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Thread: Walking shoes wanted

  1. #1
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    Default Walking shoes wanted

    Here we go again, more help needed guys.
    Due to a health problem, I need to walk more. Unfortunately the back problem I have means I don't walk as much as I should because it hurts.
    So I'm on the hunt for some decent walking shoes (not boots), preferably waterproof, but more importantly I need some good cushioning in the soles to help alleviate the punishment my back takes when walking.
    Preferably I'd rather not pay silly money, but are there such shoes out there and who knows where they are.
    I can find some on the web, but how do I know if they are as claimed ? I would rather buy some that people have actually tried and can recommend.

    Any ideas ??
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    I've always liked Keen boots and shoes,wide in the toe with a good high toe box,very comfortable.I walk 5 miles each morning in mine.
    http://www.keenfootwear.com/en-gb/pr...-gaRoCYXTw_wcB

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    Avoid anything with a four inch heel.

    More seriously - almost any comfortable trainer style shoe will get you started.
    This post may vanish at any moment.

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    Hi Paul. You need to try some on, the fit will be different between different makes.

    I like Merrell shoes, they've always fit me well, as have Salomon. Other brands less so good, but well loved by others, it really does depend on your feet. Don't skimp too much, cheaper stuff from SportsDirect, Karrimor etc will not be as good at supporting your feet. Meindl have a particularly good reputation, if they suit your feet.

    Another thing to consider is to add a better insole to whatever shoes you get. Superfeet are unusual in that they use a rigid feeling heel cup that stops the flesh of your heel spreading on heel impact, which effectively gives you more cushioning. Combined with a good mid-sole should offer plenty of shock absorption.

    Not sure what there is down your way, but I've always found Cotswolds to be quite good on footwear. Taunton Leisure ought to be OK, but I've not visited for decades!


    Yet another thing that may help is to go to a proper specialist running shop who have people who are trained to analyse your gait/feet, pronate/overpronate, and will advise if you need arch support. I wouldn't recommend running shoes for walking in rougher countryside, but they can be very good on tracks and tarmac. And the advice on arch support will likely be relevant for both walking and running, so can be transferred to walking shoes.


    For what its worth, for shoes I tend to go non-waterproof, as I find even Gore-Tex lined waterproof ones are quite sweaty, and don't keep out the water for long due to dirt particles puncturing the membrane. If the day is properly wet underfoot, I put my boots on instead of the shoes anyway.
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    The best I've found have been Merrell, Salomon, Teva (I alternated between Salomon and Teva for a year, when traveling), Scarpa and North Face. Merrell's seem to last forever (I use a pair as work boots and they are still going strong after six years of property development). You really do need to try before you buy, but my advice is that you get what you pay for, both in comfort and longevity. Also, get good socks and some Odour Eaters, both of which will lengthen the life of your shoes or boots. The latter, plus a tube of Mycil, will enable you to wear them every day if you like, without the risk of athlete's foot, or becoming anti-social!
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck Feet View Post
    (I use a pair as work boots and they are still going strong after six years of property development). ..... Also, get good socks and some Odour Eaters, both of which will lengthen the life of your shoes or boots.
    Personally I'd simply suggest changing your socks more often than once every six years.
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    Hi Paul

    As Mal says get down to a decent shop and try some on - everyone has different feet.

    Unless you are planning on winter ascents with cramp-ons or multi-day bog trots, trainers will be fine. I've had more positive experience with goretex than Mal but done less miles.. the biggest problem with low cut shoes and water is the big hole in the top....

    Also have you considered yoga/pilates?

    Ade

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    Thanks for the info so far guys, some good tips coming through, especially the "trying them on" bit. I wasn't going to order them from the web, I just wanted to know what people recommend so I could see if there's any stockists in my area.
    Taunton Leisure stock Meindl, and Go Outdoors (in Taunton) stock Merrell, so I'll be paying them a visit.

    Perhaps I should have stated why I need them more clearly. Having recently been diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, I need to lose the weight that I gained since I stopped smoking in January. It was probably this weight gain that tipped me into the low end (currently) of the diabetic range. I've agreed with the diabetes nurse that I will try and self manage my condition for 3 months before we think about drugs i.e. lose weight and change my diet.

    So (Ade ) I don't like regimes e.g gyms, pilates et al, I would prefer to get myself outdoors walking more, and get my bike out of the garage.

    Problem; I have a prolapsed disc, which apart from general discomfort most of the time and proper pain occasionally if I do something silly, affects my feet. It's difficult to describe the feeling, but sometimes they hurt, sometimes it feels like pins and needles and other times they feel almost dead. Another thing is that I seem to have difficulty lifting my feet as high off the ground as I used to, so tripping on uneven surfaces isn't unusual.
    The overall effect of all this, is that I feel like my in built shock absorbers are knackered ( I expect many of you have had a car with the same problem, remember how jarring that is?)
    So I don't want to climb hills and dales, I just want to walk decent distances with less discomfort, and I'm thinking that a decent walking shoe with some cushioning in the soles will give me a modicum of shock absorbancy that is lacking in my body.
    Even walking the dog is a chore at present, and I don't want it to be. I need to get out more .
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Just out of interest Paul,what changes in diet are you being advised to make ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus2 View Post
    Just out of interest Paul,what changes in diet are you being advised to make ?
    It's early days at present Marcus, so I'm no expert - far from it in fact. All I have at the moment is a load of leaflets that the nurse gave me, plus some advice. Next month I'll be attending a Desmond course, which will tell me far more about managing the condition and the dos and don'ts of diet.

    At present, until I learn more, I've cut out pretty much all the sweet things I like e.g choccy, cakes etc. When we do our weekly shop, we now have to look for foodstuffs that contain little or no sugar, and also little or no fat.
    Unfortunately there's two things in play here i.e. my weight and the diabetes. It would be easier if it was just the diabetes to manage, but getting my weight down should alleviate the diabetes.
    The nurse said that whatever I eat, I should eat less of it. So, I've cut out the choccy etc, plus cut down on fatty foods (read tasty here) and I've quit smoking, and now she wants me to eat less. She's having a laugh .

    I have no specifics about dietary needs Marcus, mainly because what one person likes to eat, another doesn't. It's just about cutting out the sugar and the fat. A friends husband has diabetes, he'll eat Weetabix or Shredded Wheat (no sugar). I don't like either of those, so I have bran flakes.
    I'm starting to discover much more about about processed food and what manufactures put in it to make it tasty. I'm also having to learn what I can put with healthier food (read bland) to make it more palatable to me.

    I am slowly losing some weight , the one thing I struggle to cut down/out is alcohol. I like it, and since retirement, life seems like one long holiday which makes it harder.
    Bloody hell, there's still got to be some enjoyment in life !!

    Any diabetics reading this, please excuse any misinformation and feel free to amend anything. I have much more to learn.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    I'm a huge fan of Scarpa shoes, particularly the Vortex, but they are towards the pricey end. Because I do walk a lot as part of my physio. for knackered legs I tend to wear walking shoes out quite fast so I'm on my seventh or eighth pair in the last five years. I flirt with other makes, find they fall apart much quicker and then go back to the Vortex.

    The suggestion of running shoes is actually a good one, as they tend to have much better cushioning than walking shoes.
    "Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!" said Piglet, feeling him.Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.

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    Healthier food shouldn't need to be bland Just cut out the processed crap.

    I agree, alcohol is far more tricky

    With you on regimes.. I'm hopeless and used to run in fits and starts during the week and then stop for months at a time, but earlier this year I got a proper job and now cycle to work 11 odd miles each way 4 days a week. It was tough to start with, especially as its mainly uphill going home.. but is getting easier... after 3 months.. The bonus of saving £200 a month on a travel card is a powerful incentive..

    Give yourself some targets and rewards and good luck with it, I've witnessed a recent radical lifestyle change with my mum and it is libertating


    ps. I have some Scarpa GTX something walking shoes, they're great but if/when they die I'll replace them with trail runners for the hills.

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    As an aside, my personal experience is that I find it easier to lose weight cycling rather than running or walking. OK, this is mountain biking and can be quite intense, but I've lost a stone and a half since summer '15 without any other major changes to diet etc (other than having no crisps with lunch). This has mostly amounted to a couple of rides a week, though the last month has seen me riding 2-3 times a week to work too (10 miles each way, uphill on the way back, much of it along a windy seafront). For some reason, I push myself a little harder when cycling than running.

    If a bike is set up for you properly (important) the impact on the body should be less than running or walking. Set up wrong and the back may be an issue, so I'd advise expert advice.

    All the best mate.
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    I agree with Mal; technical insoles are the way to go. I'm a keen hillwalker and thought I was developing knee/foot problems. Careful choice/advice/trying different insoles cured it completely.

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    Again, thankyou all for your advice. You almost always come up trumps, and even if you don't have a definitive answer, you try hard to help.

    Mal, I agree that the bike should be more beneficial than walking, that's assuming I do it enough. The walking thing is more about getting out rather than sitting indoors because my back hurts. That, and the fact that Lyn enrolled us into the National Trust this year, so I want to be able to enjoy it rather than say, "go on your own, my back isn't up to it". Just going for a walk is better than sitting indoors, and ultimately I'll reap the benefit.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    When attending a Rheumatoid Arthritis sessions some of the other patients only get it in their feet.

    They were informed to get a referral from their GP to see a physio / occupational therapist / podiatrist.

    Might be worth a punt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cantfloat View Post
    When attending a Rheumatoid Arthritis sessions some of the other patients only get it in their feet.

    They were informed to get a referral from their GP to see a physio / occupational therapist / podiatrist.

    Might be worth a punt.
    A prolapsed disc is not the same, and apart from an operation to cut off the bit of disc that is pressing on nerves, I have to live with it.
    I know 3 people who have had this operation, two are semi crippled, and the other is my wife who I think was very fortunate to get a surgeon that knew his onions. She still has discomfort, but that's better than being in screaming agony .
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    HI Paul

    sorry to to hear things are out of warranty and not now working as designed .... You know what I mean.

    You also know I'm not immune so the best I can say is that exercise, appropriately used, is the best option. In other words, building some muscle around it to support it helps.

    If you decide to do cycling, can you use that dash cam thing to make a video, I need a laugh

    to to answer the OP, I'd go for mid range to lower top range trail runners for what you'll need. Top brands are evident but regardless, I'd want to try shoes on before committing, especially given the back issues. Even then, proper fitting or some decent inserts may also help.

    Neither will help as much as doing it regularly (manageably) though so .... well you get it.

    Happy to hobble around with you sometime though.
    MarkL
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    sorry to to hear things are out of warranty and not now working as designed
    He he, that's a good way of putting it Mark. Getting old and decrepit is the other .
    Thanks for the thoughts and advice. Give our love to the little person
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    So as a recently diagnosed Type 2 (January 2016), I can emphasise with the losing weight thing. However, I don't eat masses of sugar, I know where most of the 'hidden' sugar is and for me, is mainly genetics (darn you fat, happy parents). I just like food / wine too much

    On the shoe from - Salomon. Both good & bad - bad from buying online at my size, good from going into a shop a getting a pair that fitted & felt good.

    I can thoroughly recommend NOT buying online and trying walking / hiking shoe on in person. When you're walking, there's a massive difference between 'OK' and 'good'.
    Death is natures way of telling you to slow down.

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    I just like food / wine too much
    Same as that . What are you doing to manage yours ?? PM me if you like
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    A prolapsed disc is not the same, and apart from an operation to cut off the bit of disc that is pressing on nerves, I have to live with it.
    I know 3 people who have had this operation, two are semi crippled, and the other is my wife who I think was very fortunate to get a surgeon that knew his onions. She still has discomfort, but that's better than being in screaming agony .
    My opening was just to give some background.

    It doesn't matter the cause of the problem, the doctor should be able to refer you for expert advice on the shoe to buy and provide ways to help the problem, you'd be surprised what they can do and it generally works, more for some than others.

    You are getting imedical help which a shop assistant cannot give.

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    I'm no help on the shoe front, unless it was snowing I used to hill walk in trainers, I could go much further when I wasn't having to lift great heavy boots every step. However my sister was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about a decade ago.

    There are two ways you can go, deprivation, which will be boring, will make you hate your life and you'll probably fall off the wagon and do yourself no good, or education and experimentation, which will result in a fantastic, tasty, varied diet, including guilt and harm free beers, chocolate and cake (even chocolate cake, but kick the dog when eating it, chocolate cake is better with a little guilt!). You might have to cut back a little and make choices about what beer, cake or chocolate you eat and when you eat them, but it will be a million miles from the "I'm no longer allowed to enjoy food" fear that comes with the initial diagnosis.

    As far as my limited knowledge goes, it's not a case of cutting out all the sugar, it's about keeping your blood sugar on an even keel. So the first thing to do is make time for regular meals. No more having a cup of tea and half a packet of biscuits to put yourself off until tea time, but get a blood sugar test kit, because a mid afternoon ham sandwich on wholemeal with a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits might be fine and actually sounds nicer than my half packet of biscuits, you just have to learn what your body can tollerate.

    Next thing to do is learn about glycemic index, I'm not completely sure how it works, but basically it's about eating food that slows and spreads the absorbtion of sugar. Make meals with ingredients rather than letting Mr birdseye or Mr findus do it for you, pile up the veg, mop up your plate with a wholemeal breadbun (which is far nicer than boring, processed white bread) check your blood sugar and you are probably good for a beer or maybe two (but check your blood sugar the first few times you do it to make sure). Cake wise, my sister makes some lovely things, including a tray bake chocolate cake that isn't just splendid, it's sugar free (and made with splenda). Janet also has to hide her canderelle chocolate bars (I think it's lindt chocolate), otherwise I'd nom the lot, if her kids didn't get to it first. Personally I'd avoid the diabetic chocolates, the ones I've tried were disgusting, and some have more sugar than normal chocolate (I think the theory is that they are so horrible you don't eat enough to do any harm).

    Christmas is coming, ask everyone who would normally give you chocolate or beer to buy you a cook book, there are loads these days specifically aimed at diabetics, educate yourself and experiment, see it as an opportunity to try new things, my sister and her husband are forever making me things I can't pronounce never mind spell, and pretty much all of it has been fantastically tasty.

    Depending on what your diet and lifestyle are like now, you might have to make some quite big changes, but do it now when you can make it fun, interesting and tasty, if you leave it and it gets worse, that's when you'll have to deprive yourself, along with injecting insulin which is a bigger less enjoyable change (or ignore it altogether and lose a foot, or your eyesight or your life, which I believe are significantly larger changes).

    One final tip, I keep saying experiment, the original recipe for that tray bake I mentioned wasn't all that nice, my sister experimented, halved the amount of sweetener and now I'm going to post this and give her a call to see if she can make some for me.

    A bit of reading, a bit more time in the kitchen and a bit more savvy shopping and you'll look back in a couple of years and wonder why your diet was so bland and boring before your diagnosis. While she'd rather not have had the diagnosis, my sister looks back at it as something that's actually improved her life, which is a long way from the end of the world she thought it was at the time.
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    Mr saarlak, that was an interesting, informative and hope giving read, thankyou.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Today I went to Taunton to try some shoes. I had intended to go to Taunton Leisure followed by Go Outdoors.
    I never got to Go Outdoors, because as soon as I told the person who served me in Taunton Leisure what I wanted, and why, he knew exactly what I was talking about and I could tell immediately he knew his stuff. On top of that, he also has a prolapsed disc, so straight away he could empathise and point me in the right direction.

    I spent almost 2 hours having my feet measured and trying different makes of shoe that suited my size, together with different types of insole. I had no idea that since the Clarks days of yore when they would measure the length and width of your feet, that getting the correct footwear (in a specialist shop) has become such an exact science.
    Long story short, I got to try some of the makes mentioned in the replies above, but the ones I preferred the feel of, together with some soft cushion insoles, was Mammut.

    The service I received from Bill, the manager was second to none, and on top of that I have the option of returning them within 28 days if they don't suit longer term.
    Once again, many thanks to those who replied and gave good advice, but a special thankyou to Mal because I had completely overlooked Taunton Leisure as a place to shop for footwear because I rarely use them anyway.

    I could be doing Go Outdoors a disservice, but I do doubt I would have received the service and expertise that I got this morning from them.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    It's hard to find and even harder to beat 'proper' customer service. My wife needed new walking boots a few months ago so off we went to George Fisher in Keswick. As she had started looking around, a helpful assistant came over and started talking to her about what she wanted, any aches / pains, type of walking, etc. then advised me to go and get a cuppa as it could be a while !

    Long story short - 90 mins later my wife left a happy shopper with the best boots for her (not the most expensive) and insoles that suited her feet & walking style. She's done a bit of walking in them and it totally happy with both the boots and service received - similar experience as they offer a 28 day return policy no matter how far you have walked or the condition of the boots !

    On the same day, we bought my daughter a new pair of boots in Go Outdoors and they were excellent - helpful, knowledgeable and able to provide decent boots for DofE walking. Not the same selection as Fishers but good all the same - as my daughter has flat feet, wasn't a simple try them on & go either.
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    Excellent, I am so pleased. We have a single outlet independent outdoor store near us and I think it is best to make an appointment for shoe fitting because they take so much trouble. I bought my walking boots there and they were very good.

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    Good to hear TLs service is still top notch, and glad you found some good shoes. Good luck with the fitness campaign, and all the best to you both.
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    the merrell chameleon shoe, whilst pug ugly and not strictly waterproof is worth a look. i had some as trainers and always ended up wearing them instead of boots. cant remember ever getting wet feet (bit of common sense applied in puddle jumping). lasted years of almost daily wear too

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    Whilst new to the formum I'm a complete kit geek.....and would like to share my opinion on my favourite shoes as I've been through a fair few. Now I used my mammut ridge low cuts all day everyday (I'm a postman and I've two exceptionally fit dogs) and are now two years old, they're a fairly narrow shoe so need to be tried on before buying cheaper online, but are after two years still completely waterproof and comfortable, the grip is great and have a covered toe making the odd easy climb or tricky scramble a breeze and last and by no means least they still look fairly good despite my lack of cleaning.

    hope it helps

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    Why are shoes usually described in the singular although almost always sold in the plural?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Why are shoes usually described in the singular although almost always sold in the plural?
    Is there a prize ?

    Further to this thread; Yesterday I was forced kicking and screaming to walk (in my new shoes) around the gardens of Stourhead. What a stunning place at this time of year, and we couldn't have had better weather to do it.
    So I've now had an opportunity to assess the shoes. Yes they were beneficial, but how much of that benefit comes from the shoe and how much from the Sorbothane insoles that I paid extra for ?
    What I'm asking is; if I'd bought a somewhat cheaper pair of shoes, albeit a well fitting pair, and put some good insoles in them, would the benefits be the same ?
    Okay, I know that some cheaper makes won't last as long, but the insoles can go into the next pair of shoes.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    Is there a prize ?

    Further to this thread; Yesterday I was forced kicking and screaming to walk (in my new shoes) around the gardens of Stourhead. What a stunning place at this time of year, and we couldn't have had better weather to do it.
    So I've now had an opportunity to assess the shoes. Yes they were beneficial, but how much of that benefit comes from the shoe and how much from the Sorbothane insoles that I paid extra for ?
    What I'm asking is; if I'd bought a somewhat cheaper pair of shoes, albeit a well fitting pair, and put some good insoles in them, would the benefits be the same ?
    Okay, I know that some cheaper makes won't last as long, but the insoles can go into the next pair of shoes.
    Quick answer: at first, the difference might not be massive, but the cheaper shoes soften up and become less supportive more quickly in my own experience. Quality of the mid-sole area mostly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Quick answer: at first, the difference might not be massive, but the cheaper shoes soften up and become less supportive more quickly in my own experience. Quality of the mid-sole area mostly.
    Cheers Mal. Just asking because Lyn wants to be fitted for some decent walking shoes next week.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    As an aside, my personal experience is that I find it easier to lose weight cycling rather than running or walking
    Note to Mal Grey; took my bike out today and you're right, even though I didn't go for miles, I certainly knew I'd done it.
    Bloody crotch hurts though !!
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Default Best Walking Shoes

    Ecco Track 11 , GTX high or low step.cost £85 to £130
    i have flat feet and a fused ankle, these have been my life saver for years.
    Footman

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    Note to Mal Grey; took my bike out today and you're right, even though I didn't go for miles, I certainly knew I'd done it.
    Bloody crotch hurts though !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Yet another thing that may help is to go to a proper specialist running shop who have people who are trained to analyse your gait/feet, pronate/overpronate, and will advise if you need arch support. I wouldn't recommend running shoes for walking in rougher countryside, but they can be very good on tracks and tarmac. And the advice on arch support will likely be relevant for both walking and running, so can be transferred to walking shoes.
    Hi Mal,

    May I disagree?

    I take issue with the "people who are trained to analyse your gait" bit. No they're not. They have some rudimentary training in gait, and the customer pays for the (sometimes questionable) advice in terms of footwear pricing (as a general rule).

    The best advice I can offer to Old Man is to try a few shoes on, pay over £60.00, because anything less is likely to be poor quality, and if you find a pair that suits - go and buy a second pair because by the time your first pair have worn out the manufacturers will have stopped making them.

    This is broad advice, gleaned from 40+ years as a podiatrist and 7 years as an expert witness (podiatry and gait) to the Courts - civil law.

    Oh, and don't buy into "flat is best". It may not be for your feet and/or posture, and some people are better off with a small heel, which most walking footwear has as standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Hi Mal,

    May I disagree?

    I take issue with the "people who are trained to analyse your gait" bit. No they're not. They have some rudimentary training in gait, and the customer pays for the (sometimes questionable) advice in terms of footwear pricing (as a general rule).

    The best advice I can offer to Old Man is to try a few shoes on, pay over £60.00, because anything less is likely to be poor quality, and if you find a pair that suits - go and buy a second pair because by the time your first pair have worn out the manufacturers will have stopped making them.

    This is broad advice, gleaned from 40+ years as a podiatrist and 7 years as an expert witness (podiatry and gait) to the Courts - civil law.

    Oh, and don't buy into "flat is best". It may not be for your feet and/or posture, and some people are better off with a small heel, which most walking footwear has as standard.
    Interesting, maybe I've just been lucky, as advice on arch support improved my running comfort noticeably. Definitely agree on the quality thing, and also the "second pair" advice. Even if the manufacturer has stopped making them, there's a good chance they've changed in some way, or even just changed the factory for a cheaper one.
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