Walking offers many benefits to individuals of all ages. It is a fantastic way to stay strong, maintain a good fitness level, and live longer. The best part is that walking does not require any special training or equipment and it is free. All that you require to commence this activity is a reliable pair of walking shoes. However, if you stand and walk a lot in your everyday life, you might get tired and sore feet. A good pair of walking shoes can provide stability, support, and comfort while exercising or at the workplace.
If you are like many fitness-conscious individuals out there, you may be thinking – “are sneakers good for walking?” Yes, sneakers are great walking shoes, however, bear in mind that not every sneaker is appropriate for walking. This post will explore the various features that make sneakers the number one option for athletes and others who work mostly on their feet.
See also: Best Walking Shoes for Nurses
Table of Contents
Why sneakers are great walking shoes
Sneakers (sometimes referred to as athletic shoes or trainers) are shoes basically engineered for physical exercise or sports. One of the major advantages of these shoes is that they provide support for the feet as you perform a variety of activities – walking, running, etc. Being able to walk, jump, and run comfortably without the fear of getting hurt is the principal reason many athletes and others who spend most of their day on their feet opt for this footwear type. Besides, sneakers are fitted with extra padding within the heel and most sneakers provide ankle cushioning along with enhanced heel support.
Not all Sneakers are built the same
When it comes to secure and snug walking shoes, many people opt for sneakers. Even so, not all sneakers are built alike. Sneakers are available in a wide variety of designs, and some are not appropriate for walking. Generally, walking sneakers are designed to improve comfort and enhance performance. Super lightweight feel, cozy footbed, and excellent arch support are a few of the several features that good walking sneakers offer.
See also: Best Sneakers for Nurses
Top Tips for Selecting Sneakers Designed for Walking
The outsole of a shoe is that part that makes contact with the floor. Most sneaker outsoles are made using various rubber compounds, and certain compounds are engineered to provide better durability and traction compared to others. Inspect the sneaker’s outsole to ensure it is fitted with grooves. These grooves will help generate traction as you walk, thereby helping to avert slips and falls.
A shoe’s upper is the topmost section of the shoe (usually above the sole). When you are walking, your feet might sweat a little. Therefore, it is best to choose sneakers that are fitted with breathable uppers. Shoes that lock in the moisture can lead to aching blisters and general discomfort.
The midsole is the part that sits between the inner sole and the outsole. Midsoles are perhaps the most critical section of the shoe. This section of the shoe is crafted to provide shock absorption, cushioning, and protection from prickly objects underfoot. Choose athletic shoes with midsoles produced from foam, air, or gel. These materials provide enhanced cushioning and do a wonderful job of lessening the impact of your foot landings as you walk.
The part of your shoes that enclose your toes is referred to as the toe box. It is vital that this section of the shoe has sufficient wiggle room for your toes. Nevertheless, too much space may lead to uneasiness due to excessive shifting.
The cushioned base that lies directly beneath your feet is known as the insole (sometimes called the footbed). Most sneakers’ insoles are engineered with high-density EVA foam that delivers loads of cushioning between the floor and your feet. Insoles can vary depending upon the sneaker brand or model you select. Some will deliver more padding compared to others.
If you come across a pair of sneakers that has all the qualities needed in a good walking shoe but the quality of the insoles is not up to par, you can still purchase that particular pair and purchase some gel inserts that will provide you with the support you require.
Running Shoes Vs Walking Shoes
Running and walking shoes have similar characteristics however they differ in one critical area – the level of cushioning. During walking, the heel contacts the floor first in the usual heel-to-toe motion. Therefore, most of the impact is absorbed by the heel. For this reason, walking shoes are fitted with thicker, usually beveled heels to enhance stability. Also, walking shoes are more flexible around the ball of the foot to allow for easy toe-offs.
In contrast, cushioning on running shoes runs across the entire sole since runners typically land flat-footed. Also, the soles are thicker compared to walking sneakers. While it is okay to walk using running shoes, the reverse is typically not true.
A reliable walking sneaker will provide adequate support not only for your ankles and feet but your entire body. Aside from your daily walks, you can use it for other activities including extended travel, errands, and even wearing to the workplace.
See also: Best Running Shoes for Nurses