I love my hiking boots – they are the most comfortable shoes I own. Before I set out on camino I received a lot advice that you could do the walk in trail runners, that hiking boots were overkill and unnecessary. Any yes, you could happily complete this walk in either boots or runners, I think boots are best. Although I saw many pilgrims wearing regular sneakers, or even “crocs” or flip flops, this doesn’t make it a good idea. A good hiking boot is both sturdy and comfortable. The Camino de Santiago has a huge variety of terrain underfoot, from urban concrete paths, to dirt roads and soft woodland paths. One thing we were not expecting was the amount of path covered in crushed stone. Over the years, these stones are crushed into fine gravel by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims. However, in several spots it felt like trucks had recently dumped huge quantities of loose chunky stones on the path. These were super awkward to traverse and a definite ankle twisting hazard, which sometimes lasted for several kilometres. Hiking boots were perfect for this.
We also walked in Spring when the weather was cooler, so boots were great for us. In the rain, they are waterproof, keeping your feet dry and reducing the chance of blisters. In hot weather, more breathable trail runners would be a good option. Which ever you choose - always pack recovery shoes. No matter how comfy your hiking shoes are – I guarantee you will want to take them off after a long day walking!
Want to know what its really like to walk the Camino de Santiago? Follow our adventures as we walk the800km Camino Frances. Link to our blog in our bio.