Fashion Tips: What Are The Most Comfortable Walking Shoes?

Choosing a comfortable walking shoe may take some time and energy, but it will be well worth the effort when you are able to walk without foot pain or injury.

There is no one magic walking shoe that will be the most comfortable for all people. Finding a comfortable walking shoe, or any type of athletic shoe, is an individualized activity that is more complicated than simply picking a trendy brand, a fashionable style, or a color that "goes with" your workout attire. To find the most comfortable walking shoe for you, you need to do a little research and try on a lot of shoes.

Size Matters

Before trying on walking shoes, be certain you know your foot size. Many of us think we know our size, but we forget that foot size can change over the years, and it's a good idea to re-check your size. Use a Brannock device, the metal measuring tool at your local shoe store, to determine your true shoe size. Check your foot width too. Shoes are available in different widths, too--so, to get the perfect fit, be sure you know what width of shoe your foot requires. Some athletic shoe stores offer special fitting services to help them help you find the best-fitting shoes for your feet. Regardless of how you find the size, be sure to do this first. Shoving your foot into a pair of the highest-quality walking shoes that are too small will not be at all comfortable.

Surface & Support

Before buying walking shoes, consider the primary surfaces on which you will be walking with your new shoes. Walking on hard pavement may require you have a shoe with more cushion and shock-absorption. You may want a shoe with more support for walking on outdoor uneven nature trails. Some shoes offer thick treads that will last longer on rough surfaces. If you will be walking on a treadmill or on an indoor track, you may not need this feature.

Walking shoes are also designed to support different shaped feet and walking styles. Pronation is the movement of your foot to absorb the force generated while you walk. People with lower arches in their feet or those who tend to overpronate, or roll inward when they walk, may need shoes with additional support. Those who underpronate (or roll to the outside) and those with high arches may need a more flexible and cushioned walking shoe. Checking the wear of the soles of your used shoes may give you a clue of which, if any, of these walking trends might affect your next choice of shoe.

Site check

The Internet houses a wealth of information on walking shoes. Individual shoe companies advertise their brands and the technology they claim makes their shoes the best. Consumer forums offer you a chance to read what others think about the variety of walking shoes on the market. Websites for runners and walkers often offer information about popular walking shoes as well as additional details about fit and support needed for certain types of walking.

Shoe Shopping

The only absolute way to find the most comfortable walking shoe for you is to try on shoes until you find the right ones. Use the information you gained from your research, and try on brands and styles of shoes you understand to be "right" for you. Visiting a shoe store that specializes in shoes for walkers and runners will help ensure that the staff can give you the assistance you need. Often employees at large sporting goods stores have not had the training to give you sound advice on your choice of athletic shoe.

Be sure to try on more than one pair of shoes to get a feel for what you like and don't like about each pair. Try on shoes in the afternoon when your feet have swelled from walking around on them all day, and try on shoes with the same socks you plan to wear with your new walking shoes. It is entirely appropriate for you to bring these socks to the store with you and use them to try on shoes. You will know when you find the shoes that are right for you. They should feel wonderful on your feet the moment you lace them up. Walking shoes should not need to be "broken in" like loafers to be comfortable. They should be comfortable right away.

Start Walking

Whether you're planning to walk regularly for fitness or to stroll through the park on a beautiful, day, you'll be glad you invested time into finding comfortable walking shoes. And by wearing quality shoes that fit your foot size and your walking needs, you will avoid many foot-related problems and reduce walking fatigue. So, do your homework and then hit the sidewalk, the trail, or the treadmill, and have a great time!

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