Walking is one of the most beneficial exercises for your overall health. Still, it’s essential to find the right footwear. Everyone’s feet are unique, so what feels great to one person may be terribly painful to another. Fortunately, there are many choices in children’s, men’s and women’s sneakers to outfit you for your next walking adventure. The first step is learning a bit about the best style of shoes for walking and their characteristics.
Know Your Sneaker Anatomy
- Achilles tendon protector – secures the shoe around the heel. This reduces the stress that’s put on the Achilles tendon when walking.
- Heel Collar – adds cushioning to the ankle while ensuring the proper fit of the shoe.
- Upper – typically made of mesh, leather or synthetic material. The upper is designed to hold the shoe on the foot. Mesh provides for a lighter weight shoe with greater breathability.
- Insole – provides cushioning and support for the foot and arch. Removable insoles can be removed from the shoe and laundered.
- Midsole – varieties include gel, foam or air, as you’ll find in New Balance walking shoes, amongst others. The midsole provides a cushion, which helps reduce the impact from the foot repeatedly hitting the ground.
- Outsole – the part of the shoe that makes contact with the ground. It contains treads and grooves for better traction.
- Toe Box – where your toes sit. Having sufficient room in the toe box will help avoid foot pain and calluses.
Define Your Walking Style
- Casual fitness walking is considered walking no more than three to five miles per outing. A pair of walking shoes, cross-trainers or lightweight running shoes should work well for most people.
- Marathon walking is becoming increasingly popular. Since most marathon walkers use the everyday fitness walking technique, walking or lightweight running shoes should be the most suitable.
- Hiking shoes need to be comfortable while serving to avoid various mishaps (e.g., rolling your ankle on rugged terrain, slipping on slick rocks). The best hiking shoes have a grippy outsole with ample tread.
Determine Your Best Fit
When searching for your perfect walking shoe, most importantly, they must fit properly. Make a point to try new shoes on later in the day after you’ve been walking some; your feet naturally expand a bit as you’re walking. Also, wear the socks you plan on wearing when you walk. Try on both shoes and walk around. The shoes should feel comfortable immediately; they shouldn’t require a break-in. Wiggle your toes.
You should have at least a half-inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Try a half size up in the shoes if you don’t have enough room. The shoe’s width is also important. It should be snug from side to side, but not tight. Ensure that your heels fit snugly in the shoes and that there’s no slipping as you walk.
Whether you’re a seasoned walker or just beginning, your ideal shoes should be easy to find now that you better understand walking footwear. You’re sure to discover reasonably-priced running shoes for women or sneakers for men on sale by looking online. You’ll be on the road to a new adventure in no time.
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Article Submitted By Community Writer