Walking is by far one of the best forms of cardiovascular (cardio) exercise for weight management and overall good health, as it’s easy to perform, requires little or no equipment, and can conveniently be incorporated into your everyday routine. But, to reap maximum benefits from a walking program, you’ll definitely need to invest in a good pair of shoes. This holds true even if you normally walk for leisure, as wearing the wrong types of shoes day in and day out can seriously harm your feet and may ultimately lead to injury.
As an avid runner I’ve never really been one to walk for exercise. However, I do engage in a whole lot of spontaneous daily walking back and forth down hallways and up and down stairways. So much so that I’m constantly on the hunt for everyday shoes that are both fashionable and healthy to wear. I’ve gone through many brands but, years back, I was introduced to Vionic shoes. These shoes are indeed one of only a few lines to strike the perfect balance between comfort, functionality and style, which is why I highly recommend them.
Vionic shoes have excellent arch support.
It’s generally difficult for me to fit into many shoes due to my naturally high arches and insteps (pes cavus). I also tend to experience minor foot aches and pains when walking and even standing for prolonged periods of time, which is quite common for us folks with pes cavus. For comforts sake, I regularly alternate between my “ugly” supportive slip-ons and “pretty” pumps in order to accommodate my general walking patterns.
Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to test out a pair of Vionic Ailie Casual Walkers, which have since become my go-to comfy shoes that are actually worth showing off. The firm yet flexible removable orthotic inserts provide superior arch support with just enough give to encourage natural foot flexion. I also love the breathability of this particular style making them perfect for everyday wear during warmer months.
Vionic shoes help control overpronation.
Pronation naturally occurs as body weight is transferred from the heels to the forefoot causing the foot to roll inwards. As implied by the name, overpronation is characterized by excessive pronation. Excessive pronation can cause severe foot pain and discomfort during walking and also negatively affect the body’s overall alignment. Overpronation is most common among people who are heavier or overweight in addition to individuals who inherently have flat feet (pes planus or fallen arches).
Since pes planus is essentially the reverse of my issue, I was surprised to discover that Vionic shoes may be just as beneficial for individuals with fallen arches. It’s true!
Apparently, there are specialized footbeds (Orthaheel Technology) housed in these shoes that supposedly aid in reducing the tendency to overpronate. To investigate the overall effectiveness of Vionic’s Orthaheel Technology, I passed on a pair of their Zen Walkers to an associate of mine who loves to walk and happens to be overweight with fallen arches. The verdict? Well, after 6 months, she reported that wearing these shoes enabled her to walk faster and more efficiently with less pain in her knees.
Said associate of mine also reported enhanced weight loss which she attributed to increased calorie burning due to her faster walking pace during exercise. Now, as an exercise scientist my immediate thought was: “The shoes caused a placebo effect.” But, maybe not! Could be a case for further investigation.
The bottom line…
While I WILL NOT promise you’ll lose more weight by walking in Vionic shoes, I WILL go ahead and recommend trying them, especially if you regularly walk for exercise and/or leisure. With men’s and women’s silhouettes ranging from flip-flops, slides, slippers to even lace-up sneakers, Vionic with Orthaheel Technology offers a wide array of styles that will keep you comfortable and neutrally aligned during walking or any other activities you choose.
One more thing! The shoe styles I’ve had do run a little wide, which I prefer but some others might not. Learn if these shoes are right for you by visiting VionicShoes.com for a free 30-day wear test.
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Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.
Before starting an exercise training program you should first make sure that exercise is safe for you. If you are under the age of 55 years and generally in good health, it is probably safe for you to exercise. However, if you are over 55 years of age and/or have any health problems, be sure to consult with your physician before starting an exercise training program.