When it comes to shoes for exercise, the choices are overwhelming. But the bottom-line is simple — shoes should fit well and be comfortable. The right shoes offer both support and flexibility precisely where you need it. In addition, they protect your bones, joints, and muscles — from the toes to the top, keeping your feet in healthy positions and absorbing shock.
Walking shoes are the most rigid and durable. But even for walking, many people prefer running shoes. Running shoes provide plenty of cushioning, which can feel good to walkers. If you have high arches in your feet, running shoes may be better because of the extra flexibility in the front (toe) half of the shoe.
Tips for runners: If you have low arches, look for hefty arch support and a fairly straight cut along the inside edge of the sole. If you have high arches, look for tame arch support and greater curve along the inside edge.
Running shoes are geared for heel-to-toe movement. Shoes designed for tennis and
related sports offer maximum support from side-to-side. If you engage in a variety of athletic activities, you may be looking for a pair of cross-training or general-purpose athletic shoes.