Komen 60 Mile 3-Day Walk Preparation – Shoe Edition

This year will be my second time participating in the Komen 3-Day 60 Mile walk in Michigan (Metro Detroit area). While many people see the fund raising as the biggest hurdle (you have to raise a minimum of $2300!), there a number of other key preparation items that I probably could have focused more attention on. So for those of you who are also preparing for the 2014 walk in various cities, I will post a few entries with some of my tips, tricks and learnings. Up first – feet preparation.

Shoes are everything!!!

You’re going to be on your feet for HOURS. And not standing still, but actually covering a good amount of ground. It makes sense that you should have some awesome shoes on. I started out in a pair of Brooks Adrenaline that were easily 4+ years old and in “ok” condition. During my training I purchased a pair of super cute gray Nike shoe with pillowy cushioning. Didn’t work, and the biggest problem, not returnable after you try them. First lesson – buy your training shoes from a running store that allows returns. So I logged onto Road Runner Sports and tried:

New Balance – A sponsor for the walk, the sales team was helpful but every recommended style seemed to cut too high up my skinny ankles
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 – the new model of my trusty old shoe was a few versions past the ones I already had and the changes to the style left me “in between sizes”
ASICS Women’s GT-2170 – Many other walkers raved about this shoe but a mile into training I got shin splints. Twice.

After no luck, I decided (sadly 2 weeks before the walk) to go to the original Fleet Feet in Chicago and get “fitted” for a running shoe. There was a small line so I pulled a number and waited my turn. Shortly after, an athletic young lady came by and asked me about the event, what I was looking for, and then had me do some high paced walking on a treadmill and on the floor to analyze my gait. In the end, 6 shoes and 20 or so minutes later, we found a perfect pair, and they were PINK! The Nike LunarEclipse 2+ was the perfect shoe. I bought insoles but found it easier to walk without them. On Days 1 and 3 I wore the Nikes and on Day 2 (the shortest day) I wore my old Brooks.

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**Bonuses
A – I was given a tube of BodyGlide For Her just before the walk. I used it every morning and again at lunch – completely covering my entire foot with a layer of it.
B – I wore double layered socks each day. These Double Layered socks by Wrightsock aren’t cheap at approx. $11/pair, but they were well worth the investment. I bought 2 pair and washed the first pair after Day 1, wearing them again on Day 3. I have a larger foot (Size 10-10.5 in gym shoes) so I found it very helpful to use my fist and stretch the sock out before putting them on, otherwise they would tend to slide. During my training I tried socks by Nike, Puma, Under Armour (my second fav), Adidas and Wigwam. The Wrighsock won the battle on the longer distances.

At the end of 3 days, I had no blisters and my feet felt great!!

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