Choose correctly fitting boots. Take a time to feel them when trying on. (I was buying my shoes going to store 3 times and last time I spent 1,5h trying and testing them) It doesn’t really matter if they are high or low boots. Choose one size bigger boots. As your foot will swell and they need that extra space. Also, when you go downhill your toes will be super thankful for that extra freedom. Try different brands. Different brands make their boots with different widths. Your feet shouldn’t feel wonky in properly fitting boots. And your heel shouldn’t move much as well. Even though your boot size is bigger than you usually wear. (For me worked the Salomon fully breathable XA pros best. Even same, water resistant model was wonky. So I decided for good fit instead of water resistance.)
Ware synthetic running socks. They’re thinner and are solidly around your feet. They don’t stretch so easily to create that excess fabric around your feet that increases the possibility of friction. (I used Salomon XA-trail and Citytrail running socks. They worked great for me.)
Use special blister patches before you get a blister. Those silicone ones. Like Compeed or similar ones. When you feel that boot is squeezing or rubbing at any particular place, put that patch there right away. It will protect your foot and it will be way more comfortable and easier to walk. Keep the patch for a couple of days or more, if the walk lasts that much, then you can replace it with the new one. After some 5 days, it should be ok to walk without any need for the patch. (At least that is what I did.)
Don’t be afraid to loosen these shoelaces! If you have been walking for a while and sometimes still your boots squeeze at some place, loosen the laces. As your foot have slightly swollen they want some more room and freedom. Give it to them. It won’t affect your walking any other way but make your feet happier. Second, half of my Camino my shoe laces were almost fully loose. (My Salomon boots have a quick lace system. I had no rubbing, no squeezing and no looseness. 🙂 )
As an extra good idea:Keep your boot weight down. The less useless weight you have on you or your boot the easier the walk will be. You don’t want to drag that extra weight with you on these long exhaustive walks.
Keep your boot weight down. The less useless weight you have on you or your boot the easier the walk will be. You don’t want to drag that extra weight with you on these long exhaustive walks.
Maybe consider full breathable shoes instead of waterproof ones. They’re lighter, they dry fast and they’re usually cheaper. Check how big is rain probability, how often and how strong. Slight rains you won’t even notice with full breathable boots. And even if your feet get slightly wet you won’t notice that much as you’ll be sweating anyway. If you’ll have proper socks it won’t make the boots rub more than usual. If you’ll be done good homework your boots won’t rub at all. Keep in mind that the squeeze or rubbing for an hour is a no-problem thing. But if you have that for 8h a day and for several weeks… well, make your own conclusions.
Colour of your boots. There is only sentimental value when you buy them and when you stare at them when not in use. Believe me, when you’ll have all these blisters and your feet die in your boots as in hell you won’t care less about the colour of your üübercool boots. No one cares about the boot colour on the walk maybe, except if you’re a boot freak. Then choose electric yellow, go with yellow! 😀 What I’m actually saying is that priority is a comfort and then looks. If you can combine both in one, that’s awesome. I couldn’t so I went full boring black.
I walked my boots only two days before I went off to walk. Actually these two days I was cycling with them :p that’s because I bought them late. But it would be a good idea to wear the boots for a week or so before the trip so your feet can get good friends with them. (Probably my 2-day pre-trip wear was compensated with proper fitting boot choice and sock combination, I guess.)
For more bits and advice peace ask your local hike store sales guy, but the one that has experience. 😉 And remember that their work is to sell.
Here above, these are my Camino boots after the trip, boring Black Salomon XA Pro 3Ds that were doing a great job for me. (I am surprised in how good condition they are after all these 780km that got walked. I imagined they gonna be in shreds after that walk. 🙂