Prevention (USA)

How to Choose the Perfect Walking Shoes


Constantly dealing with crammed toes or achy arches because you can’t find sneakers that fit just right? These tips from Chanel Perkins, D.P.M., a double board-certified podiatrist at UTMB Health in Houston, can help you find your perfect size.


Athletic sneakers will usually need to be a larger size than fashion shoes. “When your foot strikes the ground, it expands in length and width,” says Perkins. “For most people, going up a half size is perfect, but pay attention to how your feet feel and size up accordingl­y.”


“You should have about a half inch of room (roughly a finger’s width) from the tip of your longest toe to the end of

the shoe. Shoes should align with the shape of your foot (so if your foot is wide, look for shoes that are wider, especially in the toe box), and make sure your little toe isn’t squished,” Perkins says.


A solid walking shoe has a roomy toe box, firm arch support, and flexibilit­y in the forefoot. Look for a lower heel height (a.k.a. less cushioning); this allows for a natural walking style to help prevent pain and injury.

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