Shoes for Sale!

If you follow my blog you will know about my ‘holy grail’ search for the perfect walking shoe for my pasty wide feet.    I have bought so many different shoes over the last few years and spent so much money, I could honestly weep.  On the Via de la Plata, I thought I’d found my perfect shoe in the Altra Lone Peak 3.0; however it’s being replaced by the Lone Peak 3.5 and it’s maybe not the best shoe for tarmac… so watch this space!

In the meantime, as the Baztan walk approaches I’ve bought myself a new pair of Altra Olympus and decided it was time to try and sell some of the shoes I’ve bought and tried… someone could bag themselves a bargain!

Merrell Mens Vertis Ventilator Shoe

Size : EU 44 (used for 15km)

Price 25€ (new 69.95€)

When I started training back in 2014, folks told me that the best walking shoe was a Merrell.  They also told me to size up.  I always buy a mens fit as I have a EEE wide foot so I bought this shoe in an EU44.

It felt great but after 15km I knew it was too big.  My husband swears by Merrells but for me the fit just wasn’t right, so this shoe has been parked in the back of the wardrobe gather dust.


KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid

Size : EU 42.5 Wide (used for 30km)

Price : 70€ (new 140€)

I am a fan of Keen shoes. I have some Keen Newport sandals and they are  comfortable.  I was really excited to see I could purchase a Keen wide fit walking shoe in Europe… honestly in the US there is lots of choice but not here.  I ordered the size recommended on the Keen website, and the same as my Newport, but it was too small and on the downhills I could feel my toes pushing the inside of the boot.

If you want a sturdy walking shoe and you have wide feet this is a great choice.


KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid

Size : EU 44 Wide (used for 20km)

Price : 70€ (new 140€)

I tried buying this shoe in my usual walking shoe size and of course this was too big.  I think maybe the Keen men’s fit is just not right for my foot.  I love the toebox width but it’s too wide in the heel… I’m guessing women have a narrower heel?  I could feel  slipping.  I tried a few different lacing options but it wasnt working and I know the slip would create blisters with more use.  As much as I loved the Keen Wide fit, I decided that this was not going to be the shoe for me.


Altra Olympus 2.0

Size : EU44  (Used for 100km)

Price – 50€ (new 150€)

I’m a convert to Altra trail shoes.  I know they are not for everyone but I walked over 1000km on the Via de la Plata and I loved the fit.  But, I did develop some foot pain and I also felt that maybe the Lone Peak wasn’t so comfy on tarmac.  Altra recommend I try the Olympus and so I took these on a short walk this spring.  They feel great BUT they are not the same fit as the Lone Peak.  I developed in-between toe blisters (usually a sign that the shoe is too narrow) and I had a blackened toenail where my toe was hitting the inside on the downhills.

I was really disappointed with the sizing as these are not a cheap shoe.  But, I love Altra and so I have forgiven them and purchased the new Olympus 2.5 but a size up… I sincerly hope these don’t end up on this page too!

There is 100km of wear on these shoes but I did over a 1000km on the Via so there is still plenty of walking left in them.



p.s. In my non-walking world I wear a ladies UK size 8 shoe – always wide fit, EEE if possible.

A Hard Task Master

I’m going walking… yes you all know!

But before next years walking, I have this years to get fit for.  In just over four weeks we’re walking the Camino Baztan from Bayonne to Pamplona and then in October we’re walking the Rota Vicentina in Portugal.  My son decided I needed to start training and he nominated himself as my personal trainer!

There is a circuit around our house, just over 4km long.  It has ups and downs and the terrain is very camino-esque.  My personal best around this circuit is just over 47 minutes… but that was in March,  when I was much fitter and it was a lot cooler.  However, my trainer told me I had to beat this today… and he came with me to set the pace!

As he sauntered up the hill, I huffed and puffed my way up, but in the end he did get me home in record time 46.40 minutes… and then made me swim!


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A Walk in the Park

Ok so not so much a walk in the park… more ‘A walk in the countryside‘ but that doesn’t sound quite so catchy for my title.

A few weeks ago I went awandering with my camino buddies on the Camino Vezeley.  We’d planned to meet and go walking once a month… the plan was to also keep walking inbetween these monthly trips… the other two have done this, but sady I have to hold my hand up and say that I didn’t!

It’s high summer in south west France and I have so many wedding and party gigs that I find I’m either too exhausted, too hot, too busy or on my way out to the next gig… all of which is just an excuse of course!  I’ve not done any walking and that’s the bottom line… and the Baztan camino is fast approaching so I will have to change this pretty soon.

We met in the car park by the church in Douzillac and headed off up the road where our map told us we would join the camino.  30 minutes later we were indeed following arrows and chatting and talking about our time on the Frances and where we would go next.   The arrows seem to point in the wrong direction but we followed them nonetheless and eventually entered a village.  As we tried to find our bearings mentally, Jaqui called out “ladies… we’re back where we started” and sure enough at the top of the hill was the church car park.


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Certain Misery

Day 5 : Zariquiegui – Cirauqui

Day 6 : Cirauqui…

On Monday night we had a lovely meal and retired to our beds full and happy. The Albergue is very nice and the owners are very kind… and it has a great shower and very comfortable beds but… there were 10 beds in a small space and the pilgrims chose to keep the doors and windows firmly closed.

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Oh What A Beautiful Morning 

Day 4 : Zabaldika to Zariquiegui

Last night we were simply grateful for a bed but I reflected on that this morning.  In reality who am I kidding… we are walking across Northern Spain, complete with high tech clothes, a smartphone and a credit card.  We had the luxury of calling a taxi and booking into a hotel… and I felt kind of guilty when I considered all those people sleeping out in the cold without the mod cons.  We moaned as we walked how we wanted to do this “correctly’… no booking ahead, no deviating… and so on… but if we really believed that we would have left the phone and the credit card at home.  My only consolation is that at least I see the hypocrisy of my moans.

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