If you’re keen to get out and get fit this summer and you’ve chosen walking as your activity of choice, then perhaps you need to consider which shoes will be the best for you and your feet. You’re obviously one of the many people out there who knows that walking is an extremely underrated form of exercise, and you want to be sure your feet are comfortable and well supported as you make an effort to stay in shape.
Where and how you walk will certainly play an important role in the style and kind of shoe that’s best for you. There are running shoes and sneakers, walking shoes, hiking boots, and so on. Each choice has its pros and cons when it comes to the kind of walks you plan to take. But for walks around town on concrete sidewalks and along park paths you’ll want to wear a simple well-made walking shoe.
The Benefits of Walking
Just as a reminder, walking can improve your circulation, help reduce body fat, and develop support for your joints. It’s a great way of strengthening your muscles, too. Going for a walk also keeps you mentally sharp and physically energized throughout the day. Some studies even suggest that daily walking goes a long way towards reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease!
Walking can be, and often is, now considered just as much of an exercise as running or jogging. So, you see, this easygoing activity with its low impact, no-cost quality (except for the shoes) has its own benefits and advantages over the other two.
If the Shoe Fits…
Well, in my humble opinion, fit is everything. The difference between having a good walk and a crummy one will all stem from the shoes you’re wearing. It’s all in how the footwear feels when you put it on and walk around for an hour or so. No one wants to get blisters or experience hot spots or rubbing from ill-fitting shoes.
Just like ski boots and ice skates, or sandals, or women’s high heels, or men’s loafers – any footwear for that matter – fit counts.
Are they comfy? Do they provide room around the toes? Does the heel surround fit snugly? Is the toe box wide enough or narrow enough? Are your arches well supported? Are the shoes heavy or lightweight? Have they got good treads to grip the terrain and lots of shock absorbing cushioning? Is the shoe flexible? Will your heel be cushioned on impact with the ground as you stride? Ask yourself these kinds of questions as you try on different pairs.
Be honest with yourself and don’t just buy a shoe that is “cool” and the latest trend, or that simply matches your outfit. Walking is serious stuff!!
The Difference Between Walking Shoes & Running Shoes
- A walker walks heel first, as opposed to a runner who proceeds by planting their insole or the ball of the foot first. The right fit is as important as it is when purchasing other kinds of sports footwear.
- Walking shoes are usually lightweight and more flexible when compared to slightly heavier and non-flexible running shoes.
- A good pair of walking shoes will weigh less (between 10-32 ounces) than a running shoe and will be more flexible – meaning you can move around on different surfaces more easily.
Put Your Best Foot Forward – What to Try & What to Buy
Men and women have totally different foot and body builds. Their hips and pelvis structures are different, and so with that in mind, people need to outfit themselves with walking shoes specifically designed for their own gender.
The following list reviews some of 2019’s ‘best walking shoes’ for women:
- New Balance Women's WW928 Health Walking Laced Shoe
- New Balance Women's WW1765 Fitness Walking Shoe
- Saucony Women's ProGrid Integrity ST2 Walking Shoe
- ASICS Women's GEL-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoe
- Women's Walking Shoe by Orthaheel
And for all you guys, here are the recommendations for you:
- Merrell Men's All Out Blaze 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
- Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 3 Slip-On Walking Shoe
- New Balance Men's MW840v2 Walking Shoe
- Asics Men's GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe
- Steve Madden - Konrad Casual Walking Shoes
Shop around and try on as many different brands as you can until you find the ultimate fit for you. Your feet will thank you!