Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Getting Started

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Getting Started

Article excerpt

Club information: For information about First Coast Trail Forgers walking club, call Liz Steenson, (904) 282-9629, or e-mail, steenson@freewwweb. com.

Clothing: Dress in layers, preferably moisture-wicking material that's sold by outdoor outfitters or sports clothing stores. For larger sizes for women, sizes 14 and up, Junonia has a catalog of sports clothing. Check Junonia.com on the Internet, or call 1-800-586-6642.

Shoes: Steenson prefers running shoes over walking shoes because they have more cushioning in the heel. How long does a shoe last? "Most companies say six months or 500 miles." When a shoe's cushioning becomes compressed, or the shoe is visibly worn, it's time to replace them.

Gear: In a waist pack or day-pack, routinely carry lip balm, sunscreen, sunglasses, bug repellent, two bottles of water, an extra pair of socks and identification. Outfitter's prices: At Black Creek Outfitters, at Gate Parkway and J. Turner Butler Boulevard in Jacksonville, (904) 645-7003, www.blackcreekoutfitters.com, you can spend quite a bit for head-to-toe gear.

The basic requirement is shoes, said Black Creek's Joe Butler III. A running shoe is more flexible and more cushioned than a walking shoe and may give longer wear than a walking shoe. But the stiffness of a walking shoe is designed to support your striding foot on pavement and uneven terrain, he said. Expect to pay from $85 to $200.

Shoe liners called Footbeds can cost $30 a pair and will add special support tailored for different kinds of shoes to accommodate variations in foot shape.

"For socks, I say 'ABC,' Anything but cotton," said Butler. "Cotton gets wet and stays wet, and it's going to feel hot in summer and cold in winter. It makes your skin softer so you're more apt to get a blister." He recommends synthetics or wool ($9 to $17 a pair) that wick moisture away from the skin. …

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