Your Guide to the Best Walking Shoes for a Visit to Washington DC

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If you feel like I have been in Washington DC a lot lately, then you are correct! In fact a few people asked if I lived in the “DMV” and I had to laugh. Clearly there is an issue when no one asks “what part of Philly I am from”- Visit Philly we need to change that. Most times my travels to our Nation's capital require lots of walking and even a true stiletto girl knows that the Christian Louboutin So Kate is not the correct shoe. Whether you are visiting for vacation or business, the best walking shoe is a must. I have selected my top five that leave my feet feeling refreshed.

Fly London

When I first looked at these UK based shoes, I was not convinced that I would like or even wear them. In full disclosure, I picked them up in Nordstrom so many times but just didn't think it was my style. That notion went quickly out the window, once I saw some of the bright colors and since they were not flat, I figured I could make it work.

Preparing for Organic Trade meeting in DC with Xavier from #AmysKitchen For #OrganicWeekDC
Prepared for our first meeting of the day.

After a full 7 hours of walking around Capitol Hill the only complaint was the ash that was left on my feet. The shoe is suppose to fit snug but I opted for the larger size. Despite the fit, this shoe held up amazingly and I will definitely be getting a few other styles but in my correct size.

“Fly London is more than a brand, it’s a lifestyle. 
Don’t walk, fly!

Fly London Website
Gentle Souls

This Kenneth Cole owned brand provides not only comfort but a style that makes Kenneth Cole a favorite. It doesn't look like a comfort shoe but it only needs to be on your foot for five minutes to see the light.

organic lifestylist with organic t-shirt and gentle souls shoes. Walking Shoes for Washington DC

I wore mine in the evening as we explored the night scene in DC. If you are wondering if there is a night scene, wonder no more. There are so many pockets of neighborhoods that provide entertainment well passed the midnight hour.

Paul Green
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The perfect day to night shoe that provide comfort and style. I love that these shoes look great with everything. When I see other women wearing them, I smile in acknowledgment of the comfort cloud. Please be warned this in an investment purchase and while they do go on sale, it's worth the price tag.

Vionic
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Most of you probably only this brand for their flip flops or slippers that Oprah made famous with her favorite things but they make shoes that can go from day to night. You can't go wrong with anything in this brand as the innovation was created by a team of podiatrists. The orthaheel technology fits like built-in orthotics. Keep in mind some of the styles are on the wide side especially the slip on versions but other styles have been true to size.

Toms
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Who doesn't love a shoe that gives back? Toms have been known for providing a free pair of shoes to a child in need with every shoe purchase. This mission expanded in 2011 to One for One- where they also have an eyesight and water program. Buying Toms is easy and they are reasonably priced. The colors and styles are constantly evolving making them a great eco-responsible purchase.

Things to Look For When Buying Shoes for Walking

Buying walking shoes is not always an easy task especially when you don't know what to look for. When you find a brand that works stick with it and buy more than one pair whenever possible. The proper shoe might not be a fashionable choice but sometimes comfort and fit take precedence. Consider these five steps while shopping for the best walking shoe.

  1. Proper arch and heel support are the number one factors is selecting the best walking shoe. This support keeps your body in its natural path of motion. If you have a high arch, you probably experience a sharp pain when walking in shoes without support.
  2. Midfoot cushioning adapts to your walking style and reduces the impact on your joints
  3. Heel cupping relieves the pressure on your foot from constantly hitting the ground with each step.
  4. The most expensive shoe is often not the best shoe so shop around and keep an eye on your budget.
  5. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist and allow them to assess your gait, protonation, and any pain you might be currently experiencing.

What is that Pain in my Foot?

If you notice pain in your feet after standing, running, and/or walking for long periods of time, then you might have plantar fasciitis. This pain often seems to focus in arch area or shows itself as heel spurs. Plantar fasciitis is a stretching of the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs from the ball of the foot through the arch and is connected to the heel. Once the attachment becomes aggravated it is important to select the proper footwear.

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Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

The Brooks brand is well known amongst runners which makes it worth checking out for walking. The Addiction offers controlled support and a roomy forefoot that is loved by people who are looking to control plantar fasciitis. Brooks has extra room for orthotics and a 90 day love it or return it which is highly appealing.

The Gravity Defyer is lightweight and breathable. It is diabetic friendly and the padded collar and tongue provides added comfort.

Dansko brand shoes aren't just for medical professionals. The high toe box makes this a favorite for people on their feet for long periods of time.

Sandals by ABEO provide casual, all day support. The built-in orthotic help reduce foot fatigue, shock and stress on joints.

The Mayari Birkenstock offers pronounced arch support, classic suede-covered cork and latex footbed absorbs shock and contours to the shape of the foot with wear for a truly personalized fit. This lightweight shoe is a favorite among many and is often worn as a fashion statement.

This list is not exhaustive and I do realize that many prefer flat styles or even fashion sneakers. My main goal on any trip that requires an overnight bag is to maximize the uses for my shoes. Anybody else pack shoes first?

Welcome to my home on the web... I’m Tomika, the thought leader behind Life in Pumps. I love all things fashion, fun & travel! I’m a wife and mother of two very active teenagers. I'm a social butterfly and passionate about advocating for breast cancer disparities and the benefits of organics. Follow along as I believe life is more fun when you actually live it!

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