When walking long distances you need the shoes and trainers that will go the extra mile, but did you know you can use trainers as walking shoes? The best walking shoes don’t necessarily have to be walking boots, a pair of trainers have a of number performance benefits that will keep your feet happy and comfortable when counting your steps.
When out and about you need a pair of walking trainers that will be supportive, so, there’s plenty to consider, from shock-absorbing soles to gripped and flexible designs, lace-up and slip-on trainers, lightweight and breathable styles.So, to give you a helping hand we have put together a need-to-know guide should you be pondering whether to reach for your walking boots or trainers.
The main advantage of wearing trainers for walking are the lightweight soles, over time carrying less on your feet can make all the difference especially when walking longer distances.
Read our guide on the top 10 best walks in the UK.
Trainers tend to be more flexible than hiking boots so they will aid the natural movement of your feet when you step whilst offering up practical grip underfoot.
When we think of trainers, we think of high-impact sports like running or jogging, so when comparing the difference between walking boots and trainers they share plenty of similarities, like their gripped soles, featherlight designs and super cushioned linings.
Trainers make the ideal walking shoes for shorter walks and gentle strolls, whilst walking shoes and boots offer a practical option for hiking and rougher terrains. For the savvier walkers amongst us, trainers offer a cheaper alternative to walking shoes, plus they’ll go further should you want to wear them for other activities.
It is important that you choose the right trainers to prevent injury and make walking more enjoyable and comfortable too.
While walking boots and trainers may hold many similarities, it is important to find trainers that will provide the most suitable support and of course, keep you feeling comfortable. So, whether you’re on an afternoon stroll to top up your step count or you’re hitting the trail on a high-impact adventure you need the footwear that caters for the demands they put on your feet.
But how do you choose the walking trainers to reflect these differences?
Most runners land on their heel, midfoot, or ball of their foot and walkers will land on their heel and then roll their step through to the toe, this gentle walking motion will allow your feet to absorb 1.5 times your body weight and distribute it evenly on the foot.
When you run, 3 times the weight of your body is absorbed through your feet, so in general running shoes have more cushioning in the heel bed and at the ball of the foot.
Heel Shapes: To help your feet naturally roll forward avoid flared or overly large heels and look for soles with an even height between the heel and toes.
Flexibility: When walking, you need to push off into your step with your toes, so invest in a pair with greater flexibility around the ball and the arch of your foot.
Cushioning: When you walk, initially you step on the ball of your foot, so a good pair of walking trainers will need cushioning in the footbed to absorb and redistribute your weight evenly across your feet.
Arch Support: The arch of your foot will absorb the most amount of impact when you step, so look for a trainer with cushioned arch support.
Hiking in trainers might seem like an unconventional idea for the more seasoned walker but there are many positive benefits for ditching your boots for your running shoes!
The more weight that you carry on your feet, the more energy you exert, 4-6 times more energy to be precise, so keeping light on your feet might just add a few more miles to your next outdoor adventure.
Walking boots can be demanding, they need time to break in to prevent the risk of blisters and sore rubbed feet, plus soles can feel rather clunky at times which can impact on your movement and stability.
However, before you head outdoors it is important to consider whether walking boots or trainers are the most suited footwear for the type of walk you plan to make, if you are adventuring onto extremely rough terrain or into deep snow, hiking boots provide essential stability and support especially around your ankles.
Comfort is key where walking is concerned, you don’t want shoes that will pinch your feet or weigh you down when you’re trekking to your favourite beauty spot. So, you need the trainers that will put a spring in your step whilst keeping you supported and comfortable.
So, what features should you look out for when walking long distances in trainers?
Flexibility: Unlike hard soles, you need walking shoes that will flex with your feet as you step and enable you to gain grip on rough terrain.
Adjustability: Through longer walks you will find that your feet tend to swell, it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of lace-up trainers, so you can alter the fit during your hike.
Breathability: Sport knit uppers are great for breathability and flexibility too. Good ventilation will reduce the risk of sweaty feet which can lead to rubbed feet and consequently blisters
Thick soles: Your trainers should be light and flexible with soles that are thick enough to prevent stones being felt under your feet.
With so many walking trainers available, finding the most suitable pair can be tough. To set you on the right path we have put together our top recommendations for walking trainers from a brand loved across the globe for their comfortable trainers, meet Skechers the go-to brand where walking comfort is concerned.
Engineered with a breathable upper and a super lightweight design, they’re the perfect trainers for warm summer walks.
With Skechers’ memory foam insoles, they will help to evenly redistribute the weight on your feet whilst moulding to support the pressure points like your heels and balls of your feet.Shop Now
Skechers trainers exclusive to Pavers! With an easy slip-on design, this pair hold similarities of trail shoes because of their gripped traction soles and super lightweight feel.
The bungee lace-system stretches to fit your shape for a close and comfortable fit, meaning there’s no need for re-fastening should feet swell as you walk.
The fit is one of the most important factors to consider when investing in a pair of walking trainers, shoes that do not fit your natural shape will be too tight and can cause blisters.
Scroll this way to meet the most trusted of wide fit offerings …
With stretchy bungee laces for a personalised fit, these trainers feature a memory foam insole that helps to redistribute your weight across your feet whilst providing excellent underfoot cushioning and impact absorption.
Finished with an ultra-lightweight and flexible sole that will move with your feet as you step.Shop Now
Equipped with a lace-up fastening and a memory foam insole with an endlessly flexible sole.