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Footwear other than hiking boots, i.e. Vibram

Discussion in 'What equipment should you use and take' started by SimLin, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. SimLin

    SimLin Active Member

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    Has anyone walked the Camino in Vibram 5Finger shoes! I love them...wear them all the time except in snow :cool:
     
  2. Magwood

    Magwood Super Moderator

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    I did see a young man wearing these last May. It was a wet day on a very muddy stretch (of which there were very many!) and it didn't look a very sensible option for the prevailing conditions. I didn't get to speak to the guy about how he got on with them. I had never seen them before and I have to say I thought it was rather an odd choice of footwear. But each to his own - I read somewhere about a woman who is planning to walk the camino in bare feet!
     
  3. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee New Member

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    I think one would have a miserable time walking the Camino barefoot or wearing only thin-soled 5-finger shoes.
    One of those ideas that seems good at the time until you put a pack on your back, and have to walk (20+ kilometers a day) over rocks, concrete, blacktop etc with little or minimal protection on your feet.
    Lightweight trail running shoes or low quarter hiking/walking shoes a much better idea.
     
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  4. Dutch

    Dutch Member

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    My name is Dutch, so...guess :)
    I read a blog once of a woman who walked the whole camino Frances of the vibram five finger toe shoes and as far is i could tell, she loved them. I tried to find the blog, but could not find it again. I think she is a member here as well.

    personaly, i have not seen anyone on them, while walking my camino.
     
  5. billsafety

    billsafety Guest

    I am also interested in reading how this was for this woman who used five fingers. I use them at crossfit gym, moving lawn, just about anything. I do not see them as a main go to unless I read about more who have used them on the Camino. I respect this is something so different than I have ever done!!
     
  6. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi,
    Saw a Lady last year in May walking with 5 finger shoes and she seemed to be fine. The stretch she was walking was paved, so there could be issues in mountainous, or rocky sections. Yes, I did see a guy who walked the Camino in his bare feet. He was in the square in Santiago with his dog. His feet were in a terrible condition and I think his next pair of shoes would be coming from a Blacksmith. He also ruined his young Labrador dog's feet and a sensible Vet would put it down. Speaking of walking with dogs. I once walked to Finisterre with a Danish farmer and on the second night we came upon a young teenage girl walking with her mongrel dog. She took it into the Refugio and let it sleep in the bed beside her. In daylight, it turned out the dog had ringworm which is highly infectious. to humans. My friend went looking for the police to shoot the dog in an effort to stop such stupidity. Apologies for straying off the subject. I suppose it takes all kinds to make a Camino?
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  7. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee New Member

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    Yes it does. The Camino has just as many naive and inconsiderate people on it as the rest of the world.
     
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  8. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    When I walked the camino I started out at the same time as a father and son from Belgium walking with their border collie. Then there was only the son and then a couple of days later there were the father and son. I was puzzled and the father explained that the presence of the dog had caused so many problems and the dog had been so miserable that he had taken it by train all the way back to Belgium and had returned by train to rejoin his son. The cost was several hundred euro. Dogs are a problem on the camino for the owners, for others and, most of all, for the dogs. How did we get onto dogs?
     
  9. highlander

    highlander Donating Member Donating Member

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    Hi Hobbler

    I stayed in the dreaded Albergue Acuario in Santiago on my first Camino and noticed a dog " border collie " under the kitchen table. In the evening needing to use the toilet, I saw the dog not on the bed but in the bed.

    five fingered feet footwear I have seen once on Camino. maybe walking around a office all day or on the beach. no ankle support for a long walk.

    At Roncesvalles on one occasion this man was prevented from entering the big Albergue with his hound and had to pay a extra person price to be allowed to sleep at " la Possada ". He had to stay in private hotels a lot.
     
  10. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    That is what happens. The pilgrim is refused entry because of the dog, or must camp on the hostel grounds (if there is any suitable ground), or must find a landowner willing to allow camping or must chance wild camping. It just isn't worth it and that's altogether apart from the hardship for the dog. Certainly no dog of mine would ever have been able for some the temperatures I experienced. How did we get to this from footwear?
     
  11. Jacob

    Jacob New Member

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    Try Chacos. You’ll thank me!
    My suggestion is to ditch the boots totally unless you’re walking in the dead of winter where snow is a possibility.

    Instead get yourself a pair of Chacos Z1 sandals with Vibram soles (www.chacos.com). Wear these with Injinji toe socks. There’s no need to even take ANY other shoes at all. I’ve done the Camino Frances twice wearing thing but this with NO blisters at all, ever.

    But didn’t your feet get wet? In a downpour everybody’s feet get wet, no matter what you’re wearing. The only difference is that in Chacos your feet dry out very quickly.

    But what about ankle support? Well, if you have weak ankles I suppose an ace bandage of some sort might be useful. But only a small part of the Camino is really “ankle treacherous” and if you’re careful and use poles ankle support shouldn’t be a problem.

    Z1 Chacos have VERY strong and supportive soles — better than virtually any other hiking sandals and at least as good as most boots.

    The number of discarded boots on the Camino is testimony to the fact that virtually everyone whowears them gets blisters. Want to avoid blisters?Wear Chacos with toe socks. And be thankful thatyour load is lighter!!!
     
  12. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    "The number of discarded boots on the Camino is testimony to the fact that virtually everyone whowears them gets blisters. Want to avoid blisters?Wear Chacos with toe socks. And be thankful thatyour load is lighter!!!"
    (quote from Jacob)

    What a person wears on their feet is such a personal choice that I don't believe that you can be so definite in your advice. You will see every type of footwear on the Camino and the vast majority of walkers get on fine with their choice. Sure, there are those who get blisters but the principal causes of these are a) lack of experience of walking day after day, i.e. lack of preparation and b) not trying out and walking-in the footwear before the Camino.

    What you wear on your feet is the most important decision you have to make before setting out. The choice varies from person to person but, whatever you choose, go to a store that specialises in outdoor footwear, has staff trained in advising on correct fit, and buy the best that you can afford. If funds are limited skimp on anything except your footwear.
     
  13. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Yes Hobbler, I agree and I am also starting to think that Jacob has some sort of interest in www.chacos.com as he only joined our community yesterday, all four of his posts are extoling the virtues of Chacos Z1 sandals and this post is copied from http://www.caminodesantiago.org.uk/...nd-backpack-suggestions.105/page-3#post-51739
    many of these replies are to very old threads, so it looks as though he has searched the forums for posts on footwear and added his own comments :-(

    Oh Hum

    Rob
     
  14. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    Well said, Rob. Like you I carried a pair of Tevas on my Camino but I used them in the evening to relax in.
     
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  15. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Hobbler - Well said! As you point out, there are many good choices for footwear on the Camino. No one particular shoe is best for everyone. My problem with blisters on the CF was due to my treatment of the blisters, not my shoes! My light hiking shoes (Merrell Moabs) these past two years have worked very well for me. No blisters; no foot problems. But, more than any particular pair of shoes, I’ve learned how to take care of my feet when engaged in day after day walking. Looking forward to wearing trail running shoes in the fall. Don’t anticipate any problems. As Hobbler said above, the key is proper fitting shoes. For me, a good insole like Superfeet, has also been part of the formula for keeping my feet healthy. Glad to hear the Chacos worked for you Jacob, but there are many other good shoe choices out there as well for the pilgrim. Buen Camino!
     
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  16. Jacob

    Jacob New Member

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    It’s true that I’m a believer in Chacos (and toe socks) as THE most excellent choice for walking the Camino.

    It’s also true that I’ve looked for places on the forum to express this belief.

    What’s wrong with that?

    I’m not employed by, nor do I have stock in, the Chacos company (I don’t think it’s “public” in that way! If it were I might well invest!).

    It’s also true —as you well say — that choice of footwear is THE most important choice a pilgrim makes.

    I have an equestrian friend who often says “No hoof, no horse.” I like to paraphrase that: “No pie, no peregrino!” So I agree that footwear is critical. So is the weight of one’s pack. If you can get by with one pair of shoes, all the better!

    I’m guessing that most people don’t even TRY the solution I’m suggesting because it seems far-fetched/counter-intuitive. But I’m pretty sure that if they did they’d be pleased.

    Though I will admit that pausing to remove a stone now and then might be necessary.
     
  17. Jacob

    Jacob New Member

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    PS: “Hobbler” is an interesting name for one giving advice on footwear! Ha!
     
  18. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the best choice of foot coverings is to take whatever you trained in. Then you know that they fit and are unlikkey to cause any if the various types of foot problens that you hear about. The only additional point that I can add is if you are likely to be walking in mud, have something that is unlikely to sucked off in sticky mud.
     
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  19. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Hobbler

    I totally agree. It really comes down to getting great advice from an expert and trying on shoes until you find your own perfect fit. Like Wily I use a combination of wool socks, body glide, superfeet insoles and merrell moabs and not a single blister to date. That's not to say that combination will work for everyone and preparation, the weight you carry and use of walking poles will all have an impact. What I will say is that what works for one might not do for all and I would have some concern about wearing sandals on some of the downhills particularly after the Pyrennees, Alto de Perdon and others.

    As Uncle Hammy says, find what suits you and then practice practice practice with them.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  20. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Greg - Oh, how true! One must find what works best for themselves. No magic formula of “one size fits all.” Although you and I have nearly an identical configuration regarding shoes, socks, insoles, Bodyglide, etc., it may not work for others. I will add that my wife uses our approach now and it seems to be working quite well for her. Although my Keen’s wore out on the CF, had I worn insoles back then, it might have been an entirely different walking experience. I’m happy to report that after more than 1000 km, both at home and in Spain, my Moabs show almost no sign of wear. They should be good for a few more Caminos. However, although this particular combination is working great, I do plan to pack my Saucony trail running shoes for my next trip across the pond. And just as important as the equipment has been learning how to care for my feet. Some very simple things work very well as long as you address a foot or toe problem early on. Really makes for much more pleasant walking. Buen Camino!
     
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