Camino Gear

Booting the Boots

February 15, 2014
woman's feet in lace-up boots jumping above a rock

“I got the baddest boots on the boulevard.” ― Toby Keith

It turns out that these boots weren’t made for walking, at least, not for me.

I first developed tendonitis when I was fourteen or fifteen and participated in an 18 kilometer walk-a-thon without any training. The tendonitis has been manageable; with running shoes, mainly by either purchasing shoes with very low collars or making a vertical slice with an Xacto knife in the notch of the collar. Luckily, street shoes and boots have never been an issue.

I mentioned the tendonitis to the salesperson at REI when I first went boot shopping, and voiced my concern about the height/placement of the scree collar when I tried out this boot but she didn’t seem concerned. On Wednesday, I hiked for an hour wearing them on varied terrain and noticed pressure on the Achilles. Yesterday and today I wore them all day at work (I’m an elementary school teacher so am on my feet most of the day) and noticed the pressure but hoped it would dissipate. Then this evening, I walked across town in them. By the time I reached my friend’s house, I was hobbling and now, several hours later, they are very sore.


These are not the boots for me. I will return to REI and discuss other possibilities. I am very grateful that REI has a great return policy and really wants their customers to feel satisfied with their purchased. And while I’m there, I will spend more time checking out the packs…


You can read about the shoes I ended up using on the Camino here.

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  • Matt Smyj February 18, 2014 at 20:57

    I went through something similar while looking for a replacement for my much loved but very worn Merrill ventilated mid hikers. I settled on the Vasque Breeze 2.0 Mid GTX Hiking Boots. They took about 30miles to break in but they’re my new go to boots now. Good luck with whatever you choose. This is a really important and difficult choice.

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