Choose the best: walking shoes

Find the right footwear for fitness walking. Fitness expert, Nicki Waterman shares her advice

Tips on buying and using trainers:
1.You don’t need hi-tech trainers if you’re just walking – anything under £40 should get you something decent, especially if you buy an end of line trainer online. Go for fit and comfort, not what they look like.

2. If you walk for long distances, you’ll need to invest in a shoe that provides adequate cushioning. Around £45 will get you a properly fitted sports trainer (fashion trainers may cost the same but don’t offer as much support).

3. Go to a specialist shop. We all have different-shaped feet and you need an expert to look at your feet to decide which trainers will work best. Then go on-line and see if they’ve got exactly the same trainer but in last season’s colours…very cheeky - but will probably save you half the money or more!

4. Replace your trainers at least once a year. If you’re running and training regularly, replace about every 500 miles. Check them if the cushioning seems compressed or they’re wearing a lot on the soles.

Tips on buying and using walking boots:
1. If you’re walking on rougher or rocky trails, if you need ankle support, or if conditions are damp, then boots are a better choice than trainers.

2. Your footwear should fit you well. Don’t go hiking with shoes that are too tight or loose.

3. Your footwear should be properly broken in. Don’t go on day-long walks with brand-new hiking boots! Before you take them out on the trail, wear them around town until they’re fully broken in. Otherwise, you’re likely to get blisters, which will guarantee a miserable hiking trip.

4. Wear shoes with good tread. This is important because it helps grip the ground, which keeps you from slipping. When shoes get old, the tread starts to wear down and the bottoms of the shoes become smooth. I’ll tell you from experience – smooth-bottomed shoes are very slippery!

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