Feet come in many shapes and sizes. To avoid pain and injury, consider the shape and size of your feet when buying a pair of walking shoes. Shoes that are too narrow or too wide can lead to painful blisters and calluses.
Another important consideration is the arch of your foot. Your arches are made up of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. As you walk, these springy, flexible arches help distribute your body weight evenly across your feet.
There are three arch-types that apply to most feet:
Not sure about your foot type? Dip your foot in water and step on a piece of cardboard. Examine your footprint. If you can see most of your foot, you probably have low arches. If you see very little of your foot, you likely have high arches. You also can look at your old shoes for clues to the shape of your foot. Bring your old walking shoes with you when you shop for a new pair—most shoe professionals can make suggestions by looking at the wear on your old shoes.
A good idea to keep in mind when shoe shopping is "look for comfort and fit—not fancy design." The latest technology won't matter if the shoe pinches, pokes, or hurts your foot. Here are some tips for selecting walking shoes:
All walking shoes eventually show signs of wear. Even if they still feel comfortable, they might not be providing enough support or shock absorption. Pay attention to the condition of your shoes. If the outsole is worn through, it's time for a new pair.
Shoes that fit improperly are the source of many problems. Now that you know what features to look for, you can shop with confidence. Wear walking shoes that are comfortable and fit properly and enjoy worry-free walks.