Choosing The Right Footwear For Comfort, Safety & Happy Feet!

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Choosing The Right Footwear For Comfort & Support

Well here we are...right in the midst of spring with thoughts of hiking and walking filling our mind’s eye in the months to come. Maybe you’ve decided it is time to get off the walking path and venture into the back country. Maybe it’s time to try some wilderness walking or hiking.

You’ll likely notice that unfamiliar terrain can be more treacherous than what you are used to on your usual walking path. And at our age you really want to enjoy new adventures but don’t really want to mess yourself up or injure yourself.

Time to do some research to help you choose the right type of shoes for the type of terrain you’re walking on. Maybe you need traction on wet rocks, extra support to prevent your foot from twisting on uneven ground and in ways it is not supposed to. Or maybe you need to be walking in really wet terrain and you want shoes that keep on performing no matter what. Waterproof, warm and safe if it is cool and wet. Cool if it is very hot and wet. It really does come down to that word - research!

These days good shoes are really quite sophisticated in their design, materials, function and safety. While we really love this topic and could turn this newsletter into a small book we will exercise some restraint here and for now just encourage you to read all the parts in our Choosing The Best Walking Shoes For You section. Learn about shoe types, shoe fit, shoe care and how to make the best shoe choice for your activity and your terrain.

Just before we leave it though, we want to mention the things we look for in shoes. Excellent quality, excellent materials, excellent fit, reputable company with a proven track record of performance and quality. Our faves are shoes by ECCO , Keen , Vasque , Mephisto

These links take you to what we feel is the absolute best place to buy shoes online - Zappo's. First class folks with customer service as their most important product. Oh yes and great selection, prices and free shipping and free returns.

Here are a couple more links to help you dig into what goes into some of these great shoes. First is the link to KEEN Footwear site talking about the different materials they put into shoes. And here is one to the Vasque website talking about their technology. As an aside, Yoko has been wearing their Sundowner hiking boot for a very long time. In fact Vasque is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Sundowner this year. It is a model that just won't go away.

Just a little more stuff to take a peek at. More things to consider when it comes to your walking safety and foot comfort

Next month we will talk about hiking socks to match your shoes and your walking type.

Your Questions

Folks write to us with some very interesting questions through our Contact Us page. Often folks don't feel they want to tell a story on our Walking and Hiking Stories page just yet. So often folks don't feel they want to tell a story on our Walking and Hiking Stories page just yet.

Here is where we share some of those with you. This month we have a question from Emmanuel

  • I am 60 and I have arthritis in my left foot middle toe. I do regular 10 k runs without too much problem. I am now going to do the Camino in Spain, an 800 km walk across the country and I am a little apprehensive about that joint and the pain it gives me. Do you have any advice (apart from don't go) to help me out, cream, spray, what ever? Thank you for your help.

    Emmanuel - thank you so much for contacting us at 50Plus Fitness Walking. We appreciate it.

    You are to be commended for your continuing participation in walking. That is super!

    And to do the Camino in Spain is just super. Good for you!

    As to your medical/health question we must defer. As mentioned in several spots on our website we are not qualified medical people, only enthusiasts and must ask you to contact your health professional or foot specialist for specific guidance on your question. 

    The one comment we would make is a very general one and that is that exercise is better for arthritis than no exercise.

    You will no doubt do well and we wish you all the best on your journeys

    All the best

    Your Turn

    Write and share with us some of obstacles that you've had to overcome to get back to a more healthy lifestyle. We all have obstacles at some time or another. You might have a solution that may help others overcome problems that they may find difficulties with.

    Help someone this month. Next month you may be the one seeking help.

    Let's enjoy 2010 and face your new walking adventures with happiness, excitement and good footwear!

    Your walking partners,

    Yoko and Geoff

    PS - Hmmm. Maybe you’ve gotten a little fuzzy on why walking is so gosh darn good for you? Drop by our Benefits of Walking page again!

    PPPS - Remember that we welcome your walking stories, hiking tales and tall tales too! Share yours with us, be published on your very own web page and maybe even win some neat prizes!

    PPS - Feel free to pass a copy of this newsletter on to your friends, They might enjoy it too!