Getting a new pair of shoes sounds like a piece of cake to most people. This is until you go to the market and find an almost endless supply of options. If you want to narrow down on what’s really good for you, some criteria have to be used to eliminate some choices. In this case, the most important consideration was the comfort. The same is largely determined by the heel collar, insole and the material used for the insole. When searching for the best walking sneakers, one thing you might want to consider is plantar fasciitis.
It’s a self-diagnosable and self-treatable illness, and a very common one at that. Usually characterized by a stabbing pain near the heel, especially in the morning, the main cause of this condition is ill-fitting or otherwise uncomfortable shoes. The pain is due to an inflammation of a band of tissues that connects the heel bone to the toes.
Versatility is yet another important factor that most people overlook. The days when you would have to put up with bulky, stiff sneakers are long gone. The only kind of speakers you should be on the lookout for are those that can’t spur injury and are comfortable to wear.
This list consists of the best 5 walking sneakers for anyone who wants a good pair of walking sneakers but has no idea where to start off.
Table of Contents
Why get walking sneakers?
The whole point of having walking sneakers is that you can walk for considerably long distances without tiring your soles. Your long-distance walk could be attributed to nearly any reason. For some, it’s for the purpose of exercise while others simply tend to be standing for long periods of time thanks to whatever circumstances.
Choosing the right pair of walking sneakers will help you avoid blisters, calluses and other injuries related to walking. They should have better shock absorption, better ventilation and weigh much less than regular sneakers.
What to Look For In the Best Walking Sneakers
Once you discover there is a multitude of options to select from, that must mean there is some difference between them. In truth, not all sneakers are the same, either. Some sneakers claim to be what they aren’t. Good pairs of walking sneakers have very specific features, unlike casual shoes. Some of these are:
Heel Collar: a walking sneaker’s heel collar offers better padding than casual shoes. It thus offers protection to the ankle and ensures the shoe fits properly.
Achilles Tendon Protector: like the mythical spot it was named for, the Achilles heel is one of the most vulnerable spots when walking around. If you were ever unlucky enough to walk around without socks (or with bad socks), you know the kind of stress they could be put under.
A good pair of shoes fits seamlessly around the heel, and protect it from undue pressure while walking.
Midsole: the midsole is usually filled with air, foam or a special kind of gel. Each has their pros and cons, but whatever the material, the insole should offer enough padding to absorb shock from every time your foot touches the ground. If poorly absorbed, the impulse caused as a result could be catastrophic to your feet.
Insole: just like the midsole, the insole should have a fair amount of padding to offer support to the foot and arch while walking. The most preferable kind of insole is removable insoles since they can be swapped for better-fitting options.
Outsole: the outsole is the outer bottom of the shoe that makes direct contact with the ground as you walk. A good outsole should provide an adequate amount of traction, even on wet or slippery surfaces. These are characterized by threads, grooves or other similar features that provide better traction.
Features aside, getting a new pair is practically useless if it doesn’t fit you correctly, Ill-fitting shoes can cause you lots of issues. The least of these is not deformation of your foot and other similar injuries.
Length and Width: the only reliable ways of measuring your shoe size is either knowing yours beforehand or measuring it before buying. Too narrow or too wide shoes can lead to blisters, calluses or similar problems. There should also be enough room to wiggle your toes, in order to prevent bunions, hammertoes, and other such disorders.
As important as it is that the sneaker fits you comfortably, it should also support your specific foot type. All the tissues inside your foot move from side to side and expand and contract while you walk. However, due to the different types of foot types that exist, the pressure is spread over your foot in a particular way, referred to as the arch.
Knowing your arch type is important as it will help you to know what kind of shoe design and fit will be the wisest choice for you.
How to Measure Arch Type
Luckily enough, knowing your foot arch is pretty simple. Whereas a doctor’s diagnosis would be helpful, it’s not exactly necessary. Place a dry piece of cardboard on the floor and dip your foot in a bowl of water. Make a firm imprint on the cardboard and the result can be used to tell what kind of arch type you have.
A high arch is characterized by a minimal footprint. If you’re able to see the whole footprint (or nearly all of it), you may have a low or flat foot arch. Half a footprint, like what’s most common in cartoons, is a sign of a medium arch.
Low-arch and flat feet: people with low arches are the most susceptible to joint problems and muscle stress while walking. Shoes with motion control are the best choice in order to stabilize movement.
Neutral-arch feet: a neutral arch is as a result of the balance between flat feet and over-arched feet. Despite this, a bit of stability at the back of the foot is necessary while walking. A firm midsole is the most comfortable choice for people with this kind of feet.
High-arch feet: due to the high arch, the main problem with this kind of foot is poor shock absorption. If you get shoes that don’t cater for this issue, you will have constant joint and muscle pains. In order to avoid this, you should pick a sneaker with lots of padding at the midsole, especially for activities more prone to shock. These include sports that involve great amounts of running or jumping.
Versatility is important since nobody wants to own a different pair of shoes for every activity they want to partake in. There is the problem of specific shoes for specific activities, but the shoes you pick should be usable even in different contexts. For instance, there is no need for you to have shoes for running and going to the gym. If possible, they should also be usable while wearing out in the streets, without looking like typical gym shoes.
Walking Sneakers Benefits
There are several benefits a great pair of walking sneaker offers as opposed to casual shoes or, worse, terrible quality ones.
While walking over long distances, one of the most important things to have is proper circulation in your feet. Proper breathability helps to avoid foot odor, heating up of the feet, blisters and dampened socks.
The most common way this is achieved is through a framework of meshes over the shoes. This is pretty advantageous since it helps keep feet cool even on a hot day. However, it’s worth noting that such a design feature will add to the overall weight of the shoe. If you opt for this kind of design, make sure it’s made from a lightweight material.
If the kind of climate you walk in is factored into the equation, it should help determine if one pick of sneakers will be better over the other. For instance, if you live in a generally wet area, waterproof shoes that are easy to wipe off should be your first pick.
Humid and hot areas, on the other hand, will benefit more from lightweight shoes with a mesh framework. These shoes are preferably made from a synthetic fiber.
The last thing you should have in mind is any special requirements before getting down to your decision. For instance, foot size is an important factor to consider. Additionally, people with diagnosed conditions such as those prescribed with orthotic insoles should consider the features the shoes offer in advance. The latterly mentioned people should prefer shoes with removable insoles.
Top 5 Best Walking Sneakers
For the top 5 picks, the shoes featured are those that have the right kind of insole, midsole material, heel collar and offer great breathability.
The New Balance MX6084V4 was the best overall pick for several reasons. First of all, it has the perfect balance of all the features you’d want in a good pair of sneakers. It’s definitely a product that’s worth its price. Speaking of prices, this pair is very reasonably priced, but that alone, of course, would hardly qualify it as a winner.
This pair of shoes comes with an IMEVA midsole that offers a great deal of cushioning on for your feet. Along the same lines is a thick rubber sole that will help keep your feet balanced by providing lots of traction even or slippery slopes.
Another feature to love is the comfortable and sturdy heel collar that’s produced from thick foam. Thanks to this design, it’s able to cater to lots of different types of feet, which is definitely a plus in anyone’s books. Lastly is the shoe’s aesthetic. They are considered great, which earns it the rank of one of the most practical shoes we’ve run into so far. You can wear them in your daily casual outfit and even to the gym without having to worry about workout shoes. They also come in a range of six different colors to choose from. It’s nearly impossible to go wrong with them.
The Asics Gel-Tech Walker Neo 4 earned it’s spot mostly because of the kind of comfort it offers. On which note, it’s worth noting that these shoes are podiatrist-approved, which is great news for those with over-pronated feet. The insole it comes with is pretty comfortable on its own, made from natural rubber, but it can be replaced with any insole you prefer.
Along with their comfort, they are very breathable, which is thanks to the mesh-style design they feature. It also comes with gel cushioning technology which means that the shoes do a great job of absorbing shock over long periods of time (and long distances). The group they are best suited for, though is people who often experience foot issues like arthritis.
The shoes themselves are unisex and come in two colors – black and white. They are a solid option for anyone they can fit and were right on the money as a contender. The only tie-breaker was the fact that the New Balance were more affordable.
In terms of versatility, the Rebook Work N Cushion 2.0 is nearly unbeatable. They are pretty looking sneakers nice to wear to a casual event. Plus, they ate perfect to use on the gym. Even on a long distance walk they still look and feel good enough.
These sneakers are beveled specifically for people who love a good jog up and down a hill or for long, tiresome treks. The outsole is constructed of rubber and is slip-resistant, which makes it the best choice for rainy days. The design and construction are pretty sturdy, which means they will last a very long time. They’re pretty affordable, too, so comfort and versatility are this shoe’s best features in a nutshell.
The ASICS Gel Quickwalk 3 is another solid choice, and even better, it’s unisex. It has a unique mesh design that makes it more breathable than any other pick. The tongue and collar are also padded in such a way that they offer top-notch comfort right out the box. These are essential features to have if you love long treks on hot days.
Not to forget the insole, which is made from molded foam that offers just the right amount of shock absorbence if you’re one to stand for extended periods of time. The same goes for the obvious candidate for walking shoes – long-distance walkers. Additionally, the rubber outsole and gel come into play to give even better shock absorbing capability and stability for most types of feet. This includes arch support for people with foot problems.
The shoe’s design is attractive as it is, but the detailed stitching is definitely an added bonus. It’s a great pick for any casual event while remaining practical enough for a quick jog around the neighborhood. The greatest downside to the ASICS over the rest is the fact that it’s a tad heavier than the other options on this list.
New Balance is a high-quality brand shoe, so it’s not really surprising the 840V3 struck a chord with us as it did. RIght out of the box, the first thing you are likely to notice is the solid construction – it feels durable enough to last for decades. You won’t replace this pair of shoes any time soon. It also features one of the best midsoles out in the market; the ABZORB shock absorption soles and EVA technology offer great comfort and maximum shock absorption.
Even so, New Balance 840V3 doesn’t give up its breathability; it has a mesh construction with a high-quality liner to maintain its shape. The outsole is also appropriately treaded and offers an adequate amount of stability and traction on most surfaces. However, the kind of traction it offers isn’t as great as other sneakers on this list. Other than that, this is still one of the most solid choices for long-distance walking.
Choosing a great of walking sneakers is just like searching for running shoes. Despite the fact that they may qualify as good walking shoes in our books, it’s still a fairly subjective process. It should take careful consideration of what you prefer to have in running shoes and what you don’t. The perfect pair of shoes should be comfortable enough to motivate you to go for your next walk while preventing common preventable injuries like blisters. It may also be necessary to get your size measured if you’re not sure what you wear. It’s usually free and takes less than a second, so it should be no issue, really.
The brands suggested on this list are known to be durable enough to last long distances and priced well enough to afford. Lastly, whenever you choose a pair of shoes, all things considered, it all comes down to comfort. You don’t have to worry too much about the technical aspects