If you're keen to get out and have 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 want to be sure that your feet are comfortable and well supported as you make an effort to stay in shape. When choosing sneakers, most people simply buy options based on looks alone depending on what is trendy. Although it's very important to keep in mind that what you put on your feet can either make you or break you. You have to base your purchase on how well the shoes feel on your feet. Shoes that are designed to give you miles of cloud-like cushioning, with support and breathability will allow you to wear them for each kind of walk you plan to take. Look for shoes that give you room in the toe area, that keep your heel secure. Be aware that your usual size may vary over the years due to weight gain or loss, pregnancy, injury, or natural aging. Walking shoes favor stability and comfort and are designed differently than running shoes, although that doesn't mean you can't wear running shoes to walk. Shoes made for walking usually have more of an arch support, to protect where the force is greatest when you walk. They often have a beveled heel to help propel you forward, a more cushy footbed, and easy entry. Whether you're a high-mileage walker, a runner recovering from an injury, or someone who simply wants to squeeze as many steps into your schedule as possible, consider some specific qualities when shopping for new walking shoes.
- Supportive cushioning in the arches and heels.
- Durable soles with traction to absorb shock.
- You do not want to feel the top of the shoe with your toes.
- Make sure you can comfortably wiggle your toes.
- The sides and top of your foot should be supported while your toes still move freely.
If you have specific foot characteristics, you'll want to be extra mindful about which shoe features you choose. If you have flat feet you should look for shoes with more support in the arch and heel area. For those with higher arches, find shoes with more cushioning to help absorb shock. If you have arthritis in your feet, opt for a cushioned and supportive sneaker instead of more flexible ones. Here are some great walking shoe options that are available on the Healthy Feet Store:
- The Vionic Walker Shoes are podiatrist designed with orthopedic features to enhance comfort and health during long active walks or workouts at the gym. The padded collar offers extra comfort around the ankle while the action lacing system ensures a secure fit. The midsole design has a 5 degree built-in elevation for pronation control.
- Propet TravelBound are great shoes for a power walk. If you are looking for stylish yet cushion-soft sneakers for daily-wear, then here's something just for you. The soft uppers are stitched with a precision knit mesh that is stretchable. The shoes can be easily adjusted with an elastic lace and a toggle.
- For fitness walkers with sensitive feet, and medical and service workers with a need for a reliable shoe, the Brooks Addiction walking shoes are orthopedically designed with the active person in mind. Walkers, runners and anyone who suffers foot pain like plantar fasciitis, flat feet and pronation difficulties, will find relief in these shoes.
- Washable Walker Evolution is all about the perfect fit, trendy design and comfort. They are an athletic pair of lace up mesh shoes that offer a high level of breathability. Washable Walker Evolution promises a high grip outsole with great traction, making them a durable find. It has been tested for slip resistance on quarry and vinyl tile floors.
- Apex Lace Walker is designed meticulously to support your outdoor ventures. Boasting a rich exterior to endure rough usage, this pair of shoes offers an exceptional breathability that is needed during athletic activities to minimize moisture and footwear odor. This pair of shoes promises utmost cushioning around your skin to eliminate damages caused by footwear abrasion.
- The New Balance 1540V3 walking and running shoe has a lightweight synthetic/mesh upper that provides breathability to help control moisture buildup. The midsole is resistant to compression and 24% lighter than normal foam with technology that is extremely durable and supportive.
- The Orthofeet Tahoe Adjustable Strap and Lace Athletic Shoe has foam padding on the tongue and collar that will cushion your feet as you walk in confidence and comfort. These shoes also have an EVA midsole and rubber outsole to resist erosion, while reducing pain to your feet and joints.
- The Drew Fire shoes have a flexible outsole feature, with reliable road traction on uneven surfaces. With the shock absorbing feature, you can easily increase your speed while keeping yourself steady and stable. These shoes offer a medial rear foot posting feature that allows you to stand for long periods of time without slouching or experiencing foot aches.
- The Propet Washable Walker Shoes have a removable shock-absorbent foot bed and are made of supple, yet durable leather that bounces back after every wash. These shoes offer exceptional comfort and support making it a good choice for people with potentially painful foot conditions.
- Genesis XPS by Xelero offers smooth surfaces for the soles of your feet with a relaxing cushioned footbed. A lace up enclosure on the mesh uppers provides customization to the point that this pair of shoes becomes flexible enough to fit all types of feet, and ideal for covering long distances on foot.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Hurless
DPM, FACFAS Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon/Podiatrist
Medical Director, HealthyFeetStore.com