Walking gear: Your best steps forward | fitness

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Love walking for miles and miles? The excellent news is that you’re doing your body, brain and soul a world of good.

“Walking is a wonderful exercise, and Indians have been walking to retain fit for just about four decades,” says Jayant Arora, director of orthopaedics, bone and joint surgery at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Mumbai.

But your feet is probably not as thankful. While most footwear brands put it up for sale specialised walking shoes – with mannequin numbers, limited-edition materials and foam designed to retain you going – it’s imaginable to go mistaken when buying a twosome.

Your feet bear much of the brunt of your walks, and poorly fitted shoes – too tight, too loose, wobbly, not rather arched, not rather flat – can generate a slow build-up of damage.

“The biggest myth approximately walking is that walking more will make your knees hurt,” says Dr Arora. “This won’t happen whether you pick walking shoes wisely. Flip-flops are an absolute no-no.”

Experts say you must imagine your foot’s shape and pronation (its side-to-side rotational movement). You’ll get a good sense of how you walk from the wear-pattern of the shoes you already own. Does your sole flatten out at the heel, on the ball, inward, outward or more on one foot than the other?

Retain this in brain when you’re faced with a rack full of sports shoes. Here are a couple of basic styles you’ll imagine:

Impartial shoes: These are meant for walkers whose feet move outward while walking (their footprints in most cases form a fragmented V shape). The shoes come with additional cushioning, occasionally as much as 50% more than traditional shoes, for shock absorption.

Minimalist shoes: These are lightweight and have a heel drop (difference between the shoe width at the heel and at the toe) of 4-9mm. It’s like walking barefoot, but you still have some cushioning and flex. They’re a hybrid of sneakers and barefoot shoes.

Barefoot shoes: These cater to the community that believes walking barefoot is best – but you want sole give a boost to when walking on concrete or tough surfaces. The shoes offer the same sensory feedback you get when your naked feet make contact with the ground.

Motion regulate shoes: These are designed for flat feet. Their shape will prevent your foot from rolling inwards into the shoe when you walk long distances. Motion regulate shoes are stiffer and offer more give a boost to to be able to retain your feet aligned as you walk. Take into accout that they are going to be quite heavier than normal sneakers.

First Published:
Oct 04, 2019 19:23 IST

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