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How to Walk - Choosing Walking Shoes

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Updated June 02, 2012

New Balance 831 Shoe

New Balance 831 Lightweight Performance Shoe

© Wendy Bumgardner
Your shoes are your chief walking tool.
  • Fit: Your shoes must fit well, but leave enough room so your feet can expand while walking. Your walking shoes should be a size to a size and a half larger than your dress shoe.
  • Flex: Good walking shoes are flexible. Your foot flexes as you roll through a step from heel to toe. If your shoe doesn't flex with it, you can't get a good walking motion and your feet fight your shoes with each step. See if your shoe bends in the ball of the foot and if you can twist it from side to side. If it is stiff as a board, you need different shoes.
  • Flat: Walking shoes should be flat, with little difference in height between the heel and the ball of the foot. This is one of the biggest difference between a good walking shoe and some running shoe designs. Look for designs that are flatter rather than having a built-up heel.
  • A well-fit pair of running shoes is the best answer for most walkers. Many specialty walking shoes are too stiff and do not incorporate performance characteristics of today's running shoes to prevent overpronation.
  • Replace your shoes every 500 miles.

Next Section: Beginners Walking Technique

Absolute Beginner Walking Tutorial

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