Everybody wears shoes however wearing the wrong type walking shoes can result in acute knee pain, pain in feet or shins and injuries. There are many types of walking shoes available however it is very important to choose the right shoes which are comfortable, provide adequate support to feet and don't cause any pain or injury.
Good walking shoes should be able to absorb shock and support the feet while walking. It is essential to know the shape of feet and basic things about shoes before buying them. Shape of the feet and walking style affects the body's ability to absorb shock.
That's why I've written this "Four Steps for Choosing a walking Shoe for women" guide. Just follow the steps below, and you'll discover which walking shoes are best for you.
Step 1:Understand Pronation
Pronation is the inward rolling of the foot from heel to toe while walking. It is important to understand the level of pronation of feet to choose the right pair of walking shoes. There are three levels of pronation are based on walking style and bone structure or the feet and leg.
Neutral pronation – A person walking with neutral pronation is able to strike the ground on the lateral side of the heel. This way the foot moves from heel to toe in a way that the body absorbs shock naturally. It is the best way to walk as it reduces chances of foot injury and pain. People with Neutral pronation can wear any walking shoes as they have flexible feet. However they don't need orthotics and motion control shoes.
Underpronation – A person walking with underpronation strikes the ground on the lateral side of the heel however transfers weight from the heel towards the lateral side of the foot. This way body is not able to absorb shock efficiently. People with Underpronation or supinators should wear shoes with sole (outer, mid and insole) designed with great shock absorbency. People with underpronation have a little stiff foot which restricts flexible movement of the foot.
Overpronation – People walking with overpronation push off primarily from the big toe and second toe resulting in the shock from the foot's impact spreading unevenly throughout the foot and the ankle. It can cause severe pain in knee, foot or shin. Wearing wrong shoes can even worsen the pain and cause injury as well. Wearing an orthotics show can prevent injuries so it is recommended to check with the doctor if the pain is unbearable.
If you do not know your level of pronation, you can read this article:how to determine your level of pronation
Step 2: Identifying the Arch Type
Arch type helps a lot in choosing the correct walking shoes and it is very easy to find out the arch type. It can be done by a simple test of standing on a sheet of paper with the wet sole as it will leave footprint on the sheet of paper. There are three types of arches:
Normal arch/Neutral pronator- Normal arch is when the sheet has a print of half of foot arch. This is a very common and the most ideal arch as the body is able to absorb shock easily. People with normal arch have neutral pronation so most of the shoes fit them.
Flat arch/ Over pronator- Flat arch is when almost entire footprint is on the sheet of paper. People with flat arch tend to overpronate while walking which increases the risk of foot and knee injury. People with flat arch need shoes that provide more stability and motion control.
High arch/ Under pronator- High arch is when the sheet has an imprint of heel and front of the foot. People with high arch tend to underpronate. Choose shoe with great sole shock absorbency to avoid any injury.
Step 3: Select the Right Type of Walking Shoes for Your Feet
As discussed earlier, people with flat arch tend to overpronate so it is advised to buy motion control shoes to provide maximum support to the foot. These shoes are available however check with orthopeadiac if the pain persists.
People with high arch tend to underpronate so it is beeter to wear curved shoes with great shock absorbency on the sole. They support the heel and absorb shock while walking.
People with medium arch have neutral pronation. They can wear any shoes however it is better to wear curved shoes with cushioning. They don't need motion control shoes as they have flexible foot.
Step 4:Best Walking Shoes For Women Recommended
► Best Women's Walking Shoes – Stability Shoes (recommended for medium arch and neutral pronators.)
► Best Women's Walking Shoes – Neutral Shoes (recommended for high arches and underpronator/supinator,but may be appropriate for neutral pronators.)
► Best Women's Walking Shoes – Motion Control Shoes (recommended for flat arch and overpronators)