Long distance walks are not only an excellent exercise for physical fitness and well being but likewise for your mental well being and health.
Long distance walking with a friend or alone can be an excellent form of recreation and exercise, and a great outdoor experience to enhance your health and fitness.
As with any sport or recreational exercise, the right tools for the job are vital, and in this case, we need to look at the right type of shoe for the demands of Long Distance walking.
Demands of Long Distance Walking
Long distance walking is an outdoor activity that may require walking on uneven surfaces, gravel or hard tar roads, or even concrete surfaces. This, in turn, holds slip risks and has an impact on your feet knees, ankles and other joints.
Long distance walking with a shoe that fits improperly can cause severe chafing and blisters which can be painful and debilitating.
Another aspect that you need to consider is weather, walking for long distances in itself may cause your feet to overheat and sweat, and in very hot weather this may become excruciating. On the other hand, very cold and wet weather can cause frostbite and leave your feet wet and cold.
Features of a Good Shoe for Long Distance Walking
I would personally concentrate on these five factors
- Fit – You need a secure and snug fit from your shoe that does not squeeze your feet, neither slips around causing irritation and abrasion. A lace-up system, or bungee lacing system should provide an adequate and customizable fit, whereas a velcro strap or closure can be just as effective.
Shock Absorbency – One of the most important factors in a Long Distance walking shoe is shock absorbency. Because of the constant impact on your feet and joints, you need a shoe with technology that supplies the best in shock absorbency and protection against impact.
Cushioning – Cushioning in a way is also a form of absorbing impact and shock, it provides a comfortable surface for your feet that is soft and supportive so that you do not feel the hard impact of walking or the surface that you are walking on.
Breathability and Moisture Wicking – I would say that these two go hand in hand, with any good walking shoe in general. You want your feet to stay dry and moisture free, therefore, a moisture-wicking lining and breathable design can aid in providing ventilation and wicking away sweat and moisture.
- Outsole – A thick and durable outsole not only ensures long lasting durability, but also has its input in providing shock absorbency. Along with that, you need to decide on a tread that is right for the surface you are walking on. For a concrete or tar surface, a normal patterned tread that provides good traction is acceptable. Whereas for uneven turf and off-road nature walking or hiking, you will need a trail walking tread that is more lug and protective against slipping on wet or uneven surfaces.
Some Excellent Features of a Long Distance Walking Shoe
- Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL cushioning.
- SPEVA Midsole.
- Moisture Wicking Ortholite lining.
- ABZORB cushioning.
- Mesh Uppers or insets for breathability.
- Lace-Up System or Bungee Lacing.
- Removable Insole.
- Rubber Outsole.
Reviews: Best Long Distance Walking Shoes
Here are a few great choices for Long Distance walking Shoes for both Trail and Road Walking;
Long Distance Walking Shoe
A lightweight and amply cushioned long distance walking shoe from New Balance that is ideal for hard surfaces and tar roads.
- 100% Suede leather uppers with mesh insets for breathability and cooling.
- The durable rubber outsole offers excellent grip on hard surfaces.
- Features the classic ABZORB cushioning technology in the midsole for the best shock absorbency and energy return.
- Walking strike path technology for better performance.
- A comfortable padded tongue and collar and cushioned insole.
Gel Cushioned Walking Shoe
The Asics Gel Foundation is an excellent walking shoe featuring Gel Cushioning where you need it the most, along with a supportive SPEVA midsole.
- Durable and supple 100% pure leather uppers available in a black or white option.
- Lace-up closure for a snug and secure fit.
- The Ortholite sock-liner provides moisture management and comfort.
- A shock absorbing SPEVA midsole along with rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning.
- Durable rubber outsole for good traction and a DUOMAX support system.
- Inside there is a double memory foam lined collar.
Walking Shoe for Long Distance Walking
A lightweight and responsive walking shoe from Skechers, in their latest Go, Walk 4 model.
- Athletic Mesh uppers construction for a soft fit and superb breathability.
- Extremely lightweight, ideal for long distance walking.
- A thick and supportive rubber outsole.
- Innovative and very responsive 5GEN midsole with soft cushioning.
- The uppers are seamless for less irritation with a soft moisture wicking fabric lining.
- Features the popular GOGA Max technology.
Long Distance Trail Walker
These are both exceptional outdoor walking shoes from Merrell, ideal for long distance walks on uneven turf and trails.
- Both these models feature tough and durable Trail specific Vibram outsoles with an athletic hiker style uppers that have mesh inserts for breathability.
- The Siren Edge features an M-Select ECO Fit contoured footbed that provides organic odor control, with a shock absorbing heel cushion.
- In The Siren Edge, you will also find a 4MM lug shock absorbing air cushioning system, and a Bellow tongue to keep dirt and debris out.
- In the Annex Trak, there is a Nylon shank for stability and an EVA midsole for cushioning and shock absorbency.
- Inside the Annex Trak, you will find a breathable lining and soft textile and Nubuck leather uppers.
Walking Shoe for Pronation
The Brooks Addiction Walker has some superb features for long distance walking, along with being ideal for individuals who struggle with Pronation issues.
- Full grain leather uppers with a comfortable and soft textile lining.
- A removable cushioned insole, to accommodate orthotics.
- HydroFlow Technology, enhancing midsole cushioning and shock absorbency.
- A full length MoGo midsole compound for stable cushioning.
- Dual-density posts at the medial arch for progressive pronation control and an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar.
- Sturdy and durable rubber outsole for good traction.
Index Table: Top Rated Long Distance Walking Shoes
|No.||Shoe||Men ♂||Women ♀||Features||Brand||Score|
|1||New Balance® - Long Distance Walking Shoe||New Balance||97|
|2||Asics® - Gel Cushioned Walking Shoe||Asics||96|
|3||Skechers Performance® - Walking Shoe for Long Distance Walking||Skechers Performance||97|
|4||Merrell® - Long Distance Trail Walker||Merrell||97|
|5||Brooks® - Walking Shoe for Pronation||Brooks||98|
Table of Contents
- Demands of Long Distance Walking
- Features of a Good Shoe for Long Distance Walking
- Some Excellent Features of a Long Distance Walking Shoe
- Reviews: Best Long Distance Walking Shoes
- Long Distance Walking Shoe
- Gel Cushioned Walking Shoe
- Walking Shoe for Long Distance Walking
- Long Distance Trail Walker
- Walking Shoe for Pronation
- Index Table: Top Rated Long Distance Walking Shoes