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Shoe Selection

Choosing the “right” shoe for walking, or any activity for that matter, can prevent needless foot related injuries and discomfort. If the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, it becomes clear, selecting the “correct” shoe is paramount. Here’s how to select a walking shoe that’s right for you.

Analyze your feet

Not all feet are the same. They are complicated and intricate structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons working in concert to support our body weight on varying surfaces. And they come in many different sizes and shapes. For the most part, feet fit into three categories:

  • Low arched, straight foot

  • Medium arched, slightly curved foot

  • High arched and usually more curved foot

Know your body weight

Body weight can factor into the shoe selection process. Increased weight places more demands upon your feet. Since this is the case, consider increasing the level of protection a shoe can offer by selecting a shoe from a greater controlling category (see “select running shoe type”). For example, you may opt for a motion control shoe rather than a stability shoe or a neutral shoe. Just remember to make sure the shoe fits comfortably on your foot before you purchase it. Consider trying on shoes near the end of the day when your foot is at its largest. And use the socks or stockings that you intend to wear with those particular shoes.

Select a Running Shoe Type

Running shoes can usually be divided into three overall functional types

  • Motion control shoes are typically based upon a straight design and are usually suited for people with low arched, straight feet

  • Stability type shoes are for those individuals with a medium arched foot (typically deemed “normal”) and have a slight curve to the shape of the shoe.

  • Neutral type shoes are based upon a curved design and best fit those individuals with a high arched foot.

As you examine shoes from each of these categories, you’ll notice the motion control shoes become the most rigid and resistant to twisting and bending. Several shoe manufacturers, including Asics, Brooks, Etonic and Reebok make walking shoes are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance.