There's no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the best walking shoes. If you are among those people who supinate -- meaning your feet roll outward with each step -- it can be even more difficult to find a supportive shoe. Durability, comfort and arch support are critical features your walking shoes must have to keep you walking longer, faster and stronger.
Since walking, running and jumping are natural motions for most people, the mechanisms required to make these movements are rarely considered. However, your feet take a huge amount of stress from these simple activities. Proper foot placement, spreading the weight evenly throughout the foot, helps maintain comfort when executing any of them. When you supinate, your feet roll outward, so extra weight is shifted to the outsides of your feet. This can cause pain and injury. According to Foot Levelers, supination is very rare. Less than 10 percent of people have the condition. It is most common in people who have very high arches.
Stay the Course
If you supinate, the outside edges of your walking shoes may wear out quickly. The tread of your walking shoes may become stripped, which can contribute to slips and falls. In addition, your outside midsole may be worn through, which can cause not only cold and even wet feet but less arch support. Thick-soled shoes with deep treads are durable walking shoes for supinators. Over the years, a few running shoe manufacturers have offered shoes in which the outside half of the midsole was denser than inside half. A podiatrist might be able to steer you toward a source for such shoes.
Support Your Feet
Supination can cause a variety of injuries and complications, including foot, knee and hip pain. If you want to remain active without any aches and pains, your shoes should have built-in arch support to correct the supination. These mechanisms provide extra cushioning and padded impact zones to absorb the shock of walking. Over-pronators' feet roll excessively inward. Shoes that do not feature anti-pronation protection may be helpful for supinators. Generally these shoes are described as neutral and feature single-density midsoles and curved lasts.
Add a Little Comfort
Comfort is one of the most important elements when selecting walking shoes. Not only must the shoe be durable and provide corrective support for your condition, it must fit properly so you can walk as long as you would like. When trying on walking shoes, take a walk around the shoe store to see how they feel. Ensure that the length of your shoe is a thumb's space from your longest toe to the end of the shoe so your feet aren't crammed in the shoe. For the best support, especially for supinators, the widest part of the shoe should hug the widest part of your foot snugly to give the outside of your foot extra support.
- Foot Levelers: Understanding Your Feet: Supination
- Asheville Podiatrist: How Do I Know If My Shoes Fit Properly?
- Dick's Sporting Goods: Selecting a Running Shoe
- Boulder Running Company: General Shoe Information
- Fitness Walking Guide: Best Walking Shoes
- REI: Running Shoes: How to Choose
- Asics: Understanding Pronation
- University of Illinois: Foot Types