The 5 Best Walking Shoes, According to Podiatrists
Whether you're 22 or 72, walking is a great form of exercise that can help you tone up while improving your cardiovascular health. And while walking may leave you with fewer aches and pains post-workout than an intense run or heavy weightlifting session, there's one major mistake many people make when they're walking for exercise that can leave them hobbling just the same: wearing the wrong shoes. With the help of podiatrists, we've rounded up the best walking shoes on the market, helping you stay comfortable—and safe—during every workout. And if you're eager to slim down, check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
Altra Olympus 4
If you're looking for a walking shoe that looks as great as it feels, look no further than the Altra Olympus 4.
"This shoe has zero drop, provides great structural support, and has a lot of cushion. This shoe is great for walking and hiking. It also has an extra roomy toe box that reduces the pain of bunions, tailor's bunions, and neuroma," says podiatrist Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM, FACFAS, of Podiatry Associates, Inc.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Avoiding foot pain during a long walk is possible—with the right shoes, that is. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Pamela Mehta, MD, founder of Resilience Orthopedics, says that even people whose gait typically causes pain can reduce their discomfort with footwear like a pair of Brooks walking shoes.
"Everyone has a different gait based on whether you overpronate (roll inward), supinate (roll outward), or remain neutral. Generally, the most comfortable options, such as Brooks Walking Shoes, place the feet in a healthy, neutral position, and provide excellent cushioning while allowing the foot to move in a natural way. The support offered by a neutral shoe can help overall join alignment of the body, from the feet up," Mehta explains.
New Balance Made in USA 990v5
You don't have to go to a fancy specialty store to snag a great pair of walking shoes—board-certified podiatrist Nelya Lobkova, DPM, owner of Step Up Footcare, says that New Balance sneakers rank among her favorite walking shoes.
"This shoe offers good cushioning and an Ortholite insole for mild arch support, with a 6 mm drop," Lobkova explains.
HOKA One Bondi SR
While walking in nature can be enjoyable for some, others prefer the sights and sounds of a walk through the city. If you fall into the latter camp, Lobkova says the HOKA One Bondi SR is ideal for your strolls.
"[It's] great cushioning for the concrete streets of NYC, especially distance walking," Lobkova explains.
If you're looking for a rugged shoe that works as well on a hike in the country as it does walking to the train after work, look no further than the Teva Ridgeview.
"It's a durable, weather-proof shoe for walking in the city on various terrain," explains Lobkova.
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