Prospecs Power Walk Shoes Review

Prospecs 400 Series
Prospecs 400 Series. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Prospecs has been making sports shoes in Korea since 1981, where they are the top-selling walking shoes. They designed the Walk series of shoes in brought them to the United States in 2013. I got a sample of the 400 series and the 604 to try. I was very pleased with the construction, feel and performance of both of those styles.

Prospecs Move Frame

The most obvious difference from standard walking shoes is the Move Frame in the sole. The frame provides 32 frame bars that provide independent support to your foot while allowing greater flexibility. Your foot can move the way it wants to move while still being supported and protected. The frame bars also add to the style of the shoe, adding a contrasting color.

The shoes are well-designed for the needs of walking compared to running or gym use. The heel is designed for a walking stride, with extra cushioning and a slight undercut.

Prospecs have the flat profile needed by walkers, with an 11.5 mm heel-to-toe drop for the 400 series and 9.5 mm for the 600 series.

The uppers have a bunion-friendly simple construction, without elements that rub the top and sides of the foot. I usually need a wide shoe, but they don't come in widths. However, I was comfortable in their standard width.

Prospecs Power 400 Series

The 400 series includes the men's 401, women's 405 and 420. It is designed for motion control and stability, with TPU on the sides controlling excess foot motion. They provide enough flexibility for fitness walking while still being supportive. This is a good choice if you overpronate. They are also good in rainy climates as the uppers have protective elements that should keep out some of the splashes.

While I don't need motion control shoes, I found these pleasant to wear and to use for fitness walking at moderate speed. They are an average weight for walking or running shoes and don't feel clunky.

Prospecs Trail Walk 402

This shoe is optimized for trail walking with an outsole that can adapt to different weather conditions and is anti-skid. They have additional cushioning to reduce the impact of trail walking. They are designed for stability on uneven surfaces. While they are not flexible when you give them a flex test, on your feet the Move Frame makes them feel flexible when you are walking. I like the wide toe box and a comfortable fit.

Prospecs Power 600 Series

The 600 series are lighter in weight and even flatter, built for fast walking without erring on the side of being too minimalist. They include the 602 for men and the 603 and 604 for women. I appreciated the lighter weight, about 8.5 ounces. The heel-to-toe drop is 9.5 mm, nice and flat for walking. These shoes feel great for brisk walking. The Move Frame allows your foot flex where it needs to flex, yet the sole provides enough shock absorption that your feet don't take a pounding.

They come in bold, fun colors and provide two pairs of shoelaces -- one in a contrasting color and one to match the upper.

This was a fun shoe to wear and think it would perform well for faster walkers and those who don't need a motion control shoe.

Prospecs Power 500 Series

The 500 series are the cushioned shoes of the Prospecs line, featuring Flubber IN Midsole. This elastic material is lightweight, and the shoes are a light 8.8 ounces. They have fewer frame bars in the sole, 18 compared to the 32 in the other two series. The extra cushioning may make these a good choice for longer walks for those who don't need motion control. They come in two models for women, the 503 and 505. I didn't get a pair to try for review.

Bottom Line

I was pleased with these shoes, I think they are well-designed for walking. One drawback would be the price, which is comparable to top-quality running shoes. They are not yet widely available in retail stores but can be ordered online. They have a good return policy for exchange or refund if you wear them indoors, for up to 30 days.

Prospecs won the vote in our 2013 Readers' Choice Awards for Best Fitness Walking Shoes.

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