With the good weather season knocking on our doors, there is no better time to start putting on our walking shoes, going out and exploring the surroundings.
Walking is a great form of exercise for women over 50 to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, but sometimes we forget to wear the right shoes ending up with aching soles, foot cramps or pains in our heels after a lovely day outdoors.
That’s why it’s critical not only to look cool but also to ensure we’re wearing shoes that will support and protect our feet from pain and injury.
According to Dr Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), “walking shoes should provide plenty of shock absorption, arch support, and cushioning. As well as be comfortable, durable while fitting our lifestyle“.
Walking shoes: what to consider
Of course, everyone’s shoe needs are different. You might have flat or wide feet or chronic pain in the heel. Maybe you have weak ankles or deal with overpronation.
For example, women with flat feet need a bit more structure, stability, and support, while ladies with high arches need more padding and cushioning, especially if they like having strolls in the woods. Those with bunions should try to avoid stiff, pointy, and narrow toe boxes instead.
As a rule of thumb, podiatrists usually agree walking shoes for women should offer enough support for various surfaces in order to prevent lower extremity injuries. No matter the design, the best walking shoes for midlife women should always cradle their arches, cushion their heels and hold their feet securely in place.
How to choose the right walking shoes
A retailer with in-store specialists will normally be able to guide and advise you. They may also be able to suggest lacing techniques and shoe accessories to help improve the shoes’ fit and comfort.
When buying a new pair, start looking for something that doesn’t push your foot into the shoe and gives you room in the toe area. You can always opt for that special colour or style later.
Experts at REI Coop, a retail and outdoor recreation platform with a community of 20 million lifetime members, always recommend focusing on these factors:
Look for good lateral support and a shoe that you can’t bend or twist easily in your hands.
Opt for a uniform level of cushioning, rather than a huge heel cushion to secure maximum comfort. Although the amount of cushioning is ultimately a matter of personal preference, anti-compression insoles with memory foam and rubber outsoles will usually make the impact of your step feel better on your body.
Getting a pair that fits you well is the most important factor of all. Walking shoes need to fit your foot and also need to work with the bend of your foot, which is also called the flex point. You want the snug fit in the heel through midfoot, then room for your toes to splay out a bit. It would help if you also had at least a finger’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Don’t assume you can just ‘break in’ your new walking shoes. The fit should be right before you leave the shop.
What are the best walking shoes to look stylish?
Sometimes comfy and stylish don’t always go together. However, depending on your activities, some shoes might be better than others.
Usually, walking shoes are designed to maintain stability throughout a walk and often are more rigid, less flexible and slightly heavier than other options, including running shoes, but if you don’t plan to exercise, you can find comfortable sneakers that work for everything from coffee runs to daytime dates and travelling, easy to pair perfectly with jeans, sun-dresses and most looks in between.
CrunchyTales’ favourite walking shoe type? The super trendy slip-on sneakers.
“Slip-on sneakers are like the best of both worlds,” continues Dr Jacqueline Sutera .”They are cushioned, lightweight, and easy to put on and take off.” And we couldn’t agree more.
They often have a padded collar to provide a more comfortable feel and flexible side panels to allow you to slip them on easily, even hands-free. Extremely versatile, they also come in a variety of interesting colours and style options, making them the best walking shoes for busy women on the go.
According to The Editorialist, the continued growth and popularity of the sneaker market mean there’s a plethora of slip-on sneaker options to suit every style and budget. Amongst the most popular brands are: Vans’ checkerboard slip-on (which has been a favourite for nearly four decades), and high-end walking shoes by Bottega Veneta.
With slip-on sneakers, laces are the least of your worries. They’re easy enough to dress up or down depending on where you’re going. So whether you wear them to sightsee or to impress at brunch, they’re sure to comfortably complete your look helping you go that extra mile.