Search 62305 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement

Waterproof shoes

Jackie305

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo
Hi, I will be walking in early October and I’ve read that it is rainy season. Most entries / comments suggest not to take waterproof shoes. Since I’m going in possibly rainy season should I go ahead and take waterproof shoes or continue to follow suggestions and not take waterproof shoes? Thank you
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I don't know that early October is "rainy season" except maybe in Galicia. I have never found my Goretex shoes to be truly waterproof, and they are usually not as comfortable as my non-Gortex shoes, so I have given up on them. I also find that even when my shoes get completely wet, if I am walking and wearing wool socks, my feet are not cold in temperatures above 5C. (I just haven't tested wet shoes in lower temperatures.) So if I were walking again in October, I would not use waterproof walking shoes.
 

Jackie305

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo
I don't know that early October is "rainy season" except maybe in Galicia. I have never found my Goretex shoes to be truly waterproof, and they are usually not as comfortable as my non-Gortex shoes, so I have given up on them. I also find that even when my shoes get completely wet, if I am walking and wearing wool socks, my feet are not cold in temperatures above 5C. (I just haven't tested wet shoes in lower temperatures.) So if I were walking again in October, I would not use waterproof walking shoes.
I will be in Galicia walking from lugo to SdC, Oct 8 onwards. Thank you for your response.
 

Mycroft

Veteran Member
Hi, I will be walking in early October and I’ve read that it is rainy season. Most entries / comments suggest not to take waterproof shoes. Since I’m going in possibly rainy season should I go ahead and take waterproof shoes or continue to follow suggestions and not take waterproof shoes? Thank you
I now use only waterproof shoes. I have good luck with some styles from Columbia and when I get back home I try to buy another pair of what worked well for me, and I can never find them!
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012; Chemin du Puy 2014
I've walked twice in early October (CF and Le Puy) and didn't encounter rain more than one or two days on each route. My gortex shoes did keep out the water, but never did I trudge through a whole day of relentless rain, so I'm not sure I needed waterproof shoes. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, you can avoid getting soaked by taking shelter and waiting out the downpours. You'll meet lots of nice, damp people!
 

klimmo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Mozarabe: nov ‘19
Português coastal: oct-nov ‘21
Especially if it's pouring down, you wouldn't want waterproof shoes, you want them to dry out overnight. They'll get soaked anyway. I walked CP late october last year and haven't had any rain at all. And when it's warm, waterproof shoes are the worst, in my experience. also soaked, but from the inside.
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
I always try my best to stick with what I already have, and will only replace (re: buy) new items if there are definite benefits than my old ones.

GTX vs breathable, boots vs trail runners vs sandals, 2 poles vs single pole vs no pole, water bottle vs bladder vs a hybrid hose you stick to your water bottle 🤷🏻‍♀️

My footwear on hikes tend to be goretex because I find they are better for the rest of the time I’m in the UK, where the terrain is like boggy, mud, and wet grass that can quickly soak your footwear but is unlikely to get over the top of boots.

In pouring rain, water is going to get inside your shoes from the top, so you’ll need to tighten your shoes and attach rain gaiter. When my GTX trail runners have been soaked through, usually cos I decided to step into water crossing, they have dried overnight with the newspaper trick! You’ll have to change it once as you’ll find the first set will quickly become saturated.

I wear merino wool socks and so far on warm days, with my GTX, my feet have always been able to “breathe”, don’t get sweaty/smelly etc. So far! 🤞🏻 But you see, this is when everything we choose is down to individual preferences and what works for some may not work for others.
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Goretex doesn’t work especially well on footwear as there’s no possibility of air circulation. Also all waterproof shoes are confronted with the same problem - the big hole through which you insert your feet and through which water can get in.

I always walk in lightweight leather boots, in all seasons (although I don’t walk in Spain in summer); and they work well for me.

Whatever you take; make sure they’re comfortable and take sufficient pairs of socks that you can change to a dry pair from time to time.

You’ll be lucky to not have some rain in Galicia. Those lakes and rivers have to come from somewhere.
 

calmeg

Member
We have always worn waterproof/goretex shows. When the ground is damp with dew or light rain, the feet stay dry. When it rains we put on rain pants that cover the tops of the shoes and the water does not go into the shoes, and the feet do not get soaked. If they do- fill them with newspaper overnight! This works for us- as you can see there are many opinions!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2010, Norte 2011, Frances 2016
Waterproof membrane boots are OK for a short 2 hour 'walk in the park' but they are like wearing a plastic bag on your foot. For the 'long haul' you best get comfortable Non-Waterproof Footwear ( preference is individual but I have migrated to full leather with leather lining )
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
I have always walked in GTX trail runners. Many brands out there for personal preferences. I wear iDecathlon or Frogg Toggs WP rain pants when it rains. WP gaiters might be a rain pant replacement. Trudged through lots of rain and mud in the spring and fall. Feet stayed dry. If I’m slogging in a shoe lake, I get blisters. Everyone is different. Buen Camino!
Aymarah
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

tjb1013

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
I have come to believe (important: believe as opposed to "know" through objective methods) that waterproof shoes were hotter and the heat contributed to the development of blisters on each of my Caminos.

I have also come to believe (and maybe even know! :) ) that blisters are worse than wet feet. Blisters were for me a one-week plus misery. "Misery" not chosen lightly.

On the plus side, I switched to hiking sandals to alleviate most of the shoe blister misery and found that they were sufficient for anywhere on the camino I happened to be walking - including wooded, hilly, "trail like" stretches of the Camino.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
On the plus side, I switched to hiking sandals to alleviate most of the shoe blister misery and found that they were sufficient for anywhere on the camino I happened to be walking - including wooded, hilly, "trail like" stretches of the Camino.
I also wear hiking sandals on the Camino. I bring SealSkinz waterproof socks for the really wet days.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Hi, I will be walking in early October and I’ve read that it is rainy season. Most entries / comments suggest not to take waterproof shoes. Since I’m going in possibly rainy season should I go ahead and take waterproof shoes or continue to follow suggestions and not take waterproof shoes? Thank you
I loved having my waterproof breathable shoes when walking across the Meseta in May in non stop pouring rain for 3 days. We were ankle deep in mud and each evening at our destination my feet and socks were dry and I just needed to scrap off all the mud and we were good to go the next day.
I know that they are not everyone's choice but a combination of merino wool socks and my Merrills my feet stayed very happy.
 

chichi

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francais
I have come to believe (important: believe as opposed to "know" through objective methods) that waterproof shoes were hotter and the heat contributed to the development of blisters on each of my Caminos.

I have also come to believe (and maybe even know! :) ) that blisters are worse than wet feet. Blisters were for me a one-week plus misery. "Misery" not chosen lightly.

On the plus side, I switched to hiking sandals to alleviate most of the shoe blister misery and found that they were sufficient for anywhere on the camino I happened to be walking - including wooded, hilly, "trail like" stretches of the Camino.
What are your favorite hiking sandals?
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
What are your favorite hiking sandals?
I used Keen Newport H2 sandals. Very stiff sole, which I think of as hard on my feet when I first start walking, but have found that that completely escapes my notice after walking a bit each day.

I love a more pillowy Hoka sandal I have that was called the Tor Trafa, but it has a leather upper that seems like a bad idea for long wet stretches as well as a pretty substantial neoprene liner that seems like it could get hot on a 20 mile day on La Meseta. I’ve never tried them on long hikes. They make a more waterproof version now. I’m generally a fan of Hokas when I’ve found some that fit me well.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

Dmcar4

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Goretex doesn’t work especially well on footwear as there’s no possibility of air circulation. Also all waterproof shoes are confronted with the same problem - the big hole through which you insert your feet and through which water can get in.

I always walk in lightweight leather boots, in all seasons (although I don’t walk in Spain in summer); and they work well for me.

Whatever you take; make sure they’re comfortable and take sufficient pairs of socks that you can change to a dry pair from time to time.

You’ll be lucky to not have some rain in Galicia. Those lakes and rivers have to come from somewhere.

what are the brands of lightweight leather boots you like? I have a pair of leather boots I love for walking around home in the winter- it’s been a wet year- but consider they would be too heavy for a Camino. The home walks are only about 6-10km at a time.
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

Lindsay53

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Portugues 2022
In my experience there is no such thing as truly waterproof boots. The ones that claim to be still allow water ingress and the lack of breatheability is more of a problem than wet feet.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
These questions are fun as you'll get very different and very definite suggestions :rolleyes:

I wear Goretex boots and love them :p:p

On 3 Caminos so far, in the wet, in the dry, no problems.
My feet are bone dry and don't sweat .......

I'd suggest there are too many variables to make a valid suggestion either way.

Weather, temperature, feet, socks, boots, shoes, type of waterproofing, daily mileage.......
 

hansking

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2013) Frances
(2016) Portuguese
(2018) Barcelon
Hi, I will be walking in early October and I’ve read that it is rainy season. Most entries / comments suggest not to take waterproof shoes. Since I’m going in possibly rainy season should I go ahead and take waterproof shoes or continue to follow suggestions and not take waterproof shoes? Thank you
Hi Jackie
Whatever shoes or socks you are wearing, take Vaseline with you. Rub it on your feet in the morning and in particular areas subject to blistering. It really helps. The Vaseline reduces the friction between your toes and between your foot and your sock, so those hot spots do not develop so easily.
Buen Camino
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
These questions are fun as you'll get very different and very definite suggestions :rolleyes:
So true, @Robo, so true.

It seems to me that discussing waterproof footwear without addressing the complete outer layer is all a bit pointless. Waterproof footwear might give you some protection against getting damp feet from wet grass and shallow puddles provided you don't splash about too much. Combining waterproof footwear with gaiters or rain pants will start to give lower body rain protection, and with the addition of a hooded rain jacket or poncho, one will get some form of whole body rain protection.

But is that what you need, or want? If you are walking in warmer conditions, you might prefer to walk in shorts or a kilt, when gaiters, combined with a poncho or jacket and rain skirt, might be a perfectly acceptable solution for you. Waterproof footwear could still work for you. But if I were to ditch the gaiters, and let my legs get wet, I suggest that waterproof footwear wouldn't be my priority.

Why? Well someone has already pointed to this, and it is this. Any waterproof footwear has a great big hole in which to put your foot, and unless you protect you legs from getting wet, water will run down those legs straight into you boots or shoes. So with any ensemble that doesn't protect you legs from the rain, wearing waterproof footwear doesn't make sense to me.

Rain isn't the only thing that will get your legs wet, sweat will too. This is where life can get complicated, particularly if you are walking in warmer conditions. If you start actively sweating, this is a sign that your body has stopped vaporising the sweat that it is producing to keep you cool. This will be even more pronounced on muggy days where the relative humidity has increased, reducing the carrying capacity of the air around you to carry off more water vapour. Once you put on a rain jacket, you will start to trap more heat, the rain jacket material is never going to be perfectly permeable, and it won't allow sweat to pass through, only water vapour. Things are only going to get worse!

How long will it take for you to become a walking sweat ball on the inside and rain on the outside, and do you just give up at that point and ditch the rain gear completely? Well, it depends, but generally my take on this is that while it is still raining, keeping rain gear on is still worthwhile if you are keeping your body warm, and you would start to chill if you removed it. If it isn't warm, but it has stopped raining, I would remove my rain pants, and start to dry out my lower body by keeping walking. Only if it is really warm would I start to think about removing my rain jacket.

In cooler conditions, I have walked almost all day in a full rain ensemble before I started to get sweat from my torso running down my legs (and into my boots). When the rain eased later on that day, it took an hour or so of walking to dry of my lower body. The insides of my boots were damp, but dried fairly well with the addition of some newspaper that night. In contrast, on a hotter day, it only took a couple of hours, but in much heavier rain. While my raingear dried off overnight, my boots were soaked, and still damp the next morning, but I hadn't been able to get any newspaper to put in them either.

For what it's worth, I generally wear either leather boots without a waterproof membrane (6/10 pilgrimages) or suede boots with a membrane (3/10 pilgrimages). The remaining time I walked in a suede/fabric boot with membrane. I am pretty neutral to the argument that a membrane makes the boot hotter - that isn't my experience walking locally or on pilgrimage in Europe. I prefer to keep my feet dry, and use foot powder in my socks. I normally walk with liner socks, but walked this year with just outer socks.

If there is any simple summary it is this - if you cannot stop your legs getting wet, there is little point in waterproof footwear.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2022?
I wear breathable Merrill Moab Ventilators. They are comfortable, did well during the 3 raining weeks of my first 5 week Camino. When wet, they dried out easily overnight.

Pay attention to your socks and to the signals your feet are sending you about any developing blisters. Reduce your mileage in wet weather in order to save your feet.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.

Jeff B

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Primitivo, Fisterre and Ingles
Hi, I will be walking in early October and I’ve read that it is rainy season. Most entries / comments suggest not to take waterproof shoes. Since I’m going in possibly rainy season should I go ahead and take waterproof shoes or continue to follow suggestions and not take waterproof shoes? Thank you
I've walked a full day in waterproof shoes and rain pants, in pouring rain, and at the end my feet were only a bit damp, probably from sweating. IMHO, having your feet get wet is a formula for getting blisters.
 

ScorpioGirl22

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Wore waterproof on my first camino and got horrible blisters just from sweating feet. Now wear breathable trail runners and 3 more Camino’s with no blisters … even though had days of rain. Wool socks, newspaper overnight … worked for me
Can I ask where everyone gets the newspapers to stuff in their wet shoes whilst on the Camino....? There would be a whole lot of people looking for old newspapers and I don't remember ever seeing one when I was in Spain earlier this year.......
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2022?
How I dry out my boots:

As CC mentioned above, I also was always able to find newspapers near the racks which albergues set aside for boots.

When I first arrive at an albergue, when my boots are wet, I make sure I have removed as much mud as possible if that is an issue.

Next, I remove the insoles.

Then, I loosely wad old newspaper and "stuff" my wet boots with the paper. I put my boots on the rack and continue my process in the albergue - shower, wash clothes, rest, dinner, etc.

One of the last things I do before turning in for the night is to remove the wet newspapers and stuff my boots again with dry newspapers.

If my boots were especially wet, I might have done this an additional time earlier in the evening.

My insoles get rinsed, "squeezed" if possible without destroying their integrity, and stood upright in the back of my boots, near the heel! Attention!!

No matter how wet my boots were the evening before, they were ALWAYS completely dry the next morning. In #30 above, I tell what boots I use.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino
Time of past OR future Camino
LePuy07, CF 08, Arles17, Via Regia '18,
Lots of good advice here, some based on human physiology (feet sweat ounces of water/day), or physics (water vapor will move out of your shoes when the vapor pressure inside is greater than outside the shoe. Shoes soaked with rain don't eagerly allow water vapor to escape, and ventilation doesn't occur.), clinical observation of foot problems after day 3 (nothing but my rough impression that foot morbidity, like blisters, was over represented by boot wearers, and I never asked about WP liners as a contributing factor, alas), and appeal to expert testimony. So I turned to our son-in-law, who has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail twice and walked every street in Manhattan in one go. "very few long distance hikers i know choose waterproof shoes. They still get wet 99% of the time and take far longer to dry. Plus they keep moisture inside the shoe even when it’s not wet out from sweat not evaporating. No question in my mind."). He and I agree, but your experience may lead you a different direction. Experiment. Note that reviews of trail runners evaluate how well they ventilate, not just whether they ventilate. I would suggest that you wear good quality reasonably thick merino socks no matter what, for warmth and comfort. Wet feet transfer heat really fast without such socks. Happy trials!
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Lots of good advice here, some based on human physiology (feet sweat ounces of water/day), or physics (water vapor will move out of your shoes when the vapor pressure inside is greater than outside the shoe. Shoes soaked with rain don't eagerly allow water vapor to escape, and ventilation doesn't occur.), clinical observation of foot problems after day 3 (nothing but my rough impression that foot morbidity, like blisters, was over represented by boot wearers, and I never asked about WP liners as a contributing factor, alas), and appeal to expert testimony. So I turned to our son-in-law, who has thiked the Pacific Crest Trail twice and walked every street in Manhattan in one go. "very few long distance hikers i know choose waterproof shoes. They still get wet 99% of the time and take far longer to dry. Plus they keep moisture inside the shoe even when it’s not wet out from sweat not evaporating. No question in my mind."). He and I agree, but your experience may lead you a different direction. Experiment. Note that reviews of trail runners evaluate how well they ventilate, not just whether they ventilate. I would suggest that you wear good quality reasonably thick merino socks no matter what, for warmth and comfort. Wet feet transfer heat really fast without such socks. Happy trials!
This is my experience too. Experienced hikers would not use waterproof shoes when hiking or walking long distances.

In a similar vein, when I come across a small stream or large puddle of water that is blocking my path while hiking I favour finding the best footing over avoiding the water. I usually just walk straight through the water. I never rock hop because I have seen too many novice walkers slip, fall and injure themselves doing this and if they are not hurt in their fall they are often very wet all over.

This was especially obvious to me on a very wet day walking down into Zubiri. I passed so many people walking all over the place trying to avoid getting their feet wet and yet everyone who eventually caught up with me in the albergue all had shoes just as wet as mine.
 
Last edited:

stevepjq

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2017, Next is March 2022
Another vote NOT to use Goretex shoes.
At the end of a wet day, stuff your (non-Goretex) shoes with newspaper 3 times; 1st time for 30 minutes, next time for a couple of hours and last time when you fall asleep. Its amazingly effective.
 

Jackie305

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo
Thank you all for the great info! Glad the topic was engaging for so many. I have enjoyed reading these replies. Buen Camino!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Experienced hikers would not use waterproof shoes when hiking or walking long distances.
I suspect the only thing definite about a statement as definite as this is that it will be definitely wrong.

I prefer to keep my feet as dry as possible, and use gear that achieves that. I walk regularly with people who want to achieve that. We are not trying to set BOAT records on some long distance trail or anything like that, but want to walk the Camino safely and reasonably comfortably, minimise the risk of injury, etc.

I shared my thoughts on this earlier. Others might have different experiences and share them, but our individual experiences are unlikely to be consistent with there being a single, grand, universal theory of what is best here.

I think members should keep an open mind on this, and carefully evaluate whether rhetoric like this quote is anything more than hyperbole.
 
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

cronnik

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 11/21
Pamplona - Burgos
Sarria - SdC
Especially if it's pouring down, you wouldn't want waterproof shoes, you want them to dry out overnight. They'll get soaked anyway. I walked CP late october last year and haven't had any rain at all. And when it's warm, waterproof shoes are the worst, in my experience. also soaked, but from the inside.
In my experience in a true real rain it will enter your shoes from the ankle weather you have low-mid- or even high ankles, and as others have said the waterproofing just doesn’t breathe as well so they will eventually get sweaty and wet from the inside - blisters. I would only recommend waterproof anything in really cold temps and the snow.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
In my experience in a true real rain it will enter your shoes from the ankle weather you have low-mid- or even high ankles, and as others have said the waterproofing just doesn’t breathe as well so they will eventually get sweaty and wet from the inside - blisters. I would only recommend waterproof anything in really cold temps and the snow.
It sounds like you weren't wearing gaiters or rainpants. Was that so? I ask because there isn't any way you will keep rain out of your shoes or boots otherwise. It's not magic! In the rain, shoes and boots don't stop your feet getting wet without covering around the big hole in the top, ie where your foot goes in.
 

cronnik

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 11/21
Pamplona - Burgos
Sarria - SdC
It sounds like you weren't wearing gaiters or rainpants. Was that so? I ask because there isn't any way you will keep rain out of your shoes or boots otherwise. It's not magic! In the rain, shoes and boots don't stop your feet getting wet without covering around the big hole in the top, ie where your foot goes in.
Good point. I should have clarified that in the absence of rain pants or gaiters, waterproof shoes did little to nothing during a long day with a decent amount of rain.
I should also clarify that I have worn rain pants on the Camino and they sort of helped but during a long wet day my waterproof shoes got all wet either from rain deep or sweat. My point is that in my experience it’s a losing battle and I accept it.

I also stopped bringing rain pants during the warmer months on del Norte or Frances. The rain rarely lasted all day and then I was getting hot and having to change out of them in inconvenient places and then it would rain again later and I would spend too much time grousing in my head whether to put them on because if I did then the rain would spite me and stop as it had and then I have to take them off…blah blah blah. So I just walk in my shorts and have a dry pair in my bag for when I get to town.

Now - for shoulder season: I did bring rain pants on my 3week Frances Camino in November Pamplona-Burgos; Sarria to SdC and I only used them twice but with long underwear. It “worked out” but the same thing with the frustration of on/off/on/off
I’m thinking of looking into a waterproof kilt worn with shorts or wool hiking underwear.
 

Henry B

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
I also wear hiking sandals on the Camino. I bring SealSkinz waterproof socks for the really wet days.
Non waterproof footwear preferred to waterproof. On those days when it's really wet good quality waterproof socks do work for me. No sweat, literally.
 

Ricardo Moretti

Camino Frances x 2: Apr./May 2018 & Apr./May 2019
Time of past OR future Camino
Two Camino Frances:
April-May 2018
April-May 2019
Hi, I will be walking in early October and I’ve read that it is rainy season. Most entries / comments suggest not to take waterproof shoes. Since I’m going in possibly rainy season should I go ahead and take waterproof shoes or continue to follow suggestions and not take waterproof shoes? Thank you
This is a personal preference BUT most experienced walkers and hikers are saying that non-waterproof shoes dry faster while waterproof shoes will take a long time to dry. And non waterproof shoes let your feet breathe better which is especially nice when its not raining. You have enough time from now to then to practice wearing waterproof shoes and non waterproof shoes to determine what YOU prefer. Either way, you will want to have a contingency plan: to walk with waterproof shoes that are wet or to walk wit non waterproof shoes when it wet outside. This means extra dry socks, wearing plastic bags over your feet before putting on the shoes, duck tape the portion of the shoes that is more exposed to allowing rain to enter, having gaiters that cover enough of the shoe to prevent water from entering, bring a second pair of lightweight shoes....
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

Karl G

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
August and September 2019 - Arles
Hi, I will be walking in early October and I’ve read that it is rainy season. Most entries / comments suggest not to take waterproof shoes. Since I’m going in possibly rainy season should I go ahead and take waterproof shoes or continue to follow suggestions and not take waterproof shoes? Thank you
The topic of waterproof shoe seems to bring out a lot of very strong opinions. Not sure why since I have used Gore-Tex shoes hiking many trails including most of the Arles. I’ve also worn Gore-Tex gear while expedition kayaking. I have always found it to work as advertised.

Gore-Tex is breathable. Do they breath as much as non Gore-Tex shoes? Probably not. But, it is not like having plastic bags on your feet. It does not make my feet stink or swell any more than non Gore-Tex shoes. I’ve also never found them to get soaked where they need a long time to dry out. I would use them again. The one downside is they tend to be a few ounces per shoe heavier. However, on those rainy days when I’ve been walking through mud and gravel paths with plenty of puddles I’ve been thankful I made that trade-off.

As is true in many things, it’s best to try them out for yourself as a test run before listening to me or others.
 
Last edited:

MarkyD

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Hi, I will be walking in early October and I’ve read that it is rainy season. Most entries / comments suggest not to take waterproof shoes. Since I’m going in possibly rainy season should I go ahead and take waterproof shoes or continue to follow suggestions and not take waterproof shoes? Thank you
I gave up on my "waterproof" Salomon boots because they cooked my feet in the heat and they didn't stand up to heavy or prolonged rain.
On the one day it rained heavily all day, my boots became waterlogged within a couple of hours. I remember leaving them in a pilgrim shelter place next to bar in Galicia somewhere. They had a good few hundred miles in them, not just from the Camino, but I reckoned they would have been of use to someone who was barefoot 😌
 
Time of past OR future Camino
LePuy07, CF 08, Arles17, Via Regia '18,
I was curious about how long gortex lasts, especially in shoes where it is subjected to dirt and foot oils. It would be grand if someone did electron microscopy to inspect the membrane after use, with all those pores that only allow vapor to pass thorugh and not water molecules. Anyone know of such sources? In my search I came across a testimonial from a champion through hiker for consideration, but it shouldn't discourage anyone who has found success wearing shoes with membranes. https://andrewskurka.com/waterproof-gore-tex-shoes-second-chance-complete-failure/
 

Karl G

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
August and September 2019 - Arles
I was curious about how long gortex lasts, especially in shoes where it is subjected to dirt and foot oils. It would be grand if someone did electron microscopy to inspect the membrane after use, with all those pores that only allow vapor to pass thorugh and not water molecules. Anyone know of such sources? In my search I came across a testimonial from a champion through hiker for consideration, but it shouldn't discourage anyone who has found success wearing shoes with membranes. https://andrewskurka.com/waterproof-gore-tex-shoes-second-chance-complete-failure/
I’ve worn out the treads on about four pair now with no breathability/waterproof issues. In other words, the shoes wore out before the membrane.

I did notice the writer immediately qualifies his bias and as can be seen from this thread different people have different experiences. The only way to know is try them in advance. If they work you will be very happy. And if not, better to know before you go.
 
Last edited:
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
There's no such thing as truly waterproof gear. If it's really wet e.g in Galicia, expect to get wet. Don't worry about it. Maybe wear sandals here and there, rather than forging on in wet socks and shoes. The exposed skin on your feet is the best waterproofing you have.
Very useful advice, however, we should be considerate of other people's preferences. Some people like to wear these to keep their feet dry 😉

FlowWader-Main-RGB_2000x.jpg

 

Most read last week in this forum

Hi Folks, I've been trawling online for hours without success. Maybe someone can help? I'm looking for a phone charger for my Samsung s22 Ultra, but the european plug version. Ideally with dual...
Hi 👋 can anyone that has recently been on the camono say if you deffinatly need a sleeping bag 🤔 or could I get away with just a lining....appreciate some guidance, thank you in advance 👣 buan...
All rules are broken at sometime or another. And I’ve just broken my rule of not getting on the Internet while I’m walking. But I’m not sure exactly what to do. I have a pair of Black Diamond...

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2022 Camino Guides
Top