What to Look For in Walking Shoes — 4 Important Factors
They say good shoes take you good places. Hence, you must choose good shoes that will ensure your successful journey to good places.
This is why we discuss what to look for in walking shoes in this article. There are certain factors and features that make a walking shoe perfect for you.
Therefore, we shall let the shoe out of the box in this case and reveal these features in detail.
Look for the Perfect Fit
Over-sized shoes are not good at all: They slip off our foot, can cause a fall, and are a general nuisance. A perfect fit will also prevent your shoes from creasing.
Therefore, when looking for a new pair of walking shoes, make sure it is one that fits perfectly: Not too snug and not too loose; just perfect.
These tips will ensure you get the perfect fit:
i. Purchase shoes after you’ve walked for a while during the latter part of the day. Interestingly, our feet tend to be at their largest when standing.
ii. Test the shoes with the socks you’ll be wearing the shoes with. A good sock is important if you want a perfect fit.
iii. Be sure of your foot size before purchasing a walking shoe. Hence, you need to measure both feet any time you intend to buy a pair of shoes. Measure feet while standing.
iii. Don’t only be concerned about the shoe length; be concerned about the width as well. Although many get it right with the length, they fail to get the perfect width fit: This should not be you.
iv. After getting your walking shoes, it is recommended you test it out for a few minutes. That is, you need to walk with them for a while.
Look for Beneficial Features
Walking shoes are distinguished from other types of shoes because of their design and parts.
Therefore, when choosing a walking shoe, make sure it has the following features:
This part of the walking shoes pads your ankle so that you get the perfect fit. It is placed to keep the heel in place.
Good heel collars aid in preventing the feet from over supination or pronation.
Achilles Tendon Protector
Since you’ll be doing a lot of walking with your walking shoes, it is important you have this part lest you damage your Achilles tendon.
This feature locks the shoes around your heel thereby reducing overall stress in that area.
This part is responsible for holding your shoe on the foot. It is made of mesh, synthetic material, or leather.
Of the three materials, mesh is the most recommended because it is lighter and ensures sufficient ventilation. Therefore, sneakers made from mesh-like the Skechers Men’s GO Walk Evolution Ultra-Impeccable Sneaker material are more comfortable.
This part supports and pads the foot and arch. It is where the sole of the foot touches the shoe; hence, it is sometimes called the foot bed.
It reduces the forces that occur between the shoe and the foot; thereby providing a little bit of shock absorption.
This part of the shoes can either be fixed or removable. Removable insoles can be removed from the shoe to dry out can be washed if you choose to. But make sure they are completely dry before putting them back in the shoes.
Insoles are known to lose shape as time progresses. Therefore, you will have to change them when that happens.
This part of the walking shoes helps in reducing and cushioning the impact that occurs when the foot hits the ground. It is found between the inner sole and the outsole.
The midsole is made from gel or foam to offer support, flexibility, and cushioning. It also provides shock absorption and guards the foot against piercing objects.
It is made from Phylon or EVA; the former is denser which makes it suitable for extended use, while the latter is lightweight.
This is the part that touches the ground; commonly called the sole by many. It usually has treads or grooves and it helps you sustain traction.
Most of them are made from a mixture of rubber compounds. Lightweight soles can be lighter and flexible, but won’t last as long or provide firmer grip as thicker soles.
The toe box offers the toes space to move within the shoe. It is the part of the shoe that frames the toes.
A shoe with sufficient toe box aids in the prevention of calluses.
Look for the Type that Suits You
Walking shoes are divided into three main types. Their design is made to suit a particular kind of need.
Therefore, you need to look for which of these three suits your personal needs:
This type of walking shoes is lightweight and is designed for those without the need for motion control.
They are the standard type of walking shoes in the market; this means you can easily get one. However, we recommend the adidas Men’s Powerlift.3.1 Cross-Trainer Shoes for men, and the adidas Women’s Shoes | Triple Cheer Cross-Trainer for women.
Cushioned shoes are designed for those who walk for long distances of up to 5 miles per walk.
As their name implies, these shoes cushion your feet and offer you more comfort than performance trainers.
These shoes are designed for those that want additional motion control but don’t have serious stability issues.
To put it in another way, they are designed to offer you better stability while you walk.
If you need one, allow us to recommend the ASICS Men’s Gel Venture 5 Trail Running Shoe.
Motion Control Shoes
Although there are three main types of walking shoes, it would be wrong to leave out motion control shoes.
This group of shoes is designed for overpronators (folks whose foot tilts inward or outward towards the arch). Hence, they are meant to correct a walking problem.
Motion control shoes are heavier than the others we’ve discussed, but they provide you with stronger support and a balanced gait.
If the pronation is quite severe, an orthotic insole can also be of great help.
Decide on the Shoe Material
Walking shoes are made from either leather/suede or fabric. Some shoes are a mixture of both.
Both materials have their pros and cons which make the final decision yours to make. Let’s look at these pros and cons, shall we?
Leather Shoes Pros
i. Tougher material which makes it more capable of withstanding abrasion from hard terrain.
ii. It can be cleaned easily.
iii. Well covered against the elements of weather.
iv. Lasts long when properly cared for.
Leather Shoes Cons
iii. More wearing in time.
iv. Less breathable.
Fabric Shoes Pros
iii. More breathable.
iv. Less wearing in time.
Fabric Shoes Cons
i. Less protection against elements of weather.
ii. More difficult to clean.
iii. Not suitable for abrasive places.
iv. Requires regular reproofing.
Check out the video below.
Walking Shoes Quality Test
Perform this test to ascertain the quality of the walking shoes you want to buy:
Examine the heel
Carefully examine the heel of the shoe. Make sure there is no flare and that the heel isn’t 1 inch higher than the sole at the bottom of the foot.
Twist the shoe
Don’t be afraid, you won’t damage it; provided it is quality walking shoes.
A good walking shoe should be able to bend without stress at the foot’s ball. If it bends in the middle of the arch, then it isn’t quality.
Poke the toe
The final test will require you to put the walking shoe on the ground and poke it at the toe.
A well-designed shoe is usually off the floor a tad bit and will sway lightly when poked.
What we’ve discussed so far should arm you with sufficient knowledge you need to make that next walking shoe purchase.
If there is any part of the article that has caused you to have a question, feel free to let us know. We’ll do our best to answer as best as we can.