Whether you exercise to stay in shape or by playing sports, you need to have the right type of shoe for the activity or you risk being injured. The standard types are walking shoes, running shoes and cross training shoes; each type uses specific technology to provide support and absorb the shock involved in the related activity. Shoes are also designed for the needs of each gender; for instance, womens running shoes are generally smaller than mens running shoes, to offer an optimal fit.
Cross training shoes are designed to be multi-purpose shoes that can handle just about any type of activity and are often a more economical choice. However, they aren't a substitute for running shoes as they do not provide enough flexibility and are heavier than the average running shoe.
Walking shoes need to provide comfort and support for those who exercise by taking long walks daily, but they don't need as much cushioning as running shoes. If you only take short walks, you can opt for a lighter shoe with adequate cushioning. Walkers also strike the ground with their heels, so the shoe needs a solid heel but one that isn't overly high or flared. Fitness walking shoes also need to be flexible; a good one will bend at the forefoot. New Balance walking shoes are a popular choice among fitness walkers.
Running shoes need to have a lot of cushioning; the impact on a runner's foot is three times their body weight with each step whereas a walker's impact is half that. Because a considerable amount of extra padding is necessary, a true running shoe is heavier and more expensive than a walking shoe. A running shoe also needs to be flexible at the arch or mid-foot, which is where most runners tend to strike the ground.
There are plenty of brands out there to choose from, no matter which type of training shoes you're looking for. Brooks running shoes are a popular choice among most runners. Some other bands to check out include Puma shoes, Keen shoes and Saucony shoes