“What’s the best shoe?” I get this question all the time, but this is an incomplete question. People come in all shapes and sizes and the same is true for feet! “What's the best shoe for me?” is a much better approach that takes into account this reality. Just like a pair of pants, the perfect pair for one person may not fit someone else.
To find your best pair of shoes, start with what has worked, or not worked, in the past. That usually gives a good idea of some qualities you may like. Next, look at your foot shape. Not all shoes are shaped the same, and not all of them are even really shaped like feet.
Most brands are relatively consistent across their models so finding the right brand for your foot is helpful.
Other things that can matter to an individual include: cushioning, stability, weight, total stack height, heel drop, tread, upper material, lace pattern, just to name a few. Most of those come down to personal preference after you've tried a few shoes on. Luckily we live in a time of substantial variety available in shoe gear these days.
Generally, my short answer to the question above is: the least amount of shoe you can wear comfortably without getting hurt. What that means is, if two shoes are equally comfortable, stable and fit well, you should pick the one that weighs the least.
Even a difference of 4 ounces can make a difference over the course of a day. If you take 6,000 steps in a day, that is equivalent to moving an extra 24,000 ounces in a day/leg. That's 1,500 lbs of extra weight moved in a day.
At our offices, we offer comprehensive foot and gait evaluation appointments. Call 508-757-4003 if you would like to receive personalized shoe guidance.
Read also: Choosing the BEST trail running shoes