Matt Gunn tests out a pair of Scarpa Rush Trail GTX shoes on the Le Puy Camino.
"Without a doubt, the most import piece of kit for any hike - be it a day walk, a multi-day adventure or even a Camino - is your footwear. It’s a make-or-break choice. Avoid complete disaster with the wrong choice. Blisters, hotspots and black nails from ill-fitted shoes can just be the start.
It’s so easy today to be so swayed by a review that you jump onto your laptop, find the suggested pair, type in your size and credit card details and praise yourself on the right choice and a bargain price from an O/S online store. Wrong.
Please, after doing your research, go in and speak with the experts and get their informed feedback and most importantly, your boots properly fitted. Someone like our friends at Trek and Travel, Mountain Designs or Paddy Palin just to name a few.
These guys are the experts. I know the team at Trek and Travel for example have a wealth of experience, have circumnavigated the world on adventures and know what is required. You’ll be professionally fitted. If you have to pay the few extra dollars it’s worth it knowing you’re getting something tailor-fitted for you.
No-one can give you an iron-clad guarantee that you won’t encounter problems, but you’ve given yourself a fighting chance!
Ok, so now that is said, after some prodding I am going to recommend some great shoes which just saw me through the Le Puy Camino without so much as a hot-spot with traction out of this world.
I was fitted for some Scarpa Rush Trail GTX shoes and they didn’t miss a beat. You can get them in low and mid cut boots if that is your preference, but for me the shoe/runner is my preferred choice .
I love the lighter weighted shoe version for long day after day hiking and not once felt like I needed the added stability, or weight, around my ankles.
Also it meant I could wear them with my merino sport cut socks rather than full woollen hiking ones in 30+ temps. Gortex lining keep your feet dry, and I was fortunate enough to only encounter steady light rain which made no penetration.
I’m a Scarpa fan from way back – quality and they are always built to last.
The Scarpa-own Presa sole was extremely durable and gripped better than others I have come across. No slips in the wet or dry and after about 500km of use the sole only shows minimal wear.
Snazzy enough that the suede water-resistant uppers scrub up nicely for those off-trail nights out paired with jeans, or in my case, a post Camino holiday in Spain.
My only negative, the supplied insole. Nearly all shoe manufactures these days pay little attention to that and it’s just a basic foam so go out and spend a few dollars on some durable after-market insoles.
My mate Dave at Feet First got me onto Ergonx Sports insoles and I swear by them now!
Now, with my recommendation, go into a reputable store, have a chat with the real experts, get fitted, and be comfortable you’ve given yourself every chance for a great adventure.”
For more info on the shoes click here.