Tips For Choosing Good Walking Shoes

There are many factors to consider when it comes to getting into walking on a regular basis as a form of exercise and a way to enjoy the fresh air. You have to plan your routes, pace yourself, and learn your limits. Most importantly, however, you need to get the right kind of walking shoes! Walking in shoes that do not fit or shoes that do not suit your needs makes walking long distances painful and uncomfortable. It also puts significant pressure on your ankles, knees, and even your hips!

Since walking shoes are so important, it is good to know what to look for when purchasing a pair. There are many options for comfortable walking shoes, including different choices regarding walking shoes for men and walking shoes for women! Learn about some great tips for choosing a good pair of walking shoes now. Once you know them, you will be ready to search for the best walking shoes for you!

Wear Walking Or Hiking Socks When Trying On Shoes

The majority of individuals do not think about the socks they wear when they are trying on shoes. However, this is vital, as socks do affect the proper fit of the shoe, especially walking shoes! Wearing socks that are too thick or thin changes the fit of the walking shoe. In some cases, it does this just enough to where they are either uncomfortably snug or starting to slip. This is why you need to wear walking or hiking socks when trying on shoes. Doing so is how you will get the proper fit in the socks you will be wearing while walking and hiking! Hiking socks are meant to help cushion your feet and prevent excess friction of your foot against the walking shoe. Thus, wearing different kinds of socks can also throw off your comfort level, especially in shoes designed to provide extra support for your heel and ankle.

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Shop Late In The Day

The muscles in your feet start to swell with excessive use, similar to every other muscle in the body. This happens due to increased blood flow as well as the muscle repair process! The way your feet expand impacts the best time of day for shoe shopping, especially when you are shopping for walking shoes. Shopping early in the day before the swelling kicks in and your feet are at their slimmest is not the best choice. It often causes individuals to buy walking shoes that end up too tight later in the day or after they have been walking for a little while. Thus, shopping late in the day will help you find shoes that are comfortable both before you start your walk and after once your feet are tired, swollen, and achy! It also helps when you measure the width of your feet multiple times in the day before you go shopping for walking shoes.

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Look For Soles With Traction

There are many different places you can go walking! Thus, depending on your preferred venue, your shoes will need to fit different needs. If you want to try nature hiking, be sure to look for soles with traction on your walking shoes. Improperly fitting shoes tend to lead to more foot and ankle pain. However, many individuals do not realize that shoes with improper traction come with a higher risk of injury! Without proper traction on your soles, your shoe can slip while you are walking or running, forcing your foot and ankle to bear your body weight improperly. The result of this are issues such as muscle sprains, pulled ligaments, torn ligaments, and even minor fractures, depending on the severity of the slip. Higher traction soles help dig into uneven or loose surfaces like dirt or gravel, giving your foot more stability and support. This helps you avoid slipping. If you want to walk in a more urban area, traction is not as crucial. However, you still need to have decent traction on your walking shoes!

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Look For Roominess In The Toe Box

The two biggest contributors to foot and ankle pain when it comes to shoes, including walking shoes, are excessive heel height and a narrow toe box. The main concern when buying walking shoes is the toe box! Thus, it is vital to look for roominess in the toe box. Ideally, you need to have an inch or two of space between your big toe and the end of the shoe to give your foot sufficient room to move inside the shoe while walking.

Due to to the intrinsic muscles of the foot and the plantar fascia, your foot arches and straightens while you walk. Effectively, this results in your foot lengthening and shortening during each step. This is why the toe box is so important, as it gives your foot room to not only move comfortably in the shoe but also enough room for additional maneuvers. It even helps you avoid your toes hitting the top of your walking shoe and resulting in an injury!

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Get Good Heel Support

There is a reason your heel is the bulkiest part of your foot. It is the way feet are designed! While there is some weight distribution through your forefoot while you are standing, the majority of your body weight is directly supported by your heel and ankle. If your heel is not well supported, your ankle will compensate by pivoting or angling at an odd position. This alleviates some of the excess strain on your heel bone.

However, that stress is usually redistributed elsewhere. Examples include the ankle joint, around the knees, or even as far up as your hip and pelvis. The results of this redistribution include pains and aches in the ankle, knees, and leg. This is why it is crucial to get good heel support in your walking shoes! Your heel should fit snugly into the heel cradle of the walking shoe with very minimal slippage with each step. If you feel your heel coming out of the shoe, the shoe is not a good fit for you.

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