If you’re a walking beginner the first piece of equipment (and the most imprtant) you’ll need is most likely a pair of walking shoes. Buying the right pair of shoes is not only important for your comfort but also for the health of your feet.
You may end up with blisters and other injuries if you walk for a long distance in the wrong pair of shoes.The wrong pair can also aggravate an injury or foot condition. Here is a useful guide to help you select the right pair.
Check the features
Walking shoes should be light and comfortable. The inner and midsoles should support and cushion your feet properly. The toe box should leave enough room for your toes to move and breathe. Ensure that the heel is low and supportive.
You may trip and fall if the heel is slippery. Check the ankle collar and gel pad to ensure that they cushion your ankle and feet well. Consider the outer material as well because it determines the ventilation, weight, and durability of the shoe. You may need to compare several types of shoes to identify the pair with right features.
Get the perfect fit for your feet
The next step is to pick the right size for your feet. The perfect pair should be well fitting, that is, not too tight or loose. One important tip when fitting walking shoes considering the shape of your foot. The shoes should suit the arch type, length, and width of your feet perfectly. Do not force your feet to conform to any type of shoes.
Buy shoes at the right time
The best time to select and buy shoes is in the afternoon or in the evening. Your feet swell or expand after walking or travelling for hours. If you select a perfect in the morning, it will be too tight in the afternoon. If you must buy a pair in the morning, walk for an hour or two before fitting shoes.
Test the shoes before a long walk
Test the selected pair at the shop before buying it. Do not just fit the shoe while sitting down and assume that it is comfortable. Walk up and down the shop as you look at other types of shoes or negotiate the price. Once you buy the shoes, walk in them in your house a day before a long walk or vigorous outdoor activities.
If you see yourself walking on concrete often, check out my shoe guide about shoes for walking on concrete.
Walk up and down the stairs and on inclined surfaces where possible. You can determine at this point if you need to replace the shoes or ask for a different size.
The sales personnel and promotional messages may confuse you when buying walking shoes. The considerations outlined above will help you pick the right pair. You need to set enough time aside to identify and test the right walking shoes. Do not ignore any discomfort because it may escalate to an injury.