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10 Walking Essentials: Shoes

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Updated June 02, 2012

Walking Shoe

Walking Shoe

Wendy Bumgardner ©
The right shoes for your feet can make all of the difference for walking comfort. You should also have a variety of shoes to meet different climates and surfaces.
  • Asphalt/Cinder: These surfaces are excellent for regular athletic shoes. They give a bit as you walk and so you have less impact.
    Top Picks for Performance Walking Shoes
  • Pavement: Athletic shoes do well on pavement. If your feet are feeling tired after you walk on concrete in malls or on sidewalks, you may want to look for shoes with some cushioning.
    Top Picks for Cushioned Shoes
  • Trail: If you walk on natural paths of dirt rock, you may want more rugged shoes. Almost every brand of athletic shoes now has trail varieties. If you are still walking rather than backpacking, look for the lighter weight varieties and those with some flexibility. Many boots are very stiff and should be used when carrying a heavy load, but are not pleasant to wear for a day hike.
    Top Picks for Trail Shoes
  • Waterproof Shoes: Remove one excuse to not walk in the rain by getting a pair of waterproof shoes. Often you can find a pair of lightweight hiking shoes that are waterproof. You will pay more for this option, but it will help you keep walking through the dreary months and is a good investment.
  • Sandals: Many brands now have rugged-looking trail sandals, and some walkers enjoy using them in summer.
    Top Picks for Walking Sandals

Choosing the Right Shoes

Do you know what to look for in a walking shoe? Our Walking Shoe Guide gives you tips to get the right shoes, plus reviews by our readers.
Walking Shoe Guide

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