Shoes, shoes and more shoes. High heels, strappy sandals, cute wedges, fun flats... we love them all! But, our favorite shoes are our walking shoes! Well, considering you will walk approximately 585 miles (give or take a mile) of training and then 60 miles in 3 days. You need to start with your feet. The right socks and shoes are a must to make this journey bearable for your feet.
(ok…disclaimer time: I will give lots of advice in the blog, but by no means is this the gospel. This is just advice…take it or leave it! This are just helpful tips I have learned along the way)
First, let’s talk shoes. The proper fit is key. TrackShack (1104 N. Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803) and New Balance Winter Park (460 N. Orlando Ave, Suite 110, Winter Park, FL 32789)are two of the best places to start. New Balance is a sponsor of the 3-Day and will offer a discount. TrackShack is great because they will measure and fit you to exactly the activity you are doing. Make sure to tell them you are doing a 60 mile walk. You want to make sure the shoe has a wide toe box and plenty of wiggle room. The more room, the less likely you will have rubbing…. KEY! You will want shoes one size BIGGER! Don’t believe me – at the next training walk, ask me about 2005 and the wrong size shoes! YIKES! Also, if you go the TrackShack and they fit you to a New Balance shoe, you can go to New Balance and purchase them with the discount. Save money when you can! Also, you are going to need two pairs of shoes to get you through training and the event. If you can afford to buy two pairs now and alternate them during training, do so. The event is not the time or place to break in new shoes.
Ok…moving on. The next time of defense, socks. I know, most people think, socks are socks… NOT TRUE! The right sock and do a lot for you. I have tried at least 6 different brands before I found the “perfect” sock for me. Dri-wick is great. It helps keep feet dry. But another consideration is padding. Walkers need different areas of support then runners. Look for socks geared toward walkers with additional padding on the top of the foot and the heel. I like Thorlos (5632 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819). There are several places in Orlando that sell these socks but the Thorlos Factory Outlet may be worth the drive. They sell “seconds” which have really no flaws for ½ price. They have several “levels” of socks for every activity imaginable. Plus if you bring your shoes in with you, they will let you try on socks with your shoes to find the right fit. I suffered with plantar fascitis after my first year of training and then found these socks. THEY ARE FABULOUS! My feet are fine now thanks to the extra cushioning of these socks. My advice – try a couple different brands. The most expensive are not necessarily the best for you.
I know, I have given you lots to think about and consider. Now is the time to experiment with shoes and socks, NOT SEPTEMBER! Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you. :)