Re shoe purchase - I would check out a running store. Usually independently owned and operated stores are the best. These folks are often runners themselves and can give you the best advise on shoes. - Personally I have heard good things about Fleet feet, and I believe they are all independently owned.
The sales person should look at your foot. They should give you a couple of options for shoes, and they should let you try and run in them - you should ask what the return policy is. I have had a couple of new to running friends who were not completely satisfied with their purchase - took the shoe back and without a problem they were fitted into a new shoe.
If you find a shoe which has a good fit you may be able to find it online at a lower price. Remember you should not put more than 300-400 miles on your running shoes.
As for the toe socks. I have heard they should be beneficial for distance running, but I have not tried them myself. I much prefer compression socks. I know they look dorky with shorts, but your legs feel better. - Once I hit the half marathon and up distance - I lie down after the shower for 30 min and apply my compression tights - particularly if I have to sit in a car and drive home.
"You are the CEO of your one person company" Chris 'Macca' McCormack three time ironman world champion.