As temperatures rise and the outdoors becomes more inviting, it is a time when many people take their exercise outdoors. Walking is a great way to exercise regularly without the extra stress and impact of other activities like running or a sport. It can be challenging to buy shoes when there are many types, so learn about what to look for in a walking shoe!
- Arch type – It is important to buy a shoe that fits the natural shape of your foot to minimize unnecessary pressure. Do a simple wet test: wet the bottoms of your feet and leave a footprint on a flat surface and observe how much of your arch is visible.
- If most of your arch is visible, then you have flat arches. A shoe with extra inner support and a straighter sole shape may be most comfortable.
- If only the outer edge is visible, then you have high arches and will need extra shock absorption and a more curved sole shape.
- Anything in between is considered neutral.
2. Style – Will you be walking on pavement or hilly trails? A light hiker may be better if you plan to be out on dirt paths for your walk.
3. Flexibility – Bend the toes back, and twist the sole. Look for a shoe that bends at the ball of the foot, and gives light to medium resistance.
4. Proper fit:
- Try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen
- Bring the socks you intend to wear and try on both feet
- Check that there’s enough toe wiggle room
- The heel should not slide out when you walk or climb an incline
Arming yourself with this knowledge can help you pick the most comfortable walking shoe for the new season! For concerns or treatment for blisters, calluses and other foot and ankle issues like heel pain, nail fungus, and sports injuries, contact our team of board-certified podiatrists at Your Next Step. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen and our dedicated staff look forward to seeing you! Our offices are located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA.