I know for a fact I am not the first person to tell you that gear is important.
I know for a fact I am not the last person to tell you that gear is important.
I know for a fact that gear is important.

fitness, health, shoe science, gear

It doesn’t have to be super expensive to begin with. Get yourself a pair of supportive trainers (my first pair was from Kmart for $25) and make sure they’re comfortable enough to walk in. If you’re not comfortable, you’re not going to want to exercise and then its all a bit pointless really.
Make sure you have good socks too. You don’t want blisters and rubbing. Socks with cushioning and wicking are a good bet as they’ll keep you comfortable but draw moisture away from your foot. Even if it’s winter, it’s important to keep your feet dry.
Then when you’ve been walking for a week or two, it’s time to upgrade to a proper pair of shoes. 
It’s best to go somewhere that understands feet properly. I went to Shoe Science on Mt Eden Road and they were amazing. I was served by Lucy and my husband was served by Waldo (a South African so we had a lot in common). Lucy gave us some amazing information about shoes, how they should fit and how they’re made. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and was so helpful as are the rest of the staff at Shoe Science.

fitness, health, shoe science, gear

Getting fitted is completely free and there’s no commitment to buy anything. The team will ask you a bit about what you’re going to use the shoe for, what price range you’re looking at and any specific colours you prefer. You then start off by walking (or running) along the black stripes on the floor. Normally the big TV is set up but unfortunately there was a power cut while we visited with Michael. It’s good to know that Shoe Science has an iPad that can do the same as the TV set up though and they were still prepared and ready. The team will play the footage back in slow motion and analyse your step to see how your foot falls and determine the best shoe for you. You may need support in specific places or have a neutral foot like I do.
They’ll talk you through the range of shoes at Shoe Science and recommend a few for you to begin with.
Then comes the fun part. You get to try them on and go for a walk. Don’t worry if you forgot socks, Shoe Science has you covered with some spare performance socks available.
They’ll put your shoe on for you (seriously, the Shoe Science staff make it look like an art) and then you’ll get to walk around. It’s really important to let them know how you feel about the shoe at this point. There’s not point hiding how you feel or disguising something that doesn’t feel right. The team at Shoe Science won’t take offence. They’re really striving to get you the right fit and make sure you’re walking away with a shoe that will serve you well.
Sometimes you find the right shoe right away (my husband loved his first pair) and sometimes you need a few goes (I had three before finding my ultimate fit). The Shoe Science team are really good at giving you time and space to make a decision and if you walk away without making a purchase, you aren’t charged or judged.

fitness, health, shoe science, gear

fitness, health, shoe science, gear

We also invested in some sports socks. They sit around the $40 mark but they’re cushioned and wicked so they’re incredibly comfortable when you’re doing distances.
Of course these aren’t mandatory but I would suggest you look at some good quality socks at least.
I would highly recommend a visit to Shoe Science to make sure you’re getting the most out of your exercise and to ensure you’re not damaging yourself. So many injuries can be caused by using the wrong gear and it’s so easy to avoid.

If you’ve been fitted for shoes, let me know about your experience below.