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6 Fitness Walking Shoes That'll Inspire You To Get Moving
We invest a lot of time and research when looking for and . So if you're looking to start a walking fitness routine in the new year, why wouldn't you put in as much effort to find walking sneakers?
Although it may seem fine to just throw on some kicks and go, walking in poorly fitting shoes could lead to injury, especially if you're a newbie fitness walker. “The foot and ankle take a pounding daily with our day-to-day activities. Up to three times the body weight can be dispersed through these small joints within our extremity,” says Sarah Haller, DPM, a podiatrist at Essex Union Podiatry in New Jersey. “Ensuring that you purchase the appropriate shoe for your activity is critical to ensure that you can prevent foot pain,” she says.
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When choosing a shoe you’ll be wearing for walking workouts, there are some things to keep in mind. A walking shoe should have a supportive heel counter (back of the shoe), the midfoot should be supportive and flexible to permit the natural stride, and the shoe should be able to bend at the top where the toes land, Haller says. But you shouldn’t be able to twist the shoe in a side-to-side motion (as if you’re wringing it out). If you can, the shoe won’t offer enough support.
“In addition, it’s important that the shape of the shoe and foot match, especially in the toe box part of the shoe,” says Edgard Nau, DPM, a podiatrist with Manhattan Home Podiatric in New York City. He advises to avoid sneakers where the toe box is too narrow or too shallow.
Here’s a simple way to evaluate whether a shoe fits your foot, both in size and structure: “Draw an outline of your foot standing on a sheet of white paper, and then place the shoe over it,” Nau says. “If the drawn outline can be seen, the shoe is not a good fit.” It’s a good idea to outline and compare both of your feet since they may not be the exact same.
Although finding the perfect fitness walking shoe takes more time than just slipping on any old shoe and going, the benefits are well worth it. These shoes will keep your feet happy mile after mile or step after step, whether you're trying to lose weight, get in shape, or ramp up your walking routine in the new year.
These are the top 5 things to look for in a walking shoe:
New Balance 1865
These shoes were made for walking! Really. The outsole features technology to help stabilize and guide the foot through the walking gait cycle. Ample cushioning reduces the shock that’s transferred through the shoe and up into the leg and body, increasing your comfort as you walk. And the mesh upper is breathable so you don’t have to worry about your feet getting sweaty, which is great news for those days that you are going way longer than you thought you’d be. This lightweight-yet-sturdy pair comes in narrow, standard, and wide widths. (From stronger bones to a trimmer physique, there are countless reasons, found here, to start walking today!)
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Weighing barely 4.8 ounces, these shoes are lightweight, yet heavy on features. The MetroLyte has a contoured arch and plush cushioning. The upper is made of mesh so it’s airy and breathable. The removable ComforDry Sockliner wicks away moisture while providing additional cushioning. And the Wet Grip outsole keeps you grounded even on wet surfaces, so don’t hesitate to take that stroll in the rain.
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MORE: The Beginner's Guide To Walking For Fitness
These shoes are actually designed for running, but they’re ideal for walking, too. “I am currently wearing the Brooks Revel, in black, as my daily walking shoe at the office and around the hospital,” podiatrist Haller says. Each shoe is lightweight, has a knit upper that expands with your foot, and an internal bootie that's snug fitting and seamless. The BioMoGo DNA midsole, which is standard in Brooks’ shoes, cushions and adapts to your stride. Plus, the outer sole’s pattern provides good traction, so you don’t have to worry about slips. The Revel is available in five different color choices. (Over 40? These are the best walking workouts for you.)
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Reebok Walk Ultra DMX Max RG
The foam midsole supports your foot and absorbs shock, while the DMX Max air-transfer technology provides cushioning that moves with your step, so you get that comfy feeling exactly where you need it, when you need it. They’re made with a Memory Tech massage sockliner so your feet feel pampered. And it sports a half-bootie with padding for the Achilles, which provides even more comfort. A mesh upper to promote airflow and patterned rubber outsole for good traction seal the deal.
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MORE: America's Best Hikes: Breathtaking, Bucket List-Worthy Trails For Walkers Of All Skill Levels
Saucony Progrid Integrity ST2
These are good shoes for any walker, but especially for women with foot problems like bunions or plantar fasciitis. “For bunions, the width of the toe box is most important, and flat feet and plantar fasciitis are helped with shoes that have a good medial arch support and insole,” says podiatrist Nau. The Integrity ST2 hits the mark, and comes in narrow, standard, wide, and extra wide widths to accommodate different foot shapes. This pick has a roomy forefoot, plus PROGRID cushioning system and arch support—that means you’ll get extreme comfort and superb cushioning, while still wearing a lightweight shoe. Even better, the insoles are removable, so you can wear your own orthotics if you prefer. Unlike most other sneakers that have a mesh upper, these have a leather upper. That’ll help keep your feet warm during the colder weather months. (Pair these winter-ready shoes with the rest of our cold-weather walking gear.)
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Under Armour Charged Push
These versatile shoes can take you from walking to the office to running or cross-training after work. They have a breathable mesh upper, dual-layer cushioning, and a foam midsole. The cored out sections in the midsole reduce bulk so the shoe is lighter and more flexible. The outsoles have a multi-directional traction pattern, which means it grips all surfaces easily. Since these shoes come in five different colors, all with great style, you can’t go wrong with whichever you pick.
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