Choosing the right shoes
Walking is actually one of the simplest ways to keep fit and lose weight, but with the wrong unfitting shoes, you might end up getting some feet problems after walking for a small distance. In fact approximately 72% of the people in the US wear shoes which don’t fit properly and about 40% of these individuals get foot issues because of this. Actually the best walking shoes for traveling or fitness resemble running and hiking shoes in design and the only thing that sets them apart is their casual styling. But choosing the right walking shoes can be really tricky if you don’t know what you are looking for. So here are some crucial factors to consider when selecting the best walking shoes.
1. Foot size and width
Everybody knows his/her shoe size, but the size of your feet changes with age, weight gain or loss and pregnancy among other athletic activities. For better comfort and fit, most walking shoes come in a variety of width size. So make sure you measure the size of your feet before purchasing your shoes. This way your new shoes will fit you perfectly.
2. Walking mechanics
Normally the heel strikes the floor 1st and rolls inwards slightly while flattening the arch of your foot to cushion the force every time you walk; this is referred to as pronation. The foot then rolls outwards and stiffen up, thus creating a spring-board that propels your next step. This outward motion is referred to as supination. Finally the weight-path shifts to the center of your foot which is followed by a thrust-off from the ball of your foot to the toes.
Actually many people experience varying levels of sideways motions while walking. Some over-pronate meaning that they have flexible feet which roll too far inside while other supinate meaning that they walk on the outer edges of their feet. Individuals who over-pronate need extra motion control and support while those who supinate need flexibility and cushioning.
If you don’t know whether you under or over pronate while walking simply look at the sole of your old shoes. The sole of people who under-pronate wear along the outer-edges while the sole of those who over-pronate wear along the inside-edges. The sole of individuals with normal foot movements wears on the ball of the foot and a smaller-portion of the heel. Most companies manufacture shoes for all these types of feet, so make sure you choose the right one.
3. The mid sole
Placed between the foot bed and outer sole, the mid sole provides more stability and extra cushioning. Most manufacturers add polythene mid sole to their shoes which last longer. For extra cushioning & shock absorption other manufactures add air or gel cushioning to the forefoot or mid-sole. Make sure you look at the shoe’s extra cushioning before purchasing the shoe.
The best walking shoes should fit your foot properly and match your walking mechanism. so make sure the shoes you purchase fit you well and walk with them for a while in your house for better fit, before going with the outside. If they aren’t comfortable, you can always return them to the store and get better ones.