What is the best footwear for the Camino?
Taking care of your feet is one of the most important steps in preparing for your Camino adventure. Having the best footwear for the Camino de Santiago or any other long distance trail you are planning will help you to stay comfortable and enjoy the journey!
When you are choosing the best footwear to buy for your trip you should buy a reputable pair of shoes or boots. You don’t want to be halfway through your trip when your shoes start to fall apart. To ensure that you are comfortable on your walk there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Firstly, what distance do you plan to travel each day? If you are walking sections of the Camino you will walk on average between 15 – 25 kms per day, depending on the route that you choose. Also, you need to check the breathability of the walking shoes or boots. You want to make sure that your feet feel secure but also have room to breathe. Hiking boots can sometimes be heavy and cause blisters if they are not well worn in. A good pair of walking shoes will suffice if you are planning on walking one section of the Camino. Before you purchase new walking shoes check that the footwear is lightweight and flexible.
TYPE OF TERRAIN
Secondly, what type of terrain will you be walking across? Depending on the time of year, the weather on the various Camino routes can affect the level of difficulty when walking. We don’t want you to get stuck in the mud so remember to check the weather prior to your trip and buy the walking shoes most suitable for the trails. If you are going in the peak of summertime bulky hiking boots may be too hot so we would recommend a good pair of walking shoes instead. Good quality walking shoes or low cut boots will provide the breathability you need and these are suitable for well maintained trails along the Camino.
Hiking boots that come up over the ankles are great for protection when you are carrying a heavier load or if you plan to walk across a lot of uneven terrain. With our luggage transfers you won’t need to carry your large backpack with you each day so the bulkier boots might not be necessary.
If you are hiking near wet or mountainous areas you will need your shoes or boots to be waterproof.
Thirdly, socks make a big difference! Merino wool is the recommended wool for long distance walkers and hikers. Although this material can sometimes When you are packing for the Camino, make sure to pack extra pairs of socks for each day. This will help you to keep your feet dry and comfortable for the journey.
THE RIGHT FIT
Last but not least be sure that your walking shoes or boots are the right fit. Don’t leave it until the last minute to buy your boots. You will need to try them out and test them on preparation walks. A well fitted boot should hold your feet feel firmly in place and you should be able to wiggle your toes. Stretching the boots to mould around your feet is a good idea if you plan on walking long distance for a week or over.
Most reputable outdoor clothing shops will be very familiar with hiking boots, walking shoes and the various products available to keep your feet in good condition when you are planning for the Camino. Drop into a local store, try on a few different pairs and don’t be afraid to ask for their advice.
To finish with, don’t forget to bring a pair of sandals or flipflops for the evening times to allow your feet to breathe and to give your feet a welcome break from the trekking each day.
We hope that this information is helpful. If you wish to book your next Camino de Santiago walking or cycling tour please contact one of our travel specialists.