How to Choose the Right Walking Shoe

by Suzanne Hiscock
If you’re going to get into walking as a way to lose weight and get fit, finding the right pair of walking shoes will help you put your best foot forward.

When you're motivated to lose weight, the last thing you want are sore feet because you bought the wrong walking shoe. The right shoe can help prevent injuries, too.

Learn how to choose the right walking shoe with this expert advice.

The Basics of Walking Shoes

I’ve been following Wendy Bumgarnder’s expert advice on walking for years. She explains in simple terms the different types of walking shoes.

And her advice to “Find a shoe fitting expert to help you discover the shoe that is best for your walking distance, speed, style, and surface, as well as your weight and stride” is spot on.

Read More: Walking Shoe Type and Tips 

Walking Shoes: Features and Fit That Keep You Moving

The Mayo Clinic offers a comprehensive view of the different features of walking shoe. Learn the different parts of the shoe and why they’re important.

You’ll also learn about arches and how to get the best fit whether your feet are neutral-arched, low-arched/flat feet or high-arched.

Read More: Mayo Clinic's What to Look For in A Walking Shoe

Walking Shoe Considerations & Fit

REI Co-op's advice adds in extra points to consider when choosing a walking shoe, including your walking style, shoe weight and waterproofing.

They also recommend doing two tests before buying: walk down an incline and walk up a set of stairs.

Read More: Walking Shoes - How to Choose

A few more tips when shopping:
  • Always try to find shoes that are shaped like your foot, and provide ample toe room. Tight shoes will cause blisters, calluses and many other problems with your feet that can make you feel miserable.
  • Bring along the socks you’ll be wearing to walk and use these when trying on shoes.
  • Have your feet sized before you buy your shoes. Changes occur to the feet as we get older, or even after having a baby. Sizes and shapes of the feet change, so you need to always check for proper measurements.
Understanding what to look for in a walking shoe before you go shopping sets you up for success in picking the perfect shoes that's right for you.

Replace Worn Out Shoes

Holding onto that pair of comfortable, worn-in pair of walking shoes will do you more harm than good.

Shoes can lose their cushioning after three to six months of regular use, depending on how often and how far you walk. Even your weight can affect how quickly shoes need to be replaced.

Typically, they should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles, according to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM).

Check out the heel of your shoe for uneven wear patterns. If the heels are wearing down, or if the shoes are losing traction, it’s a good indicator that you need to replace your walking shoes.

​One last tip:  To save on the wear and tear, use your walking shoes only for exercise walking.

Once you find the perfect fit, you'll find it easier to incorporate walking as way to lose weight and get fit.

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About the Author

Suzanne Hiscock is a PN1 Nutrition Coach, ACE-certified Health Coach, as well as an ACE-certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. For over 16 years, she has been helping people lose weight and get fit through her website, FitWatch.com. Whether it's with one-on-one nutrition coaching, nutrition programs or courses, and tools or calculators, she can help you to eat better, move more and believe in yourself.