Tips For Choosing Walking Shoes

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When choosing walking shoes, it's important to know the basics of a walking shoe, as knowing this information will help you choose a shoe that will benefit both your foot health and improve your walking performance. Here are some basic tips and information for choosing a good pair:

Walking Shoes Design

The mechanics of walking shoe designs are geared towards helping the foot bear the stress of impact and balance the weight of the entire body during walking. If you're on your feet for long periods using inappropriate walking shoes, you might even experience unusual pain in your back or calves. The science of walking shoe design takes into account the different foot types to ensure maximum support and comfort for flat feet, normal feet, or high-arched feet.

For each foot type, shoe designers add features to enhance efficiency, correct poor mechanics, protect the feet from injuries and to provide optimal stability. Shoes for walking for flat feet have medial posts or devices like the ROLLBAR for greater stability and mechanical correction. These are often called stability or motion control shoes. Normal feet are best suited with neutral-cushioning and stability shoes which offer low-to-moderate stability with cushioning and higher flexbility. High-arched feet are better off with flexible, highly cushioned shoes for impact absorption.

Different Shoes for Different Needs

Apart from comfort and overall support, walking shoes have extra added features to suit the needs of serious athletes, occasional walkers, and fitness walkers. Generally, your choice in walking shoes should have low and stable heels and generous toe room. When shopping for the best fitting walking shoes, focus on function rather than the form and it is to your advantage if you have different sets of walking shoes to allow for decompression after all that walking. Shoes have to take a break, too.

After your foot type, you should consider where you will be wearing your shoes. Will you be walking on smooth pavements or rough roads? Will you be walking on your treadmill? Are you on the heavy side? Take these things into consideration, too:

• Motion control shoes are for people with extra weight. This shoe type gives excellent support but has a thicker, more stable heel. These are typically heavier and less flexible.

• Stability shoes are for people with normal or average feet. These shoes have great combinations of cushioning and support.

• Cushioned shoes give extra comfort for people with high arches. High arches have minimal capacity for shock absorption, hence, extra cushion support is needed to protect the feet from injury.

• Racewalking shoes are lightweight and can take on higher speeds but they are not as durable and offer less support and stability than other walking shoes.

• Outdoor walking and hiking shoes are sturdier than sneakers and offer superior traction and protection from the elements.

Fitting and Material

Your shoes should have a comfortable fit and should be flexible to allow for various walking motions. Ensure a good fit by buying shoes in the afternoon when your feet have swelled to its widest size. Also, test the shoes with sport socks on because these socks take up space. Consider mesh styles if your feet sweat too much. These are lighter and give more ventilation. For wet weather, walking footwear with waterproof-treated leather and synthetic uppers are perfect.

With the right walking shoes, you can remain comfortable on your feet all day.

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Lydia Quinn has 1 articles online

Lydia Quinn writes for New Balance North Shore, offering a range of New Balance shoes, apparel and accessories with easy online shopping and free shipping on orders of $80 or more. Visit us at:

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Tips For Choosing Walking Shoes

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This article was published on 2010/03/31