A recent article from Harvard Health Publishing states the obvious: walking is good for your health. Wow. Groundbreaking. Clearly my secrets to walking to work do not address the benefits of walking. Harvard spoiled it.
We all know and understand that physical activity like walking is good for you. However, not all of us make a concerted effort to work physical activity into our hectic schedules. One way you can try is by walking to work (if this is at all feasible for you). If you live too far away from the office to walk, perhaps you should consider taking a walk during your lunch break. In either case, this article is for you!
If you already walk to work, you know that it’s a subtle art. You can’t just walk and not be somewhat prepared for your journey. Here are some secrets I’ve learned that will help you on your trek:
If you wear heels to work, bring flats… or sneakers?
I’ve seen people wearing a diverse array of shoes, both flats and sneakers, while walking to work (obviously not simultaneously, though). My walk to the office isn’t far, but I still wouldn’t actually wear heels the entire way. Enter, the special pair of walking to work shoes.
At first, I just wore flats and brought my heels in a separate bag. By “flats” I mean ballet flats or loafers or the like. My extra bag was a larger shoulder bag that could fit both my heels and my lunch bag with room to spare. Yes, I bring my lunch. Save on food, spend on shoes.
I wore a pair of flat Sam Edelman loafers, similar to these (mine are a beige color, but it looks like they’re sold out now). They’re trendy, comfy, and match with most of my outfits. If you’re looking for some cute loafers or other flats, Sam Edelman is one of my favorite brands. They didn’t pay me to say that, either. I really do just like their shoes.
Eventually, I walked so often that I developed pretty bad shin splints. Not incredibly surprising, considering I went from not walking at all to walking almost five days a week. I decided I needed to up my walking to work shoe game.
Nowadays, I often wear sneakers to work. I like these Nike Free Run sneakers. They’re comfy and I actually like how they look with my work clothes. I like the athletic, sort of urban touch to my outfit. I’d also recommend these Nike Roshes. Nobody is going to mistake these for work shoes, but they provide the comfort I need for my one-mile walk.
Honestly, if I didn’t get shin splints I’d stick to wearing my loafers, but the sneakers are a nice option to have. If you’re wondering why it matters what you look like on the way to work and whether you should wear sneakers, well, this is a style blog, so… there’s that.
Bring an umbrella.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
I was walking to work one morning and in the middle of my walk the sky broke open. No, I didn’t have an umbrella. No rain boots either, just a light jacket.
I wasn’t wearing makeup and my hair was in a bun, so I resolved to finish my walk in the rain. I was just a few blocks from the office, anyways. Thankfully, though, some kind woman saw me, literally pulled her car over to the side of the road, and screamed out her window, “Do you need an umbrella?” Before I could respond, she tossed one in my direction and drove away. I wish I could’ve gotten her name or contact information so that I could thank her. To this day, I still don’t know anything about her other than the fact that she deserves an award for kindness and selflessness.
I don’t know if you have a nice lady like that in your town, so just be safe and bring an umbrella. I keep the one the anonymous woman gave to me in the bag I carry to work every morning as a reminder to be kind to others. …and as a backup in case I get caught unprepared again.
Stick with ankle-length pants and skirts, mostly.
If you have to wear flat shoes on the way to work, you know that you can’t wear long pants. It’s better to wear ankle-length pants or skirts, especially skirts that allow you to take a good stride while walking. There’s nothing worse than walking in a pencil skirt with little give and being forced to baby-step the whole way to work.
I have a number of pants that are cut long enough to hit the floor when I’m wearing heels (like these red ones) and I generally don’t wear them when I have to walk to work. If I really want to wear my long pants on my walk, I make sure to wear a chunky-heeled shoe to work that day. When it’s cold outside, this means I’m wearing a pair of chunky-heeled boots to work, like these, and I’ll change into heels when I arrive at the office. On warmer days, I often wear the Louise et Cie chunky-heeled loafers in the photo below.
You may prefer to wear wedges if or when you must walk to work in heels. I’m not a big fan of wedges, especially the dress-shoe wedges. I think they make my feet look clunky and I already think my feet are a little big. But, to each her own. Wear what you like!
Layers are good when you’re walking to work.
I’m usually up before the sun and on my way to work before it’s too warm outside. However, there has been (too) many a time when I’ve finished my walk to work or my walk back home having broken a sweat in my work clothes. Ew.
I’ve learned that it’s best to wear layers when you walk to work. I typically opt for sleeveless dresses or blouses and a blazer. This way, I can take my blazer off on the way to work and put it on when I get to my icebox office. Or, in the colder seasons when it’s a little warmer indoors, I can leave my home with my blazer on and take it off when I arrive to work.
Do you walk to work? Let me know if you’ve got any secrets to share that I can add to this list!
Yours on the trek,
Pictured below: Blouse (Brooks Brothers Scalloped Stretch-Cotton Shirt, here), slacks (H&M, similar here), heeled loafers (Louise et Cie, here), flats (Steve Madden, similar here), earrings (Too Amazin Jewelry & Boutique, Instagram @2amazin).