What Are Walking Shoes Best for?
Considering the rapid tempo of modern life with changeable weather conditions, walking shoes can serve as an excellent substitute for both heavy winter footwear and sports models of light boots in the hot weather. So, what are walking shoes, and what are their features and advantages?
- Made with the use of modern technologies, originally intended for sports tourists or climbers, both men and women’s walking shoes perfectly protect the feet from moisture penetration and hypothermia, and at the same time, allow the skin to breathe.
- Summer models of walking shoes for hiking, manufactured for long walking in hot weather, differ from ordinary lightweight sneakers with special relief on the sole, due to the best grip on any problematic surface, or when moving quickly on a wet road.
- Modern hard and, at the same time, light materials make walking boots especially resistant to mechanical stress and significantly prolong their service life.
- The structural features of winter and demi-season walking boots allow protecting the legs from wind penetration and ensuring the foot is firmly fixed, preventing it from injuries while walking on ice.
- The sole has a high degree of depreciation, which gives advantages when moving with a backpack or with heavy bags, decreasing the spine’s load.
Can You Run in Walking Shoes?
Trainers recommend running in walking shoes only in exceptional cases, and over rough terrain, not asphalt. If you have special winter sneakers, use them because trekking boots limit the mobility of the foot and ankle. They do not provide the cushioning required for running and because of this – a strong shock to the joints and spine.
Are Walking Shoes Good for Hiking?
Walking shoes are originally intended for tourists and climbers. They are so strong that they can withstand the most severe weather conditions: waterproof walking shoes perfectly protect the feet from moisture penetration and overcooling, allowing the skin to breathe.
How to Get the Right Size
Choose the right size when you buy your walking shoes. The standard rule: completely relax the laces, and put your foot inside, push it forward so that your fingers touch the front of the shoe. You should be able to easily put the index finger of one hand between your heel and the back of the shoe. Thus, when your shoe and heel fall into place, your fingers will have enough space in front. Failure to observe this rule can cause calluses and pain in the toes after long descents.
Also, pay attention to the width of the shoe and how it feels in the heel area: it should not be loose or hanging up and down – this means that the rise of the shoe is too great for you. Try to re-lace the shoe, and if the heel is detached from the sole, take the next size.
How to Clean Walking Shoes?
It is very important not to ruin what you have chosen for so long. And the most common mistake is drying shoes with the use of burners, fires, hot stones, batteries, and other heating elements. Dry walking shoes only at room temperature in a natural way. The only thing that can be used is to insert crumpled paper inside the shoe, which will absorb excess moisture. Never put soaked shoes in the scorching sun. If you do not follow these rules, the materials of your walking shoes will crack, and the glue will lose its strength. In the end, at best, you will have to endure another blister, and at worst – you will lose your footwear altogether.
Of course, it is unpleasant to wear wet shoes in the morning, but while you are walking, there will be no discomfort in the shoes, and a thick trekking sock will help with the formation of corns in a wet pair of leather shoes. In addition, if it continues to rain, then it makes no sense to spend a lot of effort into drying the shoes.
How Long Do Walking Shoes Last?
Every year, an increasing number of people become supporters of an active lifestyle, and this applies not only to morning runs, but also to quite long journeys over rough terrain in the most remote places, or expeditions to other countries. All these tests not only exhaust the travelers, but also hit their tourist footwear as hard as possible.
There is an opinion that leather shoes are the highest quality, as they are sturdy and adapted for long hikes in any environmental conditions. However, in practice, they lose up to 70% of their original characteristics on a long journey without repair.
As for footwear made from synthetic materials, it is mainly subject to mechanical wear and is the most resistant to any adverse conditions, with the exception of extremely low temperatures. Moreover, both leather and synthetic-based footwear are equally threatened by premature wear of the sole with prolonged climbs over rocky terrain. And in the case of cheap models, where the sole is only fixed with glue, they face delamination of the sole in the first few days of walking in a rocky and marshy area. That’s why only branded time-tested models and proper care are a guarantee of quality.
Best Walking Shoes Buying Guide – What To Look For
Walking boots have a sole made from special types of rubber with various patterns of protectors. For the production of such footwear, membrane fabric (Gore-Tex), high-strength aramid fibers and other modern materials are also used. On the market, there are many summer and winter boots from a variety of brands. Although Italian brands are the best, Swiss, Austrian, German and Polish manufacturers also make quality products.
Decide exactly where you will wear your shoes and what terrain you will walk on the most. City boots are suitable for everyday walking; tourists are ideal for traveling light in low mountains; mountain ones are used for more complex trips with technically elementary climbs. They differ in stiffness, sometimes equipped with welts for fastening trolleys; high mountain boots already belong to mountaineering shoes. They’re designed for ascents that are not under the force of untrained travelers; walking shoes are designed for rugged terrain.
2. Who Will Wear Them?
Walking boots are masculine, feminine and unisex. Most of the models are designed for men as extreme female travelers in mountainous areas are rare. As a rule, the same models are purchased for men but of suitable female size.
3. Category of the Best Walking Shoes
There is a conditional division into the following categories:
- Light – represents the next level after sneakers for trekking. There are both shortened and elongated shoes for better protection of the ankles;
- Medium-heavy shoes are more like traditional trekking boots for tourism. They have thick soles with powerful protectors, strong midsoles, reliable ankle support, which facilitates walking with a heavy backpack through harsh landscapes;
- Heavy – refers to traditional walking shoes. Provides the maximum possible ankle support and supports feet.
The Best Walking Shoes: Final Advice
Having defined your goals and objectives, you need to think about the road on which you plan to walk. If you’re planning to walk on different surfaces during one trip, then you need to acquire several pairs of walking shoes. So carefully read each review and get the shoes that are best for you. If we had to pick one walking shoe, we would pick the Boulder X La Sportiva based on the features and advantages this model offers.