Walking shoes are your most important item of gear.

We will help you decide which shoes to buy for walking.

The Best Shoes for Walking
By Wendy Bumgardner, About.com Guide
Updated April 22, 2014, About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

The Best Shoe

There is no one best shoe. The best shoe for you is the the one that fits you best, the one that gives you the proper support, flexibility, cushioning, and compensates for any stride problems you may have, such as overpronation. Each person's feet are different. Take all advice with a grain of salt. Find a shoe fitting expert to help you find the shoe that is best for your walking distance, speed, style, and surface as well as your weight and stride.

Walking or Running Shoes?

Shoe manufacturers put the best design and technology into running shoe styles, while walking shoe styles are designed primarily for market appeal rather than performance. Follow the tips on the upcoming pages to see whether that walking shoe you are interested really meets your needs, or if you should go with a running shoe design.

Essential Walking Shoe Qualities:

    Flexible: You must be able to bend and twist the shoes. When you take a walking step, your foot will flex as you roll through a step from heel to toe. If the shoe is too stiff, your foot will fight it with each step.
    Flat: Walking shoes should have a relatively flat heel.
    Heel Not Flared: Since walkers strike with the heel first, you do not want a big flared heel. In fact, a slightly undercut heel is preferred.

For more on the story see Wendy's full article on About.com