So, this question has come up over and over again in forums and by folks asking me what kind of shoes I wear to get through a week long tradeshow.
Here are a few tips specifically for Las Vegas and the SharePoint Conference #SPC14 the first week of March but they apply really to any event.
Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt
Take care of your tootsies and they'll take you everywhere your heart desires. - Heather Newman
Words to the Wise:
Set-up day: Wear your sneakers! Especially if you are setting up a booth in the expo. Set-up days are dangerous with slick plastic everywhere, errant nails & screws. Be smart during set up.
First Night Fail: Don't wear your new heels (ladies) or brand new pair of shoes (gents) out the night before the event starts or for the first day. The first day of an event is usually the longest. Winning this foot race is all about pace and downtime.
Pre-Event Prep: Go buy yourself a pair of Superfeet, you will thank me later. I am a fan of the blue - they fit in almost every shoe style even heels. Gels inserts are okay but they don't really give you arch support which is what you are looking for in an insert. Either way you should think about getting something pre-show just in case.
Oldy Timey: Also if you don't have a set of these already go buy yourself an old fashioned set of wooden shoe stretchers. Put your new Superfeet into your shoes and put the stretcher in for a couple of days prior to the event.
Comfy & Fashionable Shoe Brands:
My favorite brands that have fun heels with either orthopedic footbeds or support are the following:
Clarke, Naot, Naturalizer, Dansko (I've gotten away from these as there are other brands that aren't so chunky in the heel). BUT my new favorite is Spring Step. They have a European look and are amazing. Their Le Artiste line is great.
Where to buy: DSW Online (or the Union Square store in NYC), Clog Central, Zappos, and Amazon are my favorite places to buy shoes online.
Switch Out: You shouldn't wear the same shoes at night that you do during the day. You will walk at least 20,000 or more steps per day on very hard walkways. You also should also change out every other day if possible. I will most likely bring six pairs of shoes, flip flops, and my sneakers as I am determined to rock my FitBit SPC14 week. Speaking of nighttime, if you are going to a club in Vegas even a sponsored event you may be turned away for wearing sneakers and yes you need your ID everywhere.
When Your Dogs Bark: I happen to know where all the Walking Company stores are in Vegas and they are listed below. Yes, I've not heeded my own advice in the past. After 18 hours at the Life is Beautiful festival and a full day of site visits I ended up desperately needing a great new pair of comfy shoes.
There is a Walking Company right in the Venetian and across the street at Caesars. Also for shoe shopping in general Zappos has its only brick and mortar store in downtown Vegas. If you haven't seen the transformation of the downtown it is amazing. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos in cahoots with Rehan Choudhry founder of the Life is Beautiful festival transformed this area and it's something to behold. I plan to head down there a couple of evenings during SPC14.
All Walking Company shops are all open the same hours:
Sun - Thurs: 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Fri - Sat: 10:00 AM - 12:00 AM
The Forum Shops at Caesar's, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109, (702) 792-8400
Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, 3377 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109, (702) 414-7463 3rd Floor, close to Johnson & Murphy. Coming off street entrance use elevator.
Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109, (702) 734-7150
Grab Some Ground: Another tip, sit down as much as humanly possible. If there is a bar stool - sit on it, if you are waiting around for a colleague - grab a seat in the lobby. You will be standing for close to 18 hours a day if you are working in the expo hall and going out at night.
Soak Thy Feet: As you are about to brush teeth and get ready for bed, run some warm water in the tub. Soak your feet for 5-10 minutes or so. It does wonders.
Shoes, OMG, Shoes.
Enjoy Vegas and #SPC14, if you want to say hello I'll be hanging around the KnowledgeLake Booth #2124