What Makes a Good Pair of Walking Shoes?


You wouldn’t go track running in football boots, or play ice hockey in tennis trainers, so it’s always best to wear walking shoes when going walking. Whether you are walking for fun or as part of a group; walking up hills or winding trails, wearing proper walking shoes can be infinitely beneficial for your enjoyment of the walk, for your comfort, and for preventing or reducing injury. Good walking shoes are a good option, however walking boots or even running shoes can be sensible alternatives if you are going for a trek.

What is the Best Footwear for Walking?

If you are looking to pick up new walking shoes, It is important to pick the right ones for you and your goals, particularly if you are planning any sizeable quantity or distance of walks. You should consider appropriate footwear that meets 3 core criteria; stability, flexibility, and comfort.

Stability: Walking shoes should feel balances from the heel to the ball of the foot, and feel comfortable pressing down against various terrain

Flexibility: You need some give around the toes for a smooth stepping motion and breathable space

Comfort: Sustained use will impact the shoe, so it’s important to find something with contours and padding that gives a snug fit around the heel and midfoot while allowing some room at the front

Important External Factors to Consider When Buying Walking Shoes

What is the climate or weather going to be like on your typical walks

You should always check the weather forecast when going for a long walk and dress accordingly. Navigating tricky terrain on a warm day will cause even more perspiration which can react with the fabric in your footwear, particularly as your foot slips and slides in motion. This can lead to discomfort and blisters. If you’re walking in hotter weather or climates, a focus on breathability and moisture retention are important considerations on your walking shoes

What is the terrain you are typically walking on like?

If you are walking on very hilly or uneven terrain, you will be impacting the soles of your feet as well as potentially twisting and turning sharply on your ankle. Ankle protection in a walking shoe or going for a walking boot may be better suited for steeper up hills

The comfort and fit of your walking shoes

Ok the comfort and fit is so important we’re coming back to it twice - you’re going to be wearing your new walking shoes for long periods at a time, if they are a bad fit or uncomfortable, it will make your walk infinitely worse

Benefits of Walking Shoes over Walking Boots

  • Lightweight
  • Less restrictive for nimble movement
  • More breathable for warmer climates

Is It OK To Wear Running Shoes For Walking?

Many walking shoes, running shoes, or trek running shoes do look quite similar. The main difference between walking shoes and running shoes is that on a walking shoe, the heel is usually more padded while a running shoe has a broader sole cushioning. This is to help the comfort of the foot in the way it impacts the terrain in movement. As your walking stride lends more to an initial heel impact, the majority of cushioning is leveraged there. This leaves more flexibility on the front of a walking shoe for the ball of your foot to push off.

Despite this, many running shoes, with that cushioned sole, can be used as walking shoes. Thick soles act as an effective shock absorber to counteract different terrains and movements. You should however not try the reverse and use a walking shoe for running!

Shop Walking Shoes (& Running Shoes) at Greaves

We stock a wide range of walking shoes, including leather and fabric options, online and in store at Greaves. Our sports experts are on hand to help discuss your needs for a good pair of walking shoes and help you find the right fit and style for your goals. Looking for more specialised trek running shoes or standard running shoes which can cover different activities? We can help too!

Shop Walking Shoes

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