You should definitely start your day (and events) with shoes or boots on your feet. Here’s some of the footwear that we’ve tested at All Day Ruckoff with most of the testing done at GORUCK events. If you’re training for an event make sure to check out the “GORUCK Tips” section at the bottom.
You should know that there’s no guarantee that you’ll keep your footwear on or even use your own during the whole event but there’s no way to plan for that. What you can plan for is the footwear that you’ll bring to the event. For my first four challenges I wore my old running shoes. I generally buy a new pair of running shoes every six months so the shoes I used were still in decent shape. After that I bought some boots for Heavy and have been using boots since. The one thing I really like about wearing boots is that there’s more ankle support as there have been times when I’ve thought that if I wasn’t wearing boots I would have rolled my ankle.
Either way, boots or shoes, the choice is yours. There’s no right or wrong answer and if you want to save some money use a pair of nicely broken in running shoes. Don’t do the following but I once picked up a pair of beat running shoes from Goodwill the day of an event because I didn’t want to trash my new running shoes. It worked out for me but it could have gone bad and I would still be kicking myself if it had.