Walking Gear: If the Shoe Fits, Walk!

Do you walk a lot or planning to start soon? The most important thing to getting the most out of walking is a well fitted shoe. Unsuitable shoes can lead to soreness and injuries in addition to being uncomfortable. Finding the best shoe for you will make your walking trips more enjoyable.

Here are some tips about selecting the right walking shoes:

  • Good walking shoes should be flexible, allowing your foot to flex with each step. They should be able to twist and bend and be more flexible than a runner’s shoe.
  • Walking shoes should have a relatively flat heel. They should NOT have a flared heel. The flared sole and extra stability of a running shoe may actually slow down forward momentum and increase the occurrence of sore shins. Look for a low, supportive heel that rounds in.
  • Shoes should be well-cushioned shoe with enough arch support to help soften the impact of each step.
  • Shoes should have plenty of toe room so your toes can move freely. There should be a thumbnails width (or about a half inch) between your toes and the end of the shoe. In general, the shoe should have enough room to accommodate any swelling that may occur naturally during you walks.
  • You may want to consider going to a running store to buy your first pair of walking shoes. The salesman may watch how you walk and be able to recommend the best shoes for you as well as the ideal fit.
  • Don’t forget to wear good socks. If you can, choose socks made of fabric that will help keep your feet cool rather than the standard cotton sock. Your feet will be more comfortable and more likely to stay dryer and blister free.
  • Keep track of how many miles you have put on your shoes, and replace them every 300 to 600 miles. To extend the life of your shoes be sure to only wear them only for your walks or rotate between two pairs.

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