11 of the best trainers for walking

These shoes were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do...

Woman in walking trainers

by Eleanor Weaver |

Walking is a great form of exercise, with lots of physical and mental health benefits. Walking can give you a new appreciation for the outdoors. And the joy that can be found in going outside for a daily walk is unrivalled.

Walking outdoors is fantastic for a change of scenery, getting fresh air, sunlight and moving your body. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking can help you build stamina, burn calories and improve your heart health. With all its benefits, why not take walking as an ongoing habit for a healthy lifestyle change and get the best trainers to make sure your feet are comfortable, supported and can go the distance!

What is the difference between trainers and walking shoes?

Walking and running objectively seem like similar activities, however, the two are different, as are the demands they place on your feet and your footwear.

When walking your body weight is spread more evenly on your feet compared to when you are running. There are points where both feet are firmly on the ground, diverging the amount of weight your feet support.

Running, on the other hand, demands the support of at least two to three times your body weight as each stride has moments with neither of your feet are positioned on the ground.

Walking shoes are designed with the specific body mechanics of walking in mind. Built to be more flexible through the ball of the foot to provide more range of motion. It also provides more arch support to protect where the force is heaviest on the foot.

Trainers on the other hand provide extra ankle support for both forward and lateral movement. These type of shoes have been developed for going to the gym and casual wear. They have not been developed for use in long runs and are best used for shorter stints.

Related: The best waterproof walking boots

Best trainers for walking

Related: 8 of the best canal walks in the UK

Finding the right fit for your walking trainers

We're often taught that we need to break our shoes in or give them some wear before they fit properly. While it is best to initially wear new shoes for short periods to test for any rubbing or pressure point, a correctly fitting shoe will feel right from the start.

Make sure to try shoes before you buy/throw out the receipt and find the ones that fit perfectly right for you.

To make sure you don't run into any problems, avoid trainers that:

• Have a thin, hard sole: you need cushioning for comfort and to support your foot

• A shoe made of plastic or rubber that doesn’t offer any breathability: this will cause discomfort and will retain any sweat

• A heel that is too high: this will push your toes to the end of your shoe and cause discomfort as your trek

• A very soft, flexible trainer: while some casual trainers can be made super easy to bend and pack for travel, they offer limited support for the foot.

When trying on new trainers, test them in the afternoon as your feet may have swollen over the course of the day.

Over the years, our feet naturally change shape and size so it might take some trial and error to find the right fit - it'll be worth it in the end!

walk 1000 miles

Have you really upped your walking activity? Then how about setting yourself the challenge of Walk1000Miles. Run by our friends at Country Walking magazine, it's a great way to get out and about in the countryside, make friends, lose weight and most of all have fun!

Find out more about Walk1000Miles here.

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