walking shoesFew people notice them, but the subtle differences between walking shoes really change what they do. When it comes to shoes, it may not be the anything goes situation most people think it is. Today we’re going to point out the differences between various styles of walkers and explain their uses.

Lightweight Training Shoes
Trainers are generally neutral shoes, which means they are designed for a person with a strong foot that walks naturally. There is no inward or outward roll of the ankle, which is known as pronation.

Motion Control Shoes
Motion control shoes feature a rigid outsole. These stiff shoes are designed to be inflexible. They offer support and stability to a person who needs help with pronation. Many athletic shoe companies offer motion control styles in addition to their neutral trainers.

Natural Shoes
These shoes represent a return to the basics. Barefoot or minimalist style shoes fall into this category. These shoes are typically made from lightweight materials and feature the most flexible sole. There is little cushion available in most styles. These shoes are only recommended for walkers with the healthiest feet.

Race Walking Shoes
These shoes are geared for forward motion. They tend to have a flatter heel and little to no cushion. They are very flexible, lightweight, and designed to meet the needs of competitive walkers.

Lightweight Hikers
Lightweight hikers feature a similar stiff sole to a motion control shoe, but offer additional ruggedness to the upper. In some cases hikers are even lined with materials like Gore-Tex or eVent for waterproof comfort.

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