5 Must-have Footwear when Walking the Camino de Santiago

5 Must-have Footwear when Walking the Camino de Santiago

The 5 must-have footwear, when walking the Camino de Santiago, are things that I would definitely pack when walking the Camino again. If you want, you can use this as a guideline and tailor it according to your personal needs.

Monumento de PeregrinoWe walked the Camino de Santiago in the summer, 811 km from St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela. The keyword for this walk is:  lightweight. You have to carry everything you need for days, weeks and packing too heavy would make your journey unpleasant.

 

 

 

 

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1.  Hi-Tec Hiking Boots

The No 1 item of the 5 must-have footwear when walking the Camino de Santiago is your shoes. Your feet, which would be walking for weeks, should be carefully looked after and suitably equipped. I bought Hi-Tec hiking boots. I specifically wanted a boot that was ankle supportive. The boots are lightweight and can be easily carried in your backpack when necessary. The boots are waterproof and have seam-sealed full-grain leather uppers. The inner lining is moisture wicking that keeps your feet feeling fresh all day. The durable carbon rubber multi-directional traction out sole ensures reliable stability when hiking over mountains and walking gravel roads in dry or wet weather conditions. The right choice of shoes would make or break your hike. Most important, the shoes must be walked in before the hike. I bought mine a few months before leaving and wore them when training.

2.  Socks

Blisters are mainly caused by friction on the toes, heels and foot sole. Socks could play a vital part in preventing this. These socks have extra stretch yarn added to fit more precisely to the ankle area. The smaller heel pocket added comfort and a better fit for a woman’s smaller heel. The lightweight padding in the heel and ball protects the foot from shear and impact forces and helps to prevent blisters. I like the wool/silk mix that did not let your feet feel warm and sweaty even when walking in hot weather.

 3.  Sandals

A good pair of sandals to air your feet when the road allows is also a must. We wore our Teva sandals when biking more or less 350 km from Burgos to Astorga.  Also when site-seeing in cities and villages and when walking flat gravel roads. The sandal has an encapsulated shock pad in the heel for shock absorption, a nylon shank for torsional rigidity and stability and moisture wicking microfibre top sole with antibacterial lining to inhibit the growth of odour-causing bacteria.

4.  Flip Flops

I used my flip-flops when showering, to prevent possible contraction of fungus. I also used it as slippers, which are easy to put on at night when need to visit the bathroom. Crocs flip-flops feature Croslite material, a technology that gives each pair of sandal a soft, comfortable, lightweight and odour-resistant quality. The classic flip-flop is topped with soft uppers with a fun pattern and designed for comfort for women and has elevated heel and double cushioning. You would look gorgeous wearing your flip-flops when naked in the shower.

5.  Hiking Poles

Although not footwear, hiking poles are another essential item for walking the Camino de Santiago. Walking with hiking poles has beneficial effects on resting heart rate, blood pressure, exercise capacity and maximal oxygen consumption. Poles are used by hikers to provide rhythm to their walking pace and for added support. On less certain terrain, or steep slopes, they provide useful lateral stability. The telescopic stick is made of three strong aluminium alloy sections and can be adjusted to a desired height between 70 cm and 139 cm. It also has spring-loaded anti-shock mechanism inside which can be turned on/off with a twist between the two sections.

When your Camino Hike Does Not Go as Planned

Your shoes must be walked in, if you start walking with a brand new pair of shoes your Camino might not go as planned.  Spending money on quality footwear would be money well spent, contributing to make the walking an event free experience.

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