Why does fitness walking require specific shoes?

When you go Nordic walking, your feet unroll on the ground in a movement 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 stages.


1. The unrolling movement starts with the heel: as you hit the ground with your heel, your heel cushions the impact and brings about the first phase of propulsion

. 2. Once the heel is down, your whole foot lays itself out flat on the ground (fully unrolling itself) before lifting off again.

3. You push off again by pressing firmly against the ground with your foot, all the way up to your big toe: this is the second major propulsion phase which enables you to move forward and gain power.

This foot motion is the fundamental to fitness walking. To make sure that you're getting the movement right and walking well, please read our article. 

What do your feet need during fitness walking?

Fitness walking shoes are designed to facilitate this 3-stage foot motion and meet your walking needs:

• Less cushioned than running shoes

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 therefore need the right amount of cushioning.

• Support and stability

To keep your foot aligned with the direction of travel, since you always have foot on the ground as you walk.

• Flexibility

So that your forward foot can unroll properly all the way from heel to big toe.

• Breathable fabric

To prevent perspiration during an intense session, the uppers of your shoes should be made of aerated fabric such as 3D mesh.

• Reinforced material

Since you propel yourself into the next step by pushing down with your big toe, you'll need shoes that are reinforced in that area.

• A zone of grip

So as to be comfortable even when walking on wet terrain, the soles of your shoes should have plenty of grip; they should be made of material that grips, such as rubber.

So now you know what your feet need for fitness walking, which is different to what they need for running. For a more detailed explanation, you can read our article: Are my feet's needs the same for walking as for running?

Now that you know all the needs of your feet for walking, all you need to do is choose the right pair of fitness walking shoes.. Click here to have a look at our buyer's guide !