A good walking shoe is one that, as they say, “fits like a glove”. Do you know how the athlete chooses his walking shoes? The professional athlete takes particular care in choosing his or her shoes as they can spell the difference between success and failure.
Walking shoes, too, can make that difference between success and failure of your walks being a continuous affair or a short-term one.
Health conscious men are already motivated to make walking a lifelong fitness program.
Women who have a figure to maintain for self-satisfaction or for professional reasons are similarly motivated.
It is the other remaining group of people of both the sexes who should get themselves motivated to take up walking for fitness as a lifelong habit.
There are various ways to do that and one way is to know the various benefits of walking on health. Once motivated, they should ensure a problem free walking routine. One of the important ways is to have the right walking gear of which the shoes form an important element.
The greatest advantage of comfort shoes is that they are very comfortable and will contribute positively to make your fitness walking, a life-long habit.
Shoes used for fitness walking or for travel have certain features that our usual shoes do not have. You must look for these qualities when buying your shoes. It will help make your walks more comfortable and effective.
However, please note that hiking boots are different and should not be used for your walking exercises.
There are lots and lots of people who cannot do without a walk. They are motivated by the fact that walking has tremendous benefits. They have taken steps to make their walk pleasurable by:
- Choosing a good place to walk,
- Choosing the right shoes for walk, and
- Choosing the proper style and the best time to walk
Firstly, look at the anatomy of the foot. You will see a complex structure with 28 bones in each foot, 106 ligaments, 7800 nerves and 20 muscles. These are the figures for each foot.
The purpose of mentioning this foot anatomy is to let you know that there are so many structures in the foot which can get strained or injured due to strain and wrong movements of the foot during walking.
Not to mention injuries that can happen to the leg and the shin too. The importance of choosing the right walking shoe, therefore, cannot be overstressed.
How to buy walking shoes?
Choose a store, which offers you a wide variety of walking shoes of different brands.
Try on your shoes with the same socks that you are going to use for your walk. Your socks should be porous and made up of moisture-wicking material like spandex, lycra, and acrylic. This will allow the sweat to reach the upper surface of the socks and evaporate thereby keeping your feet from staying wet.
This will allow the sweat to reach the upper surface of the socks and evaporate thereby keeping your feet from staying wet. Wet socks can cause blisters on your feet.
When to buy
Your feet get slightly swollen in the evening due to the day’s grind. It is advisable, therefore, to buy the shoes in the evening.
This will ensure comfort even if you go for an evening walk. Or you could buy them anytime during the day after you have walked around a bit.
In some persons, both the feet vary slightly in size. Therefore, try on both shoes before you purchase your walking shoes and do walk around in the store and see if there is comfort in walking.
Discard old shoes
Always, change your walking shoes when they have started to wear out. Do not persist with the old shoes.
What to Look for in Walking Shoes | 9 Tips to Follow
Whether you are buying walking shoes for men or for women, the criteria for selecting them are the same.
In addition, compare how comfortable you feel when you walk barefoot in your home against walking with those heavy leather shoes to work.
Selecting a comfortable walking shoe, therefore, is what you should know. Use the following criteria for selection.
1) Type of heel: Select a walking shoe with a flat heel or at the most a slightly raised and flared heel. Remember, the heel touches the ground first and then rolls forward so that the toes touch down last. A flat heel will allow the natural rolling action of the foot from heel to toe.
2) Flexible material: The walking shoe must be made of flexible material, which allows the rolling action of the foot while walking and not put any untoward strain on the muscles of the feet and legs while walking. The sole too must be flexible to bend with the foot movements when walking.
3) Lightweight: The walking shoe must be light. It must make you feel as though you are walking barefoot. A heavy shoe will unnecessary make you spend that extra effort and make you tire faster. A heavy shoe will also put additional strain on the muscles and joints of the foot and the leg.
4) The right fit: The shoe must fit your foot well. It is important that you feel absolutely comfortable when you wear it and walk around in it. When you walk, your foot should not slide in the shoe or out of it.
5) Frontal space: There should be a good half-inch gap between your toes and the frontal inner end of your shoe. Flex and extend your toes to see whether you have that comfortable moving space for your toes.
6) Light weight material: Shoes with lightweight but durable material are an added advantage to minimize your effort and in making your walking more effective. You cover more ground with lesser effort and subsequently, exercise more.
7) Arch support: Your walking shoe must have a soft cushion beneath the inner sole. It should support the arch of your foot. This will reduce the impact on the foot during walking.
8) Stability: Stability of the shoe is important. It should be easy to slip into and yet should grasp your foot firmly, yet lightly at the rear portion of the foot.
Features to look for in a good walking shoe
- The Achilles notch at the upper rear end protects the Achilles tendon from injury, prevents skin burns caused by friction and provides support to the tendon. The Achilles tendon is situated on the backside of the foot and runs vertically.
- The ankle collar provides a cushion to the ankle and grips it.
- The upper part of the shoe is usually made of mesh, leather or some synthetic material. The mesh is preferable because it reduces the weight of the shoe and provides ventilation to the foot.
- The insole gives support to your foot and its arch from below. A removable insole is advantageous because it can be washed and dried.
- The midsole is the middle of the lower part of the shoe. It acts as a cushion and shock absorber.
- The outer sole is the very bottom part of the shoe that makes contact with the ground. It is usually made of carbon rubber to help walk on the moderate uneven ground. Grooves and treads will help give better grip on the ground when walking.
- The front toe space should be rounded or square to provide enough comfortable space for your toes. This will help prevent corns and calluses, most of which are caused by ill-fitting shoes.
- Roll bar helps to stabilize your foot when walking on uneven ground.
- The gel pad is situated inside the front portion of the outer sole and provides cushioning and reduces the impact when you land your foot on the ground.
Being able to procure a walking shoe as explained above will prevent you from getting blisters and sores on the feet, pulled muscles and ligaments, and inflamed joints of the legs.
Good walking shoes will also ensure that you stick to your walking for fitness for a healthy life.