We review a lot of equipment here at Fitness Brain, and this time we headed back to basics – our feet. If you’re implementing some low cardio routines, your feet and limbs are taking the hit. We took the Walkmaxx shoes for a pump – here’s what we learned in our Walkmaxx Shoes review.
Walkmaxx Shoes have become popular over the last few years following some pretty intense TV advertising and with the benefits of low impact cardio there for all to see, buying a decent pair of walking shoes is pretty important if you are going to consistently push for high daily step counts.
For the month of May we took part in an office step count challenge and with daily step counts of 25,000-30,000 not uncommon we also took this opportunity to test out a range of top walking shoes. The Walkmaxx Blackfit Shoes were one such pair and so here we are with our full Walkmaxx shoes review.
Walkmaxx Shoes – First Impressions
Let’s be honest. Most of us choose our footwear based on appearances rather than practicality. Even when buying shoes or trainers for a specific purpose we can still be swayed by the design rather than the functionality.
If you are to buy the Walkmaxx shoes you may need to change your approach to shopping as these are not the prettiest shoes you have ever seen. But they aren’t ugly either.
In fact, the all-black look works well as the understated design means they are pretty discreet and unnoticeable – that may not be what you are looking for in a shoe, but then at the same time it is better than some of the over-the-top running shoe designs you sometimes see.
The Walkmaxx shoe is not looking to win you over with eye-catching design. Instead, it is looking to provide the most comfortable walk possible through a 5-layered cushioned sole, with an elasticated upper and weight distribution that provides correct posture support and joint relief.
When you are walking 10,000 steps a day or more or if you are on your feet all day in an active job, then that is where the Walkmaxx come into its element – and this comfort level is noticeable from the second you slip your feet in to them.
The whole premise of the Walkmaxx walking shoes is that they provide an incredibly comfortable feel when walking. The company go as far to say that it will feel like you are ‘walking on air’. To be fair to them, from the moment you put them on you realise the comfort level is a different level to a standard shoe. They are unisex and as such can be worn by men and women.
There are 5 layers of the sole, all of which is made up of EVA, which is found in most top-quality running trainers – the idea here is to provide a cushioned impact which puts little to no stress on the feet, ankle or leg joints.
The design of the latest Blackfit model is wider and as such allows those with wider feet the option of wearing these. The previous 2012 version was too tight for some people.
The newest edition still allows those with thinner feet to wear them thanks to an elasticated upper and elasticated lacing system. This lacing system is perhaps the most contentious element of the entire shoe as they do not lace up. What this means is that the laces never need to be tied or untied – effectively this means they are slip-on shoes. Most people find this to be no problem (and we had no issue with them either), but some people have reported the shoes feeling loose as they find the elastic isn’t tight enough.
Everything about the upper section of the shoe is stretchable and elasticated. This means that the shoes do have a snug feel and they mould to the shape of your feet. We loved this as there is nothing worse than walking in a shoe that feels loose, especially over long distances.
The Walkmaxx are available in a range of adult sizes starting at 3.5 up to size 12, with some half sizes available too. The sizing seemed pretty much spot on to us and if anything was more on the snug side than the loose side, but this is more down to the way the shoe is designed to fit – as the snug fit provides excellent support.
The design is also created in such a way that it promotes good posture as a result of well balanced weight distribution, which also helps to lead to a greater overall comfort level.
Wearing Walkmaxx Shoes For 30 Days
The month of May was incredibly dry in the UK believe it or not, with barely a single day of rain. Although those are unusual weather conditions for the United Kingdom, it did make us think more about wearing appropriate footwear as the ground was generally harder when walking through parks and woodland.
We tested the Walkmaxx for around 28 of the 30 days, the first two days wearing a mixture of Espadrilles (we know – that was definitely a poor choice of footwear) and Adidas casual trainers.
The difference in comfort was felt immediately upon wearing the Walkmaxx. It may not be quite like walking on air, but they are pretty much the comfiest shoes we have ever tried on. Not only in terms of the feel underfoot, but also the feel all the way around the upper foot thanks to the stretchable upper shoe design.
The only down side to this is that there is very little room for the feet to breathe and the material is not exactly breathable. In colder conditions this might be less noticeable, but on hot days where you are walking 4 or 5 times a day at 5,000 steps a time then there is inevitably some feet sweating going on.
Our tester would usually complete around 10,000 steps on a standard day (pre-challenge) and on the first two days of the step challenge was averaging around 18,000 steps a day fairly comfortably.
Upon wearing the Walkmaxx the steps taken increased to an average of 24,000 steps per day over the next 7 days. This is a pretty impressive jump and it could be coincidental that the increase in steps happened at the same time as changing to the new shoes, but the one thing that stood out was the ‘ready to go again’ feel of the feet in particular, as well as the absence of usual aching after walking for long distances.
The laces have been a talking point among online Walkmaxx shoe reviews that we have seen. In fact, they seem to be the single biggest issue that people have with these shoes with the usual complaint being that the lack of being able to tie the lace yourself makes for a loose fit.
This is not something we experienced at all and although it must be said that it is a little bit odd not tying a lace. It must also be said that there is something quite satisfying about just slipping your feet into your shoes (especially when you are about to embark on your fourth long walk of the day).
At the end of the 30-day challenge we had amassed a whopping 647,995 steps in the Walkmaxx Shoes. That is just over 2 months of standard 10k step days. So it is fair to say that we gave these shoes a fair old walking in.
The quality of the materials held up really well and they were just as comfortable and secure feeling on the last day of the challenge as they were on the first. Sometimes shoes do feel more comfortable the more you wear them, but the Walkmaxx have that feel from day one with no nasty blisters or anything of the like.
There was no noticeable damage to the shoes and they should last a lot longer. They may not become our shoe of choice for all occasions, but for dedicated walking or for anyone with a job that requires being on their feet all day these are perfect.
Another key point that is important to make is the feel through the whole body and not just the feet that these shoes provide. You don’t necessarily notice the weight distribution or the posture supporting elements of the shoes immediately, but over time it does become more noticeable.
Let’s be clear, if you have poor posture then you are going to need more than just a pair of these shoes to correct it. But if you are actively trying to improve your posture then the Walkmaxx will help and so will more walking and less slouching at the desk.
The Walkmaxx shoes are an excellent purchase for anyone who is either on their feet a lot during the day and needs a more comfortable feel, or for anyone looking to walk lots but not wanting to wear full-on walking boots. The understated design and simple black colours mean these shoes are smart enough for many workplaces and can be worn with almost anything.
The comfort levels afforded by the Walkmaxx shoes are excellent, and unless you have extremely thin feet you should find these shoes fit snugly.
Walkmaxx may not be the prettiest trainers in the world but then they aren’t trying to be – what they do though is to provide you with a super comfortable feel that offers excellent support and a low impact on your joints.