Physical activity is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, and walking is one of the best moderate-intensity activities around. It is a perfect way to be more active and reduce health conditions like high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, inflammation, and mental stress.
Whether you're a high-mileage walker or someone who simply wants to squeeze in a few steps into their daily schedule, you've got to have the right pair of shoes. Walking shoes decrease the impact and stress on the feet, thus preventing injury to the feet as well as the rest of the body.
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No matter how cute a shoe is, if it gives you blisters and sores, you'll never wear them again. And if walking is a part of your daily routine, uncomfortable shoes aren't an option. To help you find comfortable walking shoes in which you can cover long distances, or simply stand all day long, here's a detailed buying guide.
When buying a pair of shoes, the first and foremost thing is to consider your feet' shape and size. This will help avoid painful problems that you might start facing after wearing a pair of uncomfortable shoes.
People have different arch types, depending on the alignment of their bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Let's learn how to differentiate various arch types in the below section.
Considering the construction of a midsole makes for an important buying decision. The midsole is a layer of material between an insole and outsole that absorbs shock. If you have feet with neutral arch, i.e., doesn't have overly flat feet, you should go with shoes with a firm midsole.
A firm midsole will keep your feet in place by distributing your body weight evenly across your feet. It will also support your feet when you walk on different surfaces, such as rocky terrain or flat ground.
People with low feet generally face muscle stress and joint problems. To combat the pain, it is essential to pick the right pair of shoes so that your feet get proper support. If you have stiff and rigid flat feet, you should try shoes with softer cushion-bed to give adequate cushioning when your feet strike the ground.
However, if you have flexible flat feet, try and find shoes that do not have super rigid arch support. This will help control the motion and stabilize your feet without hurting your heel.
For those with high-arched feet, it is crucial to stabilize the arch, to provide shock absorption. Therefore, you must get a shoe with shock-absorbing padding in the footbed or get custom foot orthotics (medical prescription devices worn inside the shoe to correct biomechanical foot issues).
So, you might want to check with your general practitioner to help you get a perfect shoe, or you check ones with mesh-wrapped EVA footbed for complete protection.
Walking shoes are built for comfort, and they don't always meet the criteria of looking cute and stylish. But they'll undoubtedly keep your feet and body happy. They are designed with cloud-like cushioning and low-profile heel to support your feet even if you decide to wear them all day long.
Walking shoes have contours and padding conformed closely to the feet, fitting snugly around heel and midfoot, thus leaving ample room in the forefoot. The comfort of these shoes also lies in how much padding does the interior holds. Too much padding will result in a tight and sweaty fit, whereas too little padding can result in foot injury.
Therefore, it is crucial to pick a piece with just the right amount of cushioning and padding. The cushioning should not be at the ball of the foot, rather than at the heel. Even if you're ordering online, try the shoe, ensure it fits well, else you always have an option for replacement.
Have you noticed that your feet flex more while walking than running? Even if you haven’t, this is the fact, and therefore, your shoes should be able to mimic your feet’ flexibility while you walk. Also, you should feel some resistance when you try to twist the shoe along its length.
This little experiment can assure you of the shoes' make-up and construction, and whether it is flexible or not. Another thing to check while buying a walking shoe is if there's enough room in the toe box (front of the shoe) to allow your toes to flex up and spread out when you walk.
If a toe box is too small, it'll restrict the foot tendons and muscles, leading to pain and cramping. As per the rule of thumb, there should be about half-inch distance between the big toe and the front of the shoe and half-inch between the big toe and the top of the shoe.
A walking shoe size needs to be perfect to avoid any body pain, blisters, and sores. When choosing a walking shoe for regular days, you can get away with buying your usual size. However, if you're going to be wearing thick thermal socks, you'd want to go up a half size or full size.
To get a shoe that fits perfectly when trying at a physical store, take measurements while standing, as feet expand when bearing weight. If possible, take measurements at the end of the day since feet tend to swell after a full day's work.
And make sure not to buy tightly fitted shoes, thinking they might expand later. Though a shoe does go through a break-in period after a few days, if it initially feels very tight, they are probably too small for your feet.
Whether you're looking for a walking shoe for regular days of counting miles or a pair in which you'll be going off on long walks in a potentially harsh climate, it is important to focus on its material. It should be sturdy enough to be supportive but breathable and lightweight at the same time.
There are usually two materials you might want to consider – leather/suede and synthetic mesh upper. Leather shoes are the most durable and most stable shoes out there, but they are heavier, expensive, and less breathable. Synthetic leather shoes are waterproof; however, plain leather shoes are water-resistant.
Synthetic uppers could be made up of rubber or fabric. Shoes made up of either of these materials are cheaper, lightweight, and more breathable. They are also easy to clean, are hard-wearing, and quite versatile. But it all depends on the type of adventures you prefer to go on so that you can choose the shoe material accordingly.
While the insole (a removable sole worn in a shoe for proper fit) of a shoe is important to provide shock absorption, the outsole will face the most impact, therefore, should be able to last. An outsole should have the right amount of 'bounce-factor', like in a rubber sole and should be made up of durable material.
The majority of a walking shoe's outsoles are made up of a variety of rubber compounds designed to have stronger traction, aka grip, and durability. However, a lightweight, thin sole made up of PVC compounds i.e., rubber-like material often wears out quickly. It provides less grip but is more flexible and lightweight than rubber and leather outsoles.
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GO WALK 5 - Qualify Shoes
The Most Recommended Walking Shoes
GO WALK 5
Slip-On Sporty Design With Athletic Mesh Upper
SoftRide Rift One8
High-Performance Athletic Sports Shoes
A Smart Under Armour Shoe for Everyday Wear
U.S. Polo Assn.
Men Black Walking Shoes
Boast a Stylish, Lace-Up Style on Your Next Walk
Great Support and Step-In Comfort
HRX by Hrithik Roshan
Balkan Running Shoes
Good Pair of Walking and Jogging Shoe by HRX
Memory Foam Technology for Extra Comfort
Tread Revolution Advantage LP
Non-Slip and Durable Walking Shoes
Men Blue Walking Sports Shoes
Cool and Comfy High-Heel Inspired walking Shoes
Skechers is one of the leading brands in creating an innovative walking shoe technology. With the Skechers' Go Walk 5, the brand has created an extremely lightweight shoe with a responsive ultra-go cushioning that feels like a gentle massage underfoot.
The shoe also has an air-cooled Goga mat breathable insole that gives your feet the support it needs to relax with every step. The soft knit mesh fabric and synthetic upper improves durability and increases comfort.
Super stylish and comfortable slip-ons from Skecher's Go Walk 5 range. They are lightweight, have ultra-go cushioning and comfort foam insole for better support while you stride. The dual-density outsole improves traction to keep you steady on your feet, no matter how fast you're moving.
The reviewers love that the shoes are machine washable, making it a lot easier for them to care for and maintain the shoe. The soft woven athletic mesh fabric is another one of shoe's top features as it is flexible and breathable, making the pair ideal to be worn even in summers.
Yes, this looks like an athletic pair, but if you're looking for a high-performance plush ride to complete your miles, Puma's Rift One8 walking slip-ons are worth spending on. The soft ride cushioned footbed is extremely soft without feeling overly gummy.
Its textured and patterned outsole makes walking feel like a fluid movement, quite literally. Reviewers like the fact that the shoes fit perfectly, without feeling too tight on the footbed and heel, but they do keep the feet in its place.
Do you spend a lot of time on your feet? The Remix 2.0 Colour Blocked from Under Armour is a great walking and working shoe, thanks to its EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate, for rubber-like softness and flexibility) foam midsole. Under Armour has added one-piece EVA foam for unbeatable comfort and lightweight cushioning.
The shoe is wrapped in a two-tone knit upper for a stylish look and breathability while keeping your feet warm in winters. The bottom of the shoe is coated with a full rubber outsole to make it slip-resistant and increase the traction.
U.S. Polo Assn.'s is one of the most loved walking shoes in India, tailored specifically for daily walkers. The brand has used its Flyknit technology to cushion the shoe and give it extra stability for more confident steps. They have inserted a medium-strength cushioned footbed to save the feet from injury and shock.
With a slip-resistant textured and patterned EVA outsole, the shoe is quite a comfortable and durable one that you can trust for long walks or medium-level treks. If you're someone who spends all of the day on their feet, you can pick up this shoe.
Modern tongue & collar construction highlight this shoe from Under Armour, but it is the shoe's comfort and versatility that makes it a great walking shoe for men. Thanks to the shoe's breathable and stretchable upper and roomy fit, it is a favourite among men.
The shoe is designed with a full rubber outsole with knobbed texture to allow full freedom to the foot to bend and land softly, even on the rough terrain. It is made up of 65% textile, 35% synthetic material, allowing more breathability than its counterparts.
Balkan Running Shoe by HRX that bridges well into the walking category with its elasticated midfoot straps for a snug fit and EVA midsole for neutral cushioning. It's an overly firm shoe that makes walking feel like a breeze.
Its airy mesh upper enhances breathability and the cushioned collar provides smooth ankle support. It is a mid-weight shoe that is extremely comfortable to wear. You can wear the shoes for a casual dinner with your friends and might end up making a style statement.
Red Tape delivers what you look for in a walking shoe i.e., comfort. This stylish white pair is designed with memory foam technology, which means the footbed will allow you to mold your feet to the contours of the material. Thus, providing the plushest underfoot feel.
The shoe is lightweight and bouncy, giving you easier landings. However, it has a low-impact cushioning which might be an issue for those who're buying these shoes to carry out low-medium level sports activities.
Reebok's Tread Revolution Advantage LP Walking Shoe is another walking shoe that's perfect for men looking to complete their daily miles. It has a roomy fit and reliable stability features to accommodate lots of different foot shapes.
The shoe looks smart and makes for an ideal pair for walking and carrying out daily activities. However, not many reviewers are happy with how the shoe fits. Also, they have complained that its shape distorts after a few days of wear.
If you want to pull off a cool, casual-style look then these shoes are perfect. However, if you're looking for a pair of walking shoes for your daily morning/evening walks then this might not be the most durable and sturdiest pair.
The shoe has a cushioned footbed and textured and patterned footbed to keep your feet comfortable throughout the day. So, you can wear these shoes while going to college, or an evening stroll with your friends.
Starting with a workout routine? Whether you're planning on hitting a gym or taking walks in a park in the evenings, there are some gadgets and other items you might want to buy before you start. So, here are a few recommendations for those products.
Whether you were looking for a lightweight pair or a heavyweight shoe, we hope the article helped you pick the right one for your walking routine. It's all about choosing a pair that'd suit the kind of walking you do and where you do it.
Author: Srishti Sikka
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