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Urgent footwear question

Camino(s) past & future
Start Camino Frances Sept 9 2015
Camino Frances Aug 22 2017
#1
I am leaving for The Camino this next Thursday and will begin my walk from St Jean Monday. I am 60. Two years ago I walked and had a great time. I have weak ankles so last time I walked in Vasque hiking boots. This time, I bought Vasque shoes. I have been working on trying to make my ankles stronger

I come from a close family and at my going away party tonight everyone was appalled with my choice of footwear.

I worry that with new footwear, I will get blisters. They said that since it was the same shoe, it wouldn't be a problem.

I am/was trying to cut down on weight.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Start Camino Frances Sept 9 2015
Camino Frances Aug 22 2017
#2
I need to add that my shoe size has gone from a 9 to 10
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#3
How much have you worn the new shoes on trial walks?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#4
I would not be put off by over-anxious family members. I won't get into the argument here, but suffice it to say that many experienced hikers wear very lightweight shoes.

Put your new shoes on now Pat, and wear them continuously. If they are comfortable I'd say - throw away your pre-camino jitters and fears and get into that positive Camino mindset.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Start Camino Frances Sept 9 2015
Camino Frances Aug 22 2017
#5
I haven't even bought the boots. This is what concerns me. Even thought they are the same brand, the size is different and they are not broken in.

What are your thoughts to take the old boots for the downhills?

C clearly, I have been walking in my shoes for about 6 weeks.

Kanga, these shoes are not light. The boots are 3lbs and the shoes 2. My first walk was such an issue of confronting my fears and I am trying to evolve from that.

You are right. I am really excited to do this again. Am I Don Quixote? Sancho? Dulcinea? Who cares. Probably a mix of all. It is the Quest. This is why I want to walk again.

Thanks for your support
 

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alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
2019- Invierno
#6
With weak ankles you should have stuck with boots. Too late now. Go with what you have and just deal with it. I made the same mistak on my Camino. Hope it turns out well for you. Just take it easy and don't walk too much each day.
Buen Camino.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#7
The concept of weak ankles being helped by boots does not make much sense to me, unless the boots are rigid and come up to my shins. Like motor cycle or ski boots. And I'd hate to walk the camino in those. I broke my ankle several years ago (not on the camino, I hasten to add) and I get my stability from trekking poles.

@Pat Beals I think you will find this article helpful - particularly the part about weak ankles: https://bushwalkingnsw.org.au/clubsites/FAQ/FAQ_Footwear.htm
 

copado

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Fall or 2013 Spring
#8
One thing you can try is a thick (hiking) pair of merino wool socks. I use them and recently switched to new shoes with zero blisters. I am speaking of a brand that is particularly good, pricey though. I paid $39 CDN I believe. I have three pair. A colleague in Search & Rescue also uses them.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000P38QF8/?tag=casaivar-20

Varying lengths... you want the two layer with liner all in one as in this link. I used another good brand, but once i found this one that was it. I walk 12 km to thd office and back each day, so I am a regular user of them.

If you are worried about the back of the foot above the talus or ankle joint you might want to trade them in for trail shoes, which have less ankle stability and more points that can cause sheer. Moderately tight laces and other things like Vaseline can reduce the sheer in the skin layers that cause blisters.

Good luck.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#9
Go with whatever shoes you have been walking in these past 6 weeks - your feet will have started adjusting to them already. You should address the blister issue with the other elements of your "footgear system": (1) use foot powder as a 'dry lube', (2) use a very thin liner sock, (3) use a thicker cushioned second sock. Gold Bond or even baby powder work well. Liner socks can be Coolmax, polyester, nylon - or even ankle-high nylons.

Thousands of people walk the Camino (and even the Appalachian Trail) in shoes that don't come over the ankle, so your family is just operating off of myth and misinformation. They can safely be ignored.
 

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
#10
Hie thee down to the local pharmacy or sporting goods store and buy a pair of the most industrial strength ankle brace you can find. I have similar problem and the braces are designed to provide the needed support. They ain't perfect but do help a lot and you can forget the heavy, unwieldy boots. Don't just go with the neoprene glove type, get some that lace up or have straps that you can crank on to get the proper support.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2013; Camino portugues 2015; Via francigena 2016
#11
As another old(er) codger I also have seen my shoe size increase from 9.5 to almost 13! This however seems roughly to correspond to my decrease in height over the same period so I had decided I'm not shrinking, merely sliding down into my shoes :(
 

tomnorth

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#12
Hie thee down to the local pharmacy or sporting goods store and buy a pair of the most industrial strength ankle brace you can find. I have similar problem and the braces are designed to provide the needed support. They ain't perfect but do help a lot and you can forget the heavy, unwieldy boots. Don't just go with the neoprene glove type, get some that lace up or have straps that you can crank on to get the proper support.
This is great advice. They also sell many styles at sporting goods stores. For sure I'd wear the shoes you've been wearing, not a brand new pair of more structured hiking boots.
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 Seville - Finestere, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#13
We made the mistake of wearing our tramping boots (high quality and well broken in) on our first Camino. Big mistake, while they are great for the harsh and muddy tracks in NZ, they are inappropriate for Spain. Scott got shin spints and I got horrendous blisters, never had them before or since. The medics informed us not to wear boots on the Camino as you need something lighter and less hot. We now use our boots for the mountains and kiwi tracks and walking shoes in Europe, and notice most other long distance walkers do the same. I've also found a good foot cream works wonders on blisters, it is a bit strange to grease your feet up in the morning, but we never had another blister.
 
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JRO

Member
Camino(s) past & future
santiago to muxia
#14
I am leaving for The Camino this next Thursday and will begin my walk from St Jean Monday. I am 60. Two years ago I walked and had a great time. I have weak ankles so last time I walked in Vasque hiking boots. This time, I bought Vasque shoes. I have been working on trying to make my ankles stronger

I come from a close family and at my going away party tonight everyone was appalled with my choice of footwear.

I worry that with new footwear, I will get blisters. They said that since it was the same shoe, it wouldn't be a problem.

I am/was trying to cut down on weight.
I would second the comments about looking into some sort of ankle brace, and definitely wearing what is broken in already. The other thing you might check out is Youtube for videos on taping your ankles with KT Tape. It's a therapy tape, available here in the US in my supermarket near the stuff for feet, the cold packs, and the like. It's also available online, and I bet you can buy it in Spain (I saw it there one year ago). I viewed the youtube videos on how to tape knees, wore my knee braces and did some taping, and it helped me a great deal. Plus, the tape that is the non-cotton type (there are two types available) will stay on through several showers, so you don't need to re-do the taping every day. I had some that was cotton, and though I probably got about 2-3 days out of it, after showering it was damp, which I found uncomfortable. You can buy it in a roll, OR pre-cut. I pre-cut my own from a roll, put it in a ziploc baggie, and it didn't add really any weight at all to my pack. You are going to have a GREAT quest, whatever you do!
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
#15
The whole boots vs. shoes vs. sandals vs every other style of footwear has been going on for decades and will rage on forever I think. Because it's not a matter of what's needed, it's a matter of what's most comfortable for YOUR particular feet. This trail does not demand a specific type of footwear, although some trails probably do. Some bodies are more comfortable with one thing rather than another however, and that's where you could best focus your energy. What feels best on your feet for the task you know ahead? Nothing else really matters.
As it happens, I generally choose to walk in the spring when it can be wet and cold, even snowy occasionally. I prefer to walk in lightweight boots because my feet are happier that way. Does that make it the best thing to do? Yes for me, not necessarily for anyone else. I doubt that I would walk in boots though in the summertime.
Love thy feet! (I'm pretty sure that's one of the original commandments). Buen camino.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#16
I am leaving for The Camino this next Thursday and will begin my walk from St Jean Monday. I am 60. Two years ago I walked and had a great time. I have weak ankles so last time I walked in Vasque hiking boots. This time, I bought Vasque shoes. I have been working on trying to make my ankles stronger

I come from a close family and at my going away party tonight everyone was appalled with my choice of footwear.

I worry that with new footwear, I will get blisters. They said that since it was the same shoe, it wouldn't be a problem.

I am/was trying to cut down on weight.
The opinions of family members are not wearable. Your family members have the luxury of being 'appalled' from their homes, while you are the one having to wear the footwear and deal with the problems and stresses -- or not -- of said footwear.

You already know what the answer is to this concern. Go with what is now working for you. If your ankles need a bit of support, do as has been suggested and learn to use a KT type of tape, or invest in light weight sporting ankle braces. Just be sure you have been using them prior to Camino so that you are familiar with use and any needed modifications. Personally, with such a light pack, if your shoes provide a stable and a step which doesn't rock from side to side, your ankles should be fine. :)
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#17
@Pat Beals , hi

My sense if you have much the same pre-big anything jitters.

I had these in the months before I got on the plane.

But they disappeared a few hours in the first day walking.

The major thing: a few days out is not a good time to be getting new gear.

And the other major thing: to obey the first two commandments for walkers. And the Frances is a walk and not a tramp or a hike.
1) travel light
2) travel even lighter, especially people like you and me who are over 60

kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
#21
Safe travels Pat and Buen Camino!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#22
Do you not think that being a Hobbit would be perfect for walking the Camino? They naturally pack very light and we all know they are also very good at long distance hiking over varying terrain.
Yeah, they most certainly are. Maybe a line of shoes that emulate Hobbit feet can be developed..... Hobbit Real Earth Shoes :)
 

jay quintero

Facts don't care about your feelings.
Camino(s) past & future
Cancelled Winter 2017 plans (too much "cultural enrichment")
#24
Found that long distance walking with shoes that are one size up and shoes that are somewhat wider than your usual width helps a bit (at least in my case). ankle boots are supposed to help give ankle support (unsure if they really do- I have no point of comparison) ... be sure to lace them up properly (not too loose and not too tight). Read somewhere on this forum (ages ago) that not taking a bath in the morning helps (the theory was that soaking your feet in the morning swells them a bit) - didn't research the subject too much as my shoes seem fine (walked to the nearest supermarket last fall to break them in, (20 miles or 32 Km roundtrip) no pains since then).... have a safe and uneventful flight ...
 
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JMac56

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2015)
CF+Fis(2016)
CP:Porto-SdC-Mux-Fis(2017)
CF:Leon-SdC(2017)
CF+Mux+Fis(2018)
#25
Hi Pat,
I'm with Kanga on this one. I am also 60 years old and have clocked up around 2,000 km on Camino. If you have not already done so I suggest you buy a good quality set of walking sticks, learn how to use them properly, and use them all the time when walking your Camino no matter what the terrain. The benefits are too numerous to mention.
Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#26
I have walked the Camino Frances and gone trekking & backpacking inthe Alps in new boots with no blisters appearing. On this recent trip I wore the lightest ones Salomon make and was very glad to have the extra sturdiness on the soles because I found the terrain quite a hard surface for a good deal of the Camino. However, footwear seems to be quite an individual thing. I met a woman who does through hiking for long distances and she can only wear lightish Teva sandals. And there are people who hike in barefoot shoes or barefoot! Go with what feels comfortable and pay attention immediately to discomfort. An early application of micropore tape or a compeed dressing may prevent blisters. I also agree that the poles can take some stress off of your joints.
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 Seville - Finestere, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#27
Yeah, they most certainly are. Maybe a line of shoes that emulate Hobbit feet can be developed..... Hobbit Real Earth Shoes :)
I think you can buy these in Wellington...
 

owms2323

Credential question
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2016) Camino Finisterre/Muxia (2017)
#28
With weak ankles you should have stuck with boots. Too late now. Go with what you have and just deal with it. I made the same mistak on my Camino. Hope it turns out well for you. Just take it easy and don't walk too much each day.
Buen Camino.
The podiatrist told me that ankle support does not come from the boot part, but from the shoe itself, You should not be able to twist the shoe. I have done 2 complete CFs in trail runners. No problem.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
2019- Invierno
#29
The podiatrist told me that ankle support does not come from the boot part, but from the shoe itself, You should not be able to twist the shoe. I have done 2 complete CFs in trail runners. No problem.
Happy for you. Pain sucks . My podiatrist disagrees with yours, though. I have done several long distance hikes myself and find that for me Trail runners are the absolute wrong choice.
That's why it's important not to assume that what works for one person will work for another. Best advice is to train a lot with one type of shoe and see if that works. Give enough time to switch shoes if needed and try again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Start Camino Frances Sept 9 2015
Camino Frances Aug 22 2017
#30
I really appreciate everyone's input. My plan ...and my plane leaves in 12 hours, is that I will bring my boots. I will use my shoes going up from St Jean and switch to my boots as I traverse Route Napoleon going down hill.

I will leave them along the way for someone who really needs a good pair of foot wear.

Please don't disillion me that I can't pass on my "happy feet" to another person. These boots trained me, walked The Camino, are resoled and ready for a new owner/Camino.

Wish them well.
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
#31
Safe travels and Buen Camino Pat!
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#33
As another old(er) codger I also have seen my shoe size increase from 9.5 to almost 13! This however seems roughly to correspond to my decrease in height over the same period so I had decided I'm not shrinking, merely sliding down into my shoes :(
LMAO.
 
#34
I am leaving for The Camino this next Thursday and will begin my walk from St Jean Monday. I am 60. Two years ago I walked and had a great time. I have weak ankles so last time I walked in Vasque hiking boots. This time, I bought Vasque shoes. I have been working on trying to make my ankles stronger

I come from a close family and at my going away party tonight everyone was appalled with my choice of footwear.

I worry that with new footwear, I will get blisters. They said that since it was the same shoe, it wouldn't be a problem.

I am/was trying to cut down on weight.

Shoes fine but well broken in at least 100km. You have left it very late to purchase. What about shoe or boot you trained in ?Not much difference in weight of shoe or boot
 

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