If you love being in the outdoors and walking about, a good pair of walking shoes is an absolute necessity. Those who walk about for hours at a time will tell you just how important it is to have shoes that provide both comfort and support. But what type of walking shoes are best? What do you need to look for when buying a pair? 

Where Will You be Walking?

You should think about what type of walking you usually do, or that you would like to do. Maybe you just like walking around the city seeing the various sights. Or perhaps you prefer hiking and tackling trails across the United States. The type of surface that you will be walking on will play a key role in the type of shoes that you end up buying. 

For example, if city walking is what you prefer, a good pair of road-running shoes would be ideal as they are lightweight and contain extra cushioning for supporting feet that are pounding the pavement. Hiking shoes, on the other hand, have additional support around the ankle area for uneven terrain and they will have more grip on the sole as well. If you do a mixture of walking, then do not fret as there are hybrid shoes for those who walk on all types of terrain. 

What a Good Pair of Walking Shoes Must Have

A supportive and comfortable pair of walking shoes should be flexible yet stable. It is important that they offer stability, bending at the ball of the foot and not along the arch. 

When you are trying on a pair of walking shoes, make sure that they are supporting the heel. This part of the shoe should offer a snug fit but should not be too tight. You should have room to move your toes freely but make sure there is not too much space as this could lead to your feet moving about too much when you walk. This can be painful for the toes. The amount of room between your big toe and the end of the shoe, should be between a half and a full width of your thumb.

Comfort is important when it comes to walking shoes, and this typically comes from the insole. Road-running shoes have a lot of cushioning because of the impact that pavement running can have on the feet and the spine. However, for walking this amount of cushioning is not essential. In fact, hiking shoes tend to have far less cushioning than their road-running counterparts. 

For walking, even cushioning across the entire shoe is preferred. The heel-to-toe drop is a specification that will give you an indication of the cushioning of a shoe. A zero drop means that the cushioning is spread evenly across the shoe. A larger drop number means that there is more cushioning at the heel than there is at the toe. 

Some people like to purchase a zero-drop walking shoe and then choose their own insert that provides the level of support and cushioning to suit their own needs. 

Taking Care of Your Walking Shoes

When you find a good pair of walking shoes, it is imperative that you take good care of them. If you are going to be walking for hours at a time, your feet can get warm and sweaty. This can in-turn lead to bacteria and odor. ShoeFresh shoe deoderizer recommend using a shoe deodorant that will help to prevent the buildup of bacteria and eliminate odors for up to three months.