Whether you’re running to catch a train, walking miles on a European vacation, or standing in a grocery line, it’s important to have the right shoes. We rarely give it enough thought, but the shoes you choose have a significant impact on your health.
There is no perfect shoe that works for everyone; you have to find the one that works best for your foot, providing the best fit, support, cushion, and flexibility. A good place to start is to choose a shoe designed for your activity.
When choosing a running shoe, you’ll need to consider your build, foot type, gait, and health condition, as well as the amount and terrain on which you’ll be running. For help choosing, get an assessment at a shoe store.
• Motion control shoes are rigid and inflexible. They are a good choice for heavier-set people and people who are overpronators or have flat feet.
• Stability shoes are flexible, durable, and offer good support. They are good for people who do not have severe motion control issues.
• Cushioned shoes have soft midsoles and less support but are very flexible. They are recommended for people who do not over-pronate or need extra support.
Be sure to match the hiking shoe to the intensity and duration of the hike:
• Lightweight hiking and trail shoes are tailored for day hiking and short trips. They are breathable, comfortable, and cushioned.
• Midweight boots are for short trips involving trail and off-trail hiking. Durable and supportive, they are ideal for when you’re carrying a light to moderate backpacking load.
• Extended backpacking boots are designed for multiday trips. They are durable and provide ankle and foot protection for when you are hiking with moderate to heavy backpacking loads.
Jina Kim, M.P.H., is wellness program coordinator for Adventist Risk Management in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about making healthy choices, visit www.adventistrisk.org/wellness.