This is the big question as one starts to plan their first Camino! I have seen people walking in boots, trail runners, sneakers, and sandals. So there is no right or wrong answer.
I prefer trail runners. I like the lightweight, comfort, design, and no break-in period. But again, this is your choice and whichever feels best for you. Your feet are a major part of your Camino and one which you will want to keep safe and comfortable. I have walked numerous Caminos since 2013 and I can honestly say, I have never had a blister. (knock on wood). Shoes and socks are very important, but let’s start with shoes.
With literally hundreds of hiking boots, as well as hundreds of trail-running shoes the options are endless. You will find so many choices in each category and depending on who you speak to you will receive so many different recommendations.
First, I want to say neither is wrong, it is your preference. I like to quote my father here, “that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream”.
Nowadays they make a shoe for everyone. Both lightweight day-hiking boots and trail runners can give you a light breathable option that offers excellent stability and ankle protection.
So which is right for you?
Here’s a quick and dirty comparison to help you choose between hiking boots vs. trail runners from REI.com
So take your time, try on some shoes and try on some more. Not sure if you have an REI in your area, but they offer returns. You can purchase, walk in them and if they don’t feel right you can return and try another pair. I had one pilgrim who said, it took her 4 or 6 different attempts until she settled on her Altras. Which is one of my favorites.
Here are some trail runner options, again this is from rei.com
If you are interested in boots, here is a link for some great information: