Walking is among the most natural forms of exercise. However, a 5 or 10 minutes walk might not give the benefits that 30 – 40 minutes of brisk walk can. And when you are walking for such long periods, you need to be mindful about what shoes.
If you choose the wrong shoes, you can end up with aching heels, cramped legs, or even bad posture. You need to be careful while purchasing shoes for physical activity. This is even more important when you are shopping online, as there is no staff to provide you the required information or guidance. And there is always a risk of scams or not getting what you ordered.
Here’s how to be spot on with your purchase.
Determine your foot’s shape
We all have ten toes and two heels, but that is not all what you need to know about your feet. There are many things you need to consider when trying to choose the best shoes for walking. There is a simple way to determine the foot’s shape known as the ‘wet test.’ Wet your feet, step on a piece of paper (brown ideally), and trace the footprint.
You can also check your last worn shoes and see where they show the most wear. If the footprint shows a little or no curve on the inside at the sole or the shoes have the most wear on the inside edge, you have got flat feet or low arches. That means your feet move inward when you walk or run. So, you want a pair that offers optimal support and presents a motion-control feature.
If a portion of the forefoot and heel have a close connection on the footprint—or if the last-worn pair has worn out more on the outside edge, you under-pronate and have high arches. You will need a shoe that is cushioned and has a soft midsole.
If the footprint shows a prominent curve along the inside or your shoes have worn out uniformly, you have a neutral arch. You need a shoe that provides stability, i.e., a combination of support and cushioning.
However, you shouldn’t really go for motion control or stability shoes unless neutral shoes are resulting in pain or injuries.
Pick the right size
Picking the right size is one of the crucial issues while purchasing walking shoes online. It is important that you measure your shoe size according to the size guide given on the website of the footwear store. To measure your size right, take a blank paper, a ruler, and place your foot on the paper after wearing socks of medium thickness. Draw the outline of your foot with precision. Take the measurement from heel to toe and consult with the measurement provided on the size guide and conversion chart.
Do not overpay
Walking shoes of standard quality are going to cost higher, and they are worth it. However, with online shopping, you have to ensure that the pair is actually of good quality. So, do not get impressed by the seemingly fashionable styles or the shoes’ association with a celebrity. These pairs are going to be pricey, but they may not provide the required support during walking or exercise.
On the other hand, underpaying is also not a wise thing to do. You already know that a premium quality pair of shoes will not come cheap. So, if you are offered an insanely low price on walking shoes, the odds are high that the quality is compromised. Your comfort is very important, and low-quality shoes can create issues that will disrupt your daily routine.
Purchase from a reliable site
So many online footwear stores are available right now, but not all are reliable. Scams are a common thing when it comes to online shopping. Even when the site is not fraudulent, there are issues with delivery or an element of error. So, always go for the store that has clearly sorted return and exchange policy along with detailed product descriptions.
Moreover, beware of the product reviews. While they can be helpful in determining the store’s credibility, their own reliability is questionable. If a review seems monotonous or robotic, chances are high it is paid for.
Go for a store that has a reliable history and preferably has physical shops as well.