Best Walking Shoes for Women
The expression walking a mile in someone else’s shoes may be a good way for you to get to understand someone else’s situation, but if the advice is taken literally, it could lead to a serious injury! When it comes to proper footwear for walking, the best walking shoes for women is tricky because everyone has their own specific needs.
Best walking shoes for YOU!
Your personal needs will depend on the distinctive anatomy of your feet. Previous injuries to the foot, lower extremity or even the lower back may also affect which shoes work best for you. Because of this, it is important to head to a store that offers a wide range of exercise footwear. After trying on various pairs of different walking shoes, you should be better equipped to decide which is the right pair for you. It is sometimes easier to compare contrasting shoes if you try a different shoe on either foot at the same time. Doing so will quickly make it easy to compare the feel of the two different shoe types. Additionally, you may want to seek the advice of a knowledgeable store clerk.
Common Factors in Choosing a Walking Shoe
Although each person may have their own particular requirements in regards to footwear, there are a few common factors that everyone should consider when selecting a walking shoe. First, walking and running use very different biomechanics, therefore walking and running shoes are not the same. Shoes made for each activity are designed differently to meet the demands of each activity. If you are an avid walker, it is recommended that you select shoes specifically designed for walking. You may also want to visit a physical therapist in order to assess your walking pattern.
The Difference Between Running and Walking
The Best Walking Shoes Have Flexibility
A good walking shoe will provide you some flexibility. This is particularly important in the forefoot of the shoe. As described above, your heel should land on the ground first when walking. Next your mid-foot will strike and then you should push off with your toes. A good walking shoe needs to be limber enough to allow you to bend your forefoot as you push off. One way to check this is to hold the shoe in your hand. Simulate stepping with the shoe on the ground. Watch and see if the shoe flexes in the forefoot.
Manufactures design running shoes to flex in the mid-foot area of the shoe. This accommodates the mechanics specific to running. Running shoes are therefore not appropriate to be used as a walking shoe. Shoes without flexibility in the forefoot will place additional stress on your feet, causing wear on your foot. They may lead to discomfort and even injury.
When to Replace Walking Shoes
Finally, we recommend replacing your shoes frequently. Shoes wear out and lose the support they provide you. The padding becomes flat and ridged. If you be aware of any visible wear on the sole or on the toe you should replace your shoes right away. You will need shoes every 4 to 6 months. While it can be expensive to replace shoes, the cost is very small when you compare it to the cost of chronic foot problem treatment. If you are one who likes to keep track of the distances you walk, most specialists concur that you should replace your shoes after approximately 350-500 miles (or 500-800 km). Something to consider is that the more you weigh, the quicker your shoes will wear out.
Best Walking Tips
Walking uphill will increase the intensity of your workout and the strain placed on your joints and muscles. When ascending a grade, make sure to take shorter strides. Lean slightly into the hill. Taking many tiny steps to propel yourself up the hill is preferable to taking fewer large steps. Larger steps can put too much strain on the toes and calf as you stretch them reaching to land the next step. To minimize this, ensure you don’t remain only on your toes. Plant your foot fully up the gradient then straighten out your knee in order to assist you in propelling yourself up the gradient. By using this technique, you will be using the strong muscles in your thighs and buttocks to propel your body up the hill.
Staying Properly Hydrated
While not often considered a strenuous activity, you need to stay hydrated when walking just like you do when participating in other physical activities. Keep in mind that nonetheless walking is physical exertion and it will deplete the fluid stored in your body. The amount you need to drink can vary depending on how vigorously you walk. A good general rule is that, you should drink at least a 16 oz. to 24 oz. glass of water before heading out to walk. While walking, you should drink another 16 oz. to 24 oz. every 20 to 30 minutes. If you are working up a significant sweat or the weather is hot you need to drink more. If you start to feel thirsty, you have already waited too long to take a drink! Your body’s thirst mechanism kicks in when your hydration levels are already too low. Using your thirst levels to determine your fluid intake can lead to dehydration and increase your risk of an injury.