Do You Need Walking Shoes?
By Sara Butler
When it comes to walking for exercise, most people assume any old pair of sneakers will do. The truth of the matter is that shoes do count, especially when you’re walking for your fitness. Here’s what you need to know about the type of shoes you need to support good form and proper posture while walking!
Walking or Running Shoes?
If you’ve got a pair of running shoes laying around, surely they’re OK to walk in -- right? Not so fast! If you’re in a crunch, it’s won’t hurt to walk in running shoes a couple of times. But there’s enough difference between the two types of shoes that you should consider getting a pair specific for the activity.
The way walking shoes are constructed is different than running shoes. Their cushioning, support, and flex are much different because the impact forces between the two activities are different too. When you walk as a means of exercise, you’re striking on your heel, rolling from your midfoot through your toe. When you run, the foot strike pattern is different, and the shoes reflect that.
The Right Shoe
Comfort aside, one of the biggest reasons you need to ensure you have the proper shoes for the activity you’re going to participate in is that it will help you reduce the risk of injury -- and not simply injury to your foot, either, but your entire body.
When you make sure your foot connects with the ground correctly you’ll prevent any issues with misalignment that can occur from your feet to your head. A shoe that doesn’t provide proper support can impact your knees, hips, and even your lower back, resulting in pain.
In addition to preventative measures for pain, the right shoe will also make any activity feel easier because it’ll support and strengthen the muscles you need to do the exercise and improve your performance.
When It’s Time to Buy
When it comes time to pick out your new pair of walking shoes, you should:
- Shop at the end of the day when your feet are their largest
- Have your foot measured at a specialty store
- Choose shoes that are comfortable from the start
If you have questions, the staff at a specialty shoe store should be able to answer any questions you have. Your chiropractor at The Joint also makes a great resource!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monroe, La.