Walking is a fun and easy way to get fit. Not only does it get your muscles working and heart pumping, it’s a great reason to explore your community and natural surroundings. Whether you’re hiking in the wilderness or walking to work to achieve your daily steps target, wearing the right footwear is essential. A good pair of walking boots or shoes can make all the difference – providing all the comfort and support you need to go further, as well as helping prevent any accidents and injuries.
Why should I wear walking boots and shoes?
Well-fitting walking boots or shoes are always worth the investment. You don’t need to be climbing Everest to reap the benefits of better grip, support and comfort – you’ll notice the difference even if you’re just taking the dog out for a few hours.
Walking boots and shoes can provide:
- Support and stability. The most important feature of walking boots is the level of support they offer your feet. High ankle support will keep you steady on uneven ground, while a shoe with well-fitted ankle padding is a must for tackling longer hikes. If you’re after an urban shoe suitable for an afternoon stroll, look for a lighter, more breathable option such as robust trainers.
- Waterproof protection. Whether you’re hitting the hills or pounding the pavement, one thing is guaranteed – at some point, it’s going to rain. Making sure your shoes are waterproof will keep your feet warm and dry and prevent any rubbing, which can lead to bothersome blisters and foot ache. You’ll be glad for waterproof walking boots when the heavens open midway through your journey.
- Great grip and improved tread. Consider where you’re going to be walking when determining the level of grip you’ll need. A hike in nature is likely to require boots with improved tread, whereas comfortable trainers might suffice for a wander around the city.
What are the best boots for walking?
Safety boots can double up as walking shoes, thanks to their cushioned ankle support and strong grip soles. These lace ups are also comfortable and easy to wear, with a mesh fabric that keeps your feet dry and sweat-free.
Robust work boots are a great option for a mid-distance walking shoe. A blend of synthetics and coated leather provides a waterproof covering, while cushioned ankles offer added comfort and confidence with every step. Plus, the gripped outer soles will give you the extra traction you need on slippery and uneven surfaces – making them some of the best boots for hiking.
What are the best shoes for walking?
If you’re covering longer distances, you’ll need supportive shoes. Look for walking shoes that allow your feet to breathe without sacrificing fit and form. A pair of walking shoes that keep your feet in place can prevent accidents, while an aerated mesh material is great for keeping cool when on the move. Here’s our pick of the bunch.
These unisex safety shoes feel like lightweight trainers, but offer the protection and support of mid-distance walking boots. Made from synthetic textiles, these lace-ups are comfortable and snug, yet breathable – making them equally good on city streets and country lanes.
Stylish men’s shoes are ideal for a weekend stroll. These lace-ups have contrasted grip soles which add extra hold when you’re on the move. At the same time, they’re trendy enough to wear on an evening, without skimping on sturdiness and durability. This makes them a must-pack for a city break that involves plenty of sightseeing.
Hill ascents are a breeze in these aerated trainer-style safety shoes. Lightweight compared to most typical working boots, a pair of these unisex shoes are ideal for walks. Steel toe caps and mesh insoles add protection and comfort, while thick grip soles will keep you steady on uneven paths and muddy lanes.
What are the best trainers for walking?
Trainers are good for walking – especially on beginner-friendly routes. Given their lightweight nature, they’re pleasingly supportive and comfortable – making them perfect for a weekend stroll. These trainers are the best for walking in.
Slip-on trainers with a textile and synthetic lining will keep your feet cool and sweat-free when walking, helping to prevent rubbing and blisters. Their memory foam insoles mould to your feet, providing an extra level of padding to support you when you’re out and about.
Easy fit trainers with plenty of flexibility are made for family-friendly walking routes. These Podium trainers prioritise comfort and movement, making them a great option when out with the kids. Lightweight and with fitted insoles, these are ideal for getting out for a few hours on the weekend.
A great medium-level alternative to regular walking boots, these lightweight men’s Skechers feature dual lite soles and a cushioned collar for ultimate comfort. An upper mesh and air-cooled memory foam, shapes itself to your feet, keeping your sole aerated and dry to prevent discomfort and slips when tackling tough terrain. If you’re heading out on a relaxed camping trip, these trainers should be the first thing you pack.
Wearing the right shoes or boots when walking longer distances is just as, if not more, important than having adequate clothing and food supplies. Consider the level of support, breathability and grip you need for your journey, based on the terrain and duration.