What to look for in a walking shoe
Are you in search of a new pair of walking shoes, but you just aren’t sure what features to look for? With a plethora of options, shopping for a new pair of shoes can be overwhelming. To help you find the right walking shoe for your feet, we’ve put together a guide to assist you in your search.
- Wear the same socks you will wear when walking and use them to when trying on your shoes.
- Shop for shoes later in the day or after you’ve been walking for a while. Our feet tend to swell at the end of the day and that can affect how a shoe may fit.
- Measure your feet (length and width) before trying on shoes- as we age our feet sizes can change. Stand while your foot is measured to get the most accurate measurement. Ask the salesperson to help measure your feet or, you can measure them yourself.
- If one foot is larger than the other, try on a pair that fits your larger foot.
- Try on both shoes at the same time and check the fit by wiggling your toes. If you don’t have at least a half-inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe — approximately the width of your finger — try on a larger size.
- Check the width of your shoe. The side-to-side fit of the shoe should be snug, not tight. If you’re a woman with wide feet, consider trying on a men’s shoe, which are cut a bit larger through the heel and the ball of the foot. If you feel like the shoe is too tight, move on to another shoe. Don’t expect it to get wider over time as you wear the shoe.
- Walk in the shoes before buying them. They should feel comfortable right away. Make sure your heel fits snugly in each shoe and doesn’t slip as you walk. If the heel is a bit loose, there is a shoelace technique you can try before ruling out a pair of shoes. See photos below.
- Look for a shoe with cushioning in the ball and heel of the foot. The more cushion a shoe has the more comfortable your feet will be as you walk.
- Select a shoe that has ventilation points or made of a mesh material to allow for air to circulate around your feet and keep them cool.
- If possible, buy shoes at an athletic shoe store with professional fitters or at a store where you have several options. We like to send our patients to Fleet Feet in Santa Rosa because we know they have had the proper training needed to get you fitted in the right shoe.
Remember, there is no one walking shoe for all. They each have a unique set of features, designs and pricing. Take the time to try on different brands and sizes and really pay attention to how your feet feel in that pair of shoes. If something feels off, move on to another pair. If you feel like you aren’t getting enough arch support in your shoes, call Dr. Hollander today to see if you are a candidate for orthotics.
We hope you find this guide helpful in your search for an awesome pair of walking shoes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call. (707) 578-1222.