Last updated: August 25, 2021

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Today we are going to teach you how to choose the best walking shoes possible! Practising physical activities is essential and brings many benefits, but to enjoy it fully and without discomfort, you need to have the right equipment!

There is no point in trying to practise walking with an ordinary pair of walking shoes: you will soon feel discomfort and may even give up the activity. We will explain in this article what to pay attention to when choosing your walking shoes and what features they should always have. Stay with us to learn how to make the ideal choice!




Summary

  • Walking is a low-impact physical activity and extremely democratic. It benefits both physical and mental health.
  • The best walking shoes are those that keep your feet comfortable and have good shock-absorbing and perspiration systems.
  • It is also possible to make your choice according to more specific characteristics, such as your type of step and the intensity of your walks.

The best walking shoes: Our picks

Buying guide

If you've come to this article, you want to understand how to choose a walking shoe. That's exactly why we have a buying guide!

We will now answer some of the most common questions about this equipment that will give you a lot of comfort when practising physical activities!

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Walking has countless health benefits. (Source: Free-Photos/ Pixabay.com)

What are the health benefits of walking?

Walking is a low-impact physical activity that does not require much effort. It is recommended for all ages, all types of people and is still accessible, since it only requires a quality pair of shoes to be performed in comfort.

Regular walking helps both physical and mental aspects. You can control your cholesterol, gain some muscle development and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Another benefit is that it helps those who want to lose weight.

For the mental side, walking is an important ally in the fight against depression. The production of serotonin not only brings a great feeling of well-being, but also improves mood and sleep quality. Even the energy for day-to-day activities becomes more abundant!

Regardless of your age, the practice of walking will bring multiple benefits and is recommended by professionals from various fields.

See the table below for the main advantages and disadvantages of walking:

Advantages
  • It is a democratic physical activity and recommended for all
  • It only needs good tennis shoes as equipment
  • It helps combat cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases
  • It helps combat depression, improves sleep and the feeling of well-being
  • It can help with weight loss
Disadvantages
  • It may be uncomfortable without the ideal shoes

Why does walking require a specific pair of shoes?

Despite being a low-impact physical activity and of low physical effort, walking still demands a little of the body. Joints and tendons can suffer if they are not well protected, and excess accumulated sweat also has the potential to cause problems.

An ordinary trainer, designed more for evening wear or social situations, is designed with more focus on its beauty than its comfort. Thus, it can be quite uncomfortable for long walks or even cause some injury.

At the same time, walking is not as heavy an activity as running. Features like evolved shock absorbers and technological systems of impact absorption are less necessary in models for the former than for the latter.

The main characteristic of a walking shoe is comfort for continuous use.

Did you know that walking and running are not the same thing? The first doesn't ask for high speeds or long distances, while the second may even be competitive. Walking is indicated for light and specific benefits in quality of life.

What characteristics are indispensable in a walking shoe?

If comfort is the most important thing, what leads to it? What can by no means be absent in a good walking shoe?

  • Flexibility: The structure of a walking shoe needs to be flexible and malleable. This way, the foot will always be comfortable, since it will make a constant movement. Harder models are not recommended.
  • Cushioning: Hiking is a low-impact activity, but low-impact still means impact. So that all the joints and tendons are preserved, a good cushioning is a good idea.
  • Breathability: When you walk, it's normal to perspire a lot. So that your foot does not get soaked, a good perspiration system in the trainer is necessary. Otherwise, problems may arise.
  • Good durability: To show results, walking needs to be done frequently. You need to purchase a trainer from a reliable brand with a robust and durable composition.

What are the types of walking shoes?

All walking shoes are not the same. There are a few different styles that can appeal to different people with the technologies or ideas employed.

Trainers with cushioning are the most common and most commonly used for hiking. As we mentioned, this is an important feature that helps in impact absorption. You can opt for one of them if it's the one that makes you most comfortable.

However, the minimalist trainer has been growing in the market. This is a style that presents only a thin layer in the sole, without any cushioning, only with basic protection purpose. The idea is that the sensation is similar to walking barefoot.

Those who walk over more rugged terrain may opt for a trail shoe. It is a style with a thinner sole, but made of strong material, and with special reinforcements on the sides. It has the highest durability.

So that you can choose the best walking shoes, we have prepared a table comparing the three types!

Cushioning trainers Minimalist trainers Trail shoes
Differential Well-developed cushioning system Gives the feeling that you are barefoot Offers great protection against uneven surfaces
Advantages Protects tendons and joints, is developed for activities such as walking It is the best in terms of comfort Very durable and resistant, in addition to the special protection
Recommended for Those who feel comfortable walking with larger and heavier trainers People who seek the sensation of being barefoot while walking Those who usually walk on uneven terrain

When should I change my walking shoes?

Even if they come from a good source, hiking shoes do not last forever. At some point, it will be considerably worn out, presenting holes and imperfections, and will need to be replaced.

The useful life of a tennis shoe is between 500 and 800 hours of walking

It should be noted that trainers already leave the factory with a predefined useful life. On average, they last between 500 and 800 hours of walking. Although you shouldn't worry about counting the exact time, making an estimate helps you know when the time to change is near.

Continuing to walk with an old and problematic trainer can harm your comfort and even cause problems. Therefore, don't delay to acquire a new model if you notice that the old one is already in the final part of its useful life.

Purchase criteria: Factors for choosing a walking shoe

Buying the best walking shoes is not an easy task: To do it perfectly, you also need to master some technical criteria. We have selected four to discuss:

Below, you get to know more details about each one!

Size

It is recommended that a walking shoe not be too tight. The foot should have room to move inside it with comfort during the activity. Of course, at the same time, it cannot be too wide or come off easily.

The ideal is, in case you don't know the manufacturer yet, to look for a model which is one size bigger than the one you usually wear. This way, there will be no risk of choosing for a trainer that is tight and that hurts your foot during the walk.

As it is normal to have small differences between one confection and another, you can make the purchase with more tranquility if you already know the brand.

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The trainer should be comfortable for an adequate walk. (Source: Pexels/ Pixabay.com)

Type of step

One thing that few people take into account when choosing a walking shoe is the type of step. Know that it is quite important.

There are three different types of step:

  • Pronation. The foot rests more on the inside and tensions a little inwards;
  • Neutral. The foot follows a straight line;
  • Supinated. The foot meets the ground with the external side of the heel and tensions outwards.

If you have a highlighted type of step or it causes you some problem, it is ideal to look for a walking shoe made especially for it!

Type of walking

What type of walking do you usually do? Slower and calmer, similar to common, everyday steps, or at a slightly faster pace, perhaps even approaching what could be considered a run?

This is also a question that should influence your choice. The stronger the rhythm and more intense the walk, greater is the need that the tennis shoe counts on a better cushioning and with more resources for comfort. After all, the impact also tends to grow a lot!

Design

Trainers are not only used to protect the feet, but also as fashion items. It is natural that we want them to be beautiful, elegant and to reflect our personality.

Fortunately, there is a huge range of designs in walking shoes. You can find them quite simple, with almost nothing eye-catching, or with intricate details and prints. They are also available in a huge range of colours.

(Featured image source: composita/ Pixabay.com)

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