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Which shoes should I wear in September \ October?

b344433

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011
2018
#1
Buon Camino my friends.

I will be starting a new journy from SJPdP to Finisterre in September (will start about 18th), which leaves me walking through most of October as well. I plan to walk the Frances, but I might head north to Oviedo from Leon, and continue with the Primitivo to Melide.

I have Merrell Moab Mid GTX boots, which I wore on shorter hike (300km+-) last April, and had no knee problems nor blisters.
Recently I started wearing them again for some short walks (10-12km) as a preparation, and I fear I feel some minor discomfort in my right knee, even after 2-3km (which may develop into a problem in a 900+km walk...)
So I'm now debating with myself weather I should go with my Merrell boots, or ditch them and get light Trail runners, or another pair of boots? I also don't think I have enough time to 'break' a new pair of hiking boots...

On my first Camino (Frances, April-May, few years ago...) I had the worst shoes and plenty of blisters and knee pain :) So I plan to have much less issues this time...

From what I remember, for the Frances (in springtime) a pair of trail runners should work fine, but this time I consider adding the Salvator + Primitivo portion of the walk (from Leon), and walking on Fall time.

And advice?
 

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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#2
What is the wear pattern like on the Merrells? Is it throwing your ankle off and transmitting stress to your knee?

I would go trail runners + spare insoles. Worked for me on my last Camino after I ruined a decent pair of boots just before leaving (left them in 40 degree sun room, melted adhesive). Be careful on stony descents like Riego to Molinaseca though.

Can't say about Primitivo.
 

b344433

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011
2018
#3
What is the wear pattern like on the Merrells? Is it throwing your ankle off and transmitting stress to your knee?

I would go trail runners + spare insoles. Worked for me on my last Camino after I ruined a decent pair of boots just before leaving (left them in 40 degree sun room, melted adhesive). Be careful on stony descents like Riego to Molinaseca though.

Can't say about Primitivo.
Hi Jeff, thanks for your reply!

I'm not sure about a wear pattern, they seem almost new. The shoes fit quite OK, but my feet is being 'rotated' a few degrees to the left as I walk. If I "force" it to face forward, I get knee \ leg pain after a few minutes.

I consider the trail running option, I'll wait for some comments about the Salvador \ Primitivo trail.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#4
I used a low hiking shoe made by Teva-- it was waterproof and worked well. You might also try going to a sports doctor and do some strengthening exercises for the knee. I had some problems once and I went to the physical therapist to find out that my thigh bone was not staying in line and so was hurting the knee. I was given a number of twice daily core muscle exercises to do to strengthen the hip.
 

Jbirk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018)
#5
I walked in April with Altra Timps with no issues at all. I have knee problems but did not have any pain except when going down hill. I am hiking this week and am trying out the Altra Lone Peak mids. So far they are wonderful. I got the Neo Shell (water resistant) type and again have no issues. They do run small in length so you might go up one size but you won’t be disappointed.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
#6
Buon Camino my friends.

I will be starting a new journy from SJPdP to Finisterre in September (will start about 18th), which leaves me walking through most of October as well. I plan to walk the Frances, but I might head north to Oviedo from Leon, and continue with the Primitivo to Melide.

I have Merrell Moab Mid GTX boots, which I wore on shorter hike (300km+-) last April, and had no knee problems nor blisters.
Recently I started wearing them again for some short walks (10-12km) as a preparation, and I fear I feel some minor discomfort in my right knee, even after 2-3km (which may develop into a problem in a 900+km walk...)
So I'm now debating with myself weather I should go with my Merrell boots, or ditch them and get light Trail runners, or another pair of boots? I also don't think I have enough time to 'break' a new pair of hiking boots...

On my first Camino (Frances, April-May, few years ago...) I had the worst shoes and plenty of blisters and knee pain :) So I plan to have much less issues this time...

From what I remember, for the Frances (in springtime) a pair of trail runners should work fine, but this time I consider adding the Salvator + Primitivo portion of the walk (from Leon), and walking on Fall time.

And advice?
Go with your experience. Everyone will have a different take on what to wear . . . go with what feels most comfortable for you. I hiked the Camino, as you described two years ago, same time. I wore Solomon mid-tops and was glad I did. I experienced moderate weather for the most part but had some rain and was glad, had them for support and to keep my feet dry.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
#7
I 2nd a good trail shoes. If you don't enjoy walking with wet feet, some waterproof trail shoes (Gtx or eVent) would be beneficial. I have walked the Norte/Primitivo and Frances with boots as I needed ankle support. However, I have managed to wean off the boots and am now using Trail shoes with some ankle support. I wear Hoka one one Tor Tech mid.
 

Jefft

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#8
From my experience, it is difficult to recommend a specific shoe to an individual. I used a mid cut boot for Pamplona to Santiago, as I was travelling in winter. I was warm and dry, even in deep snow. I would have used a low cut boot or trail running shoe if it was summer.

For those having difficulty finding something that works, may I suggest trying the extreme cushion trail shoes. For example https://www.hokaoneone.com/. This company provided the shoes for the record breaking Appalachian trail run ( documentary on Netflix if you are interested). I run in them and plan to use them or the NB version for the Camino in the fall.
Safe travels.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Zip
#9
I walked in Hoka trail runners the whole CF way in mid-Sept-Oct. Very comfortable, no blisters and I was such a fan of those lighter shoes! Stuffed with paper, they dried overnight if I got them wet. But I developed knee and plantar fasciitis problems within 6 weeks of returning home. I've since learned that the runners (tennis shoes in US) with no ankle support let my ankle & knee sag, rotate or lean too much, and that's likely what started all the pain and long term problems. Lesson learned, I'm sad to say, that I'd recommend boots now. I love my new Hoka boots; they're still lightweight and have lots of spring in the soles.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances; Via Podensis; Via Francigena; Via Portugues; Via Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg.
#10
I walked the Camino and part of the Via Podensis in ordinary jogging shoes (Brooks brand). They were OK, but I was conscious of not having firm ankle support on rough and stony terrain. My feet got wet, but I walked in summer and wore wool socks and had no problems. If you walk in Sept/Oct, rain and cold weather might make boots a better choice. If you have known gait/joint issues, I would go for boots, not shoes.

My subsequent walks have been in boots (Salomon and Teva)

On my Camino, the boot/shoe split seemed to be roughly 60/40, but I think the split for experienced hikers would favour boots more. It's just a guess, and in fact both types of footwear are perfectly adequate. I have seen people hiking in sandals.

Salomon make good products, but my experience with a goretex model (see pic) was bad because the uppers failed at creases after only 400km (I can usually get over 1,000km from a set of boots). The dealer gave me a free replacement pair that also failed the same way after roughly 400km on the VF in Italy. The boots are still perfectly usable, but they leak in wet weather. You can see the failure on the LHS of the top boot and a matching failure on the lower boot. The soles are not genuine Vibram and wore badly. I don't want to bag Salomon in general. They are a respected maker and heaps of users swear by their products. So take my comments as just points to look for if choosing a Salomon boot - or any other with goretex uppers.

The Teva boots (see pic) are the best I have ever used. Very tough, with genuine Vibram soles and the generous width usually required for male feet. They are made from a synthetic leather, but are only slightly heavier than the Salomon boots. They don't have much rear cutaway at the top of the heel, but I have had no problem with tendon chafing. I also have a pair of Teva hiking sandals, which are just as good and reliable. Teva make products for the Israeli Defence Force.

I have wandered a bit from the theme of the thread, but I hope my comments are useful.

Bob M
 

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Camino(s) past & future
2016 june
#11
Buon Camino my friends.

I will be starting a new journy from SJPdP to Finisterre in September (will start about 18th), which leaves me walking through most of October as well. I plan to walk the Frances, but I might head north to Oviedo from Leon, and continue with the Primitivo to Melide.

I have Merrell Moab Mid GTX boots, which I wore on shorter hike (300km+-) last April, and had no knee problems nor blisters.
Recently I started wearing them again for some short walks (10-12km) as a preparation, and I fear I feel some minor discomfort in my right knee, even after 2-3km (which may develop into a problem in a 900+km walk...)
So I'm now debating with myself weather I should go with my Merrell boots, or ditch them and get light Trail runners, or another pair of boots? I also don't think I have enough time to 'break' a new pair of hiking boots...

On my first Camino (Frances, April-May, few years ago...) I had the worst shoes and plenty of blisters and knee pain :) So I plan to have much less issues this time...

From what I remember, for the Frances (in springtime) a pair of trail runners should work fine, but this time I consider adding the Salvator + Primitivo portion of the walk (from Leon), and walking on Fall time.

And advice?
I have always hiked/walked (35 years)with all leather boots, no matter what the season.I rarely get blisters or have wet feet. Leather is naturally breathable and If treated with a good wax polish will always be waterproof. On good quality boots the soles can be replaced just by removing a few screws whilst the uppers last for years and feel like slippers when worn. The downside is breaking them in properly. Over the last couple of years there has been resurgance of specialist leather boot makers both in the USA and Europe with prices starting at around $300 for a good quality pair. I just thought would throw another option into the pile.
Buen Camino
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances; Via Podensis; Via Francigena; Via Portugues; Via Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg.
#12
I still use my 23-year-old Scarpa leather boots from time to time. They are still as good as new.

My first leather boots were Army boots. I broke mine in by soaking them in water, and walking in them until (almost) dry, tightening the laces as required. The result was a pair of boots perfectly moulded to my feet.

Bob M
 

b344433

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011
2018
#13
Thanks all,
I ended getting a new pair of shoes after consulting PT specialist.
Hope for minimal feet issues this time. See you on the road :)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#14
We walked in trail runners in February and March. When the snow was too deep we took to the roads. You will be fine in Trail runners. Use hiking poles to assist with additional stability and support, especially if you are experiencing knee strain.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances; Via Podensis; Via Francigena; Via Portugues; Via Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg.
#15
Best wishes b344433.

Another tip: Sometimes it is worth replacing the supplied in-sole (if that is the correct word) with one that gives better arch support.

I also inserted a 'heel raise' into my shoes for part of the Camino to ease incipient Achilles tendon strain. Tendon injuries can be 'show stoppers', especially if you try to push through the injury.

Your PT specialist might have some specific advice on the above for your situation.

Marbe2's suggestion about the poles is a good one. I crossed the St Bernard Pass on the VF when there were still patches of frozen snow to gingerly negotiate. The poles certainly saved a twisting fall - or two.

Anyway, 'break a leg' as they say in show biz:eek:

Bob M
 
Camino(s) past & future
December (2018)
#17
Any ideas on how to keep the shoes dry when it runs. I’m planning to wearing trail runners. Has anybody used those plastic shoe covers that you can close up mid thigh?
 

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