Day 8.1: Let’s Talk About Feet, Baby

The feature picture, at the top of the post, is not a selfie. This is a farmer in a small village in the mountains of Norther Spain (on the Camino Primitivo) and these clogs are what the farmers wear outside the house.

Conques, France on the Chemin de St Jacques – 2014

Forget the bass, it’s all about the feet . . . And the way to happy feet is good fitting, comfortable shoes. And as light as possible. Everyone agrees with the former. The debate over light – trail runners vs boots – rages on. Although you see more and more trail runners. The above picture was taken in 2014. Today, shoes would be the majority.

I tend to land on the side of trail runners for the most trails. I haven’t worn boots in years but I have a trail coming up, in 2023 or 2024, where I’m going to go with boots.

And once done for the day, the shoes come off and the flip flops go on. Rain or shine, freezing cold or hotter than a chicken – I never ever wear my shoes in town.

Not as pretty in real life.

The problem with trail runners – they don’t last as long. So, on some long hikes you’ll need another pair before you’re done. Not a big deal because you’re in Europe, never really too far from a large city. Unless you have wide feet. Wide sizes are nearly impossible to find in Europe. Once I had to have shoes shipped overnight from Houston. It took three days and cost more than the shoes themselves. But in the scheme of things, a little problem. At least I continued my hike.

Hello, we just got here from Houston.

Same shoe with a new friend.

And sandals have started to become more popular, also. Rare sight but you do see them.

Kay wears boots and I wasn’t able to convince her to change. But I didn’t really try very hard because her argument against was pretty solid. These were boots that she had. They were broken in. It was a brand she had used before and they were comfortable and fit well.

Kay has a lot of blisters. She started getting blisters after the 2nd day and has had them ever since. She even has a toe that is about to lose it’s nail [a couple of days later she does lose the nail]. All signs that her shoes are too tight. We’re going to need to need new shoes. Luckily she has normal feet. Until then her feet are swathed in Leukotape and Compeed. But she is so susceptible to blisters that we’re going to have to bring out the big guns – Vaseline. And perhaps even liners.

I, on the other hand, never get blisters. But I am also fastidious about taking care of any hot spots. As soon as I feel any rubbing, it doesn’t matter where I am, I will stop and put on Compeed or Leukotape.

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