The right shoes make your workout more comfortable and reduce your risk of injuries. If you run or walk, sport specific shoes make all the difference, but if you do a combination of running and walking, you can get by with one pair of shoes. Invest in the running shoes, as they provide a bit more cushion and support than walking shoes, and will probably last a little longer.
If you participate in sports such as aerobics or racquetball, try a pair of cross trainers. These shoes are made to support and cushion your feet and legs during activities with a lot of lateral movement.
Fit is important in workout shoes. Buy shoes that leave plenty of room for your toes to move. There should be about one thumb’s width between the end of your toes and the end of the shoes. This will keep your toes from hitting the end of the shoes when you workout. Most importantly, replace your shoes regularly. Don’t wait for the outsides to look worn before getting a new pair, by the time the outside is worn, it is likely that the inner supportive structure will be gone. Assess the feel every three to six months to determine if you are ready for a new pair.