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How Many Caminos ... On Your Favorite Boots?

Discussion in 'What equipment should you use and take' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I just completed my second camino from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago on the same boots - ankle high Patagonia's with vibram soles. Once again, they were excellent trail boots. Only issue was me distrusting the original soles, which were fine the first camino, but I traded the thin soles out for a pair of custom soles for my second camino and was rewarded with several painful blisters. My Patagonia boots are now like an old friend. We've survived two caminos together, through mountains, sunshine, meseta walks, many albergues and restaurants, and cow poop. So very comfortable, I could wear them as sandals in my home or another camino.

    But like the 60 year old person that I am, some parts don't work as well as they used to. My Patagonia's are showing some wear on the Vibram bottoms of the heals and toes. Based on how they performed just a few weeks ago, I would seriously consider wearing them for our third camino. That said, there is a rule of thumb for running shoes that suggest new running shoes are recommended after every five hundred miles or so.

    My question to my camino forum friend Rob and other camino veterans that have three or more caminos experience, what has been your practice regarding how many camino's you've walked with the same pair of boots that have performed well, and when you've retired the pair to walk in a replacement set of shoes / boots for your third, fourth, etc camino?

    Gracias - Bob
     
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  2. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    Yes. !!! I manage 2 Caminos per pair of shoes/ boots.
     
  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi again Bob :)



    I have been wracking my brains since I read your email this morning and, at least most of the Camino’s that I have walked have been walked in different pairs of boots – I think I am probably quite hard on my boots and tend to wear the heals down, but I also used to do a Lot of walking and most years ended up buying a new pair of boots – But that would be after say, one Camino, one trek in Nepal and lots of days on the fells in my native lake district :)



    But – Working backwards.



    My last pair that I wore out were a pair of Lowa’s – I broke these in with a few day walks around home and then walked my 1,000 mile Camino from my home in Cumbria to Santiago de Compostela – I used 1,000 miler socks and never had a single blister on the entire walk - But the boots were as good as worn out by the time I reached Santiago de Compostela. – This was in 2014



    Before the Lowa’s, I had a pair of Meindl’s and these were also excellent, I walked 2 short camino’s in these – 2011, The Camí de Sant Jaume 1, 2012, The Camí de Sant Jaume 2 –I also did two treks in Nepal wearing these boots, Trekking The Arun Valley and Everest Base Camp also in 2012 and in 2013 a short trek in Mardi Himal.
    So these boots lasted 2 years, but still only probably did a similar amount of miles to the Lowa’s

    I used Bridgedale Liner Socks and Thulo outers and rarely had blisters - Although at one stage on the Camí de Sant Jaume 2 which we walked in Late July and August, my feet did swell with the 40 + degree heat and make walking very uncomfortable ;-)



    Before that I used to wear Hi-Tech’s – These were cheap, comfortable but not very rugged, so didn’t suffer from longevity ;-) – But they did serve their purpose and again, I used to use Bridgedale Liner Socks and Thulo outers and rarely had blisters.



    My Biggest Mistake was on the 1,000km Via de la Plata from Seville to Santiago de Compostela.

    Here, I was again given a pair of boots because I was walking the route for cancer research, but alas these boots turned out not to be fit for purpose and I ended up having to replace them in Salamanca, about half way through the walk – Here I chose fabric Hi-Tech’s and was so delighted with them, that I continued replacing them with other Hi-Tech’s for about the next 6 or 7 years.





    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/ has a list of all the walks that I have done (You might have to open up the “See more” tab



    BUT – My own “Advice” would be



    1) Definitely replace your Patagonia's if you are in any doubt and Don’t make the same mistake as me and have to do this ½ way through a Camino :)

    2) If you can find an identical pair (Make, design, size and model) then this would be my own first port of call – But if you can’t find an Identical pair, then go boot shopping with an open mind as I never get hung up on a particular make (Or Model) as all of our feet are different, AND all of our feet are continually changing – I used to take a size 9 and now it’s a 10 ½ or even 11 !!

    3) Remember, it isn’t just the boot, it’s also the socks :)



    And now Bob – I think I have blethered on for long enough



    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  4. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Rob, that's quite the summary of your many walks over the years to places near and far. You've convinced me to retire my Patagonia's. I have a "casa del campo" out in the woods an hour south of Indianapolis, so they'll get good use down there. You are right, these are beginning to show wear on the vibram heels and toes, so no use pressing them further. They've served me well. For both caminos, I used a silk inner liner and merino wool outer sock and these worked well. Only blisters I developed when I foolishly tried to trade out the liners that came with the boots with custom, expensive liners. The good news is that before my last camino, I purchased a pair of Merrell Moab boots that are almost identical in style to the Patagonia's I'm retiring. So I'll break these in and they'll be ready to go for camino #3 - and hopefully they will see camino #4 as well. I appreciate the sage advice and experience you've gained over the years as I'm sure many other pilgrims will benefit from your comments. Gracias! Bob
     
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  5. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bob

    Sounds like you got a lot of value out of your Patagonias. Like RJS, I have used different types of boot with varying success. I also tend to wear my hiking boots/shoes for all kinds of walking at home and other small trips in between Caminos.

    For the first Camino, I wore Hi-tech ankle boots. These gave great support for going over and particularly down the Pyrenees. They were not expensive and were light enough and reasonably comfortable but I found that they really weren't very durable (stitching around the toe box came apart after about 300 miles).

    After that I bought my first pair of Merrell Moab hiking shoes and I have to say I loved them. Comfortable straight out of the box and needed little breaking in though I did do quite a bit of walking in them before heading on Camino. I'd say I got about 500 miles out of them but there was some wear on the soles. This wouldn't be a big issue on most of the Camino but I wouldn't be happy on descents.

    Eventually the stitching started to come apart on the inside of the heel which gave some discomfort and could have led to blisters so for my 9 day Camino this March/April I bought a new pair of the same shoe. Again the new Merrells were comfortable straight out of the box. I walked around 200kms in March\April and continued to wear the shoes through the summer putting around 400 kms total on them. To be honest they were hardly broken in and the cleats looked like new but again the stitching started to come apart in the heel. This happened just two weeks before we were due to start our latest Caminon in September. In fairness the shop where I bought them contacted Merrells and they replaced my shoes with a new pair of the Merrell Moab2 shoes.

    Once again the new Merrells were great straight out of the box and very comfortable.

    So I think if your boots work out the same as my shoes then you should have no problem with regard to comfort. However I would say to keep an eye on the stitching in the heel.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  6. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    I used Scarpa for two French Camino. Both times I only had ONE small blister on the same toe in the same place roughly around the 400 km mark.
    On my next camino ( Del Norte / De la Costa ) I wore a pair Merrell Moab GTX Hiking Boots, surprise surprise, I got One small blister on the same toe on the same place at 462 km.

    On Sunday the 5th of November I am walking 35 km to support the Mitochondrial disease . It is called "The Bloody Long Walk "
    3 days ago I sustained an injury on my right foot, ( Don't know how it occurred , just woke up with it ) extremely painful along the heel and bottom of my foot.
    Not too sure if I would be able to do the walk I put on my camino boots to try and see if I would be able to walk. As soon as I put my boots on I felt the relief.
    I have worn my boots at home everyday and the pain is almost gone.
    Woo Whoo ! I still have another 2 days to recoup !
     
  7. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    El Condor

    I would like to wish you Luck with your 35 km walk to support the Mitochondrial disease :)

    And I hope that the injury on your right foot doesn’t flare up again and cause you problems !!

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  8. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi El Condor

    Love the name of the walk, best of luck with it.

    I know it can be dangerous attempting to diagnose a problem online but it sounds to me that your plantar might have flared up. Have a look online at plantar fasciitis. I hadn't realised it could manifest by pain in the heel until this year. There are lots of therapies suggested online but the one that works best for me is to roll a small rubber ball under the sole of your foot applying a little pressure. A squash ball works very well.

    Best of luck and Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  9. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    Hi @RJS and @Greg Canning for your comments.

    After reading about Plantar Fasciitis , I believe that is exactly my problem, now I feel better that I know what it is.

    Most of the causes of Plantar Fasciitis I can deal with !
    However , What I do NOT like is that one of the causes is "AGE" ( LOL)
     
  10. DonnyMac

    DonnyMac New Member

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    I’ve had plantar fasciitis fo years from playing tennis and have used orthotic inserts made specially for me by a prosthetic expert. I’ve read with interest the discussions about using the original liners in new boots or changing them out. Any thoughts about the use of orthotics vs. the original liners?
     
  11. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi DonnyMac

    I use Superfeet insoles inside my Merrell Moabs and have done for the last couple of years. I found they give my sole great support and my feet aren't as tired after a long days walk compared to walking without them. Having said that, it is essential to have them fitted properly (same as for your boots/shoes). They need to fit perfectly into the shoe to avoid rubbing and causing blisters. I bought mine in my local outdoor shop and they made sure the insoles fitted the shoe properly.

    (Note: the new Merrell Moab2 shoes have additional support built into the insole. It's not bad but I decided to stick with the Superfeet for my latest Camino).

    Buen Camino.

    Greg
     
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