Can you walk the Camino de Santiago in trainers

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can you walk the camino in trainers?

When preparing for the Camino, you may want to consider your footwear carefully. After all, your shoes are going to be with you you all the way to Santiago de Compostela! Hopefully. Can you walk the Camino de Santiago in trainers? And if so, which are the best trainers for the Camino de Santiago in 2023? Find out here.

  1. Can you walk the Camino de Santiago in trainers?
  2. Do I need any other footwear for the Camino de Santiago?
  3. How to choose the best trainers for the Camino de Santiago?
  4. Best trainers for the Camino de Santiago in 2023?

Can you walk the Camino de Santiago in trainers?

You can walk the Camino de Santiago in trainers. We would recommend trainers as the best choice for walking the Camino de Santiago. Many people also choose walking sandals in the summer. But rarely are walking boots the best solution.

Trainers are comfortable and lightweight, plus they cope well with the varied terrain of the Camino. But, we recommend choosing a good pair of trainers specifically made for hiking and walking. They must be robust enough to last for one month.

The most important thing about trainers is that they provide enough support and protection for your feet. Many of the Camino routes include road walking and your feet can quickly become sore, if you don’t have the right footwear.

Do I need any other footwear for the Camino de Santiago?

It is a great idea to pack flip-flops, sandals or lightweight canvas shoes to wear in the evening on the Camino de Santiago. Not only will this give your feet a break, but you probably won’t want to wear your smelly hiking shoes to explore town or visit restaurants!

The two brands that we swear by when travelling are Haviana Flip Flops and Toms. Both are great footwear brands making quality footwear that lasts. Case in point, I have one pair of Haviana Flip Flops that have lasted since 2006! Toms are also super lightweight and easy to pack.

For more information on packing, you can find our packing list here.

How to choose the best trainers for the Camino de Santiago?

Choosing the right trainers is one of the most important decisions on the Camino de Santiago. Based on our experience of walking the Camino, here are some tips for choosing the right shoes for you.

  • The trainers should fit well and be comfortable. This means that you should be able to wiggle your toes and they should not be touching the end. Remember, your feet will probably swell on the Camino, so you need enough room in your shoes for this.
  • Find trainers that have good cushioning and appropriate arch support for your feet. You will walk on some road and after some time the impact of this can be painful without good support and cushioning.
  • You may want to consider trainers with a trail shoe grip, especially if you are walking in spring or autumn when there could be a little bit of mud.
  • If you plan to walk in the height of summer, you may wish to choose trainers that are breathable. Some waterproofed hiking shoes keep your feet warm, which may be great in autumn, but less good in summer.

For more information on training for the Camino, you can find our guide here. You can also find more information on managing blisters here.

Best trainers for the Camino de Santiago in 2023?

The right footwear is really important, but it’s also a personal choice. Depending on your feet width, size and arch, you may find that some trainers fit you well and others don’t suit you. Here are five that we think are some of the best options for the Camino de Santiago in 2023:

These are popular choices as they provide support, comfort, lightweight functionality and traction.

Hoka Speed Goat

We both opted for Hoka Speed Goats when we walked the Via Francigena recently. We loved them. The Speed Goat is a trail shoe with good grip under foot and some light water resistance too.

The main selling point of a Hoka shoe is that they come with extreme cushioning. This pair has a thick layer of foam in the mid sole, making it a good choice for anyone who is prone to sore heels or ball of feet pain when walking.

Although they are an expensive choice, ours are still going very strong after 600km of walking so far.

Hoka Speed Goat is available for women here and men here. Remember to size up as Hoka’s come up quite small.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

The New Balance Fresh Foam trainer is another great choice if you want more cushioning. Emma chose this shoe to walk our first Camino and found that the cushioning helped to relieve knee pain and provide support.

The New Balance Fresh Foam is also a great looking shoe, with a simple design. Plus, it has a grippy sole that helps to walk on any surface.

Find the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 here for men and here for women.

Altra Lone Peak 6

The Altra Lone Peak 6 is different to the New Balance Fresh Foam and Hoka options in that it’s more like a bare foot shoe. If this is what you’re after, then an Altra Lone Peak 6 is a good choice.

The shoe even won the Runners World runners choice award in 2022. The toe box is wide, so this is a good option if you like extra space for your toes.

Available for women here and men here.

Brooks Cascadia 16

The Brooks Cascadia 16 is a less expensive trail shoe than some of the others on the market in 2023. But, this is still a suitable shoe for the Camino de Santiago as it is versatile, durable and supportive shoe.

Providing support in all terrain, yet they retail at under $100. Find them for women here and men here. The Brooks Cascadia 16 is also available in wide fit.

What should I pack for the Camino de Santiago?

If you would like more suggestions for packing for the Camino, you can find our supreme Camino packing list for 2023 here. This is our “lightweight” backpack packing list, based on our experience from walking multiple Caminos.

Find our packing list here.

Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case.

Find them here on Amazon.


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John and Emma’s hiking gear. These are items we love to use when we go hiking, find them here on Amazon.

Osprey 40L, Multi, O/S

HOKA ONE ONE Mens Speedgoat 4 Textile Synthetic Trainers

HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Clifton 8

CWVLC Unisex Cushioned Compression Athletic Ankle Socks Multipack

Dr. Scholl’s Blister Cushions, Seal & Heal Bandage, 8 Cushions

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking, Walking, and Hiking Poles – One Pair (2 Poles)




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One response to “Can you walk the Camino de Santiago in trainers”

  1. […] While lots of people swear by walking in sandals or just the favourite pair of trainers for most good footwear will need to be bought pre walk. It is important to mention that any footwear you do buy should be walked in before you start the walk to wear them in. Consider these options for the definitive Camino packing list 2023. We have written a more extensive article about footwear on the Camino here. […]