Walking shoes really are an underrated breed of footwear which do not get nearly as much credit for the amount of technology and effort that goes into their creation as do running and hiking shoes.
Let’s face it, how high tech can a bunch of shoes meant only for walking be?
But little do people realize that walking shoes have a lot going on under the hood. Many manufacturers are adding new and better technology to their offerings to make the most comfortable walking shoes ever!
What are Walking Shoes?
To a novice a walking shoe cannot look any different from a running shoe, most of both types will seem like trendy sleek designs and it really is hard to tell the difference, however walking itself is very different from running thus shoes that are designed for it are also pretty different.
Their special design helps them to remain comfortable while they are being put through the paces.
A good comfortable walking shoe is light, and has adequate padding to support a gentle stride.
Here are some of the components which can be found in the most walking shoes:
Achilles Notch: the achilles notch is present in the upper portion of the shoe, it helps to prevent strain on the Achilles tendon.
Ankle Collar: Is designed to cushion the ankle and provide a proper fit.
Upper: Is made to hold the shoe on your foot and is usually made of synthetic mesh or leather. Modern day shoes have synthetic meshes which are both lighter and provide better ventilation.
Midsole: Provides added comfort cushioning and shock absorption.
Insole: Supports and cushions the arch of the foot, some modern shoes have removable insoles which can be washed as well.
Outsoles: Makes contact with the ground and has grooves and treads to help maintain traction.
Toe Box: Houses the toes; a comfortable walking shoe will have enough room for toes so that calluses may not result.
Gel pad: Cushions and reduces the impact when you strike the ground.
As you can see, a walking shoe has a LOT of components which help you to walk better. The most comfortable walking shoes that you can find in the market will all have some high quality components that will help the person walk better.
Characteristics of the Most Comfortable Walking Shoes
While there are many different shoes in the market, some of the best have certain characteristics that are better than the rest.
First off, these shoes are made with some of the latest fabrics that are in the market, these include Gore-tex which is the best waterproofing solution for shoes.
These shoes also have “adequate” padding, we say adequate because while a lot of padding can make the shoe seem better at handling stress, it also makes it heavier. Walking being a light exercise does not require the same amount of padding that say running or hiking does.
Good walking shoes are also flexible, you should be able to bend and twist the shoe to a manageable degree.
Flexibility is required because your foot will flex as you roll from the heel to the toe. If the shoe is too stiff then you will end up expending a lot of energy against the flow and grow tired.
Walking shoes are also a lot more flat than running shoes. The heel of the shoe is straight and does not curve much. A flat shoe facilitates walking while keeping the feet well cushioned.
These shoes also have relatively undercut heels because walkers tend to strike with the heel first.
Here are 3 of the Most Comfortable Walking Shoes
Want to know which shoes rule the roost? Here are my top picks for you to sample:
VIONIC with Orthaheel Technology Walker:
The VIONIC with Orthaheel Technology Walker offers the highest standards in comfort, fashion and breath-ability as well as performance.
These shoes are designed to maximize comfort and support with its Orthaheel Technology.
The light weight walking shoe comes with a podiatrist-designed, bio-mechanical footbed that contains a deep heel cup which stabilizes, supports, and will actually align your feet into their natural position while walking.
The shoe also comes with a moisture wicking mesh lining that is extremely breathable along side a PU foam base that aids in the reduction of friction.
Its flexible EVA midsole is lightweight and absorbs shock, which reduces stress on your joints, ankles, knees, and hips.
This shoe packs a huge punch for a fairly low price, and as I mentioned is very comfortable!
Saucony Progrid Integrity ST 2:
The ProGrid Integrity ST2 is offered by Saucony to women who are looking for a shoe which is both stylish and can perform under demanding conditions.
The shoe comes with a full leather upper and features a Stretch Zone added to the front of the foot that offers stability and flexibility while you are walking.
The sole of the shoe is cushioned giving you added comfort while you are negotiating the pavement. The shoe was designed with a forgiving, perfect fit as it moves through the contours of your foot.
The top lacing and the leather upper also contribute to the shoe’s fit.
Persons with a high arch or instep will appreciate the design that this shoe comes in as they allow enough space for your feet to sink into.
Asics Gel Foundation Walker 3:
The Asics Gel Foundation Walker 3 is the latest generation of Gel Foundation Walkers from Asics and is the successor to the extremely popular Asics Gel-Foundation Walker 2.
The Gel Foundation Walker 3 from ASICS is the newest model to hit the market.
It comes with a spectacular leather and mesh upper which offers a comfortable fit which can help you negotiate those pavement trails.
The upper is also very breathable which can make your strides even more comfortable.
The Foundation Walker 3 comes with a added padding and support right from the toe box to the tongue, you will be walking in total confidence and comfort.
The shoe expertly melds stability with cushioning which can allow you to stand or walk for hours. The heel of the shoe also comes with two layers of memory foam which can help your heel get a personalized fit.