“Shoes are like friends, they can support you, or take you down.” – Hugh Mungus
This article is not about which walking shoe is the perfect shoe for you. People are all different but, we all have similar feet. You know …. 5 toes, an arch, and a heel. We know that people buy shoes of all sorts and a lot of them over a lifetime. We want to help you make the best decision when purchasing shoes. Scientists have done tons of research in recent years about the human foot, and what people cover them with to manage their environment. Hopefully this information will help you out.
Remember to look after your feet because you will need them to be in great shape for a very long time. About 70,000 nerves in your body end up in your feet. If you aren’t already into walking for health, you might want to consider walking as your primary exercise. Some people even shoot for 10,000 steps per day. You can do it if you put your mind to it. But let’s learn some new information about the best walking shoes for you.
Top Ten Tips To Consider Before You Buy A Walking Shoe
1. Measure your feet at the end of the day to find out your real shoe size. One foot is usually a little bigger than the other, so purchase shoes for the bigger foot.
2. Do your homework before you make your shoe purchase.
3. Analyze your old shoes to discover what is going on with your feet. How do you pronate? Do you have high arches?
4. You might need a variety of shoes. Walking shoes are for walking, and running shoes are for running.
5. Comfort and quality are related, and don’t forget the importance of appearance.
6. Go for a walk in the shoes before you purchase them. Shoes take a long time to stretch and shrink, and make sure you can wiggle your toes.
7. Shoes are an investment in good health, especially if you find the right pair for you. Price matters, but don’t worry too much about the cost, especially if you fall in love with everything about them.
8. There should be no problems with your shoes. If there is even the slightest concern, return them.
9. Shoes need to be replaced every 6 months on average if you use them daily, whether they look worn out or not.
10. Shoes need a rest, so if you walk daily, buy two pairs and alternate.
Most shoes that fit comfortably will do just fine no matter what your activity is. But, to be safe and to protect your feet, we suggest you have different shoes for different activities.
For example …
Running Shoes usually come with extra cushioning because running will cause your feet to hit the ground with more force that if you were walking. The force could be up to 3 times your body weight. The running shoes should allow for easy flexing at the ball of the foot, as well as provide more stability in that location. The outsoles should also be more durable, so the runner gets maximum traction, to prevent the person from slipping and causing an injury.
Walking Shoes only need enough support for comfort. The construction of the walking shoes must allow for just enough flexibility so the foot can roll easily from heel to toe.
Cross-Trainers are shoes that can be used by runners and walkers. They are best for the person who moves in a variety of ways during the movement. They are not recommended for people who move where high impact actions are happening.
Sports-Specific Shoes are worn by people who participate in very specific activities such as basketball. Basketball shoes would have higher tops to support the ankle when the person is stopping abruptly. Golf shoes and baseball shoes or people who move over ice would need shoes with cleats on the bottom to obtain traction. There are even shoes such as the Minimus runner that simulates no shoes.
The Breast is the forward facing part of the heel, under the arch of the sole.
The Counter is a stiff piece of material at the heel of a shoe positioned between the lining and upper that helps maintain the shape of the shoe.
The Feather is the part of the shoe where the upper’s edge meets the sole.
The Heel is the part of the sole that raises the rear of the shoe in relation to the front.
The Insole is a layer of material that sits inside the shoe that creates a layer between the sole and the person’s foot.
The Lacing is the fabric that holds the shoes on your feet. Some shoes have no lacing.
The Lining is found on the inside of the shoe, around the vamp and quarter.
The Outsole is the exposed part of the sole that makes contact with the ground. The outsole should provide grip, be durable, and resist water.
The Puff is inside the upper and gives the toe its shape and support.
The Quarter is in the rear and sides of the upper, and it covers the heel behind the vamp.
The Seat is where the heel sits in the shoe. It normally matches a person’s calcaneus.
The Shank is a piece of metal inserted between the sole and the insole lying against the arch of the foot.
The Sole is the entire part of the shoe that sits below the wearer’s foot.
The Throat is the front of the vamp next to the toe cap.
The Toe caps are in the front upper of the shoe, and they add strength to the shoe.
The Top Piece is the part of the heel that comes in contact with the ground, and is usually made of a durable material to withstand the friction and abuse it would receive.
The Topline is the top edge of the upper.
The Upper is the entire part of the shoe that covers the foot.
The Vamp is the section of the upper that covers the front of the foot.
The Waist is the arch and in-step of the foot.
The Welt is a strip of material that joins the upper to the sole.
Safety – Support – Style
Reflective tabs on the uppers can provide extra safety by reflecting cars’ headlights. Look for shoes with extra reflectors, especially if you do a lot of night walking.
Cushioning is found in shoes to protect your feet from impact. It might be found in the midsole. Your body has a natural cushion because your feet have the ability to roll inward when you walk to reduce impact on your bones and joints like your ankles, knees and hips. You should be looking for shoes that have cushioning, flexibility, stability, light weight, and can breathe.
If you can buy shoes that are comfortable and protect your feet, as well as have some style to them, you will be lucky. Most “dress” shoes, are not good for your feet.
Name Brands … If the shoe fits, wear it! – Not!!
We researched the top 10 most popular companies that produce walking shoes. Keep in mind that you can walk in any shoe, but the world is getting smarter about shoes and most people are walking for health, and walking in some sort of “running” shoe. So here are the results for the top 10 best runners …
10. The North Face … relatively new; good quality; great for running or walking trails – Click for selections
9. Salomon … outdoor equipment company including shoes that cater to the dedicated walker/runner
8. Altra … This company designs shoes with a zero drop platform and their shoes feel like you’re not wearing shoes.
7. Saucony … This American company makes the “perfect” shoe in every way. You might rate this as your #1.
6. Asics … Color options, design, and comfort put this shoe in the top 10. Some people won’t wear anything else. – Click for selections
5. New Balance … This company can make a walking shoe to fit any foot. They have been doing so for 100 years. Their shoes are very light on the feet. – Click for selections
4. Brooks … These shoes are reliable, consistently great, and very comfortable. If you have a foot ailment such as plantar fasciitis, Brooks should help reduce the pain.
3. Newton … They’re comfortable, light, and promote great form.
2. Scott Sports … This company is very creative, and uses up-to-date technology to bring you a great shoe.
1. Skora … Top quality material, very comfortable, lots of protection, with great designs. – Click for selections
Walking in running shoes. You’ve got it! The world has gone casual because people are getting smarter. It is important to protect your feet whether you are standing, running, or walking.
This video sums it up nicely. Check it out before you go shopping for your shoes.