What to Look For
If you enjoy walking every day, even casually, or if you are standing for long periods, then your shoe is one of your most important possessions. Sneakers are the best kind of shoe if you plan to do a lot of standing or walking. Because people use their shoes so much, it is important that your shoes have a great fit. Consider how lightweight and breathable the shoe is, whether the toe of the shoe is wide enough to allow your toes to move freely, and whether the heel area is snug enough so your heel won't slip when you walk. Shoes should also be flexible and have low heels. According to The Walking Site, " A walker's foot hits heel first and then rolls gradually from heel-to-toe. So, you will need a flexible sole and more bend in the toe than a runner. You should be able to twist and bend the toe area."
A common mistake that people make when shopping for shoes is shopping in a hurry and buying the first pair of shoes they try on. It is unlikely that the first shoes you try will be the right pair for your feet. Take your time and shop around to find the perfect fit. Know your foot type before you buy--do you have flat feet or feet with high arches? Also, buy shoes after you have been on your feet for a while, giving your feet time to swell. This will help you find the right fit.
Where to Buy
While online stores offer a wider variety of sizes and widths to fit all feet, trying on shoes at a store known for its athletic shoes, like Foot Locker or Finish Line, allows you to experiment with different fits and brands so you can find the perfect shoe for your foot. Other vendors, including Ryka and The Walking Company, specialize in marketing comfortable shoes meant for long periods of walking or standing.
Shoes at The Walking Company cost between $100 and $250, but their shoes are designed for comfort. Ryka walking shoes cost around $60 to $70. If you shop for sneakers at The Foot Locker, expect to pay between $30 and $100.
Before venturing outdoors, wear your shoes in the house for a few days to break them in and make sure they are going to work for you. If it doesn't seem like they are, exchange them.
Keep track of how many miles you walk. The Walking Site recommends that you replace your shoes every 300 to 600 miles. If you have a pair of walking shoes, wear them only for walks. If you have a pair of comfortable shoes for work, wear them only for work to extend the life of the shoe.