Every day, healthcare heroes embark on a remarkable journey of dedication and compassion. It's a path that requires you to go the extra mile—both figuratively and quite literally—with lengthy commutes, busy patient rounds, and extensive hospital shifts. With all the demands on your feet, maybe you’re considering whether walking shoes are a good fit.
To answer this question, we first need to ask: What are walking shoes, exactly? As the name suggests, these stately sneakers are specifically designed to optimize the comfort and mechanics of walking. But what makes a good walking shoe, and are they the best choice for your healthcare work? In fact, you may be wondering, when can you benefit most from wearing a walking shoe?
Join us as we begin a journey of our own—a journey to find out what walking shoes are best for you and whether or not they’re the right choice for you.
Why Choose Walking Shoes? Features and Benefits
When your days are filled with walking—whether it's attending to patients or navigating hospital corridors—investing in a reliable pair of walking shoes may be a wise decision.
What are good walking shoes able to offer? Let’s look at a few key features and their benefits:
- Purposeful design – Walking shoes are thoughtfully engineered to support the specific movements and mechanics of walking. With features that optimize both luxury and performance, they ensure you can navigate your daily routines with ease and efficiency, leaving you with less foot pain even after your 12s are over.
- Lightweight and breathable materials – Unlike other athletic shoe types, which tend to be heavier and bulkier to absorb the shock of higher-impact activities, walking shoes offer distinctly lighter, more breathable materials. This enables you to move freely without feeling weighed down or experiencing discomfort due to restricted airflow. In fact, breathable materials ventilate to help keep your feet cool and dry, even during extended wear.
- Slip Resistant and Extra Grippy – When properly fitted, walking sneakers help keep you on your feet for extended periods. They feature durable outsoles that offer excellent traction, reducing the risk of slips and falls. Moreover, the toe boxes of a walking shoe are crafted for comfort, preventing blisters or calluses and helping you focus on your work without foot fatigue becoming a hindrance.
Since walking shoes provide the ideal balance of support, cushioning, and flexibility, they can be an excellent choice for healthcare professionals who spend most of their time on their feet.
That said, not all walking shoes are created equal, and the same could be said of our feet. So, how can you know what makes a good walking shoe and whether or not you’re choosing the right pair for your unique needs?
What Makes For Good Walking Shoes?
Choosing the best walking shoe involves more than just selecting the right size. All shoes are made for walking, after all.
To figure out what are good walking shoes, you must consider several important factors. Let's explore these essential considerations in more detail:
- Arch support – Your arch type plays a crucial role in determining the level of arch support and cushioning your feet require. For low-arched or flat feet, you may want to seek wider fits with motion control features for enhanced stability. Medium-arched feet can benefit from a balanced approach with flexible midsoles, while high-arched feet tend to need extra support and cushioning in order to alleviate pressure on other areas of the foot.
- Immediate comfort – A good walking shoe should embrace your feet with instant comfort. Unlike shoes that require a "break-in" period, a walking sneaker is designed to pamper your feet from the moment you slip them on.
- Shock absorption – Shoes crafted with quality midsoles and outsoles are critical to minimizing strain on your feet, knees, and hips while you walk. Ensure that you’re purchasing genuine walking shoes, not shoes designed for running or other strenuous physical activities.
- Flexion, cushion, and traction – While these may sound like basic features, it’s important to examine these aspects of walking shoes. Are they flexible enough to twist slightly? Does the cushioning properly support your ankles up to the Achilles heel? Do the outsoles have sufficient grip and traction? These are helpful questions to consider when determining quality walking shoes.
- Practicality and style – As a healthcare professional, your shoes should be functional and reflect your personal tastes. Look for walking shoes that are easy to clean, resistant to liquids, and effortlessly stylish. Why sacrifice aesthetics when you can have it all?
There are plenty of other factors that could be considered when debating what are good walking shoes. Naturally, you want them to fit properly, yet slip on and off easily. These features are especially applicable to healthcare workers.
When Would You Wear Walking Shoes?
Now that you understand what makes a good walking shoe, you might wonder when and where to best unleash their potential. While we can’t speak for all walking shoes, when it comes to Clove, here are some areas where our shoes shine:
- Hospital Shifts – Our walking shoes are ideal for the demands of hospital environments, providing liquid-resistant, non-slip support and lightweight snugness, even throughout your busiest days (or nights).
- Rounds and Patient Care – Walking shoes offer stability and cushioning with every step, ensuring optimal comfort during rounds and patient care activities. Quality walking shoes, like the Women’s Classic and Men’s Classic, also feature squeak-free soles that bring a whole new meaning to “sneakers.” No more tip-toeing on those late-night rounds!
- Standing and Walking – Whether you’re standing at the nurse's station, attending to patients, or on the move, walking shoes provide the necessary support your feet need for prolonged standing and walking with plush cushioning and cradling heel pads.
- Commuting – The comfort, style, and breathability of wearing the best walking shoe makes it perfect for your daily commute. Looking for even more convenience? Options like the Men’s Clove Solo and Women’s Clove Solo offer a sleek, single-band style that removes the hassle of tying your laces (and prevents the risk of tripping over untied laces).
- Everyday Wear – Even during your well-deserved time off, Clove walking shoes are designed to keep your feet feeling comfy and looking stylish while running errands, enjoying time outdoors, and doing the things you love.
While walking shoes are certainly very flexible, it’s also important to note their limitations.
The biomechanics, or the specific interaction between muscles and joints, are different between walking, running, and other intense workouts. So, while it may be tempting to have your walking shoes serve as your one-stop shop for everything from jogs to the gym, you may want to reconsider.
Choosing footwear tailored to your specific activity is important, as the unique design and features of running and walking shoes mean that improper use can cause discomfort, fatigue, or potential injury over a long period of time. Of course, the occasional dash to your workstation when you’re running late won’t cause any lasting harm.
As long as you treat your walking shoes with care and keep in mind what are walking shoes made for—that is, daily lifestyle use—then they will reciprocate with comfort and support for years to come.
Clove: Walking Shoes a Step Above the Rest
What if you could have a shoe that was breathable and lightweight, yet fluid-resistant and easy to clean? What if your walking shoes were flexible and agile, yet protective and comfortable—even after a full day of being on your feet? It’s all possible with Clove.
We know how draining it can be, physically and emotionally, to walk the incredible path you do as a healthcare worker. That’s why we’re here to support you, starting from the feet up. Whether you’re working a late-night hospital shift or enjoying a long walk on your day off, Clove delivers the ultimate walking shoe, elevating your style and stride with every step.
Looking to learn more about shoes? We’ve got you covered with guides that answer questions like “what are lifestyle shoes” as well as ones that explore the difference between walking shoes and running shoes. Read on today.
- Houston Methodist. How to Pick the Best Walking Shoe for You. https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2021/jul/how-to-pick-the-best-walking-shoe-for-you/
- Mayoclinic. Features of a Walking Shoe. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/multimedia/walking-shoe/img-20307328
- Very Well Fit. How to Buy Your Next Pair of Walking Shoes. https://www.verywellfit.com/before-you-buy-walking-shoes-3433020