It may seem like the best equipment to walk off the weight is a comfy pair of sneaks. Fact is, wearing a shoe that's made specifically for walking will make a big difference, according to Mark Fenton, instructor for the University of North Carolina's Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center in Chapel Hill. "The stride you take when walking (a heel-to-toe rolling motion) is very different from the one you take when running," Fenton says. "The right sneakers can prevent injury, decrease shin pain and may even help you walk more briskly, burning more calories."
A low heel that's rounded or beveled.
Flexibility where the ball of your foot rests (the sneaker shouldn't bend through the arch).
Twistability. Grab the front and back of the shoe and see if you can give it a moderate twist.