Lace Up Right

From trail shoes to hiking boots to casual sneakers, there’s no shortage of walking footwear. Follow these tips for selecting the most comfortable and functional:

Gravitate to early-evening shopping sprees. Gravity commands your circulation downward, which triggers swelling, so audition new shoes at the end of the day. Be sure to slip on both the right and left shoes while wearing the socks you plan to stroll in; you might actually have 2 different sized feet.

Give yourself a little wiggle room. While you don’t want your heel to slide back and forth, you do want about a 1/2 inch of room (the width of a thumb nail) between your longest toe and the shoe.

Welcome a forgiving sole. Look for a sole that’s lightweight, breathable, and can be twisted near the toe area. Your shoe should be flexible, especially in the front where your foot bends over the ball. Choose a low, beveled heel as opposed to a chunky one to help prevent shin splints.

Know your style. Because arch support and width vary, have an expert conduct a foot-strike analysis to determine the impact, stance, and propulsion of your gait cycle. You can perform a self-evaluation by studying your wet footprint on a dry surface.

The right shoes are an essential part of stepping out for fun and fitness.

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