A great walking shoe starts with a proper fitting
Fit trumps all other considerations: technology, reviews, fashion or recommendations from friends. A proper fit will keep you from getting bruised toenails or heel blisters. You won't regret buying a shoe that fits you well.
Good walking shoes for fitness or travel have design characteristics similar to those found in running shoes, trail-running shoes, light hikers or multisport shoes. It's mostly their casual styling that sets them apart
Running shoes lend themselves particularly well to walking because they are well padded, lightweight and very breathable, which makes them more comfortable for walking at an up-tempo pace. They often have built-in motion control, cushioning or stability technology—nice modifications if your foot type has any of these needs.
The Fitting Process:
Walking Shoe Analysis: If you currently are a walker, bring in your walking shoes so we can analyze internal and external wear patterns, which indicate how your foot fits and strikes in your current shoe.
Foot Analysis: Once we have an understanding of the type of walking you do, we will perform an analysis of the anatomy of your feet. We will analyze your foot length, foot width (at the toe and heel), foot volume and arch height to get a general idea of the size, width and style of shoe that may work best for you.
Walking style: If your approach will be more casual, your options are wide open. Pick a shoe style that most closely matches where you'll be doing most of your walking. On pavement? Pick a running, multisport shoe like Brooks or New Balance. On nature paths or dirt roads? Go with a trail runner or light hiker like Topo Athletics.
Flexibility and support: To gauge a shoe's appropriateness for use as a walking shoe, try these tests:
- Pick up a shoe by the heel and toe and bend the toe upward. Does the shoe bend at the ball of the foot or at some random point halfway along the arch? It should bend under the ball of the foot.
- Twist the shoe sole from the heel to the toe. Does the sole feel like a wet noodle, or is there some resistance to twisting? As a walker, you want to feel light to moderate resistance.
Cushioning: Walking causes less impact to your feet than running does. As a result, a true walking shoe doesn’t require as much cushioning in the heel as a traditional running shoe provides. Walking shoes often focus on providing cushioning under the ball of the foot.