When you practise fitness walking, the foot motion is specific to this sport. Fitness walking shoes are specially designed to facilitate this movement, which goes from the heel to the big toe, in 3 stage:
- The transition starts with the heel: the heel strike cushions the impact with the ground and supports the first phase of propulsion
- Once the heel is on the ground, all the joints in your foot stretch without your foot leaving the ground
- You push off again by pressing firmly against the ground right up to your big toe: this is the second major propulsion phase which enables you to move forward and increase power
This foot motion is the basis of fitness walking. To ensure that you are walking correctly and making the right movements, please read our article: the right foot movement.
WHAT DO YOU FEET NEED DURING FITNESS WALKING ?
Fitness walking shoes are designed to facilitate this 3-stage foot motion and meet your walking needs:
Less cushioning than in running
During fitness walking, the sole must cushion 1 to 1.5 times the weight of your body, whereas in running the sole must absorb 2 to 3 times the weight of your body on each stride. You thus need tailored cushioning.
Support and stability
To keep your foot aligned with the direction of travel, since one of your feet is always in contact with the ground during fitness walking.
To facilitate the proper motion of your foot from heel strike to the big toe.
In order to avoid perspiration during intensive walking, you need shoes with an upper (the outside of the shoe) made from ventilated fabric, such as the 3D mesh.
Since you start your stride by pushing on the big toe, you need shoes which are reinforced at that point.
In order to ensure your walking remains comfortable even on damp ground, you need an outsole which offers good grip, such as one made from rubber.
As you can see, the needs of your feet for fitness walking are both specific and different from those for running. For more details, read our article: do my feet have the same requirements for walking as for running?