When we first discovered the pilgrimage to Santiago, we didn’t know very much about it. We did discover very quickly that the walk is very long, and that a pilgrim needs good hiking shoes. So we went to REI and entrusted ourselves to the helpful sales guy.
We tried on shoes, and more shoes, and then some more shoes. We walked around the store and climbed up and down on the small sloping rock. We thought we had picked out the perfect shoes to hike 450 miles in.
Then we took a few walks—just some 2 mile walks and 3 mile walks. First my sweetie discovered that the shoes he’d picked out were squeezing his toes. So we went back to REI—he wore two pair of socks that day—and bought him new shoes.
Then we took a 10 mile walk on the Mission Hike and Bike Trail, and my big toe turned purple. This was—well—scary. We took it easy for a few days.
We tried again a week later, and at the halfway point I took my shoes off and sat down for a few minutes on a bench. We put our shoes back on and headed back toward the car—the second 5 miles of our walk. About a mile later my feet hurt, and they kept up a steady hurt the whole 4 miles back to the car. When I took the shoes off, I discovered that my toe was turning purple again.
Apparently, about mile 6 or 8, my feet jump a size. And, apparently, it is not as easy as I thought to tell if the shoe fits or not. I ordered the next size up online from REI.com and took it somewhat easy until the new ones came.
The new shoe: Merrell half-height ladies, same model as the old one, but the next half size larger.
The socks in the picture are doubled up. The new shoe is too wide at the heel and has given me a blister—but that’s better than crushing the end of the toes with every step! And I am going to put a heel pad in the shoe to take up some of that empty space the heel is rattling around in.