Buyer’s Guide

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What To Look For In A Walking Shoe

A comfortable walking shoe is a shoe that fits to perfection, but finding one is not always that easy. 

Most people will spend a lot of their day in a pair of shoes, so we think it’s worth the effort of getting to know your personal walking style in order to find a pair of walking sneakers or trainers that are just perfect for you.

When it comes to shoes for walking, then you want these to be light, comfortable, supportive and not cause you any problems such as blisters or profuse sweating.

best walking shoes for men and women review 2016

1. What Is The Intended Use?

That may seem at first to be a silly question. However just have a quick think about the different types of walking that you can do.

  • Will you be power walking for fitness, maybe to burn off some calories or even to lose  some weight?
  • Will you be wearing them for long periods of time?
  • Will you simply be walking for pleasure such as an evening stroll?
  • What type of surface will you mainly be walking on?

These questions are all worth considering before making any purchase. Some people will want different styles of shoes – sporty, casual, or sneakers. Others will want a particular color. So, as you read through our buyer’s guide have these questions in your mind. We will try to provide the answers below.

best walking shoes for flat feet

2. Pronation Type

This is a fancy medical term for the way that we walk.

Pronation is the term used for the way your foot rolls when you walk.

Essentially, when buying any kind of walking shoe, you should know your pronation type first. Each shoe on the market is suitable for a particular type of pronation.

You can find out what your pronation type is by getting an expert gait analysis done for you, and many specialists running retail stores will offer this service.

You can find out more about pronation in our easy-to-understand guide. It is where we take this complicated sounding term and just explain it all in plain English.

Often you will hear these referred to as flat feet, high arches or high insteps.

3. Length of the Shoe

The good news with walking shoes is that the shoe size you wear everyday is also perfect for a walking shoe. If you were buying a running shoe, you would normally need a slightly longer shoe as the foot moves more under the impact. For walking shoes, boots or sandals your normal shoe size is perfect.

You may find with some of the brands that you may have to take a half size smaller or more often a half size larger than your normal shoes.

4. Width of the Shoe

The width of your shoe is equally as important as the length. Many people overlook this, but if you want the perfect fit, make sure you get the right width as well.

People are not always built in perfect proportion and often have wider or narrower feet.

You can look at our size guide at the bottom to understand the sizes that are referred to when buying walking shoes.

5. Shoe Weight

The simple rule to remember is the lighter they are the better. Manufacturers understand the importance of having something light on your feet.

You can be pretty sure they are not going to be putting heavy shoes on the market place.

Certainly, if you check our top 10 list for men or women, then all of those are super light.

6. Your Weight

If you are overweight then you may need a shoe with a lot more support. Generally speaking, the more weight that is on your legs and ankles, then it is always a great idea to support them better with a nice supportive heel and padded foot pad.

best socks for walking

7. Socks

Most people will wear thin sports socks.  This is the perfect choice, but in the colder weather they may change to slightly thicker socks.

Just be aware of that when buying your shoes. You may think that doesn’t make a difference, but if your shoes are tight when you get them, then even a simple change of socks can make them just that little bit too tight.

We hope that you found this buyer’s guide useful, but just a short reminder what this website is really all about.

That is about the many health benefits of walking. Irrespective of age, everyone can get both great physical and mental benefits from walking. This video shows 5 of those:

I have also written an article on how to make walking more fun, and how to try and makes it a great daily habit.

Having the right footwear will of course make all this easier and more comfortable.

That said, you could have the best shoes or boots in the world, but if you don’t walk, then all they will be is an expensive dust collector.