Ask The Coach
I want to start walking. What should I look for in a good pair of shoes?
Look for a low, supportive heel that bevels in. You don’t want a thick heel or one that flairs out. This will cause your heel to slap down rather than roll. This would slow forward momentum, which can contribute to shin pain.
You want a shoe that is flexible, that bends at the ball of the foot. Walkers feet roll slowly from heel to the toe. Choose lightweight, breathable shoes.
The shoe should fit properly. It should be wide enough for your toes to move freely, with ½ inch between your toes and the end of the shoe. The heel should not slip. The shoe should not pinch or bind, especially across the arch or ball of the foot.
Go shopping for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet may be slightly swollen. Wear the socks you plan to wear exercising. Try on both shoes, your feet may not be the same size. If you will be walking long distances or know your feet swell, you may go up ½ size to accommodate that.
Take your time. Walk around the store on a hard surface, if possible. You want to be sure they are comfortable and fit well. Being fitted for the first time at a specialty store that will properly measure your feet may be worth a few extra dollars. Wear them in the house for a few days in case you need to return them. You don’t want to be far away from the car and discover they are giving you a blister.
Keep track of your mileage and swap out shoes every 300-600 miles. This depends on the quality of the shoes, how much mileage you put in and how hard you are on them. If you buy two pair and rotate, they will last longer. Try to use your walking shoes for just walking. Other physical activities may require cross trainers that have more lateral stability.
Walking is free and a great physical activity. Get your family, friends or colleagues out for walk at your local park.