As we have already said in our section of «Physical training»A special physical preparation is not required, although it is important that a month before starting, you train a little while walking with the boots that you will wear during the Camino. If you have bought new ones you will have to walk a lot more, since they have to be as adapted as possible to our foot. If you start the Camino with brand new boots you will suffer serious discomfort, possible injuries and without a doubt the dreaded and unfortunate "blisters" and "chafing."
Our recommendation, depending on the time of year, is to take winter-autumn trekking boots of sole not very hard, little heavy and with good perspiration to avoid the sweat of the feet. Avoid walking with athletic shoes although they seem comfortable, since part of the route runs through asphalt, gravel, concrete, rocky terrain. Also, in case of rain or mud they are not practical at all. In summer and spring if they are more recommendable low trekking sneakers.
If you want a shoe that suits you for any time and weather we can recommend the shoes of the brand MERRELL (MOAB 2). They have evolved their flagship shoe La MOAB, which has been the most sold of all times and has improved it to delight the most adventurous. Because our well deserve the best in the walks, you can consult more details of this footwear in your specialized blog.
With the purpose of avoid blisters It is convenient that one week before our departure, before going to sleep, apply vaseline on the sole of the foot and put on the socks.
Once en route it is important to have the Well lubricated feet during the whole stage, it is a mistake to take it dry, as they could be bothered. Before starting to walk every morning, apply a thin layer of Vaseline or cream to care for the feet. We also have to avoid using socks with seams (they can be easily located in any sports store), thus avoiding wrinkles inside the boot and leaving blisters. Therefore, the sock is advisable to have no seams and be cotton. There are also synthetic materials that prevent sweat and dry before.
To avoid chafing it would be convenient to put a thin sock on top of a thicker one.
Another point to consider is our nails, not only have to check our feet, but also carry well cut the nails. If you have calluses or hardness, it is best to visit the podiatrist beforehand.
After each stage and when leaving the long-awaited and relaxing shower, it is also important to moisturize the soles of the feet. If at the end of the walk you have swollen feet, bathe them in warm water with salt and then massage them with petroleum jelly, specific cream or rosemary alcohol and leave them behind. It is advisable that once you finish the stage, use flip flops or Esparto espadrilles for the foot to rest.
If, despite following these recommendations, you have a blister, go through it with a needle disinfected with alcohol and leave the thread through which it comes out. This helps to drain the blister. Then apply betadine with gauze and leave it in the air. You can also use special patches that dry them.
Regardless of our physical form, it is our feet that will most decide our greatest enjoyment and continuity to Santiago de Compostela. A simple blister can make you not give a single step!
It is true that although we transport your luggage at all stages, your feet and knees will suffer less, but even so, you must attend to a minimum of care.
Advice to dry your shoes
One of the problems that we can have on the Camino, when we have touched a stage of a lot of rain (mainly winter-fall), is the drying of the shoes (sneakers or boots) that we have used.
We want to give you a very effective and cheap advice so that the next day we have the shoes in perfect condition to use it completely dry.
This "trick", which perhaps, someone already knows, is using newspaper. We wrinkle and make some paper balls with the newspaper sheets and we introduce them in the footwear, until it has been completely filled.
You will observe, logically, that it is absorbing moisture, when this happens, we are removing the wet paper by a dry one and, thus, until it has completely dried.
The next day, with total security, we will have our shoes available and dry.
We advise, on the contrary, not to use a source of heat close to the footwear, for drying, as the boots or slippers deteriorate. This is the case of radiators, stoves or hair dryers.