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Choosing the Right Footwear: Cross Trainers vs. Walking Shoes

Over 40 woman sitting and showing the view of her walking shoes

I didn't know anything about walking shoes until last year. I started incorporating walking into my exercise some time before, but I always wore my cross trainers. Those are the same shoes that I work out in everyday. Now, I knew about cross trainers because I had been wearing them for some time. I became familiar with them when I started doing certain types of training like HIIT and Tabata style training, I knew I needed shoes that would give me the support needed for those types of workouts.

Over 40 woman showing the cross Alaina’s she uses for exercising .

My cross trainers need to be a bit lighter and even a little sleeker, but with good support. I still do a lot of Hiit training, and because of that I need shoes that offer support for the explosive movements I do, like jumping. Cross trainers give me the ability to move in different directions with ease. Since I am consistent with my training, I typically have to replace my trainers about every six months because they wear down. You may be able to go longer depending on the style of workouts you do. Before Hiit training, I would change my shoes annually, but you should feel it and be able to gauge whether it is time for a new pair. Your feet will know the difference, and they will thank you.


Picture of Hola Walking shoes I use daily to walk two to three miles

Walking shoes were foreign to me until a year ago. Why did I need a separate pair of shoes to go walking?  Truth be told, I wore my cross trainers for quite a while before getting my first pair of walking shoes. I never thought about it until last year when I injured my back before my trip to New York City. It was recommended for me to get walking shoes for the support, and while I was still healing. Since I also knew walking was about the only exercise I could do once I returned from my trip, I decided to go with the advice. I was impressed with the tryout session in the store. They took time to fit my feet, then walk me through (no pun intended) the different brands and styles of walking shoes until I finally settled on the Hoka Bondi. I could immediately tell the difference. They are a bulkier shoe, but they are still light. The support is amazing too. I can tell how they keep me from feeling the impact of the concrete when walking like I did with my trainers.



While I do recommend a good walking shoe, I also understand they are pricey. My advice would be to use your cross trainers to start with, and once you decide you're committed to consistently keeping up with walking, then make the investment in a good pair. Always shop around too. I have always purchased my cross trainers on clearance, and I never pay more than $50.00 for them. Keep your eyes open for sales and maybe even use some reward program points. My last piece of advice would be to go in store when it's time to purchase. The associates have good knowledge about the brands, and I left the store with a pair I was confident about and comfortable with. I have been getting in a lot of walking miles, so I am planning to replace my walking shoes soon, but so far so good.


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