Let’s face it. When it comes to travel, packing a pair of comfortable walking shoes can make your trip a real success. Pounding city pavements in strappy little sandals is a sure recipe for travel disaster. Investing in a good pair of walking shoes makes all the difference.
Walking Shoe Buying Tips
Even if you have worn the same style and size of walking shoe for years, consider being fitted for your new walking shoes. Shoe materials and construction have changed greatly, and there may be a supportive, comfortable walking shoe available that you have never heard of. Go to a reputable shoe store that employs fitting specialists, not casual employees.
Wear the socks you plan to wear on your trip when you go for your fitting. If you plan to wear several types of socks, bring the thickest and thinnest pair and try the shoes on with both pairs of socks.
Allow plenty of time for your walking shoe fitting. Expect to spend at least 45 minutes at the shoe store.
Tell the fitting specialist about... any foot problems you have, including pronation, plantar fasciitis, bunions and arch issues. This will speed up the fitting process.
Don't wait until the last minute to buy new walking shoes. If you buy new shoes just before your departure date and decide the shoes don't fit you well after all, you may not have time to purchase a different pair.
After You Buy Your Walking Shoes
Your new walking shoes may feel very different from your old pair. Wear your new walking shoes as often as you can so that you get used to them. Wear them on carpet for a while so that you can return them without difficulty if they don't fit.
Go back to the shoe store if your new shoes rub or pinch your feet. You may need a wider shoe or a different size.
Our Top Picks for Women's Walking Shoes
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These shoes are billed as running shoes, but the Brooks Ghost 8 2A round toe running shoes are also an excellent choice for women with plantar fasciitis who need a wide toe box. This shoe comes in wide widths, too. The BioMoGo DNA midsole is extremely comfortable and provides excellent support.
If you are planning to wear these shoes in the rain, be aware that the tops are mesh and will allow some dampness to get into the shoe.
While Amazon.com's website states that this shoe is made in the US, this author's pair was actually made in China.
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The Mizuno Wave Rider 19 is marketed as a running shoe, but is also an excellent choice for people who are concerned about foot stability or who have plantar fasciitis and need a stiff-soled walking shoe with lots of support. This shoe is very light, but still offers plenty of comfort and support. For even more support, remove the insole and use your favorite orthotics instead.
Wide widths are available; if you need a wider toe box, consider trying a wide (C / D) width instead of a medium (B) width shoe.
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Propét’s stability walking shoes feature a wider sole and rubber outsoles. The leather uppers are light and comfortable. Propét offers a six-month limited warranty on most styles of shoes. This particular Propét shoe does not have as much arch support as some other walking shoes. This can be remedied with orthotics, as the insoles are removable.
This shoe comes in several colors, including black, grey, and sport white, a color that is one or two shades more beige than true white. Several widths are offered. Narrow-heeled women may find that their heels slip in this shoe.
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If you know you’ll be walking on uneven terrain – think Pompeii or Yosemite – consider a trail-running shoe instead of a traditional walking shoe. This shoe has excellent traction and it’s quite light in weight. The bungee-style quicklaces are easy to use; you will not have to worry about your shoes coming untied. The toe box is not quite as wide as that of some other Salomon trail running shoes, so be sure to check this shoe carefully for fit if you have a wide foot.
Several color combinations are available.