What You Need to Know When Purchasing a Pair of Walking Shoes

by Patti | February 23rd, 2010 | Women's Fashion

If you walk frequently, you need to purchase a good pair of high quality walking shoes. Even if you just walk occasionally, you still need good shoes! Shoes of a high caliber will help to prevent injuries from taking place. Here we look at some important points you need to think about when you shop for walking shoes.

Mark Fenton, author of the book Pedometer Walking (2006) and a former member of the US race walking team believes there are three important aspects to look for in a pair of proper walking shoes. Firstly, you need a shoe that has a flexible forefoot that bends at the ball of the foot but not at the arch. Secondly, for the purposes of ease of motion and for the natural roll of the foot you require a beveled or round heel. Thirdly, you need a shoe upper that is very forgiving. The upper is simply the part of the shoe that covers the foot.

Walking shoes and sneakers (or running shoes) are not one and the same. The difference is in the midsoles, which is where the cushioning part of the shoe lies. Runners pounds their feet harder on the ground than walkers do, which is why they need a different level of cushioning. Walking shoes have a more flexible bottom (which is called the outsole). On the other hand, running shoes have outsoles that are more on the rigid and stiff side. Walking shoes that are made well have a thinner midsole, which enables them to roll from heel to toe in the manner that nature intended. If a walking shoe had a thick heel wedge, it would cause the walker pain, and this would lead to sore shins and for some people, shin splints.

You should shop for walking shoes in a sporting goods store. A sporting goods store is a better option than a department store. The price for a good pair of walking shoes can range from $30 all the way up to $100. Try on an array of shoes to find the one with the right fit. Wear a pair of socks that you normally would wear when you walk. Walk around on the carpet to see if the shoes are stable but also soften the impact of walking. Never buy walking shoes without walking around in them first!

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