How do I Choose the Best Walking Shoes?

B. Miller

Brisk walking can be a great workout and a very beneficial way to improve overall health. One of the most important aspects of a walking workout, however, is choosing the best walking shoes. First, keep in mind that while there are many websites and companies that will recommend walking shoes, the best walking shoes for you are the ones that fit you best, regardless of the recommendations.

Supportive shoe insoles are important for walking shoes.
Supportive shoe insoles are important for walking shoes.

For this reason, it is important to always try shoes on when you will be wearing them for exercising. If you want to try them on in a store and then come home and order them online to get a better price, this is fine, but always give the shoes a try first, and do a few laps around the shoe store. There are some certain aspects of fit you should always look for when trying to find the best walking shoes.

Walking shoes.
Walking shoes.

The best walking shoes for you should fit the feet snugly, and not allow the feet to slide back and forth. This can cause blisters on the heel and ankle, and can actually cause damage to the toenails if they are slamming into the front of the shoe with every step. Walking shoes should be flexible, allowing the foot to bend in a natural manner when walking, in the same place the foot bends on its own.

Always try shoes on to ensure a good fit before buying them.
Always try shoes on to ensure a good fit before buying them.

In addition, the heel should be cushioned, because the heel is the first place on the foot that strikes the ground when walking. The outsole of the heel, however, should be hard and inflexible, which will help to provide the most support to the feet. It is often recommended that you buy walking shoes with mesh vents on the sides and upper part of the feet; this can help to keep the foot cooler and more comfortable.

Finally, when choosing the best walking shoes, consider how the foot rests in the shoe. The foot should be stable and straight, and should not roll to one side or the other, which is known as over- or under-pronation. If the foot rolls in, or over-pronates, choose sneakers that have a higher arch to keep the foot straight. If the foot rolls out, the sneakers should have a lower arch, and be slightly higher on the outside. If it is difficult to find sneakers to correct pronation, keep in mind that insoles inserted into the shoes can make a big difference, and can also help walking shoes to last longer.

Good walking shoes should fit snugly, but not too tightly.
Good walking shoes should fit snugly, but not too tightly.

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Discussion Comments


@indigomoth - The ironic thing is that those shoes are so expensive, but they say that the best walking shoes for men and women is to just go barefoot. There are even shoes that mimic being in bare feet without the danger of stepping on something.

Walking barefoot in grass or sand is supposed to be very good for you, so I try to do that as much as possible.


I find it a lot cheaper to get a mid range pair of shoes at the cheap shoe store and then fit them with shoe insoles that stabilize my feet when I walk.

I know that people recommend that you get the best shoes possible, but they are so expensive and they don't even last all that long. On the other hand, I get shin splints if I try to walk fast with shoes that don't stop my feet from rocking inwards.

I've found this to be the best compromise. I don't get sore shins and I don't have to spend hundreds of dollars trying to get the latest, best walking shoes for women.


One tip that I always try to follow is to make sure you go to the shoe store at the end of the day, especially when you've been on your feet for a while. Feet tend to swell when they are in use and I've read that they can increase by almost a whole size over the course of a day.

So, if you go trying on shoes in the morning you might end up getting a pair that is ultimately going to be too uncomfortable.

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