Favorite Camino Hiking Shoes
We have learned from our Camino experience that there aren’t many things more important than taking care of your feet on your long walk to Santiago, and this involves more than choosing your shoes. If you are just getting started as a hiker we are going to recommend checking out our favorite shoe for yourself, but if you cannot get a good fit, be sure to keep searching. In other reviews we will also tell you about our favorite socks, non-prescription insoles, and rain gaiters. All of these items make up what we like to call your "footwear system."
Of all the gear discussed on forums and at pilgrim gatherings, shoes and boots outrank any other topic. Our team members have walked in over-the-ankle leather boots, low quarter lightweight hiking shoes, and even hiking sandals. The shoe we recommend as a tried-and- true favorite of team members and seasoned pilgrim friends is the Merrell Moab Gore-tex Waterproof Hiking shoe.
These Merrells get consistently high reviews from hundreds of customers on FB pilgrim chats, on Amazon, and at many outdoor outfitters stores. This shoe is one of Merrell’s most popular for men and women, and therefore comes in a big range of sizes to accommodate long feet, short feet, narrow feet, wide feet. Features we love include the combination exterior construction of leather and tech fabric, the supportive yet flexible vibram sole, and the bellows tongue designed to keep out most dirt and debris. These shoes offer good support for longer distances, stability, and flexibility.
The lacing system on the Moab allows for many fit options to conform a properly sized shoe to the shape of your foot. Our preference for the waterproof model comes from our experience walking on lots of rainy days, through unavoidable puddles. When worn in conjunction with the waterproof gaiters we recommend, your feet have the best chance of staying dry in even heavy rain. The gaiters cost under $8 and can be worn velcro-ed over a pants leg or a bare leg, and function to keep rain from entering your shoe from the top opening. The gaiters fit over the top of your shoe, covering the entry points for rain, or on a dry day, even little pebbles and trail grit.
Remember that if you use the links we provide on our website to get to Amazon, the prices of the items remain the same, but Amazon gives us a small commission when you buy something. We donate a portion of sales to non-profit groups helping pilgrims on the Camino through the Provisions with Purpose Program.
If you like this advice, there is a lot more like it in our guidebook Camino de Santiago Guide to Preparing Well & Saving Money, available from Amazon through our store or directly.