Footwear for the Way of Saint James

Calzado necesario para el camino

What is the best footwear for the Way of St. James?

Many of you who have accompanied us on these recent organized trips, have asked us about this question, and the answer is always the same: The ideal would be to wear different shoes for each stage, but wearing several shoes can be a nuisance and would weigh too much backpack.

It is for this reason and being a crucial issue for all pilgrims who have decided to make the Camino de Santiago, we will develop in this article a series of recommendations to choose between the different types of shoes so that you ultimately make the decision on what footwear to wear to know how hacer el Camino de Santiago.

New or used footwear?

The footwear for making the Camino de Santiago should be worn at least a couple of weeks before the trip for one simple reason: You’re going to walk hundreds of miles with them; Your feet must be used to that footwear before you embark on this venture. Whichever route is chosen the minimum to receive the Compostela is 100 kilometers.

It is possible, and experience shows it to us, that if during the Camino your feet suffer too much and your footwear has not given the expected result, it is necessary to purchase a new shoe, so we recommend you try as many as possible until you find one that is comfortable for you. In this case we also recommend you to use the silicone protectors for the ampoules, type “compeed” in different parts and thus avoid the so hated rubbing.

Shoe size is very important

Both new and used footwear should be the perfect size, neither too big nor too tight. In order to know which is the right shoe size you should untie the shoe and put your foot as far forward as possible and see if you have more than one toe in the back.

If it is too big it can dance your foot inside the footwear and cause an injury or simply rubbing, but if it is too tight your toes may suffer too much in the early stages preventing you from continuing.

Now that you know what size and if it is better new or old, we are going to develop our recommendations so that you can choose the type of footwear that best fits your feet.

Types of footwear we should use

The boots to make the Way of Saint James

Many pilgrims think that the best thing is to use good mountain boots to make the Way, without taking into account anything else. Our experience shows us that this thought is a mistake as there are different types of boots, hiking or mountain boots, each special for a type of activity. There are boots with a high or medium shank, those that let the foot sweat or not, those that are very rigid or not so rigid, with a type of sole or another.

So if you decide to use boots is advisable to follow these recommendations that we can give thanks to experience:

– Hiking boot with medium-low cane for comfortable walking without discomfort. –
The hiking boots should have a looping system that allows for a good grip. –
The tongue should be padded for a good comfort in the descents. – Reinforcements: The best boots usually have reinforcement at the toe and at the back so you can serve as additional protection against water. Keep in mind that this may slightly increase the weight of the boot. – The sole must have a clear objective: To be resistant and with grip. – Impermeability: As we explained in the article on “tricks if it rains during the Camino” the feet must always be as dry as possible because otherwise there can be scratches and wounds that cause us to abandon. The boots usually incorporate breathable and waterproof membranes so when you look for your ideal boots this quality should be fundamental.

This type of hiking boot is usually chosen in winter or in the rainy season as they are better prepared than the rest of the footwear.

Slippers to make the Way of Saint James

When we talk about running shoes we don’t mean those running shoes that we usually use to go out for sports. We are referring to this type of hiking and trekking shoes that are prepared for this type of activity. Never wear sneakers.

Recommendations to choose well trekking shoes for the Way of St. James:

– Trekking or hiking shoes that are light but with a more resistant sole than the sports. – A little better heel than no heel. –
The padded tongue will help you be much more comfortable.
– This type of hiking shoe is perfect for the summer as they are less heavy than boots and let you sweat much better so you will not “cook” your feet. – The
same as the boots if it has reinforcements in the toe will help you to resist better the step of the kilometers. –
The rubber sole must be resistant and hard so that the stones of the Way are not noticed.

Sandals to make the Way

There are many pilgrims who use this type of footwear in summer for their comfort when walking although it has some disadvantages when it rains.

This type of sandals for trekking or hiking usually have a very good sole for some stages that are not very difficult.

It is advisable to take some sandals to the Way for after the stages change footwear and thus leave the foot freshness and comfort.

Foot care during the trip

Always in this type of activity the feet tend to suffer more than how much so it is advisable to use silicone protectors for the blisters even before they leave.

Make sure before you leave that you have put on your socks without wrinkles as it can create blisters and very mottled rubbing.

Always carry a small first aid kit to cure blisters because even if you try to avoid them you may get them. Let the feet breathe once the stage is over so that they can recover. We hope you will use this article to choose well the footwear that you are going to take to the Way of Saint James.

You will also be interested in: Which way to Santiago to choose?

Do you want to do the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago in a group or in your own way?

Take a look at our sections and find the advantages and facilities we have for you.

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