What Are Good Walking Shoes Made Of?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

So, after hundreds of miles, your favorite walking shoes have finally bitten the dust. It’s time to get out there and snag yourself a new pair pronto.

However, there’s a conundrum. How do you sort through the wide variety of different shoes and shoe materials to find the combination that’s the best fit for you? And what’s more, what materials are best for which tasks?

Well, that’s where we come in. With this guide on what good walking shoes are made of, you’ll be strolling down the road in no time!

But enough preamble, right? Let’s dive right into this thing!

Textiles and Good Walking Shoes

One of the most common materials walking shoes get made from are textile blends of different materials. These usually comprise the upper layer of the shoe (the soft part you can see from the toe to the back loop).  By blending materials like polyester and nylon, manufacturers can make a relatively light shoe without sacrificing durability. 

Some companies prefer to use cotton blends here, as they allow the shoe to breathe more (shoes that don’t breathe well trap sweat, causing foul odors and an environment for fungus to grow). 

Getting Leathery

On the fancier end of the spectrum, we get leather, which designers like for both its breathability and chic design. It also packs a lot of resistance to wear and tear, as well as having a lot of malleability to work with many different designs of shoes. 

However, there are a few drawbacks to getting leather. For starters, the complicated process involved in creating leather (drying animal skins) makes the shoes more expensive than their counterparts. Leather also does poorly when exposed to water, requiring pricy waterproof treatments to resist it.

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Synthetic Time

Synthetics are popular picks for walking shoes, as their cheap manufacturing process and wild variety of creative options make them perfect choices for shoe manufacturers. Most synthetics get made by taking a layer of polyester fiber and fusing another layer on top of it through either liquid processes or lamination.

Synthetic-fiber walking shoes can be further customized by adding a variety of colors or finishes to the shoe. While not synthetic fiber, plastic is also used in walking shoes to reinforce high-stress areas like the toes or heel.

Foam and Other Cushions

One of the most common materials used for cushions in walking shoes is foam, which helps shield your foot from the impact of hitting the ground when you walk or run. The two different types of shoe foam are open-cell foam and closed-cell foam.

Open-cell foam lets air flow through it with ease, making it a common choice for the tongue of the shoe and reinforcing small parts of the shoe. The closed-cell foam traps air in, making it more durable and making it perfect for the midsoles of shoes. Some manufacturers will also use rubber gel to provide cushioning in the midsole instead.

If comfort and resilience are things you value in a walking shoe, make sure to check out https://stpeterunningco.com/4-reasons-to-wear-hoka-walking-shoes/ to find out why these shoes are a great fit for you!

These Shoes Were Made For Walking

So, now that you have our guide on what good walking shoes are made of, what are your next steps? Well, if you want to learn more about finding the best shoes for your daily routine, make sure to check out the other posts on our blog!

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