What to Look for in a Walking Shoe? A pair of walking shoes is an important prerequisite for walking. However, you should be aware that not all flats or even pumps qualify as a good set of walking shoes simply because they aren’t necessarily made with the right material to protect your feet in case you happen to face any rougher ground during your walk.
While you may be tempted to get a boot that doesn’t have anyone involved in the design process with orthopedic specialists or podiatrists, it’s important to know that this will only cause more problems.
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Tips for Choosing the Perfect Walking Shoe
You need to be walking around in the right shoes. What to Look for in a Walking Shoe Not only will they make sure you’re protecting your feet, but they’ll also aid your general health and keep you comfortable so you can continue focusing on everything else! Below we have provided several tips compiled by our in-house gurus that are perfect for prospective walking shoe buyers who want to learn all they can before making their big purchase decision.
Always go with laces
Dr. John M. Guirini tells Boston Magazine that tie shoes should trump sandals, slip-on, or those with Velcro straps. “Tie shoes are made for comfort over long distances and for wearing as people start to age,” he explains. “Slip-on and sandals don’t have lacing systems to hold the foot in place and can cause more issues when it comes down to back problems or other ailments that may impede how well a person bends over to tie footwear.” The exception is wearers with back problems or other ailments who have a hard time bending over to tie their laces.
Perform a “tweak test”
Walking shoes should be able to withstand a good deal of wear and tear. What to Look for in a Walking Shoe First, pick up the shoe by its heel and bend the toe; where does the shoe bend? It should bend at the ball of the foot, rather than the arch. Then, twist up and down on it and there should be some resistance instead of a “wet noodle” effect.
Check for bonus comfort features
People who are looking for shoes to wear walking should know there are many features one has to take into consideration before making a purchase. These features include What to Look for in a Walking Shoe :
- Achilles notch
To limit the stress placed on your Achilles tendon, wear shoes that have been specially designed with a rear edge of the foot opening intended especially to benefit runners.
- Ankle collar
The side edges of the boot shaft should fall right over your ankles, providing the right amount of security without chafing.
On the underside of the shoe; extra padding for the midsole cushions the heel and absorbs shock, while grooves or treading for the console help you retain traction while you move. The insole, located in the center, should be partially raised and cushioned to accommodate your arch.
The underside of the shoe is made of soft foam with a wide front area and high-cut ankles, while the upper section is made up of striped mesh for ventilation.
Located between the heel and the insole; inward-rolling bars allow for more controlled steps.
- Gel pad:
Sometimes we can overlook the importance of using one product, in particular, to help us put our best foot forward. We think that a good pad underneath the foot is very important in helping us get the most from what we wear; and yes, even our footwear because it’s not just about style, it’s about comfort too.
- Toe box:
The front edging of the shoe should be tight enough to feel secure but also loose enough for your toes to move freely; this is a much more secure fit for both your feet and the shoes, preventing callus buildup in the long run.
Know your size
“Feet can atrophy or expand depending on your activities,” says Dr. Guirini, adding that our feet also tend to swell at different times of the day (particularly if you don’t sit at a desk all day). If you haven’t purchased new shoes within the last two or three years, he recommends measuring one’s feet covertly (without them knowing) in order to ensure they have retained their original size before making a new purchase. He also advises buyers to try on new pairs with socks they plan to wear while walking.
What to Look for in a Walking Shoe Finally, most experts agree that it’s best to spend around $50 on a high-quality pair of walking shoes. Stay away from buying cheap shoes because they break down fast and aren’t always worth the money spent. However, you need to steer clear of the overpriced models as well. In most cases they are just a gimmick – they cost more due to branding and celebrities endorsing them more than the actual substance resulting in quality. Don’t worry though, there are most likely other types of footwear available that will fit your needs and provide the same level of comfort without an astronomical price tag.
Fitting Guidelines for Walking Shoes
When it comes to finding your perfect match when you’re selecting a brand new pair of walking shoes, you should remember these tips What to Look for in a Walking Shoe :
- When buying a pair of shoes have your feet measured twice – by different people, one standing and the other sitting down. Feet tend to swell when you are standing, so this will help ensure the best fit. The result of all those measurements should be used to determine the optimal shoe size for you personally, disregarding any previous sizing that may have been used in the past.
- Taking your foot measurements at the end of the day is vital to have a properly fitting pair of shoes since your feet tend to swell throughout the course of normal use.
- Try on the shoes and walk around wearing the socks you’ll ultimately be using when you’re out and about. It’s important to make sure they fit because they may end up causing an injury otherwise if they don’t fit correctly.
- As a general rule of thumb, avoid walking shoes that you can’t walk comfortably in at least for an hour. Though walking shoes do require time to break in, if they feel too tight when you initially put them on, it might mean that the shoe is simply too small and isn’t the right fit for your feet.
At the end of the day What to Look for in a Walking Shoe, you really want to try and choose a pair of shoes that fit like a glove quite literally. Consider using shoe inserts on top of your original shoe sizes to attain greater comfort.
A Word From Verywell
When searching for the right guide on What to Look for in a Walking Shoe, don’t go by labels. If you find a flexible and flat shoe with a minimal heel drop, it may be perfectly suited for walking even if it’s labeled as a running shoe. Similarly, there are many walking shoes that have bells and whistles but are not flexible or flat in any way.
To find the perfect pair of shoes for you, always place function ahead of fashion. Sure, you want to look great, but it’s more important to find something that makes walking a joy. You can usually find a great pair for between $60 and $120. Anything more than that and you’ll be paying for style.
To make the right decision, always place function before fashion. You want to look great of course, but it’s more important that your feet feel great whether on a long stroll or during physical activity. You can usually find a great pair for around $60-120. Anything more and you’re paying only for the aesthetics.