Feet don't fail me now! The right workout shoes will keep you walking tall.

Gear Guide: Choose the Right Running Shoes

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise, and one of the easiest to do; after all, you just have to head out your front door. However, many people pay too little attention to the shoes they walk in, resulting in foot and leg pain, and causing them to tire easily. Here are some tips about choosing walking shoes.

Get Fitted Right

Salespeople in sports and running stores are trained to help fit shoes correctly, measuring your foot and watching you walk or run to assess your gait. While it’s tempting to buy online or at discount stores, this type of service will ensure that you get the right shoe for your feet.

Be Alert for Injuries

Unfortunately, the first sign that your shoes don’t fit properly is often when you experience pain or develop an injury. Whether it’s a twinge, ache, or burning sensation, pay attention and get the problem looked at. And check your shoes for fit problems! More serious walking and running injuries include plantar fasciitis, black toenail, and achilles tendonitis.

Replace Regularly

Check your shoes regularly for wear and tear. The average pair of shoes needs replacement after 350-500 miles of use, but most people wear them longer than that, when they no longer provide needed support. Keep an eye on the tread, cushioning, and outer material. If your soles are losing tread, you don’t feel the support you once had, or worn spots are giving you blisters, it’s time to retire this pair.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.