How to choose the right kind of walking shoes for happy feet and an enjoyable walk!

If you don’t get much regular exercise – and, according to doctors, that’s the majority of us – there’s no time like the present! Walking is an activity that most of us are physically able to do, even if only in short jaunts. It’s also enjoyable. Walking is great for your cardiovascular system, your muscle tone and to strengthen your joints. Due to the circulatory benefits, even your complexion will show the benefits, in the form of a healthy, rosy complexion. You don’t need any special equipment, but you absolutely need a good pair of walking shoes! Here, we take a look at what to look for in a pair of walking shoes that will transport your feet down the road in comfort.

All the fresh air and beautiful scenery in the world won’t make up for an uncomfortable pair of shoes. On the other hand, with a comfortable pair of shoes, you’ll soon find the miles melting away painlessly as you gain the health benefits that walking provides.

walking-shoesToo many people believe that a good walking shoe must also double as a fashion asset. This is probably the number one mistake for consumers who decide to take up walking. Any woman can tell you that stylish shoes are typically not what you’d want to walk in for any distance. Your closet is probably packed with shoes for day wear, office wear and a night on the town – not one of which you’d wear for walking shoes! So, you’re well advised to put ‘fashionable’ at the bottom of your list of desirable features in a shoe designed for walking.

Naturally, you’ll want to consider the season. If wet weather is still persisting, a waterproof shoe with a solid traction tread sole can be an excellent choice. My personal favorite winter walking shoes are made by Danly and could never be considered fashionable, even with jeans and a sweater – at least, not in my perhaps fussy definition. What makes them winners? They’re waterproof, with excellent traction and are just a tiny bit loose all around. They’re not so loose as to feel as though they don’t fit, but do have enough room to wiggle my toes, even with a heavy pair of socks. They are ankle high, with a leather trim topping the rubber shoe, with a nice heavy breathable fabric around the ankle. These walking shoes are never too warm, nor do they make my feet swell, even after walking miles! I hope they never fall apart! I just hope that, when they do give up the ghost, I can still find this same shoe with the same construction.

If you’re walking in hot weather, a good pair of tennis shoes, made of fabric rather than leather, is probably your best bet. The same fitting criteria applies.

When you’re shopping for your perfect walking shoes, choose a time when you haven’t just slipped off a pair of high heels you walked in all day long. When your feet are already tired, painful and perhaps a bit swollen, it will be difficult to ascertain the true comfort or discomfort in a pair of ordinary shoes. Go shopping in comfortable flat shoes, while it’s still early in the day. Wear – or bring – the type of socks you intend to wear with your walking shoes. Walk around the shoe store for several minutes before you make a definite choice. Try on several different pairs. Notice if there are any points that rub, or are just a little snug. That minor discomfort can turn into a nightmare of blisters and pain after you’ve gone home and out walking for a mile or two!

Oddly enough, although my favorite walking shoes are soooo comfortable, they are without question the least fashionable ones I own. I begin to suspect that choosing excellent walking shoes is a bit like kissing the frog who turns into the Prince! Good luck and good health to you!