Wearing adequate equipment is essential to do the Camino de Santiago, since our clothing and footwear will depend on reaching our final goal successfully, after having overcome the possible weather adversities that we encounter during the journey.
That is why we are going to make a list of the clothes that you should wear for the Camino de Santiago. This way you won’t lack anything during the entire duration of the tour but do not overload your backpack, since this could be counterproductive.
Depending on the season of the year they are going to do the Camino de Santiago, many pilgrims prefer robust footwear that offers good support, while others want to walk light with good hiking sandals that give them some extra comfort.
In any case, make sure that the type of footwear you choose is breathable, waterproof and, very importantly, that it is not brand new. You may have purchased really good shoes, but if they have not yet been adapted to the shape of your foot, they will cause chafing and blisters already in the first days, and you will regret it the rest of the Way.
If you think that the weather can be very unstable (for example if you are going to do a very long route that passes through very different areas, or in seasons such as spring, when it is difficult to get it right), you can take two pairs.
Bringing your own pair of flip-flops is very important. It is essential that you use them in the showers of the hostels, but they will also help you air your feet after long hours of walking, while you rest in your hostel or walk through the town or city where you are going to spend the night.
And if you do the Way of Saint James in summer and want to bathe in a stream along your route or go to the beach, nothing better than having some flip-flops to take a good dip.
Many pilgrims are hesitant about the amount of clothing they should wear, especially in terms of T-shirts and underwear. Our recommendation is that you carry two t-shirts, and that they are technical and breathable. It is the best for any type of weather and you can wash and dry them quickly once you have arrived at your hostel or accommodation.
In addition, many pilgrims take advantage of sunny days to hang their freshly washed T-shirt in their backpack. This way it dries on the way so that they can wear it the next day, saving the dryer and alternating T-shirts perfectly.
Our recommendation is that you go for a long pair of trousers and a short one. If you have a convertible pair, it will be more practical. This way you can alternate them as with your t-shirts.
However, many pilgrims feel more comfortable wearing only shorts if temperatures are not very cold. If this is your case, you may even save a little more space in your backpack, but carry a minimum of two in any case.
Underwear won't take up much space in your backpack, but you don't need to add a lot either. With 3 changes you will have more than enough, since you can wash them in the hostels where you stop and always have a clean and dry one for the next day.
We also recommend that these clothes are made of cotton and comfortable, to avoid rubbing with the handles of your backpack after several hours and days of walking.
Socks are as important or more than shoes, as our feet will be directly in contact with them. In many specialized stores you can find special socks for trekking and hiking routes and more specifically, designed to do the Camino de Santiago.
Always look for socks that are sporty, highly breathable, and that have no seams. This way they will not cause chafing. You will also find that many types are fit to the foot in various areas to avoid friction. You can apply vaseline to your feet before putting them on and thus avoid the dreaded blisters.
Especially if you do the Camino de Santiago in seasons of unpredictable weather such as autumn or spring, you have to carry a raincoat in case of rain. Even if you do the Camino in summer, you can never be 100% sure that it does not rain on any day, especially in the north of the peninsula.
That is why it is convenient that you have a light raincoat to protect you and your backpack in case of imminent rain. It will not occupy much space and will help you to continue on your way without further complication, just as you had planned.
It may not be essential, but it is highly recommended, especially if you do the Camino de Santiago during the summer season.
Almost all the Ways go through a beach or a river where you can take a good dip. If you wear a swimsuit, which will not occupy too much space, you can always stop along the way and cool off for a while before continuing.
In case it is cold, especially at night or until you get warm at the beginning of your daily stage, it is advisable to wear at least one sweater. You can get a thermal one that does not take up much space in your backpack and that will give you heat whenever you need it.
Or, in other words, some type of protection for you head. If you have been encouraged to do the Camino de Santiago in winter, a thermal hat will help you maintain body heat during your daily walk.
If you have chosen summer, wearing a hat or cap that protects you from the sun will be even more important (without forgetting the appropriate sunscreen in any case).
Especially if you are going to do the Camino de Santiago on foot, you have to pay special attention to the footwear you are going to wear. It literally depends on this that you finish your journey in good condition, so stop and think carefully about which option you are going to choose.
The most suitable footwear to walk the Camino de Santiago are good special hiking shoes. Mid-calf boots are usually preferred by pilgrims, since they offer good support to the foot and are valid for almost any time of year, type terrain and climate.
Some pilgrims prefer sandals (but wait, not just any sandal: only those designed for hiking, which offer good support and have a resistant sole), although this type of footwear is limited to the summer season and soft temperature seasons.
On winter, you can opt for special boots, better if they are higher to protect the ankles. And if you already have sports shoes that are very comfortable for walking, they can also be useful, but they should be breathable, waterproof and have a good sole, not very thin. You will find all kinds of terrain during the stages, including hard and rocky areas, so it is better that the soles of your feet are always protected.
It is also very important, as we have already mentioned, that you have previously used the footwear that you are going to wear. If you use brand new shoes on the Camino de Santiago, it is practically guaranteed that you will get blisters from the first day. Use your footwear the days before the Camino as much as possible, so that in this way it takes the shape of your foot and adapts better.
Carrying two different pairs will help you rest your feet, although it may bother you to carry an extra pair in your backpack. Remember that you should also wear flip flops for the showers or for the stops you make on the beaches or rivers, so perhaps this is enough to remove your shoes while you rest in your accommodation or walk in the town where you arrive after your stage.