How To Choose Walking Shoes?

Every woman has experienced this dilemma before every trip: “Should I take the beautiful shoes or the comfortable ones?” Or the higher cost version of the same question: “Doesn’t this trip justify the purchase of a pair of shoes that will be both beautiful and comfortable?” The good news is that many manufacturers have risen to the challenge and started making beautiful walking shoes. Still, we need to make sure these shoes fit us.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and comfort is also a personal issue that has a lot to do with every person’s feet and back condition. Still, there are some general advice that can be useful to anyone:

  • The heel of your walking shoes must support your heel and not be too thick. If the heel is too thick you can not do the rolling from heel to toe comfortably, the way you should be able to do it.
  • For the same rolling movement mentioned before, the sole of the shoe needs to be flexible and allow movement of the foot.
  • Companies like Geox make shoes that “breathe”. This will add much to your comfort, especially if you are going to travel in warm climates.
  • Sounds obvious, but it isn’t – buy a shoe that fits. Don’t get tempted to try and squeeze into smaller shoes hoping that they will expand. If anything, your feet may swell after a day of walking; this is why it is best to shop for shoes in the evening. A well fitting shoe is one in which there is a free half inch between your toes and the tip of the shoe, wide enough for the toes to move freely. Your heel should be well held in place, and the shoe shouldn’t press any part of the foot.
  • Break your shoes in before you leave. First, try the shoes at home for a few days. This way, you don’t get the soles dirty before you are sure these shoes are good for you. If you decide against them, you can still return them to the store. Walk in the shoes for several days to get over any blisters or chafing they may cause before your trip.
  • Old broken in shoes that were good for you on your last trip can be a great solution for this trip. One caveat – take a good look at them to make sure they are not so worn out that they may force you to hurriedly buy new, possibly uncomfortable shoes, during your trip.
  • Hiking boots are a different thing. If you are going hiking, you need hiking boots, with good ankle support and sturdy soles and leather that will protect your feet from slipping or getting bruised. Your beautiful, soft leather walking shoes may be damaged by stones, so you’d better not take them along.
  • It is a good idea to try insoles. Insoles that are personally fitted to your feet will give you the best support you can have. The good types are not cheap, but can relieve and even prevent many feet and back problems. If you intend to get insoles, you should buy them before you buy your shoes, and try the shoes on with the insoles.
  • Even with the best shoes, you could get blisters when you walk for hours on end. Take some foot care products with you. Dr. Scholl’s has very good padding and blister treatment products that can earn you an extra day of comfortable walking.
  • Turns out that it’s not only the shoes that matter, but also how you lace them. New Balance have made this page about how to lace your shoes for every possible problem: http://www.newbalance.com/productbrowser/performance/lacing_for_a_better_fit.html

And after all this, we’d still like the shoes to also be beautiful…