walking shoes - By Courtney Miles on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 16:35
Walking has become a popular fitness activity, but few realize the importance or necessity of having proper exercise walking shoes. Due to the fact that the mechanics of walking are different to running or other fitness activities, it is important to wear specially designed shoes.
Finding the Right Exercise Walking Shoes
As walking is not such a high impact activity as running the sole of the shoe does not need to be overly shock absorbent, as it is more important for it to be well-designed for roll through. Therefore, exercise walking shoes usually have a low-profile heel with a slight bevel on the exterior of the heel to provide support for your foot and ankle.
It is vital for exercise walking shoes to be flexible as the foot has a greater range of motion when walking compared to running. When purchasing your exercise walking shoes, twist and bend them to make sure they provide adequate flexibility. Check that the fit is snug to provide good support, but not too tight so that they become uncomfortable.
One factor that many people overlook when buying exercise walking shoes is that our feet change shape over time . Therefore, the size you need now may be completely different to what you needed five years ago. The best solution is to try on multiple pairs of exercise walking shoes and make sure that there is aT least a thumbnails length of space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe.
Exercise Walking Shoes: Popular Brands
As with running shoes there are many brands available of exercise walking including Masai Barefoot Technology, Sano by Mephisto and Skechers ShapeUps.
MBT Exercise Walking Shoes
Masai Barefoot Technology or MBT has created a shoe that is revolutionary as it changes the way your muscles are used. They are designed to provide support, cushion your foot as well as improve your posture. MBT exercise walking shoes will make your session more effective as it challenges your muscles, while being gentle with your joints and spine. They have a multilayered sole that simulates how our ancestors used to walk by turning flat and hard surfaces into natural and uneven ones.
However, for a beginner these shoes may not be the best choice as they may place too much strain on your muscles and you will quickly become disenchanted with your new exercise routine.
Sano by Mephisto Exercise Walking Shoes
Another excellent walking shoe is from the Sano by Mephisto line, which helps to improve blood circulation, increases the burning of excess calories, helps to relax tense muscles, and even promotes a better body shape. These exercise walking shoes are designed specifically for walkers, as they are very flexible, and help to activate smaller secondary muscles that are not often used. Shoes from Sano by Mephisto will make your walking experience a comfortable one providing a natural and soft surface for your foot. However, they are a bit on the expensive side.
Skechers ShapeUps Exercise Walking Shoes
At a more reasonable price, these shoes are designed to mimic barefoot walking with breathable side panels and cushioned insoles. These exercise walking shoes have a midsole made of soft foam to help with shock absorption as well as muscle toning. They also have a fabric lining to help absorb moisture and a strong frame which provides support for your foot. However, it is recommended that these shoes are not used for running.
Wearing special exercise walking shoes will not only make your exercise experience more comfortable but will also improve the effectiveness of your walking routine.