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)

http://global.keenfootwear.com/en-fr/product/shoes/men/targhee-ii-mid

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)

http://global.keenfootwear.com/en-fr/product/shoes/men/targhee-ii-mid

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€)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013LKMK7Q/ref=twister_B013LKJGPA

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.

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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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Last Chance before the Off!

I don’t leave for St Jean until the 28th of April but today was my last chance to get some training done.  I’m still nervous about my shoes and I wanted to give them another good test before I leave for the camino.

My waking buddy arrived bright and early but somehow we didn’t managed to start before 9:00am… and by the sun already had his hat on!  At least on the camino we know we’ll be kicked out well before this.

Today we wanted hills, so we headed off to the little village of Grignols.  It’s in a valley so there are plenty of hills, and it’s also on the GR65 so we hoped the marking would be good.  The GR65 around Grignols is one of the two (or three!) arms of the Camino Vezeley (or Via Lemovicensis) that runs through the Dordogne.

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The drop in pace was a photo stop and it was time to fish out the umbrella… twas hot on them hills!

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Around Allemans

In a few weeks time I’ll be heading back down to St Jean Pied de Port for the third time for ten fabulous days on the Camino Frances.  Last year a friend here in France suggested that maybe we do a taster week together… and another friend will also be joining us.  We started with a week… but our week has grown along with out excitement and we think now we can manage 10 or 11 days walking.

I should be fitter than I am, but the truth is that life gets in the way and I’ve not really done much walking since the Via.

I should by now know what gear I like, want and need, the truth is that I’m still struggling to decide what to take!

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Retracing

We left Lisbon on Wednesday morning. We took the 25 de Abril bridge back over the Tagus River and as we drove by the huge statue of Christ, Gerry noticed a couple of figures high up on one of the outstretched arms.  He thought they were workers checking or repairing Lisbon’s giant landmark but I like to think they were there to wave us goodbye…  and wishing us well! Goodbye Lisbon, see you in October!

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Lisboa!

We’ve had a few wonderful days exploring Lisbon and it’s environs.  We took a trip out of town for a fabulous fish lunch where, following Rick Steins recommendations, Gerry tried (and enjoyed) the local barnacles.

We’ve taken in the sights from the open top bus and walked and wandered the alleys and avenues.  We’ve glimpsed history, both local and from further afield and we’ve taken trains, trams and cable cars (yes I went in the cable car and yes I loved it).  We also followed in Rick’s footsteps and enjoyed some of the best Lisboan Piri Piri chicken… in short we’ve had a great time.

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