Shoe Choice for a Walker

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
User avatar
Topic Author
bhwabeck3533
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:25 am
Location: Baldwin County, AL

Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by bhwabeck3533 »

My wife and I walk about five miles every day (sometimes up to ten miles). The miles take a toll on my walking shoes, and I'm ready to replace my second pair of Solomon X-Ultra 3 hiking shoes (most recent pair purchased on 11/8/2020). The heel end of the sole has worn through.

Price is not an issue (within reason of course, I am a BH). Looking for comfort and durability. Please advise and recommend.
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13442
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Find your local podiatrist's office. Ask them who they use for shoes. Go there. Spend more than you can find online, but get a correct fit for what you're doing. I did this after having an issue with one foot. They took 45 minutes to fit me correctly and have me try on and walk (observed) in each one. Came down to a couple models. I bought one. Best shoe purchase I ever made and probably triple what I'd have paid if I walked into Generic Shoe Store, looking for discounts.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
User avatar
beernutz
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 12:50 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by beernutz »

bhwabeck3533 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:50 am My wife and I walk about five miles every day (sometimes up to ten miles). The miles take a toll on my walking shoes, and I'm ready to replace my second pair of Solomon X-Ultra 3 hiking shoes (most recent pair purchased on 11/8/2020). The heel end of the sole has worn through.

Price is not an issue (within reason of course, I am a BH). Looking for comfort and durability. Please advise and recommend.
I walk a lot as well, over 12,000 steps a day on average, and really like both the Merrell Moab2, a low rise hiking shoe, and Columbia Newton Ridge which is a mid rise hiking boot. Both are in the $100ish price area.

The Merrells only negative to me is that some of them squeak. My first pair bought in 2018 were great but the new ones I bought this year squeak every step.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. --Will Rogers
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5806
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by lthenderson »

I used to buy expensive shoes for many years but changed up my strategy. Now I just buy cheaper (not the cheapest) ASICS, walk in them for half a year and dispose of them after getting a new pair. I find that I like the cushioning new shoes provide and all shoes, even expensive shoes, lose after months of pounding the pavement. I usually buy them on Amazon Prime day every year when they go down in the $30 range versus the $50 range they normally are at.
sailaway
Posts: 2993
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by sailaway »

6 months is actually pretty good for the ground you are covering. I can get a bit more mileage if I stick to trails, rather than sidewalks.

I like Merrill Trail Gloves. Technically, they are running shoes, but they are my favorite walking shoes of all time. That rec may be useless to you, depending on your foot shape and gait.
bob60014
Posts: 1874
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by bob60014 »

lthenderson wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:48 am I used to buy expensive shoes for many years but changed up my strategy. Now I just buy cheaper (not the cheapest) ASICS, walk in them for half a year and dispose of them after getting a new pair. I find that I like the cushioning new shoes provide and all shoes, even expensive shoes, lose after months of pounding the pavement. I usually buy them on Amazon Prime day every year when they go down in the $30 range versus the $50 range they normally are at.
+1 this!
I do 5-8 miles/ day and I look on Amazon too, but I've also had good success when ordering from the Asics clearance section. I'll usually buy something in the GT Series, running style shoe and my feet are very happy! These I find are way more comfortable than a hiking type shoe/boot for longer walks. Also, in 5-6 years I've only had to return one pair due to improper fit.
denovo
Posts: 4710
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by denovo »

ASICS good
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln
adamthesmythe
Posts: 4091
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by adamthesmythe »

beernutz wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:03 am
bhwabeck3533 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:50 am My wife and I walk about five miles every day (sometimes up to ten miles). The miles take a toll on my walking shoes, and I'm ready to replace my second pair of Solomon X-Ultra 3 hiking shoes (most recent pair purchased on 11/8/2020). The heel end of the sole has worn through.

Price is not an issue (within reason of course, I am a BH). Looking for comfort and durability. Please advise and recommend.
I walk a lot as well, over 12,000 steps a day on average, and really like both the Merrell Moab2, a low rise hiking shoe, and Columbia Newton Ridge which is a mid rise hiking boot. Both are in the $100ish price area.

The Merrells only negative to me is that some of them squeak. My first pair bought in 2018 were great but the new ones I bought this year squeak every step.
I have been buying Merrell for years, both to wear to work (when I was working) and hiking.
livesoft
Posts: 75838
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by livesoft »

I expect the tread of my hiking/running/backpacking shoes to last only about 500 miles. My Garmin watch said I did more than 600 miles in the past 6 months on my Altra Lone Peak 4.5 shoes.

Others report that the padding of the midsoles (under the insoles) compresses with use and silently basically stops performing.

I have used various shoes and the treads have varied in how they wear. The shoes with soft grippy and sticky treads wear out faster especially if used running on concrete, but are great on wet rocks. The treads with hard and carbon-filled rubber last longer, but my feet do not like them.

But even without the tread-wear issue, shoes come with varying amounts of internal padding. Also, the heel cups have different widths and degrees of stiffness -- from no stiffness (basically like slipper) to severe stiffness (like a ski boot). And that's completely different from the widest part of the shoe at the ball of the foot.

All this makes shoes very personal. I'm wearing Altra Olympus 4.0 with vibram soles starting this month. They may be too much for a casual hiker/walker. I actually do not care how long it takes to wear down the tread.

Added: If you are a heel-striker, then I can see that the heels would wear down, but I run/walk with a higher cadence and I am a mostly a midfoot striker nowadays, so my shoes get a very even wearing of the tread from the toes to the heels. That's also a reason I like Altra shoes with the zero drop configuration. I don't think one can change their mode or style of walking instantly since the anatomy of one's feet (ligaments, tendons, bones, muscle, fascia) will get remodelled with over months by what you are doing to your feet.
Last edited by livesoft on Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
GG1273
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:21 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by GG1273 »

We just switched over to Hoka (SpeedGoat GTX)
Awesome and I moved from Brooks to these - you may do better on price, the link is from the source.

https://www.hokaoneone.com/mens-trail/s ... color=ADGG


For trail mid, someone here mentioned OBOZ so I used my REI dividend and got a pair for basically 1/2 price last month
Quite good for my purposes

https://obozfootwear.com/en-us/product/ ... waterproof

When I talked with the REI shoe rep, she mentioned Merrill Moab as being entry level (I complained to her about mine splitting along the sides).
She also mentioned that OBOZ run a bit smaller, I tried on & bought a half size higher than I normally do - great fit.

YMMV.
quaternion
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:09 am

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by quaternion »

If it would suit your comfort preference, maybe consider a pair of resolable ("Goodyear welted") shoes or hiking boots. When traveling, I walk 5-10 miles/day in rubber-soled Allen Edmonds, and many others put far more miles on hiking boots. A local cobbler should be able to replace a heel for $30-40, and I recently paid about $80 (suburb of a major metro) for a full resole.

For the unfamiliar, welted shoes will feel different from sneakers. Think less "walking on marshmallows" and more "walking on avocados". And they'll need to break in (i.e., there will be some discomfort on the first wear or two), but the result is great and lasts for years.
bloom2708
Posts: 8592
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by bloom2708 »

For walking on smooth surfaces, running shoes that work for you are best.

I like supportive and cushioned shoes. If I wear a cushion only with no support structure my feet tell me.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS are my go to shoes. Version 20/Version 21 are both fantastic.

But, each person has to know what works for their feet.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
MDfan
Posts: 529
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:32 am

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by MDfan »

bloom2708 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:10 pm For walking on smooth surfaces, running shoes that work for you are best.

I like supportive and cushioned shoes. If I wear a cushion only with no support structure my feet tell me.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS are my go to shoes. Version 20/Version 21 are both fantastic.

But, each person has to know what works for their feet.


Brooks Adrenaline GTS are the best shoes I've ever owned. IN my opinion, better than Asics. I tried Hokas and they were too big and clunky for me.
User avatar
Stinky
Posts: 7288
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by Stinky »

Brooks Addiction Walkers are my choice.

I average almost 20,000 steps per day. The shoes are quite comfortable.

The only issue is that I need to replace them after about 5 months. (Maybe that’s a good life for shoes used as much as mine)
It's a GREAT day to be alive! - Travis Tritt
phxjcc
Posts: 825
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by phxjcc »

bhwabeck3533 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:50 am My wife and I walk about five miles every day (sometimes up to ten miles). The miles take a toll on my walking shoes, and I'm ready to replace my second pair of Solomon X-Ultra 3 hiking shoes (most recent pair purchased on 11/8/2020). The heel end of the sole has worn through.

Price is not an issue (within reason of course, I am a BH). Looking for comfort and durability. Please advise and recommend.
Brooks Addiction 14 or Addiction Walker.

Beast is a great shoe if larger build a/o bad joints and pronation problems.
bmdack
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:04 am

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by bmdack »

I read once that you should never go cheep on anything that separates you from the ground; tires, mattress, shoes.......
I buy good quality running shoes to wear for walking shoes and do not have or have ever had foot issues. Replace as you see wear, usually on heal.
Good luck and enjoy the ride.
DurangoWino
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by DurangoWino »

Hoka Speedgoat. Most comfortable shoe I have ever used. Will use them this summer to hopefully do the Colorado Trail.
ondarvr
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:03 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by ondarvr »

People are recommending hiking boots for walking on streets and flat ground, they aren't a good option for that.

The market is flooded with walking/running shoe options now, but availability can be a problem.

I've spent many hours trying on different shoes in the last few weeks for a similar purpose, nobody had X-Ultras on hand to try on. It was the same with many other styles I had on my list.

A couple years ago I bought a discontinued model from Saucony on close-out that I loved, what replaced it in their lineup wasn't that good.

There are so many good options these days, finding the perfect one is difficult.

I'm probably going to go with a lower cost shoe and replace them more often this time.

For off road I just bought a pair of LA Sportiva Jackals. They have mixed reviews on fit, but excel in durability and performance. I wore them in the store for more than an hour and they appeared to fit me well, but can be returned if I'm not satisfied.

I tried on a few different Hokas, they were like pillows strapped to my feet. I wasn't sure if that would be comfortable long term, but people do love them.
heyyou
Posts: 3885
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:58 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by heyyou »

I use Red Wing shoes made for those who stand on hard floors all day.
Vanguard Fan 1367
Posts: 2003
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:09 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

Changing to Nike Air or something similar at Walmart has really helped my hip not to hurt while walking.

At work and for social situations I used to wear leather loafers but not anymore for any walking.

Losing 30 pounds helped also.
John Bogle: "It's amazing how difficult it is for a man to understand something if he's paid a small fortune not to understand it."
Californiastate
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:52 am

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by Californiastate »

DurangoWino wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:04 pm Hoka Speedgoat. Most comfortable shoe I have ever used. Will use them this summer to hopefully do the Colorado Trail.
I first saw a pair of Hoka Tennine hiking shoes at the end of a good day of hiking. At first I thought I was loosing it. The extended heels threw me for a loop. They looked so comfortable as the person just cruised on by. They definitely caught my attention and are on the list for my next set.
User avatar
SmileyFace
Posts: 6350
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by SmileyFace »

I am a fan of ASICS as well. I use hiking shoes in the woods/trails but for daily walks ASICS running shoes are fine. Understand your foot pronation and make sure whatever sneakers/shoes you buy are desinged for it (under, neutral, over) - it makes a difference. Google foot pronation and match the wear patterns of your current shoes to see your pronation.
Ping Pong
Posts: 627
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by Ping Pong »

Shoe Choice for a Walker
Most people around here just use tennis balls cut in half.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 13090
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona
Contact:

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by Sandtrap »

New Balance used to have a chart matching various types/models of walking/jogging shoes to type of foot. IE: high arch, low arch, medium, flat foot, etc. But, their sizing and quality has dropped since outsourcing more of their products overseas. There is a line of New Balance that is USA made that has the original fit and quality. Also if one is a "heel striker", "mid striker", (how your foot falls).

Also look into various gel innersole inserts to add support and cushioning to reduce impact which is tough on joints and knees, etc.

Excellent fitting jogging shoes can work very well for walking and can have a good balance between sole ridgidity, weight, and wear and so forth.

j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
ondarvr
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:03 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by ondarvr »

Ping Pong wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:36 am
Shoe Choice for a Walker
Most people around here just use tennis balls cut in half.
And wild colors can really cause an uproar back at the home.
ondarvr
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:03 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by ondarvr »

quantAndHold
Posts: 5422
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by quantAndHold »

Go to REI (or a running store) and start trying shoes. REI will take returns of lightly used shoes if they don’t work out. I did the training to walk the Camino in Merrill Moabs with super feet insoles (COVID canceled the trip, unfortunately). My walking partner had a pair of Oboz. Both of us tried more than one shoe before we settled on what we liked. I found that shoes that were great at 3-4 miles would cause blisters at 5-6 miles. We also found that socks matter a lot, especially for preventing blisters.

And shoes will break down after about 500 miles, even if they still look okay. At 5 miles per day, that’s a little over 3 months.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 24088
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by willthrill81 »

I've been very pleased with some cushy Under Armor walking shoes I got a while back.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
Nowizard
Posts: 3268
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by Nowizard »

Recently, buying wider shoes has helped, as we walk several miles daily. Sketchers with foam padding have done the trick recently, and I agree that frequent replacement is called for. It does allow a build-up of "yard working" shoes, too.

Tim
User avatar
fishandgolf
Posts: 645
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:50 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by fishandgolf »

Nowizard wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:07 am Recently, buying wider shoes has helped, as we walk several miles daily. Sketchers with foam padding have done the trick recently, and I agree that frequent replacement is called for. It does allow a build-up of "yard working" shoes, too.

Tim
+1

Agreed......I also have a large inventory of "yard working" shoes.....mostly Sketchers! :happy
Katietsu
Posts: 4646
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by Katietsu »

livesoft wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:14 pm I expect the tread of my hiking/running/backpacking shoes to last only about 500 miles. My Garmin watch said I did more than 600 miles in the past 6 months on my Altra Lone Peak 4.5 shoes.

Others report that the padding of the midsoles (under the insoles) compresses with use and silently basically stops performing.

I have used various shoes and the treads have varied in how they wear. The shoes with soft grippy and sticky treads wear out faster especially if used running on concrete, but are great on wet rocks. The treads with hard and carbon-filled rubber last longer, but my feet do not like them.

But even without the tread-wear issue, shoes come with varying amounts of internal padding. Also, the heel cups have different widths and degrees of stiffness -- from no stiffness (basically like slipper) to severe stiffness (like a ski boot). And that's completely different from the widest part of the shoe at the ball of the foot.

All this makes shoes very personal. I'm wearing Altra Olympus 4.0 with vibram soles starting this month. They may be too much for a casual hiker/walker. I actually do not care how long it takes to wear down the tread.

Added: If you are a heel-striker, then I can see that the heels would wear down, but I run/walk with a higher cadence and I am a mostly a midfoot striker nowadays, so my shoes get a very even wearing of the tread from the toes to the heels. That's also a reason I like Altra shoes with the zero drop configuration. I don't think one can change their mode or style of walking instantly since the anatomy of one's feet (ligaments, tendons, bones, muscle, fascia) will get remodelled with over months by what you are doing to your feet.
First time that I have heard someone mention Altra. I bought a pair off a clearance rack at REI a few years ago. It was a revelation. I have always been more stable and just happier in bare feet than shoes and got heat from family about no support, etc. The zero drop Altra just works so well for me. I hope that more of us whose stride and anatomy could benefit from a zero drop, aka no built up heel, discover these shoes.
livesoft
Posts: 75838
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by livesoft »

Katietsu wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:46 amFirst time that I have heard someone mention Altra. I bought a pair off a clearance rack at REI a few years ago. It was a revelation. I have always been more stable and just happier in bare feet than shoes and got heat from family about no support, etc. The zero drop Altra just works so well for me. I hope that more of us whose stride and anatomy could benefit from a zero drop, aka no built up heel, discover these shoes.
One can always add a heel insert if one doesn't like the zero-drop. Some people cannot go from a 6 to 10 mm heel stack to 0 mm in one go and will hurt things like calf muscles and shins.

I consider shoes to be braces just like braces for teeth or hard-contact lenses for eyes. Teeth braces remodel one's teeth and hard-contact lenses reshape the cornea. Shoes will change the way your feet, legs, and hips connect to the ground. If you have been using a particular shoe for a long time, then surely your feet have changed. That's a problem only if your natural setup was OK to begin with. One might never get back to natural unless they spend quite a bit of time shoeless --- and only after that go buy some shoes.

"Oh, no you can't do that
Once you started wearin' those shoes" -- The Eagles
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
rgs92
Posts: 2876
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by rgs92 »

I love and highly recommend the Saucony Triumph 18. I just mentioned them in another thread today.
["walking shoes with wide toes?]"


I said this in the other thread:
Saucony Triumph 18. I also need a wide toe box to prevent my toes from rubbing against the shoe. I tried a lot of major brand shoes and for some reason I fell in love with these and tend to use them all the time, and I walk a lot.
Incredibly comfy and addicting. I have 2 other kinds of Saucony shoes I bought over the last few years and those were also better than my other shoes and I gravitated to them. But I find the Triumph 18 to be the absolute best.
pahkcah
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:50 pm

Re: Shoe Choice for a Walker

Post by pahkcah »

If all of your walking is on some type of pavement, a good running shoe would be best. I am a long-time runner who now walks 9 miles a day (and a little running). For me, it boils down to a choice between responsiveness (firmness) and cushioning (softness). A responsive shoe feels as though I’m getting more energy out of each step. I can go faster in a responsive shoe without too much effort. A shoe with a lot of cushioning causes me to walk slower and feels as though it requires more energy. The difference is almost like walking on hard beach sand (responsive) and soft beach sand (softness).

Several shoes that have already been mentioned would be excellent choices, but make sure they match your gait. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes are stability trainers. If you have a neutral gait, these would not be a good choice. Probably the best shoe on the market for a neutral gait would be the Brooks Ghost, which offers a really good balance of responsiveness and cushioning.

On the soft side are the Hoka shoes. Try a pair of the Hoka One One Bondi’s if you get a chance. These are really cushiony, but Hoka has other styles that have even more cushion.

Here are some other good neutral running shoes:
New Balance 880
Asics Gel-Nimbus (designed as a neutral shoe but has some stability built in)
Saucony Triumph
Brooks Glycerin (softer than the Ghost)

My dream shoes are the Saucony Endorphin Speed’s. Unfortunately, Saucony decided not to make these in wide widths.

A good place to research all types of shoes (running, trail, walking, etc.) is the Running Warehouse. There you can find information (pronation control, heel to toe offset, stack height, and shoe type) and reviews for all types of shoes.
https://www.runningwarehouse.com/

If your mileage is approaching 10 per day, recommend having two pairs and rotating them every day. This will really help out if one (or both) of the pairs is cushiony. Gives the foam (and potentially you) a little more time to recover.

Sock discussion next?
Post Reply