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Yes, Anonther footwear question..

2020 Camino Guides

TammyLynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
13/9/13 to 1/10/13 Pamplona to Leon

5/6/2014-9/7/2014
SJPP to Santiago
I know this has been discussed several times, I think I've read every thread. I have applied suggested advice on 2 caminos, but as I plan for my Fall camino it has surfaced again.
I'm now on my 3rd pair of footwear. I started with a waterproof Solomon trail runners. I really wanted these to be 'the one' but after a few miles on the treadmill (too much snow to hike outdoors yet) I noticed a lot of rubbing from the top of the shoe against my ankle. Returned them and got Solomon trail runners, not waterproof., but a great shoe. Also they are the quick lace system so I just pull the cord to tighten and loosen. Has anyone used these type of laces? Did they break?

My theory is that my feet sweat anyways and become 'wet' and then that creates the perfect environment for blisters..even if I Vaseline, liner, wool socks and dry my feet during the day. I wore theses on the treadmill and they feel great. I don't trust them though. All I can think of is the total downpours of Galicia and these shoes will be a swamp in no time. I really didn't want to wear boots on this camino. I saw so many pilgrims walking free and easy down the trail in trailrunners and I swore I wouldn't be bogged down by boots and blisters ever again. However, due to the climate change across the different regions, the ups, the downs, the city walking, and the rocky areas, I am now second (third) guessing my decision.

I have preordered the Lowa Renegade, waterproof & breathable (really?!), ankle support, good vibram sole. Great reviews. Overkill? This is exactly what I was trying to avoid, but I came full circle back to this type of boot. I don't think I have weak ankles, but you don't have to have weak ankles to turn them on the downhills. Then what?

I'm not even sure if these boots will be 'the one' because I haven't tried them on yet, but I keep going back and forth between waterproof or not, trailrunners or boots? I will be walking Aug 25-Oct 12. SJPP-Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago.

What do you think? Keep the Solomons and not worry about waterproof and ankle support? Or go for a boot again? I understand this has been beat to death on this forum, but I need your advice anyways. I never want to be an expert on the Camino even if I have walked it before. I want to remain teachable and open to all opinions. That's how I learn..and blisters are a good teacher too...

Thanks!! I'm so excited to return to the beautiful Camino in the fall and see all of those blooming sunflowers again. Hope to meet up with some of you, I have drawn so much from your experiences and wouldn't have attempted this 'alone' back in 2013 if it wasn't for you all! I'm still a solo walker, but I am never alone once I hit the Camino!
Tammy
 

sabbott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP to Ponferrada) 2016
Camino Invierno 2016
@Tammy Lynn, my son and many other long distance hikers wear trail runners. He walked the Pacific Crest Trail (2700 miles) in Salomens--went through 4 pairs. His advice to me is to wear lightweight trail runners, as your feet will get wet no matter what kind of waterproofing you have, and with a light shoe like the Salomens, they will dry out quickly and your feet can breath. Have dry socks and sandals or crocs available at the end of the day while your shoes dry. Here's that viewpoint exhaustively discussed: http://www.backpackingnorth.com/ultralight-makeover-give-your-feet-a-break/

I have never done a long hike, so what I am telling you is others' advice. As you know, many on the forum here disagree, and advise boots. I just know given my problem feet, I couldn't wear boots or even hiking shoes like Merrills Moabs, and am going for comfort above everything. I like New Balance V1080V5, which have a wide toe and are very cushioned. I got them in a size larger than normal. Very comfortable on my walks at home, I'll let you know how I do in spring rains in Spain!
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
September is most likely to be pretty warm and mainly dry - so I walk in ordinary (non-waterproof) trail runners - if they do get wet, they dry very quickly from foot heat alone - but do bring three or four pairs of socks so that you can change them frequently - the greater problem is making sure that you can walk comfortably on hard roads
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
One pair of footwear cannot be perfect for all conditions, so you must make compromises. The one thing you mustn't compromise is comfort.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Salomon funky laces work great, and you can always by a second set of laces just in case one breaks.
 

C3 to Camino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Sept 2018 planned)
There is also a school of thought - my podologist, some thru-hikers on long trails - that says to only wear hiking boots if you have problems with your ankles. Otherwise, there is really no advantage, and there is the disadvantage that any twist that saves your ankle travels up to your knee and can cause greater damage. I think it's really essential to try different models and choose what suits you best.
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
There is also a school of thought - my podologist, some thru-hikers on long trails - that says to only wear hiking boots if you have problems with your ankles. Otherwise, there is really no advantage, and there is the disadvantage that any twist that saves your ankle travels up to your knee and can cause greater damage. I think it's really essential to try different models and choose what suits you best.
I've been training for almost a year for my first Camino (De Santiago). Will walk in April. While training I developed plantar fasciitis because of a weak ankle. I must wear boots because I absolutely must have the support - I'm not yet 100% but almost there. Those who can wear lighter shoes without problems are very lucky. I've seen many videos and read many blogs, etc. of people who develop painful problems while walking 800 kms, some have to give up early. Frequently, people go on and on about painkillers, painkillers, painkillers. Foot pain is very common and everyone is different. I use an assortment of remedial strategies every day: stretches, cold compresses, anti-inflammatory ointment, custom orthotics. Those who recommend one single footwear solution for all are not being realistic. I suggest: prepare thoroughly if you're not accustomed to long range walking. Same goes for blisters, it seems to me - everyone has different strength skin, everyone perspires differently.
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
I would say, stay away from waterproof. If they get wet, they will dry quickly.

Maybe you will replace the standard insoles for better ones, then you can always decide to bring the originals with you. This way you can change them out in the middle of a wet day, combined with dry socks. Just a thought. Doesnt way anything and doesnt take up any room in the pack.
 

Debbie Linton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015, Portuguese 2017, ? 2018
I know this has been discussed several times, I think I've read every thread. I have applied suggested advice on 2 caminos, but as I plan for my Fall camino it has surfaced again.
I'm now on my 3rd pair of footwear. I started with a waterproof Solomon trail runners. I really wanted these to be 'the one' but after a few miles on the treadmill (too much snow to hike outdoors yet) I noticed a lot of rubbing from the top of the shoe against my ankle. Returned them and got Solomon trail runners, not waterproof., but a great shoe. Also they are the quick lace system so I just pull the cord to tighten and loosen. Has anyone used these type of laces? Did they break?

My theory is that my feet sweat anyways and become 'wet' and then that creates the perfect environment for blisters..even if I Vaseline, liner, wool socks and dry my feet during the day. I wore theses on the treadmill and they feel great. I don't trust them though. All I can think of is the total downpours of Galicia and these shoes will be a swamp in no time. I really didn't want to wear boots on this camino. I saw so many pilgrims walking free and easy down the trail in trailrunners and I swore I wouldn't be bogged down by boots and blisters ever again. However, due to the climate change across the different regions, the ups, the downs, the city walking, and the rocky areas, I am now second (third) guessing my decision.

I have preordered the Lowa Renegade, waterproof & breathable (really?!), ankle support, good vibram sole. Great reviews. Overkill? This is exactly what I was trying to avoid, but I came full circle back to this type of boot. I don't think I have weak ankles, but you don't have to have weak ankles to turn them on the downhills. Then what?

I'm not even sure if these boots will be 'the one' because I haven't tried them on yet, but I keep going back and forth between waterproof or not, trailrunners or boots? I will be walking Aug 25-Oct 12. SJPP-Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago.

What do you think? Keep the Solomons and not worry about waterproof and ankle support? Or go for a boot again? I understand this has been beat to death on this forum, but I need your advice anyways. I never want to be an expert on the Camino even if I have walked it before. I want to remain teachable and open to all opinions. That's how I learn..and blisters are a good teacher too...

Thanks!! I'm so excited to return to the beautiful Camino in the fall and see all of those blooming sunflowers again. Hope to meet up with some of you, I have drawn so much from your experiences and wouldn't have attempted this 'alone' back in 2013 if it wasn't for you all! I'm still a solo walker, but I am never alone once I hit the Camino!
Tammy[/QUOTE
Walked in Solomon Trail quick lace (not waterproof) last September and had happy feet the whole way! They dry out quickly but even when a little damp, fresh dry socks and you're all set. Bueno Camino!
 

TammyLynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
13/9/13 to 1/10/13 Pamplona to Leon

5/6/2014-9/7/2014
SJPP to Santiago
Thank you, this is exactly what I hoped for. Since I have plenty of time to test my gear before August, I'm going to test both. I think the trailrunners will be great, but through this I will learn if I have bad ankles and still have time to break in the boots if needed. Thanks everyone, after I posted this I felt bad, it's been discussed about as much as pack weight has and I apologize for being annoyingly repetitive!
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I wish you luck as you test, as it is the most important item you will use. My thought light hikers or trail runners.
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
Thank you, this is exactly what I hoped for. Since I have plenty of time to test my gear before August, I'm going to test both. I think the trailrunners will be great, but through this I will learn if I have bad ankles and still have time to break in the boots if needed. Thanks everyone, after I posted this I felt bad, it's been discussed about as much as pack weight has and I apologize for being annoyingly repetitive!
Hi TammyLynn, It took me 2 months of walking only 5km per day wearing Merrells to develop plantar fasciitis. Mind you, I had a weak ankle to begin with which was the root cause. Then I bought some very good boots (including custom orthotics) which fit perfectly. I've worn these boots for almost 8 months now, walking 5 days per week, and remaining foot pain is mildly uncomfortable but manageable! Buen Camino. - Mike
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Not sure that this is totally relevant, however I came across this article that commented on the 5 myths about hiking footwear. I accessed via Facebook so not certain that the link will work. Good luck.

http://www.hikingthetrail.com/2016/01/top-5-myths-about-hiking-footwear-debunked-guest-post/

Link works but may take a while to come up. Cheers
(PS - just in case anyone thinks I am supporting the ideas suggested in the above link. I neither support nor disagree with what the author says. Thanks.)
 
Last edited:

TammyLynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
13/9/13 to 1/10/13 Pamplona to Leon

5/6/2014-9/7/2014
SJPP to Santiago

TammyLynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
13/9/13 to 1/10/13 Pamplona to Leon

5/6/2014-9/7/2014
SJPP to Santiago
I went to REI today in Portland and asked the specialist there. First shoe he grabbed was the Brooks Cascadia. I've heard so much about these on this forum! He said a lady had been in earlier preparing for a May Camino and she bought the same ones. I put them on and fell in love. These are 'The One'. No need for a boot that is heavy, won't dry out, has many points of irritation, and won't breathe. Thank you all for your advice. I can see the benefit of both a boot and a trail shoe...that's why it is so maddening! :)
 

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
I have a sneaking suspicion that manufacturers are producing more and more specialised equipment just so we will spend money. Start with checking your own wardrobe before buying something. Not that this is relevant to the OP, but it might be helpful to others reading this thread.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
I have a sneaking suspicion that manufacturers are producing more and more specialised equipment just so we will spend money. Start with checking your own wardrobe before buying something. Not that this is relevant to the OP, but it might be helpful to others reading this thread.
Very true!
Because I thought my first camino would be my last, I only bought what I didn't already own (rucksack/boots/poncho/sticks). The rest came from my wardrobe.(Either old boating or gardening clothes).
I was fine! Apart from the walking boots, the other stuff I bought was very cheap. I still use the poncho, the sticks are still good, the rucksack was rubbish though compared to the hightech ones lol but hey, it did the job!
I'm only saying this in reply to Kanga's comments in case it helps new people....You don't need state of the art equipment to do the camino :)
 

Lizlibra5

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances {2016)
I bought what I thought was a good pair of hiking runners "Keen" brand... oh so comfortable to wear, but when doing my training I've already developed blisters.... havent yet invested in good liner socks so hopefully they will help, but I saw one post on here that said if you get blisters you have the wrong shoes.... now I'm worried that I'll have to get a different pair of shoes... expensive! Any advice?
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I wore Keens they were completely worn out by Finnisterre. Something different the next walk
 

Lizlibra5

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances {2016)
I wore Keens they were completely worn out by Finnisterre. Something different the next walk
arrrgh... are there good shoe shops along the way? but then... you're in NEW shoes for the next few days....
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I bought what I thought was a good pair of hiking runners "Keen" brand... oh so comfortable to wear, but when doing my training I've already developed blisters.... havent yet invested in good liner socks so hopefully they will help, but I saw one post on here that said if you get blisters you have the wrong shoes.... now I'm worried that I'll have to get a different pair of shoes... expensive! Any advice?
It's a combination of the shoe, the vaseline application, the socks, how you care for your feet in the evening, keeping your feet dry, and also toughening your skin. Don't give up too quickly on your shoes.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
arrrgh... are there good shoe shops along the way? but then... you're in NEW shoes for the next few days....
I think Anomone makes a good point you will need to try various socks(thickness) & some of the creams to see what works for you. I went thru 3 different manufactures boots until I found what would work, I still had to tweak as I went. There is always a better "mousetrap" just walk & test until you find what works before you leave. But none of us can recommend a specific shoe/boot as each of us have unique feet some sweat buckets some not. Hang in there!
 

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
I have deleted a few posts that caused offence. There is no need for passive aggression (or any type of aggression for that matter).
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
arrrgh... are there good shoe shops along the way? but then... you're in NEW shoes for the next few days....
I have been thinking of what I learned from my walk so I will share.

With my Keens if I walked more than 6 hours I would still get blisters under the ball of my foot. So I realized the extra friction was in that area. I fixed it by cutting another set of foot pads just the front section I slid under the existing pad. (I took extra pads) That worked until I wore out the top pad. I had a really good set of Sole pads with me heated in the oven that create a customized fit. ( I was leary to try them ) They turned out to be the best thing ever!
I kept the extra foot beds in my Crocks the extra thickness helped stabilize while waking around at the end of the day.

Blisters:
The care of blisters is a discussion that will forever be a hot topic of how to deal with them. Not everyone will agree to my method but it works for me.
1. Hands feet must be washed before you start.
2. You will need a needle, antibiotic cream, mole skin, a very hot flame (cigar lighter under pressure) a mini blow torch.
Use the mini blow torch to sterilize the needle.
Very carefully puncture just the blister & drain completely as you can. Don't slip or drive the needle into your foot.
Dry the best you can
Cover the wound wth antibiotic cream.
Cover with mole skin.
 

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
Antiseptic wipes also work to clean the needle. Easier than a hot flame. I also wipe the blister with an antiseptic wipe before I puncture it.
 

TammyLynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
13/9/13 to 1/10/13 Pamplona to Leon

5/6/2014-9/7/2014
SJPP to Santiago
I have deleted a few posts that caused offence. There is no need for passive aggression (or any type of aggression for that matter).
Luckily I didn't see them, thank you for being on it and considerate.
 

drawstring

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal 2016
My right foot is smaller. I just discovered a useful dodge. When lacing the right shoe (I don't bother with the left), I thread the lace BACK into the upper eyelet thereby forming a loop. The lace on the right side is then passed through the loop on the left side, and vice versa. Tighten gradually so the 2 loops are snug with the shoe. It's a bit fiddly to lace up and loosen but it tightens the shoe around the heel so there is no movement there.
Some shoes have 2 eyelets at the top, if so, just use them. Works a treat.
 

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