So, you have decided to walk the Camino de Santiago. You’ve booked your flights and made a list of all the gear you’ll need. Like every Pilgrim, making a decision on the type of footwear for your Camino will be right at the top of your list.
Here are our top five tips for choosing walking shoes you will love:-
Research The Terrain Of Your Chosen Camino
Knowing the type of trail that you will be walking on is paramount to understanding the type of walking shoes/boots you will need.
For example, the Camino Portuguese is very different from the Camino Primitivo. Many people choose to wear hiking shoes on the Camino Portuguese due to its flat nature and smooth trail. However, the Camino Primitivo is a much more rugged trail with more likelihood of rain which will make for slippery terrain. Boots with good ankle support may be required for this type of walk.
The Time of Year
Depending upon the time of year you walk the Camino, you will need to take into account how good or bad the weather is going to be. If you are walking during the summer months, your feet may overheat and swell so you will find that a lighter pair of walking shoes will benefit you. If you are walking during the rainy months, you may need shoes that are waterproof.
Have Your Feet Measured By A Professional
You may want to take the advice of seasoned hiker in a local hiking/sports store. Not only will they be able to advise on the type of shoe you will need but they will be able to measure your feet to ensure you purchase the correct size. Being a Camino Society member, you can receive a discount off Great Outdoors, Cotswold Outdoor, Portwest, and Basecamp purchases. So speaking to a member of staff in one of those stores will give you the added assurance that you will have the right shoe for your Camino.
Consider Using Insoles
You may also wish to use insoles to give you added cushion and protection. Insoles are available at most outdoors stores or Amazon. You can purchase insoles ready-made in your size or have custom insoles made to measure. Superfeet are a well known brand.
Break Your Shoes In
Once you have purchased your shoes, make sure that you break them in on regular walks. Bring your pack with you! Or you can walk with us one of our monthly walks during the year! But remember, if anything feels out of place, be sure to have them changed for another pair until you are happy!
We hope our top tips for choosing the right footwear for your Camino have been helpful. What shoes works for you?