Walking is a great way to get and stay in shape, with lots of potential health benefits. But if you’re wearing the wrong shoes, walking can lead to health problems instead of wellness. The wrong shoes can cause short-or-long-term health issues or even serious injuries of the feet, ankles, legs, hips and lower back. Follow these tips to get the right shoes for healthy walking:
• Replace your shoes every 350 to 400 miles, or about every 6 months.
• Make sure your shoes fit properly from your heel to your toe. The fit should feel snug but not tight, and you want the upper part of the shoe to feel comfortable and secure around the instep. Shoes that aren’t the right size can lead to blisters and calluses and worsen issues such as bunions and hammertoes.
• The shoes should be wide enough in the forefront for your feet to move comfortably from side-to-side without feeling constrained.
• Look for a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe—enough space to allow your toes to wiggle freely up and down.
• Select a flexible shoe that bends and creases along the same line as the way that your foot flexes. Inflexible shoes can cause arch pain. The toe of the shoe should also be very flexible, so that you can increase the pace of your walking.
• Check your arches—and select shoes that are best for your arch type (Low or flat, neutral or high-arched).
• Seek shoes that have an Achilles tendon protector to reduce stress on the Achilles tendon by stabilizing the shoe in the heel area.
• Look for a heel collar to providing cushioning for your ankles and help the shoes to fit properly.
• Check the soles, which should have sufficient grooves and treads for good traction, and make contact with the ground.
Foot Solutions has expert fitters and a range of high-quality shoes for walking. Our FREE Holistic Foot Analysis will help determine the best shoe for your body, lifestyle and fitness goals. Find the store closest to you and let us help you walk your very best walk for comfort and health.