Attending a comic con is a lot like running a marathon: you’re on your feet for hours, surrounded by throngs of people — some who might not smell all that geat — and after a while you start feeling really thirsty, sweaty, chafe-y, and altogether pretty tired.
That is why it’s good to approach a convention like you would an actual marathon. With the right gear and preparation, it’s much easier to minimize discomfort and maximize fun.
No, I’m not joking. If people do this before they hit up Disneyland, you should definitely be doing it before a full day of walking at a con!
2. Invest in some good sneakers
Conventions are usually held in halls with concrete floors, and that’s killer on your feet, hips, and lower back. Wearing comfortable, well-fitted sneakers — even better, with cushioned inserts — can help pad your soles and help with shock absorption. Even if it’s a convention right at the height of summer, do not, for the love of everything, wear flip flops! They really mess up your heels, arches, and toes. If you’re looking for geeky shoes, there’s plenty of artists like GrabbKicks on Etsy (whose work is pictured above) who will modify an existing running shoe.
3. Wear moisture wicking shirts
Cotton is probably what makes up a huge chunk of con-goers’ shirts. But, cotton is extremely awful because once it gets wet it tends to stay that way for a long time. You know what I’m talking about. Conventions are hot, crowded affairs, and once you get even a little bit sweaty you’re faced with the terrible realization that you’re going to feel damp for the rest of the day unless you can find a way to casually stand under the hand dryer in the bathroom.
Moisture wicking shirts are a great solution. Under Armor makes some Marvel and DC themed shirts that look like casual cosplay.
4. Skip the jeans
Going off of the last point, jeans also kind of suck when you’re moving around a lot. They tend to chafe, retain heat, and cling like an alien facehugger. Workout leggings are a great alternative. They’re designed to breathe well and minimize any chafing. Kohl’s has a line of Marvel tights (pictured above) for women. Old Navy and Society6 are also good choices for colorful, quirky tights.
5. Bring a backpack
I know everyone loves to recommend messenger bags for cons, but in my opinion those are a bad idea if you plan on filling it with loot and swag. A backpack will distribute the weight more evenly on your back and help keep away the lower back pain that comes with a side-strapper. The North Face access pack (shown above) is great if you’re planning on carrying around a laptop. Otherwise, any of their hiking packs — with sternum straps for extra support and a side pouch for water — work just fine.
6. Carry water
Water at cons is crazy expensive, and the last thing you need is to get dehydrated. Any sturdy bottle with a straw works well, and there’s a lot of geeky bottle choices out there if you hunt around.
7. Eat a good breakfast and bring along healthy snacks
Skip the pastries and aim for healthy carbs that don’t burn out of your system as fast. Oatmeal packets are a good option if you’re staying in a hotel with just a water kettle/coffee maker. (Even better, make your own oatmeal like the above photo!) As for snacks, imagine you’re prepping for a daylong hike. Nut bars, dried fruits, pb&j sandwiches, and easy to eat fruits (like oranges) are all great options.
You’ve made it to the end of the day, you trooper! Make sure your feet are ready for con day two by soaking in a bath with some epsom salt. (If you want to get really fancy a Lush bath bomb works too, and will make you smell great for the next day to boot.)