MISSOULA, Mont. -

Thousands of people are getting ready for the Missoula Marathon. As I found out, picking a good pair of shoes for your first race can be intimidating.

Runners will tell you, the most important thing to have on race day is a good pair of running shoes.  Downtown Missoula shoe salesperson Vicki Mix advises to not choose by brand, but by fit.  "Be aware of the type of support that you might need.  Do you have a flatter foot?  Do you have a nice rigid arch?  All of those kinds of things can make a difference."

A good pair can last you 300 to 500 running miles. 

Mix says, "When you are running, you come down with four times your amount of body weight in pressure on the shoe.  If you are walking, you get longer than that. That range is quite long, based on how you are using that shoe.  If you use it for weightlifting or backpacking, you are going to be on the shorter end of that."

Salespeople say shoes costing you less than around $90.00 could cause you problems. "When you get to shoes made in the lower end range, that tends to mean they are made of different materials.  They might not be set up for the type of pressure that running puts on a shoe. Prices can be as high as $175.00, but Mix says you can get a good pair for about $100.00.

The marathon is this Sunday, July 8th.

The 5K, Kid's Marathon and many other festivities take place Saturday.