Today has been my lucky day. I went to buy my first pair of inner socks at an outdoor sports shop I haven´t been to before, and they were extremely helpful. They sell the same rucksack that I have, and although I hadn´t bought mine there, when I remarked to the assistant that I was having some trouble with mine, he went to endless trouble showing me how to adjust all the straps properly, even to the extent of putting some weight in one and making me wear it while he demonstrated. I was very impressed, especially as I had told him I´d already bought virtually all my equipment and only needed socks! I shall try and put what he told me into practice tomorrow when I do my weekly two-hour walk, but he has said if I´m still having trouble I can go back to the shop with my own rucksack and he´ll go through it again. Wow!
One item of equipment I am having trouble with is gaiters. I haven´t found a shop so far that sells them, and even if I did, as far as I remember gaiters don´t completely cover your footware. The fact is I intend to do most of my walking in trainers, which are not waterproof, and I know wet feet and socks lead to blisters. I actually have a good pair of boots, but after operations on both feet I find that thirty minutes walking is as much as I can manage in them. My walking trainers are extremely comfortable, and I intend to use sandals on reasonable stretches just to give my feet a rest. I know most people would throw up their hands in horror at the thought of sandals on the Camino, but because of my foot trouble I actually did the Inca Trail in sandals without any mishaps, so I´m not too concerned. I remember my sandals attracted quite a few stares and negative remarks on the Trail, one group of Germans actually sneakily took a photo of my feet thinking I hadn´t noticed.
I tried fashioning some gaiters out of strong polythene bags, but when I put them on I looked like someone who lives on the streets, so I gave up. I´m wondering whether bags over my socks, inside the trainers, will work. If the socks wick away the moisture, it would surely be an improvement on putting dry feet into wet footwear. I´ll have to try it out, and hope the neighbours aren´t looking.
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