Because walking is a lower-impact activity, many of us don't pay as much attention to the footwear we use when hitting the pavement. Picking the right footwear and adding the right amount of arch support is crucial to preventing injury and ensuring comfort.
Although walking is a lower risk activity for injuries (In comparison to high-impact sports like running or basketball) you should remember that walking still puts weight and some impact on your feet and legs. And, if you're walking all day without the right amount of support, you know how much wear and tear your body can feel.
In this post, we'll walk you through the benefits of walking, as well as common foot problems you'll want to avoid and tips for finding the best insoles for walking all day.
You've probably heard of the health benefits of walking. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM) argues that walking can drastically improve your health and well-being. Walking has been shown to reduce stress, increase cardiovascular health, and boost immunity. It's no wonder that the "Father of Western Medicine" Hippocrates stated that "walking is the best medicine."
Whether you're lacing up your walking shoes before work, racking up the miles when you're walking all day at work, or strolling in the evening with your dog, continued and consistent walking habits can do wonders for your life.
Walking shoes tend to have thinner soles and less cushioning than other sports-specific shoes. While this may seem like an appropriate trait for lower-impact shoes, your feet still need the same level of arch support, cushion, and shock absorption when walking as when engaging in other activities. In fact, walking can cause many of the same injuries as running, including plantar fasciitis, runner's knee, and Achilles tendinitis.
As with most other footwear, the factory insoles in walking shoes are generic. They're made to the lowest common denominator of arch contour so that they'll fit the majority of people who need that type of shoe.
While walking may be lower impact, the weight you put on your feet and legs means you still need good arch support insoles for shoes to prevent injuries. The best insoles for walking all day will have strong arch supports that control for excessive pronation. But before you pick out insoles for walking shoes, you'll want to get the best shoe for your foot.
As with any type of footwear you buy, you need to choose a walking shoe that fits your specific foot structure. Knowing your feet before buying a pair of walking shoes will help you get a pair that is best suited for your feet.
Do you have lower arches and tend to overpronate? Your excessive inward rolling motion can lead to plantar fasciitis. What about extremely high arches and the tendency to supinate (or under pronate)? This means your arches don't have optimal shock-absorbing capacity when running or walking, which can lead to sore feet and knees.
Once you've figured out your foot's shape, you'll want to take into account the specific motions inherent to walking. When we walk, our foot's natural motion is a gradual roll from the heel to the toe, with a bend at the ball of the foot during each step.
This two-part motion means your walking shoes need to have enough flexibility in the correct places. When you're shopping for your next pair of walking shoes, try these tests to see if the shoe you're looking at can properly accommodate this motion:
If you're going to be walking all day, the key to comfort and support is maintaining proper biomechanics. The best shoe insoles for walking will provide the necessary arch support, no matter your arch height.
From flat feet to high arches, your insoles need to provide structured support. Arch support ensures your feet are moving in optimal ways, preventing injury. When looking for the best shoe inserts for walking all day, you'll want ones that have:
Whether your on your feet exploring or walking all day for work, the key to staying happy and healthy is comfort. The right shoes and the best shoe inserts for walking will make all the difference in your steps.
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Mark has always believed exceptional footwear can change lives. He's been in the footwear industry for over 30 years, working with podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts, and footwear makers. Mark started Chaco sandals in 1989 and developed a game-changing sport sandal that delivered comfort and durability. After Chaco sold in 2009, Mark ultimately started Tread Labs to continue transforming people's footwear so they can walk better, feel better, live better.
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