Athletic shoesIt doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 65—injuries happen. And when you don’t have the proper support on your feet, those ‘injuries’—be it a knee, ankle or even toe discomfort—can and will happen more frequently than they should. Save the discomfort of high heels for nighttime use, and rely on comfortable, supportive walking shoes for everyday commuting, speed walking and getting fit. Here’s your go-to guide to getting the best shoes for your lifestyle.

Why Foot Support Matters

There are endless benefits to walking that taking some extra strides daily seems like a ‘no brainer’. As one of the best (and easiest) ways to relieve stress, walking can also give you a boost of energy, make your bones stronger and can even lower your risk of a heart attack (when walking an hour or more a day). What’s not to love?

Walking makes a difference on your mental and physical health—but in order to reap the benefits, you need the right pair of shoes to get you there. The right shoe—one that is meant for the sole purpose of walking short and long distances—will offer a breathable fabric that won’t pinch your toes, and support the repetitive heel-to-toe roll required for proper walking.

The Best Shoe for That Long Commute

Whether you walk to the bus stop or the train station, or you simply have a lot of ground to cover once you get to work, the right shoe can make all the difference in your mood and comfort level. Don’t settle for purchasing the cheapest walking shoe out there, and don’t give in to the most expensive one, either. A good commuter shoe doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it does need to be light weight yet durable, and offer the right amount of cushioning while still offering support. Try several shoes out, and take your time trying them out in order to determine what feels best.

The Best Shoe for Long Distance Walking/Speed Walking

Do you love to walk a mile or more? Do you enjoy speed walking, or alternate between walking and running in multiple 5k’s throughout the year?  Make sure to give different shoe styles a chance, and do by that trying on a variety of brands—not just those marketed for ‘walking’. Long distance walking shoes should have a flat (as opposed to flared or ‘raised’) heel. Additionally, it’s important to find a shoe that’s flexible—a stiff, thick shoe won’t be able to give you the range of movement you need and require.

Walking is one of the best daily exercises you can do for yourself. Mentally, physically and emotionally, it allows you to improve your mood, energy level, and lose weight simultaneously! Do you want to maximize the benefits? Make sure to find a shoe that can support your goals, and you’ll have a go-to exercise that will allow you to meet each and every one!