Be prepared. It is very important to select the proper footwear to enhance performance and eliminate discomfort and reduce the possibility of injury. If you already have a pair of shoes you plan to use as your activity shoes see if they pass the following test.
- Do the shoes have forefoot flexibility?
- Do they have a rounded or beveled heel?
- Do the shoes allow for wearing a thick cotton sock?
- Were the shoes designated as a walking shoe?
Follow these simple steps in order to select a good walking shoe:
- Twist shoe at heel and toe. Good walking shoes should have independent front and rear suspension so they can operate independently and support your feet as they strike the ground.
- Bend the shoe as you grab at the heel and toe. You want the shoe to bend easily at the ball of the foot but not at all at the arch. If it bends at the arch it could lead to discomfort and injury.
- Place the shoe on a flat surface and push down on the toe and look for the heel to lift into the air. This indicates that the shoe has a good upswing or toe spray. Then push down on the heel and look for the toe to pop into the air. A good rounded or beveled heel will cause the toe to lift, and this is important to accommodate the proper heel-to-toe roll of a walking stride.
DO NOT wear a tennis or running shoe to do your regular walking activity. Wear a shoe that is specifically designed for walking to lessen the possibility of injury.