With the New Year almost here, you may be pulling out your old walking shoes from the closet, to start a new walking routine to burn off all those holiday pounds. Although walking daily will help you lose weight and improve your health, you need to be sure you first have good walking shoes before you start your walking program.
If your old shoes are anything less than comfortable, sturdy, and suitable for daily walking, it’s time to invest in a pair of new walking shoes. I learned the hard way several years ago when I tried to skimp on price, walking in regular tennis shoes. After hurting my feet, my walking program was halted for a while. However, it was during my walking sabbatical that I found some sturdy, as well as comfortable walking shoes. Here are some suggestions for finding suitable walking shoes…
Shop Later in the Day for Walking Shoes
Because your feet swell later in the day, it’s best to shop for your walking shoes in the afternoon or evening hours, as this will give you a better idea of what’s comfortable. On the other hand, if you have to shop earlier in the day, walk for at least 30 minutes (or whatever you walk during your normal walking routine) to give your feet a chance to swell. Also, be sure to bring along the socks you plan to wear with your new running shoes.
Where to Buy Walking Shoes?
Rather than go to a general department store, choose an athletic store where a professional can measure your foot. Although you may pay somewhat more for your walking shoes, you’ll know that your shoes are the right size and fit. What’s more, select an athletic store that focuses on walking shoes.
Comfort in Walking Shoes
– Lightweight shoes: The lighter your shoes, the easier it is to lift up your feet and move smoothly. Also, make sure the soles aren’t so thick that you can’t bend at the ball of your foot without having to struggle that much. Watch out for “extras” in the soles that make your shoes too thick, as well as heavy and rigid.
– Low-profile heels: Shoes with a heel that have a lower profile are much easier to roll through your foot.
– Roomy toe boxes: Watch out for narrow toe boxes. Be sure you can slide your thumb’s width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, also being able to spread your toes. If your toes feel comfortable and not crowded, your shoes have passed the “roomy toe” test.
– Breathable uppers: Check for mesh inserts or air holes.
– Sturdy heel cup: At the back of the shoe, check to make sure the back of the shoe has a heel cup that is well built.
Try Out Your Running Shoes
Instead of just walking a few steps, walk around the store a few times. If you find any discomfort at all, then try on another pair of shoes.
Buy Two Pairs
If you’re planning to use your walking shoes on a walking vacation that lasts for several weeks, it’s good to invest in two pairs of shoes. This way you won’t put all your wear and tear on just one pair but can rotate your shoes, sharing the walking load.
It may take you more time and money to find just the right walking shoes. But you’ll be glad you did and will be able to follow through on your walking program, not getting discouraged because you had to quit due to sore feet.