Moving/advancing walk cycle in Blender 2.6x

I’ve been watching a bunch of tutorials on this and practicing, but how to make my character walk forward without “floating” or “slipping” is eluding me.

Do you know of any ways or guides to help me work it out (how exactly to calculate stride length, looping the cycle properly, following the path properly, anything that would help me make it look right, really)?

I’ve been searching for the answer to this question for a while and ZERO response from anyone. WHAT IS THE DEAL?!? The only things I’ve found are settings for 2.4 and something called the “Stride Path” which DOES NOT exist anymore in 2.6, or at least it’s not easy to find. Isn’t this a basic need for animation? Why has no one even responded to the friggin’ question?

To add to this, how do you make your character walk, and then stop for how many ever frames, maybe talk or waving while they’re stopped, and then start walking again…Do you have to make just a bunch of different paths?