While going for a walk around a lowland park for a couple of hours will not require any special purchase other than a pair of trainers, going on longer hikes with steeper hills or up mountains will require an investment in a good pair of hiking shoes.
The wrong shoes can cause problems like blisters, extra tiredness and long term injuries to feet and joints not to mention serious slips and falls.
There is a lot of disagreement about what are the best hiking shoes/boots brands.
Instead of telling you what brand of shoes to buy, I will tell you what basic things you should be looking for in your new investment. The rest is really up to your personal preference, budget and the shape of your feet.
We will start with what is, in my opinion, the most important part of a pair of hiking shoes and the part that distinguishes it as a real pair of hiking shoes from a fashion item that will kill your feet when you are out in the trails.
The soles of your hiking shoes are the soul of your comfort :-)
Hiking shoes have deep lungs that are well spaced out and of different shapes. There is usually a gap between the mid part of the soles and the heels to stop you from sliding downhills. These are called Heel Brakes, cuz they act as brakes.