As we have already said in our “Physical training”No special physical preparation is required, although it is important that a month before starting, you train a little by going out walking with the boots / sneakers 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 feet. If you start the Camino with brand new boots you will suffer serious discomfort, possible injuries and without a doubt the dreaded and cumbersome "blisters" and "scratches".
For the choice of footwear to do the Camino de Santiago, our recommendation, depending on the time of year, is to wear trekking boots with a not very hard sole, little weight and good perspiration in winter-autumn that avoid sweat from the feet. Let's avoid walking with sports shoes even if they seem comfortable, since part of the route runs through asphalt, gravel, concrete, stony ground. Also, in case of rain or mud they are not practical at all. In summer and spring, low trekking shoes are more recommended.
If you want footwear that will suit you at any time and weather we can recommend the MERRELL brand shoes (MOAB 2). They have evolved their flagship shoe The MOAB that has been the best-selling of all time and have improved it to delight the most adventurous. It is one of the most complete shoes on the market.
In order to avoid blisters, it is convenient that one week before our departure, before going to sleep, apply petroleum jelly to the sole of the foot and put on socks.
It is so important to know how to choose good footwear to do the Camino de Santiago as well as, once on the road, it is important to have your feet well lubricated throughout the stage, it is a mistake to wear it dry, as it could cause discomfort. Before you start walking each morning, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or foot care cream. We must also avoid wearing socks with seams (they can be easily found in any sports store) so we will avoid wrinkles inside the boot and blisters. Therefore, the sock is recommended to be seamless and made of cotton. There are also synthetic materials that prevent sweat and dry sooner.
To avoid chafing, it would be convenient to put on a thin sock and a thicker one on top.
Another point to take into account is our nails, not only do we have to check our feet, but also have our nails well cut. If you have corns or calluses, 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 hydrate the soles of the feet. If at the end of the walk you have swollen feet, bathe them in warm salt water and then massage them with petroleum jelly, specific cream or rosemary alcohol and leave them. It is convenient that once you finish the stage, wear flip flops or esparto espadrilles so that the foot rests.
If, despite following these recommendations, you have a blister, pierce it with a needle disinfected with alcohol and leave the thread through to come out. This helps 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 most decide our greatest enjoyment and continuity until Santiago de Compostela. A simple blister can cause you not to take 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, minimum care must be taken.
Tip to dry your footwear
One of the problems that we can have in routes of the Camino de SantiagoWhen we have had a very rainy stage (mainly winter-autumn), it is the drying of the footwear (slippers 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 footwear in perfect condition to use it completely dry.
This "trick", that perhaps, someone already knows, is using newspaper. We crinkle and make some balls of paper 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 the humidity, when this happens, we are removing the wet paper by another dry one and, thus, until it has dried completely.
The next day, with total security, we will have our footwear available and dry.
We advise, on the contrary, not to use a heat source close to the footwear, for drying, as the boots or slippers deteriorate. This is the case of radiators, stoves or hair dryers.
Once you have seen these tips, if you still have doubts to choose the footwear to do the Camino de Santiago, contact us and we will help you with your questions.