Travelling to NYC for a week. Advise me how to keep my legs from running out of steam!
December 7, 2007 9:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be going to visit my best friend in NYC for a week, in a week. Last time I went for a weekend, I wore Payless shoes and went cross borough and wound up limping and having cankles as a result. I am a lot more sedentary in Arizona than I used to be back east-- and I am looking for suggestions of how to keep this trip as painfree as possible.

We'll be doing a lot of walking-- which is totally fine, but I know I need to get some kind of decent shoe this time. But I'm on a budget-- hopefully no more than $50-60 for a pair of shoes. What should I opt for? I am not big on athletic sneakers (Nikes and the like) but maybe they have good walking sneakers now, it's been forever since I bought a pair. Or maybe a decent pair of hiking boots or something would work. I would prefer them to be somewhat unobtrusive as I wear a size 10, but I can't order them online due to the timing. Can I get a decent pair of shoes at someplace like Kohl's? Or perhaps check out one of those shoe places-- DSW or Famous Footwear? Should I get some kind of insoles or is that just overkill?

Also, is there anything I can do now before my trip to gear up for so much walking? I have been exercising daily and playing DDR weekly, trying to build up more stamina and that seems to be helping. Perhaps some evening long dogwalks are in order as well. I often get shin splints when I walk for long distances though or run, so is there any way to minimize this before I go? Even suggestions on stretches I should do every day while I'm there is well appreciated.
posted by actionpact to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, I forgot to mention I'm a girl, so take that as you will!
posted by actionpact at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2007

Sneakers aren't great for NYC anyway, we tend to dress up more. I'd recommend hitting (an online outlet store) and buy Dansko's, Clark's, or Merrell's. You can get them in time with expedited shipping. Hiking boots might not be dressy enough, either. I do like the gel inserts from Dr. Scholl's, but I tend to only use them when the shoe is losing its squish after a lot of wear. Definitely check out DSW, too. Avoid Payless and the like-- with the amount of walking done in NYC they fall apart fairly quickly.

PS: LOVE your art!
posted by astruc at 9:33 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Do check out DSW. I've found Merrell shoes that are great for walking in the price range you mention. Other great brands of walking shoes that don't look like sneakers that you find discounted at DSW are Clark's, Ecco and Born.

My current favorite brand for all-around walking shoes is Keen, but you'd have to do some hunting to find Keen shoes discounted to the $50-$60 range. Check out local shoe stores that specialize in comfort shoes, and outdoor gear stores like REI, they'll often have a couple of models that are heavily discounted.
posted by needled at 9:35 AM on December 7, 2007

Whenever I'm doing a lot of walking on vacation or at a theme park, I try to change my shoes half-way through the day. It really makes a difference.

Putting SmartFeet insoles in my shoes also helps a log. One of the best purchases I ever made.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:36 AM on December 7, 2007

keen's walking shoes can be had for that price, but it's really cold there now; you could try a pair of low-rise walking boots from REI or somewhere on sale, you could get them for $50 easily, they're always on clearance.

Keen & Lowa boots are my favorite, Merrell are great too but pricier.

I had the men's version of these, lasted about 8-10 years, very comfy and good on icy/wet streets all over the east coast. Got em on sale at REI for like $40 or so.
posted by luriete at 9:37 AM on December 7, 2007

Seconding the suggestion of Merrells. They are sooo comfortable.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:37 AM on December 7, 2007

A friend of mine swore that arnica reduced his aches and pains after strenuous, extended exercise. He took arnica pills as a preventative measure and used arnica gel if any muscular pain existed afterwards. YMMV.
posted by parilous at 9:39 AM on December 7, 2007

Seconding Clarks, Merrells, and changing your shoes either mid-day or day-to-day if you can.
posted by bassjump at 9:39 AM on December 7, 2007

Thanks everybody on the suggestions, keep 'em coming! I forgot all about Born or Clarks.

Oh, and why does the shoe-change trick work, does anybody know? I've never heard it before!
posted by actionpact at 9:46 AM on December 7, 2007

Remember it will be cold and slushy here that week. I'd go for Merrels or Danskos myself; you can get knock-offs from Land's End at Sears also, but I'm not sure those are as comfortable for long-term wear.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:48 AM on December 7, 2007

shoes gave you cankles?!
posted by chickaboo at 9:48 AM on December 7, 2007

Cankles. I don't think this word means what you think it means.

These. Comfortable and they go with everything.
posted by pieoverdone at 9:52 AM on December 7, 2007

Don't forget to buy some good hiking/walking socks. They are extra-cushy in all the right places. REI has a good selection. I prefer a light hiking boot with ankle support. But, you know, for inexpensive shoes that are GREAT for walking and are good in rain and snow, try the all-weather mocs from Land's End. I think they're about forty bucks. I LOVE those shoes!
posted by MrFongGoesToLunch at 9:52 AM on December 7, 2007

pieoverdone and chickaboo-- I've only heard the slang 'cankles' referring to the way your legs look when your ankles are as chubby as your calves-- this has only happened to me on that trip from my ankles/calves being so swollen (My legs are more like Kermit the Frog's in general, so it was quite a shock when it happened)! Still maybe it actually means something else, I probably should've specified :)

Good suggestions re: the socks as well- I admit I am pretty lazy about getting good sock support.
posted by actionpact at 9:57 AM on December 7, 2007

I don't know the science behind the shoe change, but I was coming in here to recommend exactly that. I guess because different shoes will affect different areas of the foot/leg in terms of pressure points and muscles used? If you can't change shoes midday, then at least alternate pairs day-by-day. I stretch periodically, while waiting for the light to change or whatever, and also if I'm sitting for awhile at a cafe or something I'll take my shoes off in order to stretch my feet.
posted by xo at 10:05 AM on December 7, 2007

pieoverdone and chickaboo-- I've only heard the slang 'cankles' referring to the way your legs look when your ankles are as chubby as your calves-- this has only happened to me on that trip from my ankles/calves being so swollen

Ah, ok. You just had swollen ankles from a lot of walking in poor shoes. Cankles are a nontransitory condition caused by fatness, activity or no.
posted by pieoverdone at 10:05 AM on December 7, 2007

Seconding Keen. Cute and stylish and the best walking shoes I've ever had. And I was the least-sliding-around person of my family in the slush and ice last week. My Bronx-style shoes put a spring in my step -- they're so comfortable I swear that they give me superpowers. Bonus for you -- they make my totally normal size 8 feet look tiny.

Here's an old-school-sneaker-style on sale via Amazon in your size. Sierra Trading Post appears to have the rest of the good deals, including these Tuscany boots in your size. REI's got slip-ons in your size. And so forth.
posted by desuetude at 10:07 AM on December 7, 2007

Oh, yeah, you're going to have to order online. You've got a week -- you can get them in time if you rush shipping.
posted by desuetude at 10:08 AM on December 7, 2007

Ooh, those Tuscany boots look like a good winner, desuetude! They look like wrestling sneakers almost, which I always thought looked neat. Thanks for suggesting them-- they're definitely in the running.

Awesome-- I'll try to follow the science rule with swapping the shoes if I can, but if nothing else I'll take xo's advice about stretching my feet.
posted by actionpact at 10:20 AM on December 7, 2007

Cool! Well, jump on them if you like them. I did a quick browse through the discount shoe aggregators and there are a lot of Keen sandals, flipflops, and a lot of those old-style sneakers from the first link in a bunch of sizes, but after that it gets way scarce above size 7. (The searching wasn't entirely altruistic...for the right price, I'll almost always be tempted to buy another pair of Keens. I'm all fangirl about 'em.)
posted by desuetude at 11:10 AM on December 7, 2007

Yeah, I wound up snagging them-- even found a coupon to get them for $48! (Of course, 2 day shipping jumped that sucker up to $66-- but hey still cheaper than Zappos.) Thanks for the semi-altruistic help!
posted by actionpact at 12:09 PM on December 7, 2007

Doc Martens?
posted by rokusan at 2:22 PM on December 7, 2007

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