What Do You Mean By A “Walking Shoe?”

A lot of women come into the store looking for “walking shoes.”  I typically give them another store to check out, because in all honesty, we don’t carry a “walking shoe.”  We definitely carry shoes that are comfortable to walk around town in, but when I think of a walking shoe, I picture it as a running shoe.  We also have a lot of women asking if they can ‘hike’ in our shoes.  The shoes in our store are in no way designed specifically to support your feet and ankles as most hiking shoes are, so that answer will always be no.  That being said, of course it’s completely possible to hike in a non-hiking shoe, but do you really want to beat up your pretty and shiny new shoes?
Here are some general guidelines to follow when looking for a “comfort shoe.” For starters, I find that shoes with solid leather uppers are the most comfortable. A leather lining and exterior will allow the shoe to mold to your foot, giving you a custom fit, and making it feel as if your foot is being held delicately by soft, dreamy angel hands.  Leather is naturally breathable, durable, and at the very least odor resistant.  Secondly, a rubber sole makes a HUGE difference when pounding pavement.  A thick rubber sole will offer shock absorption and make a huge difference in how your knees and hips will feel at the end of the day.  Also, a lot of people are under the impression that the “squishier” the insole, the more comfortable it will be. However, a softer sole will do nothing for you unless there is support in the shoe that provides stability.  Steer clear of squishy shoes that you can bend in half.
If you’re looking for a “walking shoe” or something sneakerish, go to Rogue Valley Runners, but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t look athletic, I’d suggest one (or more!) of the following:
CYDWOQ ‘Lignum’ $299

CYDWOQ ‘Branch’ $299

El Naturalista ‘N151 Iggdrasil’ $130

El Naturalista ‘N541 Campos Ella’ $155

Groundhog ‘Pensacola’ $139

Groundhog ‘Randa’ $119

OTBT ‘Springfield’ $99

OTBT ‘Copan’ $109
How comfortable a shoe feels to any given person is is very subjective.  Your “crazy comfy” could potentially be another’s “oh hell no,” so of course the shoes pictured above won’t work for everyone.  Keep in mind that comfort is relative from style to style.  A flat is going to be more comfortable than a heel, obviously.  Try not to compare your 5 year old, completely broken in and wonderful shoes with a brand new pair of anything similar.  Old shoes take time to get that comfy, but how easily we forget that when trying to find a replacement.   
Happy shopping! 
post by Amanda


  1. Jane R.

    Thanks for introducing me to some interesting new brands of comfort shoe. I also appreciated your clear distinction between walking shoes and comfort shoes and your list of features to look for in a good comfort shoe.