We’ve all heard the joke about the woman who went shoe shopping and after trying on pair after pair, found an oddly familiar-looking one near at hand. She thankfully slipped her feet into their welcoming comfort. “I’ll take this pair ,” she said happily. The perplexed salesperson told her that these were in fact her own shoes, the ones she had worn into the store. Some of us may even have had the same experience ourselves. Shopping for comfortable shoes can be a challenge because our feet have to work so hard. They take the full burden of a hard day’s work. So whether you’re shopping for casual or work shoes or men’s hiking boots, there are some things to look out for.
Lightweight shoes are easy on your feet
For all kinds of shoes, but especially for walking boots, the weight of the shoes matters. Regular hikers, walkers and runners know that heavy shoes can actually drain your energy and reduce your stamina and endurance. When it comes to hiking boots for men and winter walking boots, the hikers’ saying that “a pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back” is especially true.
In fact carrying weight on your feet takes much more energy than carrying that weight on your back. It is estimated to take between 4.7 and 6.4 times as much effort and expenditure of energy. Especially when it comes to shoes like women’s walking boots of hiking boots for men, buying a lightweight pair is one of the best things you can do for your feet.
How well do they fit?
It’s easy to fall in love with the look of a pair of shoes or boots only to discover that the design leaves no room for your toes or ignores the shape of your arch. Is it worthwhile to trade appearance for comfort? In nearly every case, the answer is no. Ideally, a well fitting pair of shoes allows about 1/2 an inch of space between your toes and the outer edge of the front of the shoe. That’s about the width of an index finger.
A good fit is essential when it comes to shoes like trekking sandals or hiking boots for men. For a Gala Night at the Met, on the other hand, it may be all right to sacrifice comfort for style, for just one evening. But in that case you should be prepared to realize the truth of another common saying: “My feet are killing me.”
How often should shoes be replaced?
With repeated use shoes begin to lose their fit, shape and traction. In general, footwear specialists advise changing your shoes every 500 miles or so. For a normal lifestyle, that means about six months. Running shoes should be changed more frequently, and the Michigan State University Extension recommends changing them after 350 to 500 miles. For someone who runs 20 miles a week, running shoes should be replaced after 20 to 25 weeks.
Finding the right pair of shoes, whether you’re looking for women’s walking boots, waterproof shoes, or hiking boots for men, is essential to avoid injuries and/ or long term damage to your feet and posture. In nearly every case, the best way to tell how well a pair of shoes fits is to try them out, for comfort. The search for comfortable shoes can be challenging, but in the end your feet will thank you.