How to have happy feet when walking

Tips on buying the footwear that is right for you when you exercise

The Teva Ladies Kayenta Dreamweave from Outdoor Look

Walking, as we all know, is a great way of keeping fit and healthy and has many desired benefits such as improved heart function & blood pressure, lower risk of disease not to mention keeping your weight in check and toning the body up. It is particularly enjoyable when the weather plays along and you can put away your walking boots, take advantage of the dryer trails by donning a pair of sandals and letting a bit of air get to your feet for a change. Sandals are a more lightweight option so especially good for travel. As mentioned they offer the feet ventilation which in hotter climates is always nice and with the variety of fashionable styles on offer, they are versatile and can be worn in many situations so you don’t have to carry multiple pairs of shoes with you.

Despite the fact that sandals may have had their fair share of bad press in the past, it’s easy to prove the fashionistas wrong with today’s selection of walking sandals currently available. But not only are they increasingly stylish, they possess many of the required attributes to meet the criteria of the most demanding of walkers with superior comfort and support. The choice of sandals on offer are specifically designed to be used for long distance walking on more demanding terrain – not perhaps hiking trails but they do perform well for walking city paths to rocky, muddy terrain.

Using many up to the minute, top quality materials, you can be sure that you will get the right amount of durability, support and comfort required. To help you with your selection, here’s a list of the key things to look for:

SOLE – starting with the sole look for technology such as Vibram and durabrasion – hardwearing yet lightweight flexible rubber. Most have high quality decent treads with deep lugs which help to channel water to improve grip in all weather and help prevent slipping. Certain ranges, such as many of the Teva range of sandals have additional features such as TIDE technology which helps drain excess moisture away via the midsole to keep your feet as dry as possible even if you get caught out by the weather. Cushioned heel pads for shock absorption and added comfort go a long way to ease any strain on joints.

FOOTBED – in this day and age, most footbeds are are Vibram footbeds or constructed from EVA or compression moulded EVA, which, as mentioned previously, are great for shock absorption.

Moulded to your footshape to prevent a non slip base for your foot, they offer maximum comfort and offer the stability needed for long periods of walking.

The Teva Mens Terra F1 Lite

UPPERS – with a wide variety of materials on offer ranging from leather and nubuck to webbing and synthetic materials, you will be spoilt for choice.  Many are water resistant and have anti microbial coatings for protection and longevity by preventing odour build up. Despite, in many cases being strappy, they are adjustable to ensure that they extend the maximum possible support for your feet as you’re walking and are easy to get on and off. The leather, suede and nubuck varieties whilst offering some resistance to moisture may be more suited to warmer and drier weather, but if you’re route is likely to take you near or through water, or as a precautionary measure against unpredictable weather the synthetic variety may be more suitable. Utilising materials such as Elastane, Lycra and Neoprene they won’t absorb moisture, will keep their shape better when wet and dry quicker when they do get wet. These materials are also efficient at wicking away moisture.

STRAPS – choose from hook and loop to Velcro closures or multiple closures for more support and security. With a good fitting sandal, the straps should be the final means of securing your foot in place rather than the only means. Some sandals offer padded strapping for added comfort.

To ensure your sandals are a good fit they should:
  • Provide sufficient room around the edge of your foot to prevent damage from knocks or rubble.
  • Allow a thumbs width between the end of the sandal and toes.
  • Perhaps an obvious point but if intending to be worn with socks (apparently now less heinous than once thought!) then fit them with socks on.

So if the recent weather has inspired you to get outdoors and you want your feet to have a bit of freedom, then consider investing in a pair of sandals. Outdoor Look have a good selection at reasonable prices with a new range of Teva sandals just in.