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Footwear

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Chuck, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    Getting down to crunch time as we leave four weeks from today from LAX to Paris. I have 3 questions in regards to footwear: 1) I have read numerous times about taking two pairs of hiking boots/shoes. I would rather not carry another pair so wondering if this is really necessary. I have a pair of Keen's that I have just started breaking in so the tread should still be great when I start the Camino so not really seeing the point of a second pair. 2) What would you recommend for footwear for evenings and times when I'm not walking the Camino? I am not a big lover of sandals/thongs although I'm bringing a cheap pair for getting out of the shower. Should I just stick with the sandals? Finally 3) what about socks? I see a lot about wearing two pairs or a pair and a liner, etc. Any suggestions on what works for you?

    Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Chuck - Just four weeks to your Camino! How exciting! To answer your questions:

    1. Take just one pair of hiking shoes. I walked my first Camino in Keens. Break them in as you are doing and you'll be all set. No need to carry a second pair of shoes if you like your Keens. Some folks carry a pair of running shoes with them to alternate with, but I opted to keep the weight down and just go with a single pair of hikers.

    2. After a day of hiking, you'll want to slip into a pair of sandals. I wore Tevas when not hiking and they were great for walking around or sightseeing. Not a fan of the flip-flop, but a more substsntive type of sandal would serve you well. I think it was Bob who recommended the PR SOLES sandal that I picked up for Portugal this year. Very lightweight and worked well in and out of the albergue.

    3. Regarding socks, I alternate now between a Mereno wool mid-weight running sock and Injinji toe socks. I like the toe socks because it keeps my toes from rubbing together. I just wear a single pair with no liners. No blisters this past Camino. However, I would recommend that you pick up a stick of BodyGlide to apply to your feet. It helps reduce friction. Buen Camino!
     
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  3. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Some places do not encourage wearing hiking shoes/boots inside. I went down to a local sporting goods store with a small digital scale. I then weighed several of what they had and selected the lightest that I felt were semi-comfortable. I used them for walking around town, etc. I hiked in my Keens.
     
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  4. dalebob

    dalebob Member

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    Hi you must be getting near the OMG feelings as the anticipation rises to the starting of your personal adventure on the Camino !! It feels scary and I remember constantly asking my self "am I really ready now" Get the physical preparation correct then you only have to deal with the psychological and emotional adjustments of being on the Way. Lot's of post on this use the search option to view, this part of the preparation and viewing ,is worth considering for all new starters?
    My first time on the Camino I used Merrell GTX's evo's (loved these shoes ! no longer available ??) to walk. And took just a branded pair of thong sandals for non walking ! It was cold in May at times in 2014 you can't wear socks with thong sandals comfortably. Got very cold toes some nights ! Since then I have converted to wearing Crocs for my subsequent Caminos for non walking time ! (not the most elegant footwear !!) But lightweight and functional and sock friendly . If on a tight budget many similar copy types just as good and a lot cheaper.
    Enjoy it passes so quick don't rush it memories of last a long long time.
    Hope it all goes well for you enjoy your Camino. dalebob
     
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  5. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Chuck and welcome to the Forum

    I would totally agree with the rest of the guys, there is no need to bring two sets of hiking boots. The main thing is to ensure you are carrying as little weight as possible and this goes especially for your feet. I've read somewhere that every pound weight on your feet is equivalent to up to four times that on your back. So make sure your shoes are as light as possible while still providing good support (I'm a big fan of the Merrell GTX but everyone has their own favourites).

    On the sock question I've tried all kinds and for me the best were the superwool socks. They provide good support and wicking and keep your feet comfortable over miles of walking.

    Fully endorse Wily's recommendation for Bodyglide and would make one more suggestion for you to think about - Superfeet insole inserts. These give great support when you are walking over long distances over consecutive days and help prevent fatigue.

    Talking of preventing fatigue, don't forget to hydrate. Drink lots of water even if you don't feel thirsty. This helps prevent muscle fatigue and blisters.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  6. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Lilltle bit another answer :)
    I walked my first camino (Frances, ca 710km), first half of the way in Merrell Moab (many blisters), second half in Teva Terraluxe sandals (no blister). Second camino ca 850 out of ca 900 km in my Teva Teraluxe without any blister, and 50km in my Merrells (and with blister). Third Camino this year, from Porto 240km and one day from Muxia to Finisterre in my totally new Teva Terra Fi4 with one blister (I bought them 2 days before camino). Result for me: If I will go next camino in summer months (beginning of june to end of september), I will take only sandals. In albergues I used flip-flops.
    Btw. water - fountains are on camino frances on many places. Take care for drinking water (Agua potable), some fountain are marked as Agua sin guarantia.. (drinkable is not guaranteed) In summer months is better to carry more water (two 750ml plastic bottles from juice best of all, that bottle has only few grams, it is better solution than water bladder)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  7. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    Thanks as always Wily. Happy that everyone seems to agree with only one pair of hikers which in my case will be Keens. I'm not into flip flops either nor sandals for that matter but I will look into Tevas & PR soles. I was also wondering if a lightweight loafer would work. Something like what I think people call boat shoes. As for the socks it seems the consensus is wool. I would think brands would be about the same but I will look into Mereno. I just ordered Body Glide so thanks for that tip.
     
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  8. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    Thank you for your input. Appreciate it tremendously.
     
  9. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    Hi Greg. In my 3 years of prepping for this trip I tried both Keen & Merrell and about a month ago I bought my pair to break in and actually take and I decided on Keen. One thing I did like about the Merrell was that it felt lighter than the Keen but, and maybe it was the style of Merrell I had, but I seemed to feel any rocks and pebbles under my feet more than I did with the Keen so that's why I went with the Keen.

    Is Superwool the brand or is that just a general type of wool socks?
     
  10. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    Wow, only sandals on the Camino. Don't think I can do that. But I will look in the Teva Teraluxe. Thank you also for the water suggestions.
     
  11. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Chuck

    The most important thing about shoes is that they are light but strong, that they fit you (most people go for a size bigger than they would normally use as your feet swell in the heat and from walking all day), and that you've had a chance to break them in. As for brands it seems everyone has their own favourites so if you are happy with the Keens stick with them. I use the Superfeet insoles in my Merrells so that probably insulates me a bit more from stones etc. AND you will encounter plenty of pebbles, stones and rocks on the Camino (the descent from Alto de Perdon in particular).

    Superwool is a brand but there are lots of different brands. There are almost as many views on socks as there are on shoes. Some people use a combination of inner thin sock with an outer wool sock, others use just one pair, others use toe socks, and still others use 1000 mile socks but again it comes down to what works for you. I've tried all kinds but on our last Camino (around 190kms over 9 days) I used the Superwool PHD socks. They are mostly merino wool with some "elastic" support and cushioning. I have to say I loved them and will use them again this September on our next stage. I didn't have to change them midway through the day as I had done with other socks and my feet still felt great at the end of the day. But again that's probably down to lots of things, preparation, shoes, socks, body glide and staying hydrated!

    I'm not a big fan of sandals or flipflops (although I will bring a pair for the showers). For the evening I will bring a very very light pair of Nike runners. They are very soft (last time I wore very light Skechers).

    One other thing I swear by is the Mission Enduracool towel. It really comes in handy if you are out walking in the heat of the day. You just wet it, wring it lightly and snap three times and you have your own personal cooler to wrap round your neck or head. It really is a life saver and not heavy. You don't even need cold water, even lukewarm water will do. I got mine in Bed Bath and Beyond in the States but you can order them on Amazon.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  12. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Lots of great info on this thread and I agree with most of what has been posted :)



    Since the demise of VirtualTourist, the website where I wrote all my Camino Experiences on, I have been in the process of very slowly starting a new blog and one of the first things I have done is to write my own “Tips” on footwear – So, IF anyone wants to take a peek, they very welcome @ http://tipsonrucksacks.travellerspoint.com/6/

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  13. Martin (Ozzy) Osborne

    Martin (Ozzy) Osborne Member

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    You say, flip flops for getting out of the shower? I would recommend that you wear flip flops in the shower and always have something on your feet. I have been to to many gym showers and got a fungus on my feet and 20 plus years in the US Navy and community showers. I would for sure protect my feet. They are something that you will need for your CAMINO! Have a good one and WATCH YOUR FEET! LOL
     
  14. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Good point Oz! Although I've never had a fungus problem in Spain or Portugal, I have encountered those nasty creatures in Central America. That's why in my first aid kit I carry a small tube of athlete's foot cream. Haven't had to use it in a long time, but it's there just in case. Foot care, so important on the Camino! Buen Camino!
     
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  15. Daniel Bowater

    Daniel Bowater Member

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    Hi Chuck, Footwear is one of those contentious topics on the Camino! If you like take a look at this short youtube clip explaining my recommendations.

    Hope this helps you, its tough to reach a decision with all the conflicting ideas out there.
     
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  16. Donna

    Donna Member

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    I have a great pair of hoka hikers and Marino wool socks both thin and thick. I have read many tips, one rub feet with vasoline, two rub deodorant stick on problem areas. I would like to bring only one option. Thoughts ?
     
  17. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    I wouldn't think the albergues (and other pilgrims) would really like me to walk around in wet flip flops but if you never encountered a problem then I will take your advice as it does make sense.
     
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  18. James Orrock

    James Orrock Active Member

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    Greetings, fellow Peregrinos / Peregrinas. Wily's suggestion re. carrying a small tube of athlete's foot cream is very sound advice IMHO. This will prevent fungal infection of feet/toes and will also prevent "jock itch" in the nether regions. It will also act as a lubricant for the feet if you are prone to blisters. Another good tip re. blister prevention in my experience is taking off your boots and letting the sun dry out your feet whenever you stop for morning tea, lunch etc. If you feel "hot spots" during your walk you should stop immediately and apply fixomul, compeed etc to prevent the hot spot developing into a blister.

    Greg's admonition to stay hydrated is also very important IMHO. Dehydration while walking can result in all kinds of problems, physical and mental. Keep drinking that H2O!
     
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  19. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @James Orrock - in addition to your recommendation "If you feel hot spots...." : change your socks too :)
     
  20. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Donna

    I would avoid Vaseline if you can. It tends to rub off your feet and gather in corners of your socks creating little uncomfortable blobs. The best thing I've found for feet is Bodyglide. You can get it on Amazon and in REI outlets and I'm sure other outdoor shops. It's like a deodorant stick. You rub it on just before putting your socks on. No friction and no blisters.

    The merino socks are great too.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  21. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Donna - Hokas are a great trail running shoe if that is the specific shoe you are referring to. You shouldn't have any problem with them on the CF. A medium thick Moreno wool sock should work well for you with your hikers. The specific ones I use are Balega mid-weight running socks.

    I'm with Greg on avoiding the vasoline. I, too, use BodyGlide and it has proven to be a great product. If I'm not mistaken, it can now be found in Walmart along with most sporting stores. Treat your feet with Bodyglide from day one. Don't wait for a hotspot to start using it. There are a number of very good threads on the Forum on foot care. Regarding blisters if they were to occur, treat them immediately and keep them small. Buen Camino!
     
  22. James Orrock

    James Orrock Active Member

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    Some more great advice on this thread. I have never used BodyGlide like Wily but it sounds like it works really well. Greg's advice re. midweight merino wool hiking socks and a damp buff or cloth around the neck for cooling is excellent. Danvo's comment re. changing your socks regularly is also a good tip. Feet that are very sweaty and overheated will tend to blister bigtime. Conversely, feet that are relatively dry and cool will not blister unless the footwear is seriously deficient.
     
  23. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    I have my body glide and have begun using it on training hikes. AND not being really totally happy with my new Merril Moab boots, I took the plunge for the newest HOKA´s....and wow they are the most amazing thing I have ever had on my feet. They are not only comfortable, but so comfortable that I put my foot down and think ¨that feels really great!¨ Even after hours and hours of hard walking. I will take both of them, if I can manage keeping my total pack weight down, since the Merrils are waterproof and that might be really good. So big recommendations for HOKA!!
     
  24. ToussantFrend

    ToussantFrend New Member

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    Hmm, I may lean towards HOKA then. Thanks for the recommendation! :)
     
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  25. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey ToussantFrend - The HOKA is a very good trail running shoe. Although my current shoe in this category is the Saucony Xodus 6.0, I've worn HOKAs in the past and have liked them. If you go the route of a trail running shoe let me recommend that you consider getting a waterproof model. I know Saucony calls theirs the GTX. Whether you're walking in a trail running shoe or a regular hiker, the waterproofing factor can be invaluable. Consider getting a pair of low lightweight gaiters too.

    Like several others here in the Forum, as it pertains to a hiking shoe, I like the Merrell Moab GTX. The CF is hiker friendly enough that you can go with either type of shoe. You'll also see folks wearing sandals! If you have the time now before your Camino, go and try on a variety of shoes and then decide which fits you the best. Although trail running shoes can be used right out of the box, if you go with a hiker, break it in and spend some time doing that wearing your backpack. There are a lot of good choices out there, it's just a matter if which one is best for you. Buen Camino!
     
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  26. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    So far I still really like them. Actually, look forward to putting them on. Still very much in a quandary about the Merril Moab's I have, whether to take them, too. Will depend on my final backpack weight, I guess.
     
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  27. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - That was my quandry as well! Did I want to carry a second pair of shoes on my Camino? And, backpack weight was the determining factor! Adding my running shoes would have added another 24 ounces to my load. However, adding the Merrell's on as my second pair of shoes would have been even a bit heavier - another 30 ounces or almost 2 pounds. It may not seem like a lot, but my overall pack weight was only 13.75 pounds or 6.25 kg (including water). Plus, in a 36L pack a second pair of shoes would take up too much space. In retrospect, I did just fine with one pair of shoes. As the terrain on the CF is pretty hiker friendly, I'd suggest you take the one pair that you feel best in. Buen Camino!
     
  28. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jose

    not wishing to add to your dilemma but from recent experience I would recommend taking some form of water proof shoes and gaiters. Last week I walked through a heavy downpour just over half way through a 20 km walk (see photos here http://www.caminodesantiago.org.uk/threads/cleaning-drying-clothes.7017/#post-48385). Walking over 7 kms in wet shoes and socks was no fun and can lead to blisters.

    It is possible that you won't see any rain on your Camino but the chances are you will in either Navarre or Galicia.

    Sorry to add to your woes but better forewarned and forearmed.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  29. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Yeap, my only issue is the HOKAs are not water proof. I have a pair of gaiters so that would help. Still, the Moab's are and might be worth carrying.
    Exactly!! That is the dilemma. I have bought a pair of gaiters thinking that would help with the rain issue and HOKAs
     
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  30. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - Let me second Greg's recommendation about the gaiters. They will help if caught in heavy rain. Between my Moab GTXs and the gaiters, I was able to keep my feet reasonable dry. I remember having to put on some very wet shoes on my first Camino that did not dry out overnight. Argh! Stuffing them with newspapers overnight helped suck out some of the moisture, but I still had a long hike the next morning in wet shoes as I headed into Santiago. Clearly, a second pair of shoes would have come in handy. If you don't mind the extra weight, the GTXs and gaiters on the wet days; HOKAs when the conditions are better. I also hit some pretty heavy mud crossing the Meseta between Hornillos and Hontanas. What a mess! Gaiters in that situation are again helpful. Buen Camino!
     
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