So you've pledged to up your fitness goals and get into better shape, what now? Where do you start? Start with the basics—shoes. You won't meet any of your goals without the proper footwear so no matter what your goal may be we hope we can make it a little easier for you to get started. Choose a shoe suitable for the environment and terrain in which you plan to exercise. Replace your shoes every 500 miles or approximately every 6 months of consistent wear. Below are some of our top athletics picks to start the year. 

Walking shoes generally feature less cushioning than running shoes since they don't have to handle as much force with each step as they would with a runner. As a result walking shoes are lighter weight (depending on the upper material), and allow for faster movement. The added cushioning of a running shoe may be more beneficial to you if you plan to log more than five miles per walk. Shoes that feature a lower heel drop make for better walking shoes as they allow for a more natural heel to toe rolling motion in your foot as you walk.

A good all-around running shoe will provide plenty of cushioning to absorb the shock created with constant forceful ground impacts. Fairly significant heel to toe drop is also a defining feature of the majority of running shoes as this allows for added stability and promotes forward movement. Shoes with flared heels (as pictured) provide even more stability for runners who strike the ground at midfoot or forefoot (which is the case for most people).

Low cut hiking shoes or trail running shoes are best for short distance situations and day hikes. Choose a low cut hiker if you will be trekking over surfaces that are fairly well established with occasional steep or rocky terrain or if you have a lesser need for ankle support. A medium height boot is suitable for a wide array of terrain from well-maintained trails to more steep, rocky, and muddy destinations. These types of boots are ideal for long or multi-day hikes and when greater ankle support is needed.

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