Best Walking Shoes for Women (Our Reviews for 2016)
Walking is an extremely underrated form of exercise. Walking should be considered just as much of an exercise as running or jogging since it has it's own benefits and advantages over running or jogging. There are clear differences between people who go for a walk daily and those who don't.
Walking can improve circulation, reduce body fat, support your joints, strengthen your muscles, keep you sharp throughout the day and even reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease!.
Due to the fact that most avid walkers themselves often wear running shoes instead of walking shoes since they don't know the basic differences between the two, manufacturers put in much thought into running shoes and have walking shoes only there for the sake of market placement. This article is your ultimate buyers guide into women's walking shoes for 2016.
Our Picks for the Best Walking Shoes for Women
Don't have time to read the entire review? Then check out our picks!
Designed for shock resistance
Difference between walking shoes and running shoes
The difference is all in how it feels when you put it on.
A walker walks heel first as opposed to a runner who runs in-sole first.
Keep in mind the fact that manufacturers put more thought into running shoes than they do in walking shoes, so what might seem the same to you might actually make a huge difference to you when you walk in them.
Walking shoes are usually light weight and more flexible as compared to slightly heavier and non-flexible running shoes.
What to look for in a walking shoe
Flexible and light weight:
In this case, you need to make sure that whichever shoe you picked is both flexible and light weight. A good walking shoe would weigh between 10-32 ounces. The reason why you would need a light weight shoe is because it's easier to move around in them on any surface. Same is the case with flexibility.
A good way to check whether the shoe is too flexible or just the right amount, is to try twisting the shoe at the sole. If it twists to a certain degree without twisting completely, then it's at the right amount.
Breathable but with a good fit:
Try walking around for about 30 minutes before trying the shoes on. What this does is make your foot a bit swollen. When you wear the shoe, you can determine whether it'll fit perfectly after a long walk or will it be too tight. Your shoes don't have to be too fitted, however.
Make sure that there's an almost 1.3 centimeter space left between your toes and the tip of the shoe. The sides don't have to be too tight to the point of hurting you, however, they can't be too loose to the point where your foot falls off either.
Your heel tends to touch the ground first when you're walking, so you would need shoes which lay flat. However, as I'm pretty sure you know, no athletic shoe is completely flat. This is referred to as the heel drop measurement. The difference in heights can be from 10-30 millimeters based on whichever design you pick.
I'd strongly recommend buying shoes with a heel drop measurement of 0-10 millimeters. If your heel is way higher than your toes, then you'll be creating more pressure there and as a result, blisters will form on your toes.
All walking shoes have some sort of padding inside of them. The padding can make a huge difference id you're keen on comfort, as you should be. It's usually the padding which saves your foot from bruises, blisters or from poking your feet at rocky surfaces.
Look for a shoe with soft padding, it doesn't matter if it looks less in comparison to another shoe, what matters is the comfort.
A good walking shoe is one which doesn't put too much strain on your wallet. Trust me, a good choice for you with all the necessities I just mentioned is possible to buy in a specific price limit. Somewhere along $60-$120.
Looking at arch types
Our feet are able to form two types of arches for body weight distribution: side-ways and longitudinal. Sideways arches run from one corner of the insole to the other and longitudinal arches run from the bottom part of the insole till the top of your heel. If you're looking for the perfect walking shoes, then you need to determine your arch type first.
This is done by examining your foot prints. If you're able to see all of your foot in the print, you have a low arch. If you're able to see the middle of your foot only sparingly in the print then you have a high arch. And, if you're undecided about what category to put your arch type in then your's is probably a neutral arch type.
Low arch type:
You might want to go a little below the required amount of flexibility and a little less heel drop in order to stabilize your feet.
High arch type:
People with high arch type feet do not have good natural shock control. In order to compensate for this, you would need shoes with extra padding and a curvature in their design.
Neutral arch types:
People with neutral arch types can refer to the section on the best features since this mainly applies to them. However, they might shift towards different heel drop measurements or padding based on where they think they're leaning to.
Can walking shoes be particular to a specific place?
Yes, all walking shoes are adapted to a particular area. Even if the manufacturers say that their shoes are adapted to all surfaces, don't believe them! You might have noticed how some shoes hurt your feet while walking at a particular place, whereas you're much more comfortable in another pair of shoes.
When buying walking shoes, and I mean actually buying them with the purpose of treating walking as an exercise, you need to go to the best athletics store there is. Even there, don't take the shopkeepers word for it. Try the product out, walk on a few different surfaces you might find around the store and determine for yourself whether it's comfortable at the same level on both the surfaces or not.
Top 5 Walking Shoes For Women (2016)
New Balance is one of the world's leading brands when it comes to sports wear. The absolute great thing about New Balance is the fact that they take criticism very seriously and you can always expect their products to keep getting better and better.
The product is yet to be severely criticized by any of the people who bought it, however, there are some minor complaints here and there. The reason why this product made the top of the list is because of it's insane popularity among walkers.
- This walking shoe is one of the lightest walking shoes you can expect to find in the market today. You might feel like the overall product is not durable enough for long-term use because of it's weight. However, this isn't true since there's enough padding within the shoe to compensate for anything you might think it's lacking.
- The material is synthetic.The product is durable.
- It comes in a very attractive price range. This is the main reason why the product has gained such popularity among walkers everywhere.
- Even if you walk for long periods of time, these shoes won't hurt your feet. This is mainly due the extra layer of cushion added to the shoes.
- The arch isn't as high as some people might've wanted it to be. You might have to wear thicker socks to compensate for this.
- The sole might be softer however, your foot can easily poke into it. Thus, when you're walking, you would feel like it doesn't carry your shoes all the way up, all the time.
- The product isn't as breathable as some of the other walking shoes manufactured by New Balance. It's mainly because of all the extra padding that your toes aren't left with a lot of wiggle space.
Another item by New Balance on the list of the top 5 picks for the year 2016. Especially considering the fact that many athletics manufacturers won't give walkers the time of day. This product has received much more positive reviews than the previous one, however, there's a reason why it didn't make number one: price.
- The fit is perfect. It's breathable and fits smoothly without being loose at any end. No one has ever complained of the fit. In fact, even if you buy it online without physically trying it on, you will always get a shoe in the exact size that you ordered.
- It's durable since it's made from leather with a rubber sole. If you're someone who likes to take long walks or hikes than this product can work for you.
- It's light weight as well, however, not as light weight as number one. It does come in close at 11.4 ounces.
- It has a rollball support system.
- The price is way higher than the "woman's fitness walking shoe" made from the same company. Even though the company would argue that this product is better than the other one, to customer, the price really does matter and the other product is at a considerably cheaper price.
- Customers have also made complaints over the confusion of the manufacturing country. On their website, it says made in the US. Where as the actual product is made in Vietnam.
Saucony is a relatively new brand which is taking the athletic footwear market by storm. Although not as widely popular as New Balance quite yet, Saucony is expected to be quite a refreshing new treat.
- These shoes are the most inexpensive ones on this list. Although the price range isn't quite fixed, it can be almost as low as $25.
- They provide stability for neutral arched or low arched people.
- They have extra padding for shock control.
- They have a complete leather front insole covering.
- The heel drop measurement is within the suitable limit.
- The product isn't for people with high arched feet. It can be a dream come true for low to neutral arched people. However, a high arched person would receive no shock control or stability from them. You can always add arches to shoes if you'd like.
- It isn't as light weight. Almost 2 pounds.
ASICS begun manufacturing athletic shoes in 1949. Indeed one of the most experienced companies on this list. As the years went by, the quality of their product kept getting better and better. A definite buy with lots of great reviews.
- The product has medicare and is specially designed to make sure that you don't hurt yourself while walking on rocky surfaces or get blisters from walking too long.
- The console is made of rubber and is removable.
- The material used is all synthetic.
- Designed for all arch types.
- Incredibly durable. Can be used for years on end.
- Walking in them is so comfortable that people have reported to recover from knee injuries or twisted ankles.
- The product is among the heaviest shoes on the list. Although it weighs only 2 pounds, that's still considered a lot compared to 9.6 ounces. A walking shoe has to be lightweight so that the person can walk easily in them without having to put in extra effort to move his/her shoes along with them.
- ASICS might manufacture some amazing shoes. However, at a huge price. Although the investment is worth it, many people would stray away from some thing that can cost up to $125.
Orthaheel prides itself with it’s intricate designs and affordable prices. Another brand to look out for in the future.
- The shoes are affordable.
- There's padding inside and the shoes are specifically designed for shock resistant therapy.
- Perfect for people of all arch types.
- Provides stability.
- Waterproof exterior.
- The shoes aren't lightweight and do not have the best fit. In fact, you might actually have to take a size quite different than yours to get the perfect fit. You can always pick the right ones in a store.
- They aren't well adapted for all surfaces, even though that is a necessity for walking shoes. In preferable surfaces where the shoe is amazing, it's amazing. In surfaces the manufacturers haven't adapted it to, it's not amazing.
People fail to understand that if walking was something done by everyone every day then those people would not have been living an entirely different lifestyle. Even though the exercise might be in the initial stages of acknowledgement, some manufacturers have come up with some great products to help a walker get by, literally.
Walking has a lot of benefits and there are people who think that unless you're jogging or running, you aren't losing weight. Those people will be left dumbfounded after you walk into the room looking better than you've ever looked and you'll owe it all tp treating walking as a proper exercise.
Walking shoes are being made available for every one slowly but surely. Just follow this ultimate buyers guide to help you pick out the best walking shoes out there for you and remember, your normal day-to-day shoes aren't considered as "walking" shoes because you can't walk longer distances and for longer periods of time without forming blisters or bruises.
Follow the guide and get yourself the shoes made especially for your needs.
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