In the lead up to the walk, we get quite a few customers coming in for shoes and advice and their biggest quandary is always “Do I use walking shoes or running?”
Well, we don’t claim to know anything about walking shoes as we have never stocked them, but we do know that running shoes are very comfortable to walk in. It can be hard to find specialised walking shoes (not trekking boots which are made for rugged terrain and are not suitable for the roads of London) they are made but very few shops stock them, but a running shoe had all the cushioning a walker needs plus its light and flexible. The trick is to chose a shoe that is not too soft. Soft shoes are nice for running, when your momentum is greater, but when walking it can slow you down; spending too much time sinking into the cushioning and then having to up the momentum to get your foot back off the ground. A shoe with firmer cushioning will still give all the protection your feet and legs need but will also be easier to walk in.
Always remember to get the shoes big enough, your feet are likely to swell considerably during the long walk, and if you chose to go for a running shoe make sure its fitted properly not only for size but also support (the same rules apply with pronation/neutral/supination as they do when selecting a shoe for running). You will also want a nice soft pair of socks!