I finally had the sense to get custom made orthotics (formed shoe inserts) and walking shoes picked out for me by a Podiatrist. The difference in my life is remarkable. Both were worth every penny I paid for them, and the Podiatrist has a life-long, loyal patient. One of my earliest memories was of my feet hurting. I went through 62 years of pain each and every day. The right shoes MATTER!
Both times I've bought shoes specifically for extensive walking, I've definitely been well-served by going to a running store. The most recent pair I bought was after trying on well over a dozen different shoes.
In addition to the arch and the pronation/supination, other little things can and do matter. Width of the foot, width of the heel, how the back of the shoe sits for the Achilles tendon, which foot is larger and by how much.
I have a wide foot, so about 1/3 of the shoes I tried were men's rather than women's. I have a full 1/2-1 size difference between my feet, so some pairs had one foot sliding and the other snug. I distinctly remember one pair feeling like it was pinching in on the sides of my heel. All of those shoes may have been perfect for someone else. They weren't for me.
In trying out all those shoes, one of the best bits of advice I was given - don't ignore something that's a little uncomfortable. It's not going to get better over time. The shoe will not wear in. Find the shoe that feels great immediately. (Still giving it time before actively using it for everything, of course.)
I have a pair of running Nikes which are very comfortable and give good support but they've been with me for some years and they're worn out.
I also have a pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes and while I haven't walked extensively in them yet, they are really comfortable. I've walked on rocks, cement, grass, unpaved roads and I've got to say that it really is like walking barefoot. I can feel the stretch in my arches, my Achilles tendons and my calves. But be careful! If you step on something sharp like I did (I stepped on a sharp rock), while it won't go through the shoe (I don't know about nails), it felt really uncomfortable! I wouldn't use them if you're walking on a lot of rubble and debris, but they're great for yoga, walking, swimming, more walking and my legs are getting in form.
6/22/2011 9:41:55 AM
What about shoes that are supposed to tone as you walk? I bought a pair and have to admit I am not having the tightness that I had before. But it "appears" (not necessarily what is happening) that my ankle is turning inward. Anyone have the same sense?
I have Saucony running shoes, but I still experience tightness in the back of my legs and the bottoms of my feet have been hurting. I really can't afford the more expensive running shoes, does anyone have any advice for me? Right now I am not running marathons, so I don't need too expensive of a running shoe do I?
6/14/2011 2:17:41 PM
Articles are a great way to get information and to learn more. However, especially when it comes to shoes, don't assume just because you are a certain foot type that you automatically wear the shoe recommended by most "fitness experts" in an article. Do what this article says and go to a good shoe store like Road Runner Shoes and get properly fitted. My feet are as wide and flat as a duck (hence my name - so proud of it). I also over pronate. You would think that I would wear a firm motion control shoe. Well, those type of shoes actually gave me severe shin splints and made my feet roll inward even more. Turns out after having my feet fully evaluated by Road Runners Shoes, I actually wear a neutral or very soft stability shoe with extra cushioning. So do your homework. It really makes a difference.
The right shoes have made a huge difference for me. My lower legs are not fatigued after walking/running, and my arches are not aching after long activity. Thanks for the information, it helped me make the right choices.
I am finding that the best shoes for hiking and walking are my Vibram 5-finger shoes, my feet are not sore even after going for 10 miles. The 5-finger shoes are just like going bare foot the way were made to do.
I agree about buying good shoes that fit. I used to buy cheapie shoes at Target or Payless. Then I started having problems with plantar fasciitis - eventually in both feet. I went in to Fleet Feet and was fitted for a pair of walking shoes. The plantar fasciitis was gone within two months. Yes, I'm paying more - $95 to $125 - but being able to walk without pain is priceless. The shoes are so much better, that I only have to buy a new pair every year.
I do a spin class several times a week, and I've noticed my big toes are feeling bruised. I tried different shoes with a leather (instead of mesh) upper (a tennis shoe) and now my arch is hurting....I can't afford a hundred dollars for a specialty shoe. Any ideas or tips?
12/6/2010 4:58:48 PM
I bought a pair of the sketchers from Naturalizers and wore them most of the time and at first my back hurt just above the waistline but with continued wear that got less and less so I got a second pair to wear indoors and now I have the third pair in black so I can wear it to work with black pants in the winter. They are also not slippery on the snow/ice we have now. I totally recommend them especially if you have back problems as you stand straighter. I discuss them with my therapists who said they are great but you need to wear them often not just an hour a day.
Someone asked about the Gravity defyer. I just did a search on it and found mostly very bad reviews. Many said they were very uncomfortable as there wasn't much cushioning on the ball of the foot. There were also complaints of them squeaking and falling apart! here is the link: http://www.shamelessreviews.com/gravity-de fying-shoes/
To be fair -The reviews also showed that if people did not get injured from them that they loved them! I didn't see too many people that didn't like them if they didn't get hurt! Almost all reviewers thought they were comfortable -at least for a while. Some started having sudden pains that subsided when they stoppped using them. There were also lots of broken legs and ankles! Honestly, I don't see how because they didn't feel that unsteady -not even laterally, but then again, since they were new, I was paying a lot of attention and I'm guessing these things happen when you no longer think about your shoes. Many of them said they were just walking in places (such as driveway or street) that they had always walked and there wasn't any rocks or anything. I almost kept them, but I just read one too many of those stories and decided it wasn't worth the chance for me even though they didn't seem to feel unsafe. I think if I hadn't already had screws in my ankle, I would have kept them.
I would be really leary of these. I bought a pair the other day. I actually thought they were pretty comfortable & didn't feel too unstable or anything. After doing some research though, I found a LOT of people had injuries from wearing them! I don't want to take the chance, so I took them back. I already have two screws in my ankle! Don't need any more!
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