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In today’s fast-paced world, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, especially when it comes to incorporating physical activity into our daily routines. However, walking stands out as a simple, accessible form of exercise that offers numerous health benefits, particularly for heart health. For those moving towards a healthier lifestyle, selecting the right footwear, especially for individuals with wide feet, is crucial to ensure comfort and prevent injuries.

The Heart Health Benefits of Walking

Walking is a low-impact, moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise that can significantly improve heart health. Regular walking can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and manage weight, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke by 35% and Type 2 diabetes by 40%. It’s not just about the physical benefits; walking also has mental health benefits, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A study involving over 72,000 participants, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, has shed light on the optimal number of daily steps to offset the risks of prolonged sitting. The study found that each additional step taken up to around 10,000 steps a day was linked to a reduced risk of death by 39 percent and cardiovascular disease by 21 percent, regardless of how much time was spent sedentary. This groundbreaking research, which utilized wrist-worn wearables to measure daily steps, suggests that even those who are sedentary for most of the day can mitigate health risks by increasing their step count.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Matthew Ahmadi, emphasizes that while this isn’t a free pass for a sedentary lifestyle, it does convey a crucial public health message: all movement matters. People should strive to offset the health consequences of unavoidable sedentary time by increasing their daily step count.

The Role of Proper Footwear

When it comes to walking, the right shoes are just as important as the activity itself. For those with wide feet, the challenge of finding shoes that fit comfortably can be a significant barrier to maintaining an active lifestyle. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to discomfort, blisters, and other foot problems, which can discourage people from walking.

Did You Know?
A comprehensive review in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research highlights that between 63 and 72% of participants were found to wear shoes that did not accommodate the width or length dimensions of their feet, leading to foot pain and disorders such as lesser toe deformity, corns, and calluses.

To ensure a positive walking experience, individuals with wide feet should look for shoes with a wide toe box, ample cushioning, and support. Wide orthopedic shoe brands like Apis, Dr. Comfort, Propet, and Orthofeet offer wide-width options that are designed to provide the necessary comfort and support for extended periods of walking. Proper footwear can prevent foot pain and injuries, making walking a more enjoyable and health-promoting activity.

Top Men’s Walking Shoe Picks

Men's Extreme Lightweight Walking Shoe | 9709

Men's Extreme Lightweight Walking Shoe | 9709
Men's athletic shoe, Apis 9709, with orthotic support. Contoured orthotic insole, with anatomical arch support and gel padded heel seat.

BONUS Gift with purchase -three sets of custom heat moldable inserts. A $240 value included FREE!
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Pros:
  • Slip-resistant outsole: Feel confident on any surface, rain or shine. The grippy outsole provides reliable traction, keeping you steady on your feet even in slippery conditions.
  • Stretch uppers: Adapt to foot swelling throughout day, offering a flexible fit and enhanced comfort.
  • Lightweight construction: Experience a feeling of weightlessness with every step. The lightweight design reduces fatigue and allows for effortless movement, making every step feel easier.
Cons:
  • Not all widths stocked: Availalbe in 10E and14E options but is special order
  • Special orders soles: 10E and 14E have a different EVA bottom
Color:

Black, Blue, Grey, Red

Size:

5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Width:

D, 4E, 6E, 9E, 10E, 14E

Men's Added Depth Walking Shoe | 9720

Men's Added Depth Walking Shoe | 9720
The Apis 9720 - your perfect lightweight mesh walking shoe with incredible support and comfort.

BONUS Gift with purchase - three sets of custom heat moldable inserts. A $240 value included FREE!
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Pros:
  • Comfortable and supportive: The cushioned insole, wide toe box, and supportive features make these shoes comfortable for walking and standing for extended periods.
  • Durable: The leather side panels and rubber soles provide lasting wear.
  • Accommodates foot conditions: The extra depth, removable inserts, and wide widths make these shoes a good option for people with diabetes, bunions, hammertoes, and swelling.
  • Multiple widths: Ensures a comfortable fit for different foot shapes up to 14E.
Cons:
  • Special Order: While offering wider widths, including 10E & 14E, they have to be special ordered.
  • Limited breathability: The leather and mesh uppper may not be as breathable as a full mesh uppper.
  • Not for high-impact activities: The lightweight design makes them less ideal for running or other high-impact sports.
Color:

Black, White

Size:

5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Width:

D, 4E, 6E, 9E, 10E, 14E

Men's Athletic Walking Shoe | Stability X Strap

Men's Athletic Walking Shoe | Stability X Strap
Inspired by the best-selling Stability Walking, this lightweight mesh upper, the Propet Stability X Strap, walking shoe will have you feeling fresh on your feet all day.

BONUS Gift with purchase - one set of our custom heat moldable inserts. An $80.00 value included FREE!
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Color:

Black, Grey, Navy, Stone, White

Size:

7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Width:

B, D, E, 3E, 5E

Men’s Walking Shoe | Gordon

Men’s Walking Shoe | Gordon
The Dr. Comfort® Gordon men's walking shoe revolutionizes how you walk and provides comfort, good looks, and support.

 
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Color:

Black, Blue, Grey, White

Size:

6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15

Width:

D, E, 3E

Comparison Chart

Style Apis 9709 Apis 9720 Stability X Strap Dr Comfort Gordon
Weight 10.4 oz (Size 9)
Closure Lace Lace Velcro Lace
Upper Mesh Leather and Mesh Mesh w/brushed nylon Mesh & Synthetic
Insole FITec insert with Anti-Microbial fabric FITec insert with Anti-Microbial fabric Open cell PU Removable Gel
Outsole TPR Solid injected EVA midsole with durable slip-resistant rubber sole Lightweight EVA + Rubber EVA/Rubber
Lining Seamless Fabric Seamless Mesh Micro-suede
Technology 4-Ply Counter, Slip Resistant Slip resistant, 4-Layer Heel Counter Double Insoles NaN
Heel Height 1.5″
Sizes 5 to 20 5 to 20 7 to 17 6 to 15
Widths D, 4E, 6E, 9E, 10E, 14E D, 4E, 6E, 9E, 10E, 14E B, D, E, 3E, 5E D, 2E, 4E
Colors Black, Grey, Navy, Red Black, White Black, Grey, Navy, Stone, White Black, Blue, Grey
BONUS Inserts 3 3 1 0
Conditions Bunions, Diabetic, Corns, Hammertoes, Swollen Feet AFO, Swollen Feet, Hammertoes, Bunions, Diabetes Diabetes, Hammertoes, Swollen feet, Bunions Bunions, Corns, Diabetic, Swollen Feet
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Top Women’s Walking Shoe Picks

Women's Light Weight Walking Shoe 9321

Women's Light Weight Walking Shoe 9321
One of our best-selling women's athletic shoes! The 9321 by Apis looks great and provides the ultimate in all-day comfort.

BONUS gift with purchase - three set of custom heat moldable inserts. A $240 value included FREE!
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Pros:
  • Lightweight: The shoe features a neoprene upper that makes it very light and comfortable to wear for extended periods.
  • Added depth and extra width: The toe box is deeper and wider than traditional shoes, providing ample space for swollen feet or other foot conditions.
  • Seamless linings: The smooth interior minimizes friction and irritation, preventing blisters and discomfort.
  • Removable inserts: The shoes come with removable inserts that can be replaced with orthotics or custom insoles for a personalized fit.
  • Multiple widths and sizes: Available in a variety of widths (B/D to 14E) and sizes (4 - 15) to accommodate different foot shapes and needs.
Cons:
  • Not for high-impact activities: The shoe is primarily designed for walking and light activities, and may not be suitable for running or other high-impact sports.
  • Bulkier design: Compared to some other walking shoes, the 9321 may appear slightly bulkier due to the added depth and width.
  • Special Order Requirement for Certain Widths: Widths such as 7E, 10E and 14E are available only through special orders, which can take 6-8 weeks for delivery.
Color:

Black, Grey

Size:

4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Width:

B/D, 3E, 5E, 7E, 10E, 14E

Women's Mesh Walking Shoe | Stability X

Women's Mesh Walking Shoe | Stability X
The Propet Stability X features a lightweight mesh upper with a brushed nylon lining, padded collar, and tongue for extra comfort.

FREE Gift with purchase - one set of custom heat moldable inserts. A $80 value included FREE!
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Color:

Berry, Black, Lt Grey

Size:

5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 11, 12, 13

Width:

AA, B, D, 2E, 4E

Women's Walking Shoe | Grace by Dr Comfort

Women's Walking Shoe | Grace by Dr Comfort
Dr. Comfort® Grace women’s athletic walking shoe.
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Color:

Black, Lt Grey, Green

Size:

4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 11, 12

Width:

B, D, 3E

Women's Lightweight Athletic Shoe | TravelBound Duo

Women's Lightweight Athletic Shoe | TravelBound Duo
The TravelBound Duo by Propet has a lightweight outsole made of siped blown rubber for comfortable walking and support.

*BONUS Gift with purchase - one set of custom heat moldable inserts. A $80 value included FREE!
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Color:

Black, Blue, Grey, Pink, Tan

Size:

5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 11, 12

Width:

AA, B, D, 2E, 4E

Comparison Chart

Style Apis 9321 Propet Stability X Dr. Comfort Grace TravelBound Duo
Weight 8.4 oz (Size 7)
Closure Lace Lace Lace Lace
Upper Leather and mesh Mesh Mesh & Synthetic Knit
Insole Removable cushion insole Open cell PU Removable Gel Open cell PU
Outsole TPR EVA midsole with rubber outsole EVA/Rubber-Latex Rubber
Lining Seamless Lining Seamless, Nylex Micro-Suede Seamless, Mesh
Technology 3 to 1 combination last Double Insoles Firm Heel Counter, Protective Toe Box Extra Flexible
Heel Height 1.5″
Sizes 4 to 15 5 to 13 4 to 12 6 to 11
Widths B/D, 3E, 5E, 7E, 10E, 14E AA, B, D, 2E, 4E B, D, 3E AA, B, D, 2E, 4E
Colors Black, Grey/Pink Black, Black/Berry, Lt Grey Black, White, Seafoam Black, Blue, Grey, Pink, Tan
BONUS Inserts 3 1 0 1
Conditions AFO, Diabetic, Bunions, Hammertoes, Swelling Bunions, Hammertoes, Diabetic Diabetic, Bunions, Hammertoes, Swollen Feet, Corns Bunions, Hammertoes, Diabetic, Plantar Fasciitis, Corns, Swelling
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Final Thoughts

Walking is a powerful tool for improving heart health and overall well-being. The recent study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine provides a clear target for those looking to counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle: aim for between 9,000 and 10,000 steps a day to optimally lower the risk of mortality and incident CVD. For those with wide feet, investing in the right walking shoes is crucial to ensure that every step taken is a step towards better health. With the right approach, walking can be a comfortable and effective way to enhance one’s quality of life.

Reach out and contact a DT Footwear fit specialist for personalized assistance via phone, email or text. Our fitment experts are here to guide you towards achieving Happy Feet. With a variety of footwear options available, stepping into comfort and style has never been easier.

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Disclaimer: Educational Information Only

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment, including any foot-related concerns. If you have any health issues or questions about your feet, please consult a qualified healthcare professional, like a doctor or podiatrist. Don’t ignore medical advice or delay seeking help based on what you read here or elsewhere. We’re not responsible for any harm caused by using this information. Everyone’s response to treatments can be different, and medical recommendations may change over time. If you experience a medical emergency or serious foot problem, seek immediate medical attention, or call your local emergency services. By using this resource, you agree to these terms and understand the importance of getting personalized medical advice from a qualified professional.

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