as Bill said, some people can run with old shoes...I also need new shoes about every 4 months. I usually have two pair 'in rotation' so if one gets wet or I accidentally leave my gym bag at work I have pair I can use. I try to use the newer pair for marathons.
I have done the run/walk thing. If you want to transition to just running, do it. Lots of people have never walked (intentionally). Best thing to do is start with your shorter runs and build up, just like when you started running.
More about knee pain. I think the first two marathons I ran bothered my knees more than the ones after that. Could be my body adapted, could be I learned how to run a little 'lighter' on my feet. I'm sure now that when I run too much on concrete or downhill, that my knees will be achy. Listen to your footfalls when you run, you shouldn't hear yourself, or maybe just a quiet tap-tap...a friend of mine suggested trying to run across your living room rug barefoot to be able to tell how you "should" be striding (more on your forefoot), but to change footstrike drastically could cause more harm then good. So think about terrain instead. You said you ran on the treadmill a lot, instead of going right to the road, try and find a dirt trail to build up your miles.
Ther are so many details that I am still learning, still a novice. I used to tell my kids that I read a lot of books about running and read stuff on the internet because I don't have time to make all the mistakes myself!
good luck.. -Rita
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