Unfazed by last years 800+km Camino (see that blog here) and undeterred by the resultant badges (note: plural) of honour (blisters), I have decided to go walk-about (more properly referred to as a pilgrimage) again. This time my sister is tagging along. Hmm, that sounds as if I am striding ahead while she struggles to catch up. Let me rephrase that. My sister Cathy would like to experience the Camino. At first, she suggested walking for two weeks, then taking into account plane travel it was pared down to 12 days. Later, realizing THE Basque market that everyone goes to is on a Monday, and it is not located on the Camino and she has an urge to be there, the actual walk is now down to ten days for her. I, however, feel compelled to trudge onwards for another 12 or so days.
I am somewhat wiser having lived 800ks on my feet. I know it is all about your feet. Keep them happy. To prevent blisters from between the toes I have purchased toe socks, like gloves, but for toes. Mats would approve. I have returned two pairs of Darn Tough socks under lifelong warranty and have been given two new pair in exchange. These babes are coming with me. They grab the feet and will slide inside the trail shoes rather than my feet doing the rubbing.
I threw away the Wright socks advertised as blister-proof guaranteed. They are the ones I wore when I GOT blisters. Who cares about that kind of guarantee if all it means is they give you a free pair. Then to hedge my bets, I bought two pairs of thin sock liners and a sturdy wool over sock.. And a friend suggests wearing the toe socks as liners.
I bought HokaOneOne trail runners. Same as last year, which if you read that saga you will question this purchase and my sanity as I suffered major blisters. Last year I was told by more than one person to buy a half size bigger as your feet will swell by the end of the day. I found out my feet don’t swell or by the time they did, I had stopped walking for the day. In the meantime my feet were moving around in shoes too big! I regretted giving those shoes up as they had the best soles! Walking on cobblestones and rocky paths is tough on the bottom of your feet. HokaOneOnes are so comfortable. When we went to a good quality running store and tried everything on, we kept going back to the Hokas. Nothing compared. So I am praying that getting a better size is the answer.