Tips for buying walking shoes

If you go for a walk, good walking shoes are very important. A walking shoe that is bad can bring a lot of pain and can disturb your walk. Walking shoes should always be well fit your feet.

To find out which shoes are appropriate for you, you can try on the shoes! Because by that you can only determine whether the walking shoes are really nice or not. The shoes should be worn for several days at home. Then you can make a good estimate whether the shoes are suitable for your feet or not.

How do you choose the right walking shoe?

Choosing a walking shoe is always a personal matter which involves previous experiences, your running style and the terrain you are going to use the shoes.

There are also a number of other important aspects which are very important when buying a hiking or walking shoes. Remember that the perfect walking shoe does not exist. You have different types of walking shoes which we will describe below. Each type has its own function.

Light hiking boots (also called walking shoes in Class A)

This is usually a shoe with a low purchased. The sole is sturdier than, for example, the sole of a running shoe. Also there is more tread on the soles of these shoes which makes it suitable for use on both flat paved and unpaved paths.

If you are considering to buy low walking shoes then it is good one to pay attention to because of the stiffness of the sole. Like many support it get quickly tired feet? Choose a walking shoe with a stiffer sole.

Walking shoes made of leather often give more support than the synthetic versions. These are generally called again lighter. For very uneven or rough terrain, these shoes are less suitable. They are called class A shoes because they offer too little support to ankle and foot.

Middleweight boots (shoes Class B)

These shoes are very popular among walkers who like to make long trips on flat or hilly terrain. These shoes give more support than Class A walking shoes and also have a stiffer sole. You walk only on paved paths and without luggage? Then you can still choose a low walking shoe.

Heavy shoes (shoes Class C)

The class C heavy walking shoes are shoes made of stiff leather with extra reinforced toe and sole. These shoes give much support to both ankles and soles of your feet. They are often waterproof and built to last long. You see remarkably number of people who walk heavy Class C shoes as mountaineering shoes.

Each walk his own shoe

It almost seems that many people think that a heavy and stiff mountaineering shoe is better than the lighter, better cushioned Class A walking shoes. However this is a misconception. If you go with a heavy backpack in the mountains, then these class A walking shoes are definitely for you!

Use the shoes for long trips on flat ground? Opt for a low walking shoe, you will have a lot more fun. These shoes give a lot more comfortable on paved roads and paths which are kinder to your knees and costs much less energy because they are a lot lighter!

How to choose walking shoes

To be able to have fun walking without foot problems and other injuries pedestrian, appropriate walking shoes are required. The suitability is not only dependent on the type of foot, running style, and weight of the walker, but is also dependent on the area which is going to be walked. For a walk in the mountains, walking shoes have different requirement than in a slightly undulating terrain. On rough or slippery surfaces the sole must have sufficient profile. These are the tips for you to choose a suitable walking shoe [ Running shoes vs walking shoes in four-day march and how to choose].

Determine shoe size

  • First, do not go in the morning to buy shoes because your feet expand gradually in the course of the day.
  • Adjust your walking with the hiking socks you will wear during your walks.
  • A shoe should not be too large (sliding of the feet) but not too tight (tight feet).
  • The distance between your big toe and the shoe tip should definitely remain one cm. This space can best determine by removing the insole of the shoe and to step on it.
  • Also determine your shoe size you make sure that the heel counter provides sufficient support.
  • It is also important that you feel no pressure points. These pressure points are mainly found at the small toe, on both sides of the foot at the height of the ball, on the instep and at the heel. These problems can be partially solved by another insole, however, it is better to take a different shoe.

Types of walking shoes

Hiking boots are divided into four categories: A (normal flexible walking shoe) to D (shoe in the high mountains). In some brands are also type, which is mixed by two types, are available, such as A / B and B / C.

Type A: Smooth low or medium-high hiking shoe

These shoes are suitable for walking on forest roads and slightly undulating terrain. Because this type of shoe is light and flexible, they are perfect for a day walk and usually best walking shoes for women.

Type B: Trekking Shoes

This type of walking shoes will be found most often in the outdoor shop. They are often just as smooth as the previous type, but are much sturdier and thus give more support. These shoes can be used well in rough areas and mountainous terrain. Many of these shoes are watertight in that they make use of a Gore-Tex layer.

Type C: Heavy trekking shoes

If you want to go into the high mountain hiking, you will need this type of walking shoes in general. This shoe has a stiffer and rougher sole. This also provides the ankles more support. With these shoes you can make tough hiking in the mountains with a heavy backpack through rocky and rugged terrain.

Type D: Alpine shoes

This type of shoe is used for shorter climb through the mountains. The sole is very stiff which makes this type of shoe not suitable for long walks. These shoes frequently have a solid plate in the sole for the mounting of crampons. This shoe is mainly used by rock climbers and as best walking shoes for men.

Walking Socks

By wearing special hiking socks (good brands are Falke and X-Socks), the moisture is drained off. It can also prevent blisters. Make sure when the purchase of socks especially in that they are seamless. Often hiking socks are available in various thicknesses: in winter, use the thicker ones to retain heat better. The more expensive heel and toe socks are equipped with a left and right mark.

Buy walking shoes

First determine on which area you are going to use the walking shoes. A walk in the mountains requires different walking shoes than in a slightly undulating terrain. On rough or slippery surfaces the sole must have sufficient profile. Here each tips (in random order).

  • Take your old walking shoes to the shoes seller. On the basis of the sole and the shape of the shoe (tilt) the seller will give you advice.
  • Try different brands of walking shoes. Each shoe brand has different characteristics.
  • Customize your shoes with hiking socks that you are walking.
  • Walking shoes may not be too wide.
  • Buy your shoes are not in the morning. Your feet expand in the course of the day bit.
  • When you walk a lot in the fall and winter it is wise to buy shoes that are waterproof and breathable.

How do you maintain your walking shoe? (Part 3)

6. Your shoes is impregnated and treated? How you do that!

When using Nikwax we advise you to proceed as follows:

  • Take your shoes clean with quite a wet cloth to leather and / or plastics that are well moistened. A wet shoe can be better washed by the Nikwax
  • Bring the liquid Nikwax on the shoe and rub it in well
  • Remove the excess Nikwax which is not included to avoid stains
  • After drying the shoe, the shoe will be placed at room temperature within two hours of dry weather
  • In case of a new shoe, repeat steps 1/4 twice more so that the doctrine of the impregnation is completely saturated. So you get the best results!

Tip: Are your shoes a bit older and you can not get them clean? First use Nikwax Cleaning Gel before it gets impregnation. Nikwax footwear Cleaning Gel cleanses goes deep into the pores and remove all of the dirt and grease from there. The advantage is that your shoes again to breathe well and get better impregnation.

Now your shoes are ready to use again. If you walk in the rain, you will notice that the water is very good for the shoe apparel. The upper can hardly absorb moisture making your shoes breathe much better and also have your shoes have very good appearance.

7. Replace the insoles

In every mountain you find a loose shoe insole. This insole creates the footbed and a little extra cushioning. The standard insole is made of a kind of pressed cardboard and becomes hard, dirty, and loses its damping after some time. For comfort, hygiene and support is important to replace your insoles in time. A specialist will always have stocked loose insoles.

8. Repairs stitching & resole

While using not only your walking shoes wear out also the sewing. A good shoemaker can have your old shoes often amends. Note that this takes time. Going on vacation and you want to take your walking shoes with? Bring them on time to the shoemaker.

Do you shoes have worn out soles? Some walking shoes can be re-heeled but not all of them. If you do not know for sure just ask the store where you bought your shoes or the supplier.

Please note that because it must be highly paid, not to always let the walking shoes re-heeled. Sometimes, the above work is not good enough anymore and moreover resole is not cheap.

9. Laces

Regularly check your shoe laces. Replace it if necessary. Often shoelaces is broken because of a small hole is an eyelet. File this hole carefully. Eyelets rust will be generally not so fast. However, if the walking shoes is often used in the sea, it may rust or eyelets will wear out. In that case, you can sand these eyes with a fine sandpaper, and then coat them with a layer of grease or Vaseline.

Get all our tips? Keep them in mind and apply them in maintenance your walking shoes [How do you maintain your walking shoes (Part1)].

How do you maintain your walking shoes? (Part 2)

3. Cleaning and drying your walking shoes

Small dust particles and dirt can penetrate into the fibers of the leather and cracks. Also, debris can promote the growth of micro-organism causing the leather to start to rot and dirt can have a negative impact on the breathability.

Therefore, it is important to remove all of the dirt on the outside of the shoe. When walking shoes are used intensively in sand and mud, it is advisable to remove the dirt as soon as possible. Sometimes it can be run through a stream which would be sufficient. If this fails then try it later with cold water and a nylon brush.

If you used the shoes intensive, they are a bit older and / or shoes are very dirty, we recommend you to clean the shoe thoroughly with Nikwax Cleaning Gel. This Gel cleans the shoe up to the fibers of the leather. This makes way into the pores of the shoe which will be clean again not just superficially.

Not only the exterior but also the inside of the shoe need to be kept clean. Perspiration contains a lot of salt. This salt will eventually be kept in the lining of the shoe. Therefore, rinse the inside of the shoe out occasionally with warm water.

If the shoe is wet it must be well dried. Never do this by means of a heat source (stove, dryer, or similar) but leave the shoes in a warm, but not hot, dry place. Prop newspapers in the shoe and replace them if they are wet. In walking shoes, there are always loose insoles. Pull it out if you have to dry the walking shoes.

4. The doctrine with the necessary nutrients – impregnation

Leather is just like skin if it is exposed to the sun and heat, the skin dries out and goes tearing it earlier. If the skin stays wet long then it may have wrinkling, and eventually also rupture and / or decay. Therefore, you must make sure that the leather is not dry or prolonged stays wet. You can do this by using the right cleaning agents and take appropriate action.

The leather in using process loses much of its nutrients. These nutrients ensure that the leather does not dry out and crack. Through the use of the walking, walking shoes leather spend eventually also the last nutrients. These nutrients can add again if we bring the right care

Use at least no leather fat or beeswax as these ensure that the pores of the leather clog. This created the waterproof breathability increases but falls off sharply. In addition, the shoe becomes soft and thus less firm. What we advise you do?




What we recommend for walking shoes is always a medium liquid and a spray! Liquid funds penetrate much better than aerosols and thus the effect will be better and much longer effective. The appearance of the walking shoes can be changed by means of color or texture liquid. Do you think your walking shoes’ appearance is important? Opt for a (special) spray.

Depending on the type of shoe you can choose from one of the following means:

  • Nikwax Nubuck & Suede: let the leather walking shoes almost in its original state (color and structure)
  • Nikwax Fabric & Leather: for shoes from both leather and other (art) material
  • Nikwax Aqueous: for smooth leather shoes.
  • Collonil Nano Spray: For shoes which appearance is important

5. When and how often should you treat your walking shoes?

When you have to treat your shoes?

After you buy them, a new walking shoe already slightly impregnated.

If your shoes are dried and repelled. In the rain you notice that your walking shoes absorb moisture

This allows us to answer the same question how often the walking and hiking shoes should be treated? As often as necessary! Impregnating the shoes again once you notice that they are repelled and dried out.

How do you maintain your walking shoes (Part1)

Your walking shoes need to be properly maintained but why? What maintenance products do you need for walking shoes? How should you treat walking shoes? On this page you will find all the information regarding the care of your shoes and find answers to your questions about maintenance.

We have lots of information about maintaining walking shoes:

  • Why is walking shoes maintainance committed?
  • How to perform maintenance?
  • Cleaning and drying
  • Impregnation walking shoes
  • When and how often maintenance?
  • Impregnation and treat? How can you do that!
  • Insoles replaced
  • Repair & Retreading
  • Shoelaces

1. Why do you keep your old walking shoes? And why is walking shoes maintainance committed?

Why do you keep old walking shoes? Because they are made from fine materials and technique? Why we have to maintainance it

There are two very important reasons:

Extending the life

To Increase the comfort and breathability. Walking shoes usually are not cheap and are long lasting precisely because these shoes are built to last, therefore maintenance is important. With a normal shoe you can “kicks off”, of course it means that you do not maintain but you throw them away anyway, in a few months. But walking shoes are different, depending on the use, will last for years. The leather is then absolutely maintenance free!

You can also find hiking in a lot of technical materials such as Gore-Tex.

This kind of engineering materials function best when the shoe is properly maintained. A wet shoe breathes 40% less than a dry shoe. It is therefore important that you upper impregnates as well as possible in order to retain as much as possible breathability. But beware with the right tools!

2. What should you do to maintenance mountain and walking shoes?

The maintenance of (partially) leather walking shoes is necessary for prolonging the life and maintaining comfort. Besides the above work, you also need the stitching, soles, laces and insoles properly monitor and if necessary repaired or replaced.

Maintenance of shoes is composed of:

  • Cleaning & Drying
  • Leather with nutrients – impregnation
  • Insole replacement
  • Repairs stitching / resole
  • Laces replaced

Maintenance walking shoes

If you spend enough time to maintain your shoes, it takes little effort, and then you stay pleasant for a walk and they continue to look good. Take your walking shoes always clean and dry thoroughly before using special cleaning agents. Here are some tips.

  • Clean your shoes: never use hot water.
  • The best: you can start working with water to remove the worst of mud and dirt with a soft brush.
  • To let your shoes dry faster, you can remove the insoles in the shoe and do some crumpled newspaper into the shoes.
  • Do not dry your shoes by heating because it is bad for the leather.
  • Lubricate the leather of your shoes regularly with leather grease so that the leather is so smooth and water resistant, and you remain pleasant for a walk.
  • To make the boots waterproof at the seams, you can use a sealer.
  • Be careful with waterproofing your shoes, your shoes should finally breathe properly.
  • Always store your shoes in a dry place.

Running shoes vs walking shoes in four-day march and how to choose

The four-day march: on walking shoes or sneakers?

Every year there are several four-day marches. For most of the walkers this will not be the first edition. But there are also a lot of walkers meet this fantastic challenge for the first time. But what are the right shoes [Tips for buying walking shoes] for the four-day marches?


The four-day marches: on walking shoes or running shoes?

Which shoe is suitable for four-day march?

The ideal shoe does not exist. Everyone has different rates and therefore the choice for each individual is different. On day 4 you can also see a variety of walking shoes. There is a person wears walking shoes, the other with sport shoes, but you also see people wearing sandals or clogs… A clear advice on the perfect shoe is not giving up.

Walking shoes versus running shoes


The difference between the shoes is in the sole and the upper. While walking you wrap your feet very differently than when running. Furthermore, the requirement is different. In running you come pretty hard on your heel up, so a sneaker must be much softer. Therefore, there are differences in the technique of the sole and the upper of a walking shoe and a running shoe.

Technique of the walking

While walking, the pressure on the foot during the unwinding of the foot is distributed approximately evenly: ⅓ at the landing stage, ⅓ during settlement and ⅓ in the other phase. There is a sole developed that helps in settling your foot. The sole along with the stronger upper makes the walking shoes more stable and therefore make you are less fatigue. Therefore, on a four-day march, the walking shoes are more appropriate than the sneakers.

Recommendation for everyday shoes

Initially, my advice is to buy a special walking shoe. But the choice depends on personal purpose. If you just walk 50 km on your running shoes or sandals without any problems then you should definitely continue to do. Eventually, you know better than anyone how to feel the shoes on your feet and where you have a good feeling (and hopefully no blisters!).

How do I choose my walking shoe?

When purchasing walking shoes, it is important to see what size are your feet, of course, in order that the shoes fit properly. There is also a choice of waterproof shoes for example.

Walking shoes are also divided into different categories.

  • Category A: light-round walking shoe which is suitable for casual use.
  • Category B: light trekking shoe. This type is suitable for trips in the foothills
  • Category C: sturdy and stiff shoes for heavier and harder walking. These include: spicy hut trips with heavy backpack over rocky and rugged terrain.
  • Category D: For the real climbing. The riser fixed shoe is solid and heavy and best suits the goals and feet of true professionals.

There are mainly two types to distinguish shoes:

  • Type 1: leather shoes: Durable, waterproof and good support.
  • Type 2: Shoes with light, breathe good, flexible but offer less support.


Test the walking shoes

The shoes were tested carefully. Important parts where hiking boots are tested on:

  • Wear resistance
  • Water resistance
  • Comfort
  • Ventilation
  • Weight
  • Harmful substances
  • Fit