Walking and Your Feet

About 67 million adults in this country have discovered that walking is one of the most fun, natural, and inexpensive ways of keeping your health—and your feet—in top shape. Walking can be enjoyed almost anywhere, any time, and year around. It's also a good way to get exercise, particularly for people who are out-of-shape.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, exercise offers a host of benefits. Walking helps control weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. A brisk walk can burn up to 100 calories per mile or 300 calories per hour. Walking also improves cardiovascular fitness. As an aerobic exercise, walking gets the heart beating faster to transport oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the muscles. The heart and lungs grow more efficient with a regular walking regimen, reducing blood pressure and the resting heart rate. Walking is also a central element of medical rehabilitation for a wide array of health problems. For example, recovery from a heart attack can be facilitated by a regular walking regimen. Additionally, walking creates an overall feeling of well-being, and can relieve depression, anxiety, and stress by producing endorphins, the body's natural tranquilizer. A brisk walk will relax you and also stimulate your thinking.

To gain the most health benefit from walking, it is important to pay attention to your feet. Shoes that don't fit properly or provide adequate support, lack of stretching, and improper gait can lead to foot injuries or pain. The most common foot problems are blisters, corns, calluses, and plantar fasciitis.

Walking Shoes

The only equipment you need to enjoy walking for fitness is a good pair of shoes. But before you can shop for the best shoe for your foot, you need to identify the natural inclination of your foot and gait. There are three basic foot types:

  • Pronators are people with relatively flat feet, caused by low arches, which generally leads to overpronation, or a gait in which the ankle rolls inward excessively. People with this foot type need motion control shoes that offer support for mid-foot. Motion-control shoes are more rigid and built on a straight last. These are generally board-lasted shoes, which have a piece of cardboard running the length of the shoe for greater stability. Look for sturdy uppers for added stability and avoid shoes with a lot of cushioning or highly curved toes. Also look for a reinforced heel counter to maintain foot support and stability.
  • Supinators are people with high arches, which can lead to underpronation that places too much weight on the outsides of the feet. People with this foot type need stability shoes designed for extra shock absorption and often having a curved or semi-curved last. A slip-lasted shoe is also recommended, because the sewn seam runs the length of the shoe  giving it greater flexibility. Also look for shoes that are reinforced around the ankle and heel to stabilize the foot and extra cushioning under the ball of the foot.
  • People with normal feet can wear any type of walking shoe, although a curved last is generally preferred.

When you walk, the natural motion of your foot rolls gradually from the heel to the toe, with your foot bending at the ball on each step. That's why it is important for walking shoes to have enough flexibility in just the right places.  A good walking shoe should give a little when you twist it and bend at the ball of the foot. When you put the shoe on a flat surface and push on the toe the heel should come up off the surface. If it does, the shoe has the curvature you need to conform to your movement during walking.  Make sure the heel is low and not too wide. A slight undercut in the heel will help your foot begin its roll from the heel through the step.

Here are some other important tips for buying a good pair of walking shoes:

  • Shop at the end of the day when your feet are slightly swollen to get a good fit.
  • Try on shoes with the socks you will wear when walking. If you use an orthotic, bring that to the store when you try on shoes as well.
  • Have your feet measured standing up and fit your shoes to the larger of your two feet.
  • Be sure there is enough room in the toe box for your toes to wiggle and about a half inch between your toes and the end of the shoe.
  • Take time when shopping to try on different brands and walk around the store in each pair. Be sure to walk on a hard surface, not just on carpeting. Let your foot be the guide to the fit, not the shoe size or style.
  • Look for lightweight, breathable materials for greater comfort.
  • Run your hand all over and inside the shoes to feel for any seams or catches that might irritate your foot.
  • Choose shoes that lace for better foot stability and control.
  • Make sure your heel fits snugly and does not tend toward slipping out of the shoe.
  • Wear your walking shoes only for walking to extend their life. Consider buying two pairs and rotating your wear to give each pair time to breath between walks.
  • Replace walking shoes after every 300 to 600 miles, depending on how hard you are on your shoes.

Our Location

7525 Greenway Center Dr #112 Greenbelt, MD 20770

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-4:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "This was my first appointment. It was very welcoming and very helpful. The information shared was done in a friendly and easy to understand manner. I highly recommend their services.

    Dr. Cohen was the physician that I saw. He was excellent."
    Ralph M
  • "In my opinion Dr. Richard Cohen is not only an outstanding doctor but man integrity. I highly recommend him each time footsore is the subject in a conversation. He offers helpful information all the time and my feet are the better because of it. Thank you sir."
    John F
  • "Total Foot Care represents its name well with professional staff and qualified physicians. You receive also a little pampering."
    Cheryl M
  • "Great experience! Having surgery in a pandemics is not an easy discussion to make. Dr. Cohen and his staff made me feel safe and comfortable. Everyone was friendly."
    Delaine S
  • "Dr. Sassoon was very friendly and knowledgeable. This was my first time visiting a podiatrist and he made sure I was comfortable and I was informed about my care. The receptionist and other staff were all very professional and kind during my visit. I will definitely recommend to others!"
    Kanisha B
  • "I have been a patient at Total Foot Care for many years. I have always found Dr. Cohen and his staff to be thoroughly professional. The care that I have gotten here has always been top-notch. I do not hesitate to recommend them."
    Robert H
  • "Dr. Cohen was very professional and caring. He explained my condition and advised on the property care."
    Mary T
  • "Dr. Sassoon is simply the best! He does a great job on keeping my toenails in good health......and he is very gentle in his approach to make everything pain free. I would recommend him to all my family and friends without any fears.

    He also has a wonderful personality and I enjoy every visit with him."
    Bernice M
  • "Wonderful experience! Courteous, calm, friendly staff. Everything is spotless."
    Nancy M
  • "I can finally walk around pain free."
    Stephanie De Leon
  • "Dr. Cohen, DPM provided me with excellent care when I needed it the most."
    Jennifer R.