What to take on your Camino - page 3
Footwear - walking boots and shoes
There are three pages to this section and they all cover ideas and suggestions relating to "essential supplies" for a Camino. Clothing, equipment, medical supplies, food and good advanced preparation are the keys to a successful Way of Saint James Camino, so consider the contents of these pages carefully.
Walking shoes and hiking boots
Socks are of course no good without shoes and for the Camino you will require hiking shoes or ideally hiking boots.
Walking for long periods of time can be very taxing on the feet and legs and good shoes not only protect the feet, but also make prolonged walking more comfortable. Selecting the best kind of footwear for your Camino is an important task and you should research and prepare well, however in short this is what you want.
You will need two pairs of shoes, one for walking in on rough and possibly wet and slippery paths and another for when you finish the days walk and want to relax. Both are essential and neither are luxuries.
Boots for walking the Camino
- Your boots need to be waterproof and breathable. This means that leather or waterproof wicking fabrics are ideal.
- The quality of the shoe needs to be good. You are going to walk a long way and your shoes need to last the journey and with comfort. If you buy new boots prior to your Camino walk them in before you leave. Breaking in new boots can be uncomfortable for a time and this is an uncomfortable distraction that you do not want to face once your Camino is under way.
- Allow for wearing thick padded socks when you select boot size. The best way to do this is to take a pair of socks with you and try them on with the shoes.
- Look for boots that extend to the ankle or beyond, this offers better support and reduces the risk of twisting an ankle.
- The inside of the shoe or boot should have plenty of supportive padding. This padding holds the foot in place and cushions it against the impact of walking thousands of steps per day.
- Look for shoes with an outer sole that offer a good grip. Speak to the sales person and tell them what you want and what you are planning to do, they may be able to advise you.
- Make sure that the shoes that you select are comfortable and that they make you feel stable and well balanced. They should have good structural support, but not make your feet feel cramped or trapped.
Whilst hiking boots are the best option when it comes to prolonged walking, you will also need a rest from these boots in the evening when you have completed the day's walk.
It is therefore essential that you have a pair of light and very comfortable shoes to wear in the evening or late afternoon once the days exertions are over. The best type of shoes will be lightweight (i.e. to carry) and they want to allow your feet (particularly the toes) freedom to move around and recover from all the walking. Some people choose sandals, but the straps found on sandals are not always ideal for feet that have had a tough time during the course of a day's walking.