Ankle & Foot Centers of Georgia provide Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer walkers with podiatry care every year, and here are their top pointers for AVOIDING a trip to see them during this year’s 2-Day Walk!
By Dr. Kevin Pearson
Picking out the perfect outfit for your 2-Day Walk is a lot of fun, but the most important piece of clothing for all walkers is foot gear. While pink ones with a cool design may look good, they may cause you problems during the 2-Day Walk if they are not properly fitted. Make the effort to get the right pair of shoes for you.
Your best option is to go to a store that specializes in custom athletic shoe fittings. Atlanta has many choices: Phidippides, Fleet Feet, Big Peach Running, and West Stride, just to name a few. The employees at these stores will take the time to find out what type of walking you are doing, how much you are training, your foot type, and to ask about any previous issues with your feet. Some may even offer discounts if you mention that you are participating in the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer.
Now for a few shoe buying tips:
-Try to buy your shoes towards the end of the day when your feet are at their largest. If you buy your shoes early in the morning, they will be too tight by the end of the day due to some natural swelling.
-Take the socks you plan on training and walking in with you to purchase your shoes. The staff at the shoe store will also be able to help you select the right socks for you. Socks made for endurance events typically have some extra padding and will take up more room than regular athletic socks. Also, it is important that the socks are high enough to protect your ankles from the upper part of the shoes. Choose non-cotton socks to wick moisture away from your feet.
-Take an old pair of athletic shoes with you. This will allow the store’s staff to better evaluate your foot type and walking pattern. Shoes are made differently for a walker with high arches verses those with lower arches.
-Be sure to tell the staff why you are purchasing the shoes. They need to know you are training for an endurance event.
-Take a few moments and really walk around in the shoes. Don’t be surprised if the salesperson watches you as you walk! They want to watch your foot functioning in the shoes to be sure they are offering you good support and control. Be critical. Let the staff know exactly how they feel. A tiny irritation will lead to a major blister after a few miles.
-Don’t be hung up on what size they give you. Sneaker sizes vary a lot between companies and styles. The staff will probably recommend you go at least ½ size larger to allow for the swelling we talked about earlier. The most important thing is that your feet are comfortable in the shoes.
-Lastly, talk with the staff. They are a great resource. They can give you information about breaking in your new shoes and discuss how often to replace your shoes.
W. Kevin Pearson, DPM, FACFAS
Ankle and Foot Centers of Georgia