I’m excited about today’s topic – a princess choosing her magic slippers! You know how much ladies love their shoes! Well, I think all pilgrims would agree that this is one of the most important purchases you can make in advance of the Camino de Santiago.
What To Look For in a Hiking Boot
Pilgrims have varying levels of hiking experience and if you are on the ‘lighter’ or more novice level then you may need a little more assistance choosing your shoe. Here is what to look for when purchasing your hiking boots or shoes for the Camino de Santiago:
Light Weight – Your legs are going to get heavy, you want to make sure your feet feel light
Water Resistant – It rains on the Camino, so make sure your shoes can sustain a wet day
Durable – Gravel paths make up the majority of the Camino so you want to make sure your ankles feel secure and you do not feel the gravel underneath your feet
Breathable – This will help with preventing blisters
Types To Consider
For the Camino I would recommend narrowing down to a hiking shoe or a day hiking boot. In my opinion, you do not need a backpacking boot.
Hiking Shoes – Offer you the support you need for multi-day hiking but are light and durable, which is ideal for a less grueling trek like the Camino de Santiago.
Link to Hiking Shoe Options Here
Day Hiking Boots – These boots are a bit sturdier than a hiking shoe, but not as stiff as a backpacking boot. Day hiking boots are designed for carrying lighter loads and shorter distances versus a backpacking boot. Consider the day hiking boot if you are planning to carry a 50L backpack.
Link to Hiking Boot Options Here
My Recommendation – I recommend a hiking shoe like the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe that is light, waterproof and durable (Women’s link Here). For me, I appreciated that my shoes were light, dried easily (my feet sweat and it rained during my trip), and had enough of a durable sole so I did not feel the gravel under my feet.
Regardless of which shoes you choose, please make sure you give yourself adequate time to break them in. You are going to want to experience what it is like when your feet swell or sweat so you can prepare a game plan once in Spain. For example, I found that I needed to do a mid-day sock change to ensure my feet stayed dry to prevent blisters.
If you are planning to train for a while before you begin the Camino, you may want to buy two pairs of the same shoe so you can bring a freshly broken in pair with you once you depart for the Camino de Santiago.
After choosing your magic slippers, I highly recommend purchasing trekking poles to help distribute the weight away from your knees and lower back. See this post for more information. Also, for my entire packing list for the Camino de Santiago, click here.