In preparing to do any long distance walk, the most important asset you have is your feet. That’s why planning should start with thinking about your feet first!
People will ask in the forums what is the best footwear for walking a Camino and the answers are always as varied as the people themselves. Start off with going to experts in matching your feet and gait to the best footwear for you. This might be at an athletic store where they can watch your gait on a treadmill, observe the wear of your shoes and make a recommendation. Or it might be at a recreational sports store, such as REI or Next Adventure.
“Keep your soul clean and your boots dirty!” ~ unknown
Try on shoes and boots. Stand on an incline and confirm there is at least 1 finger’s worth of distance in your toe box and that you aren’t rubbing anywhere. Walk around. Take your time.
Think about the weather you expect on your long-distance walk. Will it rain? Will it be hot or cold? What types of terrain will you be walking on? A good footwear expert will help you navigate these questions when considering what footwear is best for YOU.
One often has to balance out the desire for a waterproof shoe vs breathability, support of the ankles or more freedom, and lightweight vs durability. Each persons foot, body build, physiology and personal preferences will enter into the decision. Some even prefer a hiking sandal as their footwear of choice!
Some popular favorites of Camino walkers are:
- Lowa Boots
- Keens (Sandals to boots)
- New Balance Trail Runners
- Brooks – Great for all size feet and walking around town as you train.
- La Sportiva
- Teva Sandals
Note that all brands listed in this blog post are from Camino forums, I do not get compensation from any of these manufacturers. This list includes the main popular recommendations, but there are many more around the world for your consideration.
I hope this post has been helpful as you select your footwear. Let us know your favorite brand and style boot, shoe or sandal below. I’ll be posting about socks next. Thanks!