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Chacos Sandals

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Windewillow, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Windewillow

    Windewillow New Member

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    Has anyone walked in chacos in the past year? If so...How did you find the experience...
     
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  2. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Windewillow,
    I have never seen anyone walking in Chacos sandals on the Camino but have seen a few walk in toe type rubber shoes. The end result was not pretty, even after two, or three days. I suppose it all depends on what time of the year you walk and how hardened you are to walking over difficult ground in specific shoes. If it rains, I would think you are in deep trouble and it could end your Camino. Bring backup shoes, just in case.
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  3. Windewillow

    Windewillow New Member

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    I am bringing both...Thanks Sean!I wear my sandals all year here inthe Northeast snow etc...But I do realise the Camino is a bit (to say the least!) different I will prepare for all conditions!
     
  4. Magwood

    Magwood Super Moderator

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    After doing some internet research I bought some Chaco sandals to take on my camino Frances last year. I had checked the weight, which I thought was just about manageable, but was shocked when they arrived to find that the quoted weight must have been for just one shoe as they are really very heavy. I did try them on a practice walk but I found the ridged upper sole grated against my toes and made them quite sore. So they stayed at home and I took a pair of 'stylish' crocs instead, not to walk in but to relax in. The chacos also stayed at home during my camino Portuguese this year. But since returning home I have persevered with them and am finding them quite comfortable now. If you are well used to walking in them then I could see that you could use them for some stretches of the camino, but the weight would still be an issue as far as I am concerned. They would be useful if you came across any flooded areas that required wading through. I would be interested to know if you take them and how much you walk in them. Keep us posted!
    buen camino!
     
  5. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    The few times that I have tried to walk in sandals, I have always had issues with small stones finding their way in and lodging under my feet – Sometimes they come out with a quick shake, but I found that I had, on my occasions to take a sandal off to get rid of the offending stone – I don’t know whether this is just me, or other walkers also get the same problem – But because of it, I wouldn’t personally walk Camino’s in them
    However, I do always take a pair of unbranded ultra-light sandals with me to wear in both the bathroom as well as to often go out in the evenings in.
    Good Luck and Buen Camino
    Rob
     
  6. Windewillow

    Windewillow New Member

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    I will let you all know how I do in my chaco sandals! My walking shoes are chacos as well...Both are well worn in so I am hoping for success with my chosen footwear! I will post when I get home in November! I am off Thursday morning, hope to start walking by Saturday, Sunday at the latest!
     
  7. Windewillow

    Windewillow New Member

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    Also...I plan to wear wool socks with my sandals!
     
  8. MichaelSG

    MichaelSG Active Member

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    If you are going the route of wool socks with sandals, also use a thin liner sock too. It should help greatly. FYI, I asked my son about chacos. He's a farmer and walks about 10km spread out over the day. He often uses those sandals in the summer. He said he may try to use them for a long walk like the Camino but he would not say he was certain that they would be appropriate. He often does stretches of the AT and always uses hiking boots or shoes for that.
     
  9. Windewillow

    Windewillow New Member

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    YES! I wore my Chaco sandals almost all the way! I had one rainy day and that day I wore my shoes.No problems with rocks at all I wore wool socks. They were great up hills and really great down hills...I had no problems with blisters from friction of the straps and no problems with toe nails! I saw a young girl from the Netherlands who was walking BAREFOOT! she did have a pair of thongs(flip flops) with her.... I am sure it is like anything else Every person experiences things differently but I loved walking in my Chacos!
     
  10. Carole Turner

    Carole Turner New Member

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    What style Chacos are best for walking the Camino?
     
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  11. Josh unçu

    Josh unçu Member

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    I have ready my chiruca kiribati hypercrip chacos to combine with Mckinley chromosome 2 AQX M both to be used with wool socks. Let you kow the experience.
    Ultreia.
    JÇ.
     
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  12. charles54

    charles54 New Member

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    They look a bit flimsey.
    Does anyone have experience of doing the camino in walking boots?
    C
     
  13. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Charles- Welcome to the Forum. One sees a lot of different shoes on the Camino. Most are either a low to mid-hiking shoe or running shoes. I do remember people in sandals, but not many.

    It seems to me that the bottom line has to be that you need a shoe that fits you well. It needs to be well broken in and one that feels good. The Camino Francés is 500 miles long, so your shoes become important friends.

    Last year, I walked in the Keen Targhee II that ended up giving me some pretty bad blisters. But, it's not as simple as just the shoes! Good socks are important, the weight of your backpack plays a role, and how you treat a foot problem once it occurs comes into play. There is probably no single topic talked about by pilgrims than feet! In hindsight, how I treated my blisters was my problem, not specifically the shoes.

    I have now switched to a Merrell Moab GTX for my upcoming Camino in a few weeks. I'm also bring my trail running shoes, the Saucony Xodus 6, as my backup shoe. Both are well broken in and are very comfortable. I've also switched to Injinji toe socks and treat my feet with the lubricant "Bodyglide".

    You should have a number of responses on the Forum to your inquiry. The terrain of the Camino Francés is not particularly demanding thus it doesn't require certain types of heavier boots. A regular hiking shoe should work fine for you. If possible, go get fitted at an outfitters and wear them a lot before starting your Camino. Take along a pair of sandals for the end of the day after your walking is over. Buen Camino!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  14. Donna

    Donna Member

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    I have bad feet and my physician recommended hoka one one running shoes and I have jogged / walked / worked in them for several years but I am curious if any one has walked the Camino in a pair?
     
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  15. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    This will sound heretical to some, but here's a secret: You can walk in almost anything (except for a few of the days) as long as you've broken the shoes in well and they're the right size for you (1/2 size larger than normal AND the wide version of the shoe worked well for me). Most take comfortable shoes for evenings to give the feet a break, so you'll have an emergency pair anyway. I walked into Santiago with a 72 year old social worker who had walked the entire Frances in strapped Chaco sandals because she had bunions. She'd bought some Neoprene booties to wear underneath them in case she developed blisters, but she never needed them. I spoke with a woman walking in her bedroom slippers because she'd had shoe problems. She was quite comfortable in them. There were some people walking in swim-shoes. There were people walking in flip-flops. There were people wearing those thick hiking sandals with socks and people in heavy duty boots. Most wore trail runners, it seemed. I wore my Merrell Siren Sports and discovered I had exacerbated a bunion (I wasn't aware that I even HAD a bunion until then) between Villafranca del Bierzo and Trabadelo and was in a lot of pain - so took my shoe off and walked in my sock. When I got to Vega de la Valcarce, I asked for a pair of sharp scissors at the bakery and cut a largish hole to accommodate the bunion ......and then hiked the rest of the way to Santiago just fine in them (shoe surgery). There are shoe stores in the larger towns - I got a comfy pair of soft shoes in Astorga for 7 Euro that lasted almost 2 years. It would be good to have protective shoes at least for the more stony and steep parts of the Camino though. Donna, I looked up your Hoka One's, and they look perfectly suitable to me, as long as they're durable and comfortable and a good size for you after a few very long training hikes. Remember that training will result in some shoe wear and tear, so before you go make sure the soles aren't so worn down that you'll run into problems on the Camino. As Wily said, Injinjis are great, especially if you tend to get between-toe blisters. I took knee-hi nylons (and rolled them down) for days when wearing non-toe socks. Evidently the Marines put them on under socks for long hikes to reduce friction:0)).

    I think of all those people in the middle ages, some of whom probably walked with rags on their feet. If all else fails ...... you can often call a taxi:0)). One way or the other, you get to Santiago if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other:0)).
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  16. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Just like Crepes4Suzette I have seen many different types of footwear on the Camino, even saw two guys running down a particularly slippy stone descent in Converse..scarey!! And like Wily says it seems most people wear some form of walking shoe or boot. I wore boots for the first section over the Pyrenees as far as Puente de la Reine but for my second walk from PdlR to Navarrette I used Merrell Moabs and will do so again this year. I think the really important thing is to visit a store/shop and get properly fitted and then get the lightest and most supportive shoe possible, but that is only my view.

    I also wore Superfeet insoles and used the Bodyglide on my feet. I alternated between lined socks wool walking socks. So far I've escaped blisters but that could be just luck.

    On the issue of bunions, my partner is a sufferer and last year when we were updating our walking shoes one of the ladies at our local outdoor shop showed her a technique for tying shoelaces which keeps the pressure off the bunion but allows the shoe to be tightened further up to stop the foot slipping into the front of the shoe. The technique is similar to the one shown in this video



    but it avoids using both the lower outside eyelets and running the lace through the lower middle eyelet. Last year at Ciraqui we met a Canadian lady at our coffee break (around 11am) and she was suffering so badly from her bunion that she was considering giving up and getting a taxi on to Estella. We showed her the lacing technique carried on. Later that evening we met again and she told us it had allowed to finish that days walk. So give it a try it might just help.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  17. charles54

    charles54 New Member

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    Thanks . That is really helpful. I am looking to travel in September/October. What sort of weather should I expect re. Clothing.
     
  18. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Charles

    I've walked the first approx 180kms from St Jean Pied de Port to Navarrette over two 5 day periods both of which started at the end of September first week of October. We had very little rain probably one day and a few bits of drizzle. What I found most difficult was the extreme heat in mid afternoon. There were one or two days where it hit the 30 centigrade mark so we started to leave earlier in the morning to try to finish by early afternoon. Based on my experience you should plan for chilly early mornings, warm mornings and hot afternoons (but then again you have to remember you are walking not too far from the Atlantic coast of Northern Spain so you have to be prepared for changeable weather).

    It really is a lovely time to walk. Still plenty of fellow Peregrinos but not overcrowded. The countryside is a bit burnt after the summer but the hills between St Jean and Pamplona are still lush and green and the grapes are ripened in Rioja. Enjoy.

    Buen Camino.

    Greg
     
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  19. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I walked my Caminos in Merrel Moab gtx low and Teva sandals. I recommending in hot days (june to september) using sandals except few parts (Pyrenees, descent part; Cruz de ferro, descent part; and O'Cebreiro). Camino is walking in countryside so light shoes/trail runners are enough. Of course shoes are most important, so take your own preferred shoes, not any "special" and OF COURSE NOT NEW, UNUSED!
     
  20. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Donna - You would be fine in a pair of Hokas. They're an excellent trail running shoe. I used to run in Hokas and really liked them. The only reason I'm not running in them now is because my Sauciny Xodus 6s are lighter. One sees a lot of pilgrims in one type of running shoe or another on the Camino. If you have a shoe that helps your "bad feet", stay with them. Walk the Camino in them!
     
  21. charles54

    charles54 New Member

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    I see that the Merrel GTX only goes from size 8. My normal shoe size is 7. Have had bunnions in past and toes not too brilliant. Will size 8 be OK for me?
     
  22. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Charles

    Generally the advice is to go a size bigger than you would be used (to allow for your feet swelling up after long walks and in the heat) but I would urge you to go to the closest store and get a fitting. Talking to the guys in the store can be really informative.

    Have to say I love my Merrells. I bought them about a year ago and have worn them for well over a 1000 kms with no problem. Also check out the Superfeet insole. I found them to be fantastic.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  23. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Charles - Check out the Merrell Moab GTX on Amazon.com. From what I just saw, they are available in a 7. I know that in some shoes, I have had to go a half size up. If you can't find them locally to try on for fitting, Amazon has a very friendly free return policy for buyers. Order a slightly larger shoe and go from there. Like Greg, I also wear Superfeet insoles in both my hiking and running shoes. I'd strongly recommend you check them out. I was able to buy mine at a local running store.
     
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  24. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Charles - One last thought here on the Merrells. You may see that there are two waterproof versions of the Merrell Moabs. If you decide on this shoe, choose the GTX model, not just the one advertised as "waterproof". Just as a reference point, I wear a size 9 shoe. My Moab size 9s fit perfectly even with an insole added. The toe box seems a bit wider than the Keens that I wore last year which is another reason why I picked these shoes. Buen Camino!
     
  25. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I strongly recommending to buy shoes directly in store, not through internet - it's my own experience: my first camino i walked in my Merrells size 44.5 (these was accurate for my daily use, but on Camino I had many blisters), so I though to buy my next Merrells size 45, or 45.5 (from internet store), but luckily I found better price in store - and result was size 46(!)
    Off topic: I asked in Merrell what is difference between GTX and Waterproof. So waterproof is non-branded membrane, cheaper, something like many another -tex membranes.
    Last though - in really warm days I think best of all is "ventilator" version (except sandals of course) not GTX.
     
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  26. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    From a price perspective, I've generally found better deals online. However, I do like to try on a shoe as Danvo stated. I'm fortunate enough to have two outdoor stores in town with a couple others less than an hour away. I was able to check out the correct size of Merrells that needed in the store, then purchase online at considersble savings.

    From the reviews that I read about the waterproofing, people do not seem as pleased with the more generic, cheaper membrane compared to Gor-Tex. For a few dollars more, I opted for the GTX not wanting to be unhappy with my decision. If I knew I wasn't going to run into much rain, I agree with Danvo that the Ventilator model would be a good choice due to its breathability. My solution here is that when I do stop for a break, I take off my shoes to air them and my feet out plus I change my socks about midway through a days walk to reduce the moisture problem. So far, so good!
     
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  27. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wily, of course, GTX membranes are better. And taking off shoes on stops and changing socks is very recommended :)
     
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  28. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    That's a really helpful video, Greg! Thank you!
     
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  29. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. Hope it helps.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  30. Donna

    Donna Member

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    thank you so much for the time you take to provide , thoughtful, knowledgeable responses !
     
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