 4 pairs of a tick synthetic socks at decathlon, high-top mountain walking socks! I changed them every 4km for dry ones and I could keep going and finish my Camino without any problems! TEVA sandals and those socks were perfect for me!


I hope I could help you!

🐚🌺Buen Camino
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Out walking today in Surrey after a few kms we arrived at a village that we knew had a good shop for walking gear. I remembered they sold Meindl shoes so in we went. Amazingly the first pair of shoes I tried were almost identical to the old ones I was using , the fit was perfect, reader, I bought them!
" Rapide Lady GTXComfort fit , wellness sport. "
Of course I was wearing my walking socks and my feet were nicely warm. Probably the best time for trying on new shoes.
Oh joy! I've been searching for ages.
The only downside is that I am considerably poorer.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
The other thing is that if people do not usually wear boots there is a fair chance that they will end up suffering from Achilles tendon problems.
I can attest to that, it happened to me. Two torn Achilles tendons walking Offa's Dyke Path years ago. Had to abandon my walk and wear flip flops for the rest of the week. Also, there was a rather slight young woman walking the Ingles this fall whose boots were so big and heavy she was dragging her feet behind her.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Footwear is an incredibly personal choice! As others have said I would avoid boots unless you wear regularly, especially if it's going to be hot. I would hit a proper running shop rather than an outdoor shop. Especially one that has a treadmill where you can really try the shoes (most will let you walk/run for quite a long time if you go at a quiet time) and they are usually very good about getting you into bigger sizes on the basis that your feet will swell.

I usually walk in sandals but always take trainers because of the extra cushioning. There are one or two places (e.g. coming down Alto del Perdón) or if there's a lot of road walking where your feet take a battering and the extra padding/support is nice.
 

Grateful Gert

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2019
Frances (Oct 2020)
Hi Lucy, at the shop try everything. Buy the one most comfortable for you and as many above have advised, maybe a bigger size. Take them home and walk in your home with them on for a length of time. See how that feels. Check the return policy. Here in Canada they will normally accept returns if you have worn your shoes only inside. I accomplished the last hundred with trail runners and asics sneakers/runners. Not sure yet what I will wear for my full camino frances, likely the same. Buen Camino
 

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