This past weekend my walking team 'Angels for the Cure' were invited to a shoe clinic at Luke's Locker to get fitted for walking shoes for the 3 Day. For those of you that think 'I already have walking/running shoes for the 3 Day and I don't need to get a new pair', read on!
If this is your first year walking in the 3 Day, YOU WILL WANT TO GET FITTED FOR APPROPRIATE WALKING SHOES!!! Seriously, think about it...you'll be walking 60 miles and that's not even counting all of the miles you'll walk during training (you will be doing training walks, right?). I cannot stress the importance of finding appropriate shoes (and socks) for you to wear.
The benefit of going to a running store vs. a mall athletic store is that a running store specializes with assisting people who run or walk endurance events. The people that work in running stores are usually runners or walkers themselves and they can provide a lot of valuable information (about shoes, clothing, what to eat, etc.) as you prepare for the 3 Day.
In addition to their personal experiences they are able to accurately fit you with a pair of shoes. (Case in point - I am a Nike girl to heart...Nike Shox are all that I wear. But not for the 3 Day.) They will watch you walk and then bring out various shoes that they believe will work best for you. You are then able to try on the shoes in the store to see how they feel. (Luke's Locker actually has a treadmill and a walking path to try out potential shoes).
You're probably thinking that the shoes are expensive, right? Of course you can pay just about any price for a pair of shoes. But the great thing is that the sales associates are not out to make the biggest sale. They want to help you AND your feet. The shoes that I have worn cost in the neighborhod of $110 a pair. Believe me, a small investment for comfort and not getting blisters!
On the day of a foot clinic the hosting store will usually offer an additional discount if you purchase shoes (or other items) at that time. I also recommend taking in a pair of your current walking shoes for the shoe specialist to look at the current tread pattern on your shoes.
One last thing to think about is that you should have 2 pairs of shoes to rotate during your training walks and for the actual 3 Day event. The sooner that you are able to find the shoes that you will walk in the sooner you will know how your shoes and feet will respond in case you need to make a change.