The Right Shoes for Outdoor Activities

One of the most impressive things about life today is the number of choices you have for every single purchase you want to make, but this dizzying array of products can also make knowing what to buy more challenging. When it comes to heading outdoors and being part of nature, there are shoes for pretty much every occasion. Do you really need a different pair of shoes for walking, running and hiking? In a word, yes. The type of activity you plan for outdoors can certainly have an impact on the qualities a shoe should possess. Find out what type of shoes are best for casual walking, running and hiking below.

Woman walking

Walking
If you are a casual walker – you don’t do more than three to five miles at a time – then you can get away with a variety of shoes. When looking for a walking shoe, it is important to keep three major things in mind: the fit of the shoe, the flexibility of the shoe and the heel of the shoe. First, you want to be sure that the shoe fits your foot properly and that your feet are neither cramped nor flopping around in your shoe. Next, be sure that you are able to bend and flex the shoe. When you walk, your foot flexes as you roll through each step from heel to toe and if a shoe is too stiff, it will fight your foot’s movement resulting in toe or shin pain. Lastly, take the heel of the shoe into account before you buy it. Flared heels are stylish, and they are great for runners who require extra stability, but because you hit with your heel first when walking, you don’t need the added stability of a flared heel. Look for a flat heel instead when you need a pair of outdoor walking shoes.

Woman running

Running
Generally speaking, running shoes are far more specialized than walking shoes and require a bit more thought prior to buying a pair. When considering a running shoe, you must first think about the type of terrain on which you primarily run as this can affect the type of shoe you will want to buy. The next consideration for a running shoe is to consider the arch of your foot because feet with high arches have different needs than those of flat feet. When it comes to selecting running shoes for you, it’s best to head to a specialty store where you can give experts information about your running habits and they can inspect your feet to determine which shoe will be the most appropriate for you.

Woman hiking

Hiking
Hiking shoes are specialized shoes that have been designed to prevent injuries and accidents. If you plan to hike in areas with rugged terrain, you will want to look for a hiking boot that has a thick sole. Having a thick sole on your hiking boot is important so that you don’t feel each hit of a stick, stone or rock as you hike. Additionally, you want the sides of your feet to be protected and a higher shoe is advised so that your ankle has stability as well.

If you are an avid outdoor activity fan, it can be incredibly important that you have shoes designed for a specific purpose. The right pair of running shoes can have a positive impact on your performance, just as the right walking shoe can help you get exercise without pain. No matter what your outdoor activity, there is a shoe for it. Be selective and keep your activity in mind, as well as your personal aesthetic preferences.

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