Shoes used to walk the Camino de Santiago

Shoes used to walk the Camino de Santiago

The question was:

Hi all, there are so many threads in regards to footwear, many opinions, many different kinds of footwear. I know a common reply is: “use what works best for your feet” and “the same thing does not work for everyone”, while that is true it’s nice as a newbie to get some ideas on where to start. My wish is not to start another discussion I was hoping you could list what shoes you wear both during the walk and in the evening and perhaps a comment on why that works for you. Just to put some ideas in a beginners mind :).

Read the list of Shoes used to walk the Camino de Santiago.

13 Replies to “Shoes used to walk the Camino de Santiago”

  1. It seems I was one of the few with high hikingboots, Meindl Island MFS to be specific. In the beginning I thought that I should have taken lower walking boots but apparently I was the only one without blisters or sprained ankles, strained Achilles’ tendon, etc.

    If I was going to do the camino again I’d take different boots, but still high boots. I’m likely to pick either the Meindl Desert Fox I used in the Army or Meindl Safari’s.

    Mind you, even though that Meindl makes one of the best boots ever, they have a considerable break-in time. It took me around 150-200 km for them to break-in properly.

  2. well, it depends. I have done the camino in 2 bits. For the walk from St Jean Pied du Port, I wore my Brasher leather boots – and I needed them for the mountains. However. If I hadn’t been travelling so light, I’d have taken my merrell approach shoes as well – I wore these from Leon to Santiago de Compostella = love them to bits. I also took, on both walks a pair of Teva sandals – for leisure/evening/shower. Not one blister (But bruised toe nails on the descents from the Pyrenees and also from the Alto de Pedron – I have balance problems and don’t do descents very well. I needed the ankle supports for the Pyrenees. Others might not. If I were to take only one pair of walking footwear, it’d be the Merrell approach shoes – lightweight, comfortable, yet supportive.

  3. I walked from SJPP and used Columbia trail runners which worked really well. They were lightweight, comfortable and airy (a huge plus through the Meseta!). Plus I didn’t get a single blister using them. The only thing that could pose a problem using trail runners is the lack of ankle support – you definitely have to take extra care on the rocky descents, not that the Camino has many. I used flip flops for the evenings and to shower with which also worked really well – they were lightweight and easy to pack. Buen Camino!

  4. Boots are overkill. Basic hiking shoes. Keen makes a great nylon pair. Will dry quicker than leather or nubuck if you get caught in the rain.

  5. I am going to have to retire my favorite hiking boots if I keep walking 25 miles a week in preparation and increase time and miles……..

  6. Whatever type of shoes you will be wearing, and I recommend boots for the ankle support, you should buy them one size too big. You will avoid the bruised nails on descents. This is specially true if wearing boots as the foot will be well stuck inside the boot and will not slide forward. For the evening and for the shower I took a pair of croks which are lightweight and served the purpose well. (You can pack extra socks inside the crocks when not in use) Pay special attention to the socks you will be wearing. Use top of the range anti-blister walking socks. They are well worth the extra price.

  7. I walked the Camino Frances late august till the end of september and wore Meindl borneo although heavier than a shoe i feel it gave better protection and support for the amount of kilometers your walking and kilos your carrying .

  8. 2 Recommendations:
    – Hiking Shoe. Not a running shoe or trainer, and boots are overkill.
    – The best socks possible. DO NOT go out there with those silly little, very light ankle socks that people wear for running shoes. Get 3 pairs of very, very good hiking socks, I found that with good shoes, light was fine, I certainly would not go heavy.

  9. I did it in (good quality) walking sandals. Worked really well for me – kept my feet able to breathe – walked through streams to cool them down. Had a pair of heavy duty waterproof socks for when it rained or got cold. Obviously this is a late spring – early autumn deal.

    1. MadMax11

      what type of sandals? I have a pair of Chaco’s and was going to use them as an alternative to Salomon lightweight waterproof walking shoes with 5 toe Smart wool socks.

      How did you get on with stones etc getting under your feet?

      Stating 25 April this year so now putting in the miles, but not in the sandals.

      Comments welcome


      1. A pair like these (probably an earlier version of exactly these)

        I did get little pebbles getting under my feet – sometimes quite a lot depending on the road. For me though it was so clearly better than heavy hot boots or even restrictive hot walking trainers. Most of my walking back home has been done in boots/trainers so I hadn’t done anything to prepare – although the sandals were worn in a bit.

        I also liked the idea that many pilgrims would have worn something similar in days gone past – with admittedly not such a good sole.

        If you do it sandals you will want something like these

        Sometimes your feet will need a rest from sun and rain and early on blistered feet and ankles will want that extra protection.

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