Choosing the right walking shoes

December 15, 2014

Whether you love going on long walks for pleasure, exercise, or just to run errands, finding a good pair of walking shoes is important for your health and comfort.

Choosing the right walking shoes

What to look for in a walking shoe

Walking shoes should be cushioned, flexible and breathable.

  • The cushioning should be thickest in the heel area since it receives the most impact while walking.
  • Walking shoes should also be supportive, to ensure the arch of your foot remains comfortable throughout your walk.
  • Pick up the shoe in your hands while you’re shopping. Does it bend in your hands? If it does you've got a flexible shoe, which is exactly what you need in a good pair of walking shoes.

Alternative shoes for walking

Since running shoes offer support, cushioning and flexibility (depending on the make and model), they can be a great option for walking shoes, too.

  • Multi-purpose shoes, such as cross-trainers, are another good alternative if you want to combine workout methods, like walking, weight training and tennis or squash.

Shoes to avoid

Because support is an important part of a good walking shoe, some shoes are not ideal for walking.

  • Flip-flops and other thong-style sandals are not recommended because they require your toes to grip the sole in order to keep the shoe on the foot.
  • This causes the foot to behave unnaturally and stresses out the feet and toes, which is not ideal for prolonged periods of walking.

Check with a professional

Asking a trained employee at a shoe store or sports equipment retailer can be helpful in your search for the best walking shoes for you.

  • It's important to explain your specific needs, such as being flat-footed or having high arches. The conditions may require that you purchase specialized shoes better suited to your feet.

Find the right fit

Fit is a crucial element of a good walking shoe. No matter how expensive, high tech or reputable a brand or shoe is, if it isn't properly fitted to your foot size and shape, it will not be able to perform for you.

  • Shoes that are too big or too small can give you discomfort and blisters, and in the long-term may cause serious injury to your foot.
  • Ask a trained footwear employee to properly measure your feet before you go shopping.
  • It’s best to measure your feet (both) at the end of the day when your feet have swollen to their maximum size.

Walking shoes come in a variety of styles, brands and colours, and you can expect to pay anywhere from about $50 for an inexpensive pair all the way up to $200 and more, for a reputable brand.

  • Remember, paying more doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a better walking shoe. The most important thing is to find a shoe that fits you perfectly and is comfortable from morning until night.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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