Proper Footwear for Walking Making the right choices for the right shoe
3 functions of a good shoe1. Protection against injuries, cuts and general safety2. Stability to prevent improper movement in foot (to avoid problems in ankle, knee, hip, pelvis)3. Shock absorption to decrease stress on leg and soften impact
4 parts to a shoe1. Last (Shape of the bottom of the shoe): a. Straight (motion control, stability) b. Semi-curved (normal arches) c. Curved (high arches)2. Toe break (where shoe bends)3. Heel cup4. Midsole material (bridge between heel & ball) a. Slip lasted (seam along length) b. Board lasted (cardboard along length) c. Combination (cardboard in rear, seam in front)
Stability? Shock absorption?• Flat foot or poor arches: Shoes with stability (rigid heel cup, firm midsole, straight last, board lasted construction)• High arch or rigid foot: Shoes with shock absorption (softer midsole, curved or semi curved last, slip or combination lasted)
Also, test the flexibility of the shoe• Twist: Grab and pull. Should twist a little. If it twists a lot, may not be appropriate for long walks.• Bend: Try to bend. Should bend at ball of foot. If bends completely, better for shorter walks.• Poke: Place it on a level surface and poke the toe. Heel should raise, which reflects a nice curve to aid walking.
Basic advice for shopping for shoes• Shop at end of day• Measure your shoe size periodically• Don’t buy the most expensive shoe, unless it is the right shoe for you• Wear the type of socks you will be using when you walk• Go to a specialty store and talk with a professional• If you have a medical condition (diabetes, neuropathy), talk with physician