Expert Author Kasia Lanucha

Walking is widely recognized as one of the best ways to reach your exercise goals. It is low impact, meaning that it puts little stress on your joints and it does not need anything in the way of expensive equipment, so most people can take part.

Before starting any exercise program it is important to get approval from your doctor. Once you have been given the okay you should take care when you buy the one really important item for your walking exercise program: your shoes.

Here are a few tips on how to buy a good pair of shoes for walking.

First it is important to choose shoes that are stable. Many shoes come with anti-roll mechanisms built-in on either side of the mid-foot. These help prevent rolling over at the ankles, something which can lead to severe injury if you are not careful.

Before buying it is important that you try on the shoes and walk in them in the store. If you feel that your foot is turning over on the side, this indicates that the shoe is not stable. Try rolling over on your ankles and see how much support the shoes give you when you do this.

Next, you should look at the flexibility of the sole of the shoe. You do not want a shoe that is completely rigid, nor do you want something that is completely floppy. Ideally you want to fall on the side of a little more rigidity. This will offer support and also transfer energy when you push away with every footstep.

After this, you need to look at the support and the cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot of the shoe. Many expensive running shoes come with air soles, but you do not need to buy these really expensive shoes. Just look for a good level of cushioning at the heel and the forefoot and that should be good enough for your purposes.

For the next step it is important to look at the fit of the shoe. When you stand you should be able to push down and have half an inch of space in front of the big toe. This will allow for expansion of the feet which occurs during exercise.

Now you should see if the shoe hangs on to your heel properly. If the shoe slides off your heel, it is not a good fit and may cause blisters and other injuries to the foot.

When looking at the surface of the shoe it is good to have a mixture of leather and mesh. If you would rather not use leather then a good strong synthetic material will serve equally well. The mesh will allow the foot to breathe during exercise which is especially important on very hot days.

The shoes themselves should have insoles that can be taken out and replaced. This precaution is necessary for people who have special requirements for special support.

Once you've chosen your shoes, you're ready to start your exercise program. A good pair of shoes will offer support and comfort during your walking program.



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