Tips for Buying Walking Shoes That Fit Properly

Last Updated on August 15, 2020 by Ellen Christian

These tips for buying walking shoes will help you choose the best shoes for your needs. The last time I headed into an athletic store with my son, we were looking for wrestling shoes. As he chose the pair he wanted, I wandered over to the women’s section and looked at what they had available. As expected, I saw shoes for football, baseball, and soccer. What I wasn’t expecting was to see shoes for walking, running, and jogging… different types of shoes for each. It really got me thinking about the shoes I was walking in each day.

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Tips for Buying Walking Shoes That Fit Properly

Tips for Buying Walking Shoes

When I walk, I generally just grab whatever pair of athletic shoes happens to be closest to the front door. I probably bought most of my shoes based on how cute they were at the time without thinking whether they were made specifically for walking or not.  After talking to one of the employees at the store and doing a bit of research, I’ve learned that it really is important to choose a shoe made for walking.

Here are some tips for buying walking shoes that are important to remember.

The Sole

Look for a sole that curves inward versus flairs outward. Your foot will roll easier with a rounded heel which will help prevent sore shins. Make sure the sole is flexible. A walking shoe will need a more flexible toe area than a running shoe because of the way the foot hits the pavement.


Your shoe should be lightweight and breathable. It’s very important for foot health to have a breathable shoe to prevent things like athletes foot and bacteria formation.

Tips for Buying Walking Shoes

The Fit

Try the shoe on and make sure it fits. Don’t assume that because you always wear a size 8 the shoe will fit. There should be about half an inch of space between your largest toe and the toe of the shoe. Buy shoes at the end of the day, not in the morning. Our feet swell as the day goes on and your shoe may be too tight if you buy it first thing in the morning.

The Heel

A walking shoe has a lower heel than a running shoe because less shock absorption is required when you walk versus when you run.


Replace your shoes when they show wear, every 6 months or every 500 miles walked whichever comes first.

VIONIC Women's Drift Satima Lace-Up Teal 7.5 MediumVIONIC Women’s Drift Satima Lace-Up Teal 7.5 MediumVionic Kona Womens Orthotic Athletic Shoe Grey/Lime - 7.5 MediumVionic Kona Womens Orthotic Athletic Shoe Grey/Lime – 7.5 MediumVionic Women's Venture Active Lace Up White Size 6Vionic Women’s Venture Active Lace Up White Size 6

I’ve been wearing the Vionic Venture Shoe which is made specifically for walking. It has a lightweight durable mesh upper which is comfortable and allows for breathability. It also has a removable Covered EVA footbed with 1st Ray Flexor technology and a durable rubber outsole. Plus, notice that it has that inward curve to the sole which is so important in a walking shoe.

Because I have a heel spur, it’s important to me to choose the best possible shoe for walking. The Venture Walker features Orthaheel Technology, a biomechanic orthotic footbed that naturally aligns your feet and may help to relieve heel pain by reducing over-pronation.

Tips for Buying Walking Shoes

10 thoughts on “Tips for Buying Walking Shoes That Fit Properly”

  1. It's so important to also get properly fitted. When I first started back up with running I went to a local running shoe store and was fitted based on how I ran and walked. It was great to know I was getting the right type of shoe for what I like to do. Great tips! They are very useful. 
  2. I started buying shoes just for walking a few years ago, and it makes such a huge difference! I am much more comfortable on long walks now because I am wearing the right kind of shoes.
  3. I am actually guilty of waiting a year to change my shoes! They certainly had their miles put in and wear showing extreme signs of wear. I need another pair for the spring.
  4. Just like running shoes, you should have your gait checked by a professional. That way you know for sure that you're purchasing the correct ones.

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