[Question] Shoes?

First I must say that I like to walk. A lot. It relaxes me. It helps me to think. Every day I walk at least 2 miles. Now, I destroyed three pairs of shoes this year. I've been walking for years and never had this problem. So I need recomendations about a what you think are the best shoes I should buy.
 
Ecco makes great walking shoes (I do mean walking, not running.)
I have a pair similar to these: http://global.ecco.com/en/collection/men/shoes/transporter-black-503514-51052?data=men/shoes&id=503514-51052

I've had them since May 2010. They were the only thing I had with me when I backpacked through Europe (other than sandals at the beaches), and while they're definitely old, and one has recently developed a hole in its side, I'd say a lifespan like that is worth the money. Hell I still wear them. The hole means they're no good for rain or mud, but walking to work on a sunny day or taking a stroll at night is very comfortable in 'em.
 
Dang, I have to echo others positive recommendations about Ecco shoes. They are super comfortable for walking and they seem to wear very well (I had a pair last 5 years and the soles still had some wear left on them).

I have a pair of their running shoes too for jogging and have no complaints about those either.
 
Do you know your stride? Are you a heel striker? Also, I'm curious what kind of shoes you've gotten in the past?

These are my four go to shoes whenever someone asks:

Brooks. Particularly the 'Addiction' shoe, which is made specifially for people who enjoy walking. Brooks are great shoes for men, they carry wider sizes and are designed with a bigger foot in mind. My dad swears by Brooks - he's a big dude.

Asics. Honestly, they make a better all around shoe vs. a specific function shoe. But, I've had great success with them in the past.

New Balance. This one is my personal favorite. They make my favorite running shoe, but also do wonderful walking shoes. They last a long time and a very comfortable. I've used New Balance for 5 years now.

And finally, if you want something really different, there's Altra Zero Drop shoes. I'm recommending these because, if you have a natural stride, with no heel striking, these will be great. These shoes are specifically designed to work with your foot, where as other shoes make your foot do what the shoe wants. Anyway, they're a really interesting shoe and come very highly recommended.

Side note: I always get worried about recommending things to others when they're a bit pricey. But I assume that you're aware, if you want good shoes, you're going to need to spend the money to get good shoes. So, I hope that doesn't put you off to much.

These are just some other thoughts to go along with the Ecco shoes. :)
 
My two recommendations would be:

Finn Comfort's Vaasa 1000 - I owned two pairs over the course of about 7 years, and these shoes went everywhere (work, camping, you name it). They have a wider-than-usual toe box, which means they allow your toes to spread while you walk, and when you are standing still, they don't do anything. It's hard to describe, really, but I suppose the closest description is that the shoes don't support your foot so much as they "spot" it. For my feet, the shoes were completely unobtrusive unless I was actually walking/moving/running/climbing...kind of like sandals except for being closed-toe. One caveat, the soles are reasonably oil- and chemical-resistant (I wore them while working at a service station), but mine deteriorated unexpectedly quickly* after being frequently brought into contact with blood (if that matters for you).

SAS' 'Bout Time - I bought a pair of these in black to be my "good" shoes. They're dressy enough to serve as formal wear (they were my "tuxedo shoes" for about 4 years of extremely light wear), but I put them into daily use after my Finns wore out. They were only just retired at the beginning of this month after probably 12 years of service, of which 7-8 years were daily wear. They are very lightweight, and walking around in them feels a bit like someone took two small but thick spiral braided rugs and stuck them to the bottoms of your feet...very comfortable. I bought a pair (EDIT) of the "Time Out"s (/EDIT) for my dad about 20 years ago, and he's pretty much bought nothing else since.

Even if you don't feel you could afford their prices, I strongly recommend you at least try both of these (if available in your area) to get a feel for them.

--Patrick
*First pair lasted about 5yrs, second only 2 due to the soles deteriorating as mentioned above.
 
So, for those of us on a strict budget, what's a good midpoint between price and quality. I really need some new shoes and want to get a pair of regular walk around shoes and a pair of running shoes, but don't want to spend a whole ton of money.
 
Expect to spend about $150 or so on shoes at the "midpoint." If that's still too much for you, then you're probably not going to get anything that's specifically built for your activity of choice. None of the serious shoe offerings, at least.

--Patrick
 
The 'Bout Times I mentioned above can be found for $100-150 if you look hard enough, those would fulfill your "regular walk around" requirement. I really have no idea about running shoes, since I hate running. Running is something I do for short distances. Any further, and that's what bicycles are for.

--Patrick
 
I like the Brooks. They look great and not too "sporty" It's going to be difficult for me to choose because I will need to import the shoes and it's not like I will be able to return them if I pick the wrong model or size.
 
Expect to spend about $150 or so on shoes at the "midpoint." If that's still too much for you, then you're probably not going to get anything that's specifically built for your activity of choice. None of the serious shoe offerings, at least.

--Patrick
Good grief! 150 for midpoint shoes?? I have never spent more than 80 on a pair of decent dress shoes, and I haven't spent more than 50 for some sport shoes (NB, Nike, Asics, etc).
I run ~3 miles/day 3-4 times a week, and cheap shoes work for me. Maybe I just find good sales.
 
Top