How to Forgive and Move Forward

Photo by Vera Arsic on

1. Know that it’s possible to forgive

When people hurt us, we often think that it’s impossible to forgive. This is usually even more difficult when the betrayal was unexpected or from someone you loved deeply. A lot of people, therefore, tend to hold grudges. The worst thing about grudges is that they affect us mentally and also physically. It weighs the mind and body down.

However, it’s important to know that it’s possible to forgive. Ask yourself, “Will holding on to the pain help me in any way?” the answer is no, it won’t. Nothing lasts forever so even your pain or betrayal won’t last forever. Know that you can fully let go of someone you love and move on with life. Check out this forgiveness meditation!

2. Practice compassion

For the sake of your mental and physical health, practice self compassion, such as self compassion exercises if you are seeking forgiveness or forgiving someone else. You might have negative feelings swirling within you, thinking things like “I’ll forgive but I’ll never forget.” But how does that serve you? How does thinking about karma or revenge level you up? It doesn’t. That’s why it’s key to develop empathy, for yourself and everyone involved.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean bowing down to someone, or sacrificing your values to support another. Your well being definitely plays a role in this too. However, to forgive someone doesn’t mean that they got a free pass. It just means you won’t let the pain weigh on your mind anymore. Bottling up feelings on this issue is now a thing of the past. Your desire for a relationship with this person might end for good. But there’s a sense that you’re free from the situation. You’ve unchained yourself from the handcuffs of the suffering you’ve experienced with them.

3. Forgiveness doesn’t happen instantly

I tend to think that forgiveness is a slow process that we choose daily. It’s impossible to wake up one day and fully forgive. This is because the whole process requires deep consideration which is not easy. So, if you want to forgive, you need to know that this is a slow and gradual process.

Betrayal and pain are very difficult to let go of. Sometimes we have physical and emotional scars that remain as everlasting reminders of what we went through. So, you need to shed the resentment each and every passing day. Do not suppress your feelings because there are days when you will have difficulty in letting go. However, you need to remind yourself that this is something that will not happen instantly but gradually.

Knowing how to forgive starts with creating a list

4. Create a comprehensive list

What are some of the things or who are some of the people that hurt you? Why do you think it happened? Was it intentional or unintentional? Was it recently or long ago? What is the level of pain you have been experiencing?

Generally, it’s important to create a list starting with the experience that resulted in the biggest impact. Then go down to those that you consider small. After that, go through the list and start by forgiving those individuals who caused you the least pain. Slowly, move up the list and tick off those you are willing to forgive at that moment. Some people will definitely remain on that list because of your personal reasons. However, make sure that you go over the list from time to time to ensure that you eventually tick everyone off.

5. Build up your self esteem

Self forgiveness and self esteem are interconnected. When you struggle to forgive yourself, you might have low self esteem, whereas it would be high if forgiveness begins. You can improve mental and physical health, by receiving forgiveness from yourself.

You can’t spend your whole life blaming yourself for past mistakes and actions. All you can do now is learn those life lessons and move forward to become a better version of yourself. When you hurt yourself as a punishment for wrong-doings it’s almost a cop out. It’s better to change your behavior rather than just feeling bad about a situation. How can you be kinder to others moving forward? What relationships can you strengthen in your life? Accept resentment from others if they’re unable to forgive you, and don’t force forgiveness upon them. Yet, remember you can still have inner peace in your life, if you focus on building on top of your good qualities.

self forgiveness

6. Understand that forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation

This is one of the most crucial things that you should understand. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you should reconcile with them. While it may bring reconciliation, sometimes it’s just a way of setting yourself free from the pain. It just means letting go of the past and what caused you pain without letting it consume you.

7. Manage difficult emotions

Harm can disrupt our joy and peace of mind. So can hurtful words spoken when negative thoughts wander through our mind. The reality is it’s really simple to change your life. Be kind to others even when you don’t want to. Praise people when they achieve success and happiness. And focus on doing the kind of behavior that brings a sense of peace into the lives of others, like good deeds and acts of kindness.

Seriously, those who do kind acts for others every single day of their lives have far fewer difficult emotions. Plus, it’s a whole lot easier to forgive yourself and others when you’re no longer bringing harm in lives through words or wrong doings. But that level of compassion will take some practice. So here’s a challenge, do something kind for others every single day… for the rest of your life, and notice how much easier it will become to control your emotions.

8. Consider the severity of your anger

Does the situation still make you extremely angry or you have cooled off to some extent? Are you acknowledging that you are angry? Because you have all the valid reasons to feel so. On the other hand, are you denying your anger? This could be by suppressing your feelings and not acknowledging that the situation happened. Once you understand all these, you will be walking yourself through emotions you didn’t even know existed. Note that opening yourself this way allows you to become vulnerable. It also gives you a solid reason to let go of the anger and start to heal.

9. Try to soften your heart

The experiences we normally go through usually hardens our hearts. For instance, you will find a person who has been betrayed many times tends to get unmoved by similar experiences in the future. Our hearts harden because we either get used to similar situations or we resolve to be tough. Generally, your heart can be hardened knowingly and unknowingly.

By acknowledging your anger and resolving to soften your heart, you are creating room for forgiveness. This means that you want to release all those forces that have been compressing you and making your heart hard.

how to forgive

10. Enhance your mental health

Those who struggle to practice forgiveness need to enhance their mental health. When our minds lean negative, it’s easier to have bad habits instead of good habits. Those without supportive partners might need to turn to other relationships to find support with their well being.

When your mind is working well, it’s easier to forgive someone because you understand how big of a role mental health plays in your actions. So you forgive people, not as a way to let them off the hook, but because you know that mentally things aren’t going well for them.

Forgiving someone takes a mentally stong person who can overcome their hurt and realize that most wrong actions just come from negative thoughts. This understanding can help you support people who’ve made bad mistakes and lead them to the road of recovery.

11. Don’t let the pain consume you

While you are doing all of the above-mentioned things, you are bound to feel pain. This is because in certain instances you will have to relieve the events that led to the betrayal. You feel a mixture of emotions that can be strong and random at times. However, don’t let this pain consume you. Acknowledge and feel the pain. Just don’t let take over. Because you have to get stronger and move past all these.

Commit to forgive everyone

12. Commit to forgiving everyone

This gradual process requires your full commitment. You can’t start it and simply leave halfway. To fully understand how to forgive, you must be ready and willing to commit. This is because there are times that the whole process will weigh you down.

It should be noted that how to forgive is not just a one-phase activity. There are several phases including anger, denial, pain, and letting go among others. Regardless of what you feel, make it a personal commitment to eventually forgive.

13. Do it, even if it feels impossible

There are many benefits to forgiveness, which range from empathy to compassion to peace while overcoming anxiety and depression. It’s normal to want to get revenge, fight, or create chaos for someone who hurt you. But that still doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.

Forgiveness can feel impossible sometimes. But when you forgive someone, you lift a huge weight from your shoulders. It’s about refusing to continue to hurt yourself after a relationship has ended or a person has caused harm in your life. You also shouldn’t try to follow their path the same way. Becoming like the person who hurt you is far worse than just forgiving that person.

14. Your focus should be yourself

It’s human nature to always shift the blame to others. But you want to learn how to forgive, right? Then it’s advisable that you switch your attention from the other parties to yourself. Once you start thinking about how the other parties behaved you will lose yourself. Besides that, forgiveness is for your own good.

So, fully shift the attention to yourself. Don’t try to blame others. Additionally, don’t try to blame yourself. Your energy should be to understand yourself and let everything unfold.

15. Know it’s a difficult process

The hardest part of forgiveness is that if you actually wrote down the date you forgave someone, you’d find years later that you forgot that you forgave them.

Forgiveness isn’t linear. It’s not “I forgive you” and then you move on with your life. Depending on how severe the pain caused to you, you might find five or ten years down the road you still have days where you’re trying to forgive them, even though years earlier you already did.

Sure, if the mistake was something small, you could forgive and forget. But if it’s complicated like relationship abuse, you might find yourself cycling in and out of forgiveness as you try to heal. Triggers might re-upset you.

16. Don’t judge others

Become an observer but don’t be a judge. You want to attain inner peace by forgiving and you can’t achieve this by being judgmental. It’s worth noting judging makes you resentful of certain people. As a result, you will still end up with negative energy.

don't judge others

17. You’re not responsible for delivering karma

You’re not a karma delivery person. Your desire to see someone suffer is just as hateful as what someone did to you. You’re not responsible to make sure someone “gets what they deserve.” In fact, doing so, might negatively impact your own karma.

However, just because you don’t go dishing out karma doesn’t mean people don’t get what they deserve. You’ll notice in life that good and bad things flow in and out of each other. That’s kind of why karma works the way it does. And that’s why bad things happen to good people, because both good and bad things happen to everybody.

18. Avoid looking for offensive situations

Once you have been hurt, you tend to look for opportunities to get offended. People normally tend to do so to validate their feelings or experiences. However, this is set you thousands of steps back. When you are aware of who you are, you stop looking at opportunities that will offend you. In fact, you become a person who avoids situations or people who might provoke. Refuse to be dragged into scenarios that will interfere with your inner peace.

19. Don’t forget the other party is a human being

We were all born without knowledge. So, much of what we know is through teachings and experiences. Overall, no human is perfect. We are prone to make mistakes and in the process end up hurting others. However, it’s important to also forgive because mistakes will always happen. Acknowledge the other party’s humanity and their mistakes don’t make them any lesser human beings. Forgiveness can only happen with some compassion and loving kindness.

Reconnect with yourself to begin the forgiving process

20. Reconnect with yourself

Human beings are spiritual and that’s why we often take time to meditate and do soul searching. But when you are hurt, it’s so hard to connect with your internal being. During this process, make sure that you reflect and rediscover yourself. Don’t walk around like a wounded dog ready to bite. But be peaceful, kind, and constantly reflect in order to lift your mood. Don’t forget that you are stronger than you know.

21. Live in the present

Forgiveness is usually hard because most people tend to live in the past. The truth is that yesterday is gone regardless of what happened. The only thing we can control is what happens today and prepare for the future.

Don’t waste your time lamenting about the bad old days and how people treated you? You want your today to be fulfilled and enjoyable. Living in the past means that you are denying yourself the chance to completely feel and experience the present. Be present and focus on the future.

22. Let it go

Understand that forgiveness takes time. So, you might think you’re done but again find yourself in the same pit of anger, pain, and resentment. Don’t worry, you can always repeat the above-mentioned process to ensure that you fully let go.


It’s important to know how to forgive. This is because there are a lot of people that will disappoint and hurt you in life. The truth is that no one can fully escape pain and betrayal in life from other fellow human beings. Not to mention, there will be people you will hurt, too. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to deal with all these events that occur. Know that when you forgive, it’s for your own good and not the other party’s. Additionally, forgiving allows you to live a stress-free and happy life. With all that, forgiveness just means that you’re ready to move on, not that what the other party did is acceptable. You should always stand up for yourself and be assertive when the time arises.

    Cooking Broke


    INGREDIENTS 8 Servings


    • 1 Place chicken and mushrooms in slow cooker.
    • 2 Mix stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce mix, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and wine or water until blended. Pour over chicken and mushrooms. Cover.
    • 3 Cook 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. Remove chicken and mushrooms to serving platter. Stir sauce before serving. Serve over cooked pasta, if desired.

    How to Design a Leg Workout Using the 15 Best Exercises

    Photo by Jorge Acre on

    Certain exercises, including squats and deadlifts, may help strengthen and tone your legs. Increasing sets and reps may help.

    Strong legs do more than look good. Even the simplest daily movements like walking require leg strength. This means that incorporating leg workouts into your routine is integral to your health.

    But you may wonder where to begin.

    Whether you’re working out at home pandemic-style or back at the gym sweating it out, creating an effective leg workout doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s dive in.

    Movement patterns in a good leg workout 

    When it comes to designing an effective leg workout, simpler is better. The basic lower body movements — squats, hip hinges (deadlifts), and lunges — should comprise the majority of your programming.

    These movements inherently focus on the major muscle groups of the legs: the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

    Once you master these movements, there are plenty of variations and ways to progress that will keep you challenged.

    When designing your leg workout, here’s an easy way to break it down: Start with a squat movement, then move to a hip-hinge movement, then add in your single-leg movements.

    How many sets and reps should you do in your leg workout?

    As a beginner looking to increase general fitness — and following the theme of keeping things simple — choose 3–5 exercises per leg workout. Then complete 3 sets of 8–12 reps of each exercise, ensuring that you’re working your muscles to fatigue but not failure (1).

    Why no more than 5 exercises? You’ll be able to focus on those integral movements, performing at your peak. If your workouts get too long, they can be unproductive.

    How many times per week should you work legs?

    Recent research suggests that when trying to maximize muscle growth, there’s not much difference between training the major muscle groups one time per week versus three times per week (3).

    What makes the most difference in muscle growth is resistance training volume, meaning how many sets and reps you’re completing. Higher volume sessions (say, 3 sets of 12 reps, or even 4 sets of 8 reps) tend to produce better results than working the same muscle group multiple times in a week (4).


    Simpler is better for leg workouts. Stick with the basic movements — squats, hip hinges, and lunges — and stick with 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise.

    How to warm up and cool down properly

    An effective workout isn’t complete without a proper warmup and cooldown.

    For your warmup, aim to start with 5 minutes of light cardio to get your heart rate up and blood flowing. If you have time, hop on the foam roller for 5 minutes of soft-tissue release.

    Then, dive into a dynamic stretching routine, with movements like leg swings, hip openers, bodyweight squats, and lunges.

    After your workout is a good time to complete a more in-depth stretching routine.


    Warm up with some light cardio, foam rolling, and a quick dynamic stretching routine. Cool down with a nice stretch.

    Exercises for your leg workout 

    When crafting your next leg workout, choose from this list of 15 of the best leg exercises.

    1. Back squat

    Target your posterior chain — or the back of your body, including the glutes and hamstrings — with a back squat.

    How to perform:

    1. Load a barbell on your traps and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your gaze should be ahead, your chest should be proud, and your toes should be pointed slightly out.
    2. Sit back into your hips, bend your knees, and drop down toward the floor. Ensure that your knees move slightly out, and do not collapse in.
    3. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground — or as far down as your mobility allows — then push back up to the starting position.

    2. Front squat

    Target the front of your body — especially your quads — with a front squat.

    How to perform:

    1. Load a barbell onto the front of your shoulders, hooking your fingers in an underhand grip on either side of your shoulders to support it. Push your elbows up and keep your gaze ahead.
    2. Sit back into your hips, bend your knees, and lower down toward the floor. Ensure that your knees track out and your chest stays proud, resisting the pull to fall forward.
    3. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground — or as far down as your mobility allows — then push back up to the starting position.

    3. Romanian deadlift

    Build your glutes, hamstrings, and calves, as well as mobility in your hips, with a Romanian deadlift.

    How to perform:

    1. Hold a barbell or one dumbbell in each hand. Keep your back straight and your gaze straight throughout the movement.
    2. Begin to hinge forward at your hips, lowering your weight toward the ground with a slight bend in your knees. Allow the weights to closely follow the line of your legs, and lower until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
    3. Pause, then drive your hips forward to stand up, allowing your glutes to power the movement.

    4. Good mornings

    Wake up your hamstrings with the good morning, a hip-hinge movement.

    How to perform:

    1. Load a barbell onto your traps and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
    2. With soft knees, hinge at your hips and slowly move your torso toward the ground, sending your butt backward. Maintain a proud chest and keep your gaze straight throughout the movement.
    3. Lower down until you feel a stretch in your hamstring, then use your glutes to return to the starting position.

    5. Walking lunges

    Challenge your balance, as well as your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, with walking lunges.

    How to perform:

    1. Start with your feet together. Hold a dumbbell in each hand if you want to perform a weighted walking lunge.
    2. Keeping your chest proud and gaze straight ahead, step forward, lunging with your right leg until your thigh is parallel to the ground.
    3. Push up through your right heel, coming back up to the starting position.
    4. Continue forward with the left leg.

    6. Reverse lunge

    A friendlier version of the forward lunge, the reverse lunge is a great exercise to execute ideal lunge positioning.

    How to perform:

    1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms down at your sides.
    2. Step backward with your right foot, lunging until your left leg forms a 90-degree angle. Keep your torso upright.
    3. Push back up through your left heel to the starting position.

    7. Lateral lunge

    As humans, we move mostly in the front-to-back planes of movement. Doing side-to-side movements like lateral lunges helps increase stability and strength.

    How to perform:

    1. Start with your feet wider than hip-width apart.
    2. Bend your left knee, sitting back into your left hip and keeping your torso upright. Keep your right leg as straight as possible, and lower down on your left leg until your knee forms a 90-degree angle.
    3. Push back up to the starting position and repeat. Complete the desired number of reps on each side.

    8. Stepup

    Increase strength, balance, and power with a stepup.

    How to perform:

    1. Stand with a bench or another elevated surface about one foot in front of you. Hold a dumbbell in each hand if you want to complete a weighted stepup.
    2. Step onto the bench with your entire right foot, pushing up through your heel to bring your left foot to meet your right foot, or lift your left knee for added difficulty.
    3. Step down with your left foot to return to the starting position.

    9. Glute bridge

    This exercise requires only your body weight.

    How to perform:

    1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms down at your sides.
    2. Inhale and push through all four corners of your feet, engaging your core, glutes, and hamstrings to press your hips toward the ceiling.
    3. Pause at the top, then slowly release back to the starting position.

    10. Hip thrust

    Build strength and size in your glutes with the hip thrust.

    How to perform:

    1. Sit on an elevated surface like a bench or sofa and place a barbell, dumbbell, or plate on your hips. You’ll have to support the weight with your hands throughout the movement.
    2. To set up, scoot your back down the bench with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground shoulder-width apart. Your legs should form a 90-degree angle, and the bench should be positioned right below your shoulder blade.
    3. Keep your chin tucked and drop your butt down toward the ground. Lower down while keeping your feet stationary, stopping once your torso forms a 45-degree angle with the ground.
    4. Push up through your heels until your thighs are parallel to the floor again. Squeeze your glutes at the top, then return to the starting position.

    11. Goblet squat

    The goblet squat is easier on your back than a back squat, but it still works your quads and glutes.

    How to perform:

    1. To set up, hold a dumbbell vertically and grip it with both hands underneath the top of the weight. Position the dumbbell against your chest and keep it in contact throughout the movement.
    2. Begin to squat, sitting back into your hips and bending your knees. Keep your torso up and lower down as far as your mobility allows.
    3. Push up through your heels back to the starting position.

    12. Leg press

    While machines lack some of the benefits of free-weight exercises, machines like the leg press allow you to isolate specific muscles easily — in this case, the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

    How to perform:

    1. Get into the leg press machine with your back and head flat on the pad. Place your feet hip-width apart. Your legs should form a 90-degree angle.
    2. Engage your core and extend your legs. Pause at the top, but take care not to lock your knees.
    3. Slowly return the plate to the starting position by bending your knees.

    13. Leg curl

    Isolate your hamstrings and calves with the leg curl machine.

    How to perform:

    1. Get into the leg curl machine lying flat on your stomach with the roller pad just above your heels. Grab the support bars on either side of the machine.
    2. Engage your core and lift your feet, pulling the pad toward your butt.
    3. Pause at the top, then return to the starting position in a controlled manner.

    14. Bulgarian split squat

    Work your legs and core with the Bulgarian split squat.

    How to perform:

    1. Stand about 2 feet in front of a knee-level bench or step, facing away. Lift your right leg behind you and place the top of your foot on the bench.
    2. Lean slightly forward at your waist and begin to lower down on your left leg, bending your knee. Stop when your left thigh is parallel to the ground.
    3. Push up through your left foot to return to a standing position.

    15. Single-leg deadlift

    Whip your hamstrings into shape and work on your balance with the single-leg deadlift.

    How to perform:

    1. Hold a pair of dumbbells. Keep your back straight and your gaze straight throughout the movement.
    2. Put your weight into your left leg and begin to hinge at your waist, keeping your left knee soft.
    3. Continue to hinge forward and lift your right leg up and back until your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Ensure that your hips stay square to the ground.
    4. Pause, then return to the starting position and repeat. Complete the desired number of reps on each leg.

    The bottom line

    Keeping things simple when designing a leg workout is the most effective approach, especially for beginners. Choose 3–5 exercises, do them well, and watch your leg strength increase.

    Medically reviewed by Jake Tipane, CPT — By Nicole Davis — Updated on February 9,

    Cooking Broke


    INGREDIENTS 15 (2/3 Cup) Servings


    • 1 How to Make Slow Cooker Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
      Spray inside of slow cooker with no stick cooking spray. Mix Gravy Mixes and water in slow cooker until well blended. Add broccoli; stir to blend well. Cover.
    • 2 Cook 1 hour on HIGH. Uncover and stir. Cover again.
    • 3 Cook 2 hours longer on HIGH or until broccoli is tender. Uncover and stir. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with onions. Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes longer on HIGH or until cheese is melted.
    • 4 Test Kitchen Notes:
      Fresh broccoli florets combine with shredded Cheddar cheese for tender-meets-gooey goodness, and French’s® Original Crispy Fried Onions make the perfect crispy topping to this casserole the whole family is sure to love. Serve this cheesy broccoli casserole as a side dish with your favorite entrée for Thanksgiving or any other holiday spread. It goes wonderfully with savory pot roast, rosemary roasted chicken or orange glazed ham. You can also serve it as a main dish — stir in some chopped cooked chicken, and serve with a mixed green salad and herby bread for an everyday dinner. If you have any leftovers, simply reheat and spoon over baked potatoes for a hearty, comforting lunch.
      Looking for delicious casserole dishes to make for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or any other time of the year? Try our favorite casserole recipes, including: Candied Sweet Potato CasseroleCheesy Bacon & Egg Casserole, or French’s® Green Bean Casserole.

    30 High-Impact Home Improvement Ideas That Cost Less Than $150

    Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

    Tackle common home improvement projects and transform often-overlooked spaces with simple and budget-friendly updates. You’ll be surprised at what a big impact these changes can have on the style and function of a room. Try one (or a few) of these affordable mini makeovers to help your home look better and work harder.

    01 of 30

    Boost Accessible Kitchen Storage

    global-inspired kitchen with green tiles and sleek wood cabinetry

    Whether your kitchen is large or small, ample storage is always a selling point. Take advantage of an unclaimed wall or corner space with open shelves to keep dishes, spices, and frequently used cookware within easy reach. If you’re an entertainer, consider mounting a wine rack next to or under upper cabinets.

    02 of 30

    Embellish the Entrance

    Blue front door with white trim

    Millwork adds rich character to rooms throughout your home, so why not use it to dress up your curb appeal, too? Pull elements of indoor style outdoors to give your exterior a sophisticated look. Frame your front door with millwork, and paint it to coordinate with your home exterior.

    03 of 30

    Restore Shine to a Wood Floor

    bright retro living room with painted brick corner fireplace

    The versatility and warmth of wood are incomparable to other flooring materials, but regular exposure to dirt, dust, and high foot traffic can leave it looking dull and distressed. Restore your floor’s shine factor by polishing with a product that is specifically designed for hardwood floors. A wooden floor should be polished once a year and every four to six months in high-traffic areas of the home.

    04 of 30

    Give the Fireplace a Facelift

    modern white living room with gray painted brick fireplace

    Give a boring brick fireplace a modern makeover with a fresh coat of paint. Before you begin this home improvement project, thoroughly clean the fireplace to loosen grime. Apply a stain-blocking primer to the clean fireplace before you paint to help cover any soot stains. Consider a high-gloss paint for a beautiful, contemporary look.

    05 of 30

    Try a New Hue

    06 of 30

    Stop Clutter at the Door

    large mudroom with geometric floor

    As one of the first rooms guests see, the entryway has a big job to do: make a good first impression and keep drop zone items tidy. Outfit your entryway with added function by creating a do-it-all storage system. Enlist the help of furniture to perform double duty, such as a bench that also acts as a shoe caddy. The right combination of storage solutions (including wall hooks, lockers, and cubbies) will help your entryway stay organized and inviting.

    07 of 30

    Highlight Your Space with Lighting

    rustic cottage kitchen with exposed beams and pendant light

    Beautiful light fixtures can go a long way in energizing or soothing a space, and smart designs can ease eye-intensive tasks. Successfully light a room by creating layers of light with task, accent, and ambient lighting. An interesting pendant, sconce, or chandelier instantly boosts a room’s sophistication. Here, an industrial fixture not only makes a style statement, but it also provides a targeted light source for the table.

    08 of 30

    Banish Closet Clutter

    organized closet with shelving and labeled bins and baskets

    One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to how you use your closet storage. Before rushing off to the store for new closet organizers, measure your closet space, take an inventory of what’s being stored, and consider your current and future lifestyle. Once you know for certain what’s supposed to be in there, hit the store and look for ways to maximize your closet capacity. Cut the clutter to make the space work better for both your routine and your stuff.

    09 of 30

    Add a Sink Filter

    chrome faucet on marble countertop with farmhouse sink

    An undersink filter gives you clean, great-tasting water without cluttering your sink or countertop space. Even better, you can easily install a water filter without hiring a professional. Before starting your project, make sure the undersink space is large enough to accommodate a water filter system.

    10 of 30

    Go Modular with Shelving

    modern living room with black sofa and books arranged by color

    If space is at a premium in your humble abode, boost a blank wall’s style and storage capacity with a modular shelving unit. Available in all shapes and sizes, they’re sure to fit almost any willing space. Books and display pieces can add colorful interest to open shelves, while cubbies are also a perfect fit for baskets, boxes, and bins for accessible yet out of sight storage.

    11 of 30

    Accessorize Your Entrance

    bright yellow front door on house with blue siding and plants

    Polish the look of your front door with small accessories that pack a big punch. Details such as house numbers, outdoor lighting, and a letterbox can make a lasting impression and give your exterior a distinct personality. Matching finishes on these accessories will give you a tailored look, while mix-and-match accessories, such as vintage or upcycled fixtures, will create a one-of-a-kind aesthetic.

    12 of 30

    Build Your Own Entry Organizer

    13 of 30

    Have Carpets Professionally Cleaned

    neutral bedroom with black bed frame and beaded light

    When was the last time your carpets were cleaned; like really cleaned? For a little bit of money, you can revive the look of your carpets and improve your family’s health with a professional carpet cleaning. Weekly vacuuming removes topical dirt, dust, and hair, but a carpet-cleaning service will remove stains, allergens, dust mites, and grit. If you have carpet in high-humidity areas of your home, start there, as carpet cleaning will also fight mold and mildew growth. A good deep clean will help carpets wear better and last longer.

    14 of 30

    Add a Backsplash for Less

    bright dishes in white kitchen open shelving with wallpaper

    A backsplash not only contributes a dose of character to a kitchen, but it also protects walls from splashes and spills. Beaded-board panels and decorative tile backsplashes are easy to install and can be done without the help of a professional. Even someone new to remodeling can do it! Use our step-by-step guide to learn how to tile your own backsplash in a weekend or less.

    15 of 30

    Accentuate with Crown Molding

    detail of white crown molding and naby blue ceiling

    Trimwork and crown molding are jewelry for walls, doors, and windows. Whether you’re replacing old trim or adorning your walls for the first time, you can transform a room with trim in just a weekend. Give your home a complete look for less with affordable, off-the-rack moldings from a local home improvement center. For a deluxe custom look, you can layer pieces of crown molding around entryways and ceilings.

    16 of 30

    Make a Roman Shade

    boho kitchen with bamboo chairs and red wallpaper

    Give windows a custom look at a cheaper price using DIY window treatments. With a mini blind and midweight upholstery fabric, you can create a charming Roman shade to block out the sun and boost your color scheme. Choose fabric in an eye-catching complementary pattern to make the window a focal point.

    17 of 30

    Add Some Greenery

    muted blue exterior with bright yellow door and lush landscaping

    A landscaped walkway suggests an inviting home. Create natural beauty and texture with an assortment of perennials. Whether you’re putting them in the ground, potted, or a mix of both, you can install an enticing introduction to your home in one afternoon with a quick trip to a local home improvement center, greenhouse, or farmers’ market.

    18 of 30

    Replace a Shower Head

    modern matte black shower faucet and subway tile

    Start your day with the perfect shower experience by switching out your shower head. A multi-function shower head will give you a more customized experience: an invigorating pulse to wake you up, or maybe a concentrated stream to clean up after outdoor activities. A handheld or sliding bar model is easy to adjust for different heights, whether for tall adults, small children, or pets. Plus, newer models are typically more water-efficient. Choose a model that matches your current plumbing for a quick home upgrade.

    19 of 30

    Create a Hub for Entertaining

    labeled wood boxes in simple white storage unit

    An unused hutch, armoire, or bookcase can quickly transform into an entertaining or beverage station with a little creativity and organization. Store bottles and beverage glasses on open shelves for easy access, or free up space by outfitting the underside of a shelf with hanging storage for wine glasses. Use drawers or cabinets for serving trays, utensils, and linens.

    20 of 30

    Encourage Hassle-Free Game Time

    games and toys in cabinets and pull-out shelf

    Designate a zone to serve as a central area for often-used games and media. A dedicated cabinet, closet, or other storage space keeps family members from having to search for games, toys, and other accessories. Divided shelves and a combination of shallow baskets, bins, and photo organizers help the space stay organized. Labels make sure things go back to the right place.

    Editor’s Tip: Face DVD or video game spines outward so they are readable at a glance.

    21 of 30

    Build an Outdoor Path

    lush landscaping with stone path and rose-covered arbor

    Savor warmer seasons with a simple path that leads the way through your yard or garden. An understated path of irregular-shape flagstones creates a casual, welcoming atmosphere. If you’re feeling crafty, outline a path with painted stones, bricks, or old garden edging.

    22 of 30

    Install a Bathroom Vent Fan

    wood beam and hanging curtains in tile cornered shower

    If mold creeps into your shower stall or your bathroom mirror is consistently foggy, it might be time to replace your bathroom vent fan. You can install new ventilation in about three hours, and the outcome will leave your bathroom dry and odor-free. To learn how to install a bathroom vent fan, see our step-by-step guide.

    23 of 30

    Create a Small Appliance Hideaway

    gray shaker cabinets with hidden kitchen appliances

    Small appliances like stand mixers, slow cookers, and food processors can end up on the countertop because they’re heavy and awkward to move when needed. If you’re tired of wasting valuable countertop space on these appliances, install an appliance lift in a base cabinet. Fancier models with soft-close and lift-assist features could put this project out of your budget, but the basic spring-loaded hardware and required wood supports should be just right. And it’s not only for unused or cumbersome appliances; when countertop space is at a premium, it’s a smart solution for things like toasters and coffeemakers, too!

    24 of 30

    Add Window Boxes

    Window in brick house with plant box

    Window boxes have a little something for everyone: They add color to the exterior of your home and attract birds and butterflies that can be admired from indoors. There are a ton of window boxes and baskets available, so you’ll easily find something that fits your style. But if you’ve got tools and materials already, build a window box and save the project money for creating a floral showstopper.

    25 of 30

    Upgrade a Small Appliance

    kitchen with stainless steel appliances and white cabinets

    Small, accessible appliances lend a big hand in the kitchen. Streamline efficiency at the hub of your home with a new small appliance, such as a toaster, blender, coffee machine or electric kettle. Replace one of your current appliances that’s underperforming, or purchase a new gadget your kitchen routine would benefit from incorporating. (Just remember to make room for it before it comes home!)

    26 of 30

    Pay Attention to Details

    Mirror above entryway bench

    Details make the difference, and you can prove it with high-impact, low-effort improvements that you’ll enjoy every day. Upgrade builder-basic outlet covers, light switches, or door knobs with something that better fits the overall character of your home or the fixtures in the room. These small changes won’t go unnoticed by you or your guests.

    27 of 30

    Prep for Additional Home Improvement Projects

    Garage organization with columns with shelves

    Once you get started, it’s hard to stop identifying places around the home that need a little TLC. To make things easier on yourself, organize your home improvement supplies with common household items. For example, repurpose spice containers or mason jars for storage of pesky pieces like screws and nails. Although you can purchase these for cheap at the store, you might already have some at home to get you started. Use these ideas for garage storage and organization (many of which can be adapted to basements, potting sheds, and other home improvement spaces) to inspire you.

    28 of 30

    Simplify Laundry Day

    labeled bins with rollers underneath laundry room counter

    Jump-start laundry day by streamlining your sorting ritual. Separate laundry bins encourage organization as a daily routine. The open design with easy-to-read labels helps the whole family see where to place items, saving you time on washday. Small-space solution: Opt for laundry bags that can hang from over-the-door hooks rather than hampers that take up floor or shelf space.

    29 of 30

    Light the Night

    tan home exterior with white arbor over patio and red door

    Illuminate your deck stairs or patio drop-offs with low-voltage lighting. If you don’t already have an outdoor lighting system that you can tap into, there are a variety of solar options. Look for stick-in-the-ground pathway lighting or stair-mounted solar units. Deck and outdoor lighting adds safety and beauty to alfresco spaces and allows you to enjoy time outside well past sunset.

    30 of 30

    Install a Programmable Thermostat

    vintage accent table below gold ornate frames

    Regulating your home’s temperature is a breeze with a programmable thermostat, and it will save you in the neighborhood of $150 in utility bills each year if used correctly. Modern thermostats are mercury-free and more energy-efficient than an old manual thermostat. Smart thermostats go one step further, not only offering programmable settings but also technologies that adjust the temp based on whether the house is empty and let you change settings from your phone.

    By Kristina McGuirk

    The 14 Best Walking Shoes for Women, According to Podiatrists

    Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

    Brands including OOFOS, Hoka, New Balance, and Asics offer women style, stability, and function for walking, hiking, and more — plus support for concerns like pronation and plantar fasciitis.

    A quick look at the best walking shoes for women

    When it comes to buying walking shoes, many people prioritize style over fit.

    However, according to Dr. Kenneth Cornell, a podiatrist at Austin Regional Clinic in Texas, it’s important for women to have good quality shoes — not just for maximum comfort but also to prevent injuries, especially when walking for longer periods.

    “Women tend to wear a wide variety of shoe types that are often not very supportive. High or medium-height heels, many flats like ballet slippers, flip-flops with thin soles, pointy shoes, and very flexible shoes can lead to foot, leg, and back pain,” Cornell explains.

    That makes it all the more important to have a reliable walking shoe in the mix.

    While this can vary depending on the brand, he explains that shoes for men are typically constructed with much more stability and longitudinal arch support and tend to have more cushioning across the forefoot.

    Meanwhile, walking shoes designed for women are often more narrow and sleek, with less motion control and less padding across the forefoot.

    With that in mind, we asked Cornell and other podiatrists to weigh in on the best walking shoes for women to help you make the best choice.

    How we chose

    To help you find the best pair of walking shoes to meet your needs, we considered the following criteria:

    • Expert recommendations: We asked podiatrists for their recommendations on what makes for an ideal walking shoe, as well as any specific brands and models they often recommend to their clients.
    • Comfort and durability: All the shoes listed below have mostly positive customer reviews for comfort and durability.
    • Intended use: We included walking shoes to fit various needs, from hiking shoes to recovery sandals.
    • Price: All the shoes on our list offer good value for the price.

    We even tried one of the shoes in real life (more on that later).

    Here are the 14 best walking shoes for women, according to podiatrists.

    A note on price

    General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

    Note that shoe prices on Amazon vary significantly depending on your preferred color and size. Generally, prices range from $63 to $150, though this may vary depending on where you shop and the color you choose. On Amazon, the color and even the size of the shoes can affect what you’ll pay.

    Pricing guide

    • $ = under $75
    • $$ = $75–$145
    • $$$ = over $145

    Was this helpful?

    Healthline picks of the best walking shoes for women

    Best overall women’s walking shoe

    Saucony Women’s Triumph 19

    4.5 (1K+) FROM AMAZON

    Saucony Women's Triumph 19
    • Size range: 5–12, wide sizes available


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: Solid black and simple gray, various neutral shades and colorways, as well as bright colors such as pink, orange, bright orange, dark blue, green, and red.

    The shoe makes for a comfortable walk or run thanks to a bouncy, cushioned midsole and a blown-rubber foam outsole that provides flexibility, durability, and springiness.

    According to Cornell, the Saucony Triumph 19 is a good choice because it’s a supportive running-style shoe that provides cushioning to the forefoot and support and stability to the whole foot.

    Best sandal for walking

    PowerStep Archwear Women’s Sandals

    4.3 (1.5K+) FROM AMAZON

    PowerStep Archwear Women’s Sandals
    • Size range: 6–11


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: black, plum, brown, khaki, and teal

    When it comes to sandals, Cornell recommends selecting a pair with adequate arch support and cushioning for the forefoot, both of which this shoe offers.

    Unlike many other sandals, which can be thin and flimsy, this PowerStep sandal has built-in arch support and plenty of cushioning in the midsole to absorb impact.

    Its lightweight treaded outsole provides better traction than many other sandals, and its comfortable straps won’t dig into the tops of your feet.

    Best slip-on walking shoe

    OOFOS Women’s OOahh Luxe Recovery Sandal

    4.2 (707+) FROM OOFOS

    OOFOS Women's OOahh Luxe Recovery Sandal
    • Size range: 5–11


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: black and latte

    OOFOS have a reputation for feeling like walking on clouds, which is why they’re the recovery shoe of choice for runners to switch into after a long marathon-training run.

    These rubber sandals are also a reliable house shoe for those who may be prone to plantar fasciitis, an injury that causes sharp, stabbing pain on the bottom of your foot and heel.

    Thanks to its cushioned arch support, this recovery sandal offers a comfortable way to avoid making your plantar fasciitis any worse.

    “OOFOS shoes are made with a special foam that is designed to absorb shock and reduce impact on the joints, making them a great choice for those looking to reduce foot and leg fatigue while walking,” says Dr. Daniel Pledger, a podiatrist and the founder of ePodiatrists.

    Best lightweight walking shoe

    Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 22

    4.5 (8.6K+) FROM AMAZON

    Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 22
    • Size range: 5–13, narrow and wide sizes available


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: 28 colorways, including various shades and combinations of black, red, white, pink, almond, purple, blue, gray, coral, teal, blue, and green

    The Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 22 is a versatile shoe that can be used for walking and running.

    The shoe is lightweight and features a DNA Loft Crash Pad to cushion your feet with every step and stride.

    It offers the brand’s GuideRails holistic support system, which is designed to help you move comfortably and to reduce excess shin and heel rotation. It also promotes natural knee motion to reduce or prevent pain.

    Basically, this technology provides additional support by keeping excess movement in check, allowing you to maintain your natural stride even when you start to feel fatigued and supporting your feet, knees, and hips.

    “This shoe promotes adequate motion control of the foot,” Cornell says. “The heel counter of the shoe tends to be more rigid to provide stability and motion control to the arch during walking and running.”

    Best value walking shoe

    Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 4

    4.2 (50+) FROM RYKA

    Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 4
    • Size range: 5–11, wide sizes available


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: dark blue, navy blue, gray, and black

    Size range: 5–11, with wide sizes available

    Featuring a lightweight molded ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam midsole and a platform specially designed to absorb shock and impact, the Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 4 is a relatively affordable walking shoe that can keep your foot comfortable, even over long distances.

    What’s more, the shoe is designed specifically for women’s feet, which differ from men’s feet in the following ways:

    • shape
    • build
    • muscle movement

    “Ryka is a brand that specializes in shoes for women, so they are definitely worth considering if you are a woman looking for a good walking shoe,” says Pledger. “The brand’s shoes tend to be very supportive and comfortable, with features such as padded collars and insoles to help cushion the foot.”

    Reviewers note that the shoe fits true to size and remains comfortable even after all-day wear.

    Best cushioned walking shoe

    New Balance Women’s 928 V3

    4.5 (3.1K+) FROM AMAZON

    New Balance Women’s 928 V3
    • Size range: 5–13, narrow and wide sizes available


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: black, gray, and white with blue

    If you’re looking for a shoe that has lots of cushioning and comes in a range of sizes, the New Balance Women’s 928 V3 is a top option.

    This shoe comes in sizes 6–13 and makes it easy to find your best fit, as it offers several width options:

    • narrow
    • standard
    • wide
    • extra-wide
    • XX-wide

    The shoe features a ROLLBAR stability post system, which works to control rearfoot movement for enhanced support. It’s also designed with Walking Strike Path outsole technology to guide your foot through its walking gait cycle with motion control and stability.

    According to Cornell, this shoe is an ideal option for optimal motion control and features a rigid heel counter to provide stability and support to your foot’s arch while you run and walk.

    Plus, the shoe’s cushioned midsole absorbs impact and offers compression resistance, and the removable polyurethane foam footbed is designed for extra durability and comfort.

    While this isn’t the most stylish shoe, your feet might thank you for prioritizing a good fit.

    Best walking shoe for travel

    OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe

    4.3 (2.9K+) FROM AMAZON

    OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe
    • Size range: 5–12


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: neutral solids and colorways with black, white, gray, and navy

    Choosing comfortable shoes for traveling can be challenging.

    You need to make sure your shoes are comfortable enough for all-day wear, but you may not want a bulky shoe that takes up precious suitcase space.

    The OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe is a standout solution, as it’s easy to slip on and off (good for airport security), goes with a variety of outfits, and is extra cushioned to keep your feet comfortable.

    The brand claims that its OOfoam technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam, reducing stress on your feet, joints, and back. (According to the brand’s website, this is based on a 2018 study by the University of Virginia School of Medicine Speed Clinic — but the study itself does not seem to be available to the public.)

    Plus, the footbed provides ample arch support, which helps reduce energy exertion in your ankles and makes all-day wear easier and more enjoyable.

    These shoes are an ideal choice for comfort and recovery because they contain that special foam to absorb shock and reduce impact on your joints, according to Pledger.

    Best walking shoe for hiking

    HOKA Women’s Speedgoat 5

    4.5 (355+) FROM HOKA

    HOKA Women’s Speedgoat 5
    • Size range: 5–12, wide sizes available


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: vibrant shades of pink, orange, blue, and green

    HOKA shoes have a reputation for being ultra-cushioned and are arguably the gold standard for trail runners.

    “These shoes have a thick midsole, which offers better support and padding to the forefoot to address pain to the ball of the foot,” Cornell says. “In addition, HOKAs tend to have more of a rocker bottom shape to the shoe, which can help address ball-of-foot pain.”

    It’s no surprise, then, that the HOKA Women’s Speedgoat 5 is a popular option for hiking, whether you’re walking on flat gravel trails or hilly, technical terrain.

    This shoe has a softer sole and a stronger grip than hiking boots. You might even forget about your feet and instead be able to take in the scenery as you log some serious mileage.

    As a bonus, the Speedgoat 5 comes in eye-catching colorways, including solid purple and a bright green and teal combination.

    Best walking shoes for high arches

    ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 24

    4.5 (1.8K+) FROM AMAZON

    ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 24
    • Size range: 5–13


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: 14 colorways, including combinations of corals, pinks, bronze, bright yellow, and silver

    If you have high arches, you’ll want to choose a shoe that offers arch support as well as plenty of cushioning and stability — all of which you can find in the ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 24.

    Specifically, the shoe features ASICS Gel technology cushioning for top-notch shock absorption. Plus, the FlyteFoam Propel Technology offers extra bounce thanks to the unique elastomer compound it contains.

    According to Cornell, these shoes provide optimal motion control and stability, as well as a rigid heel counter and good arch support.

    The Gel-Nimbus 24 has a roomy toe box and is available in a variety of colors.

    Best walking shoe with cushioning technology

    On Cloudmonster

    On Cloudmonster
    • Size range: 5–11


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: black/gray, white/green, and blue/purple

    Dr. Asim Sayed, a podiatrist in Overland Park, Kansas, recommends these shoes for long walks or jogs, thanks to their shock-absorbing CloudTec technology, which provides ample cushioning.

    The company claims that the design reacts to your individual running motion, with a flexible sole that cushions your forefoot as you run or walk.

    What our tester says

    Best walking shoe for overpronators

    ASICS GT-1000 11

    4.5 (212+) FROM AMAZON

    ASICS GT-1000 11
    • Size range: 5–12


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: 12 mostly solid color options

    In addition to being a comfortable walking shoe, this neutral everyday trainer is versatile enough for various running distances.

    The shoe’s FlyteFoam cushioning and rearfoot Gel technology provide lightweight impact absorption.

    “These combine a great cushioned sole and support, which is important for overpronators [or people with flat feet],” Sayed says.

    They come in several color options, including white and dark pink/red, though most are some variation of black. If you prefer bright and bold, you may find a better selection with other brands.

    Best walking shoe for wide feet

    Brooks Ariel 20

    4.6 (1.6K+) FROM AMAZON

    Brooks Ariel 20
    • Size range: 6–13, wide sizes available


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: black, white, and gray colorways

    “Brooks [shoes] are known for superior stability by employing their patented GuideRail tech, which aims to put your rearfoot in optimal position during long walks,” Sayed says.

    These are also a good option for jogging, as they offer a stable, soft, and cushioned feel, providing optimal support and minimal impact.

    The shoes come in four primarily neutral color combinations, with one featuring a turquoise stripe on the side.

    Most comfortable walking shoe

    Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit

    4.5 (104+) FROM SKECHERS

    Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit
    • Size range: 5–10


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: black/turquoise, gray/pink

    While it’s still an underdog in the running world, Skechers has a solid, long-held reputation for its walking shoes.

    This shoe features a Massage Fit wave design to gently massage your feet with every step, and the Hyper Burst midsole offers optimal cushioning.

    “These have a great stable insole with superb arch support, [in addition to the] promise to massage your feet,” Sayed says.

    At just over $100, it’s not the most expensive option on our list, either.

    Most trendy walking shoe

    New Balance 990 V5

    4.6 (2.1K+) FROM AMAZON

    New Balance 990 V5
    • Size range: 5–12, wide sizes available


    Healthline’s review

    Colors: three neutral black and gray options

    Who would have thought dad shoes would get a second wind? Thanks to TikTok, shoes like this one are, er, popping off these days.

    Sayed is a fan of the variety of width options that New Balance offers. While not everyone may consider it fashionable, this shoe offers solid support and is nice enough to pair with athleisure or a dressed-up outfit for daily walks.

    “These provide a firm, rigid sole for added stability on uneven surfaces,” Sayed says.

    Other features include dual-density collar foam that offers support and comfort for your ankles and an ENCAP midsole to provide cushioning for long lasting support.

    How the best walking shoes for women compare

    StyleFeatures and highlights
    Saucony Triumph 19
    lace-up• cushioned forefoot to provide support and stability to the whole foot
    • lighter foam for added comfort
    PowerStep Archwear Women’s Sandals
    flip-flop• built-in arch support
    • cushioned midsole to absorb impact
    OOFOS Women’s OOahh Luxe Recovery Sandal
    slip-on• cushioned arch support
    • may be helpful for those prone to plantar fasciitis
    Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 22
    lace-up• DNA Loft Crash Pad designed to cushion your feet with every step
    Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 4
    lace-up• designed specifically for the unique shape, muscle movement, and build of women’s feet
    New Balance Women’s 928 V3
    lace-up• designed to control rear-foot movement for enhanced support
    • made to guide your foot through the walking gait cycle with motion control and stability
    OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe
    slip-on• more stylish than many other walking shoe options
    • pairs well with a variety of outfits
    • easy to slip on
    HOKA Women’s Speedgoat 5
    lace-up• softer sole for comfort
    • good traction
    ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 24
    lace-up• Gel technology cushioning for shock absorption
    • foam technology designed to provide extra bounce
    On Cloudmonster
    lace-up• shock-absorbing CloudTec technology for top-notch cushioning
    ASICS GT-1000 11
    lace-up• designed with foam cushioning and rearfoot Gel technology to provide lightweight impact absorption
    Brooks Ariel 20
    lace-up• features GuideRails technology to support feet, knees, and hips by keeping excess movement in check
    Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit
    lace-up• uses two different midsole components to massage and cushion your feet
    New Balance 990 V5
    lace-up• dual-density collar foam that offers support and comfort for your ankles
    • ENCAP midsole cushioning for long lasting support

    How to choose the best walking shoes for women

    Curious about what to look for in a walking shoe? We asked Cornell and Dr. Derek Anders, a podiatrist at Permanente Medical Group in Antioch, California, for their top tips for choosing the right pair.

    Go shopping at the end of the day

    When it comes to shopping for walking shoes, Anders recommends trying on shoes at the end of the day, as feet tend to be at their biggest or may be swollen at that time.

    Pay more attention to the fit than the listed size

    “[Pay less attention to] the stated size of a shoe and be open to the fact your feet change and your foot size changes,” says Anders.

    He also recommends trying on different brands, as sizing differs among brands and lines of shoes.

    “There should be some space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe — about a finger width,” he says. “It’s also common for one foot to be slightly bigger or longer than the other, so size your shoes to your bigger foot.”

    Consider your intended use and foot and ankle structure

    According to Cornell, the best choice for a walking shoe varies for each person.

    “Some may need extra cushioning because they walk long distances, and others might need motion control because they overpronate,” he explains. “Universally, shoes should be flexible and properly fitted.”

    If you’re unsure about how to identify a good fit, Cornell recommends visiting a local athletic or running store, as the employees are likely to understand foot sizing and can make sure you leave with the right shoe for your foot.

    Ask a professional about orthotics

    If you have chronic foot pain issues you can’t seem to figure out, it may be worth talking with a podiatrist about considering orthotics.

    Anders recommends wearing orthotics for a month to give them a chance to make a difference. It’s also important to avoid walking barefoot and to limit slipper and sandal use during that time.

    You can follow up with a physician or podiatrist about any changes in your comfort level in the meantime.

    Frequently asked questions

    What walking shoes do podiatrists recommend?

    Podiatrists typically recommend athletic shoes with arch support and cushioning technology for walking, often from popular running shoe brands such as:

    • Brooks
    • ASICS
    • HOKA

    There are also a lot of solid sandal and slip-on options out there, such as those from OOFOS and PowerStep, that are equipped with similar technology to promote optimal foot health.

    Shoe shopping is nuanced, and it really depends on your foot’s individual shape and your preferences. You can look for shoes that you can try on in-store or return if the fit isn’t exactly what you wanted.

    Is it OK to wear running shoes for walking?

    Yes — many of the shoes podiatrists recommend for walking happen to be running shoes. If a pair of shoes provides optimal comfort on the run, they can often be solid walking shoes.

    “A good running shoe will offer the foot more stability and motion control, so the structure of the shoe should be rigid in nature (as opposed to a thin, flexible shoe),” Cornell says.

    Which shoes should you avoid wearing for long walks?

    For long walks, Cornell says, you should avoid wearing any shoe that doesn’t offer arch support to control the collapse of the longitudinal arch of the foot, as well as support across the fall of the foot in the form of adequate padding and cushioning.

    This includes flat flip-flops and ballet flats as well as high heels and boots.

    The bottom line

    Walking has numerous benefits for your health, but finding the right pair of walking shoes can be overwhelming.

    When shopping for your next pair, be sure to consider your intended use and foot shape to narrow your selection.

    By doing your research ahead of time and trying on shoes toward the end of the day, you can walk away with the best pair for you.

    Medically reviewed by Adam Hotchkiss, DPM — By Emilia Benton —

    Every Movie Theater vs. Streaming Release Is Riddled With Pros and Cons

    Photo by Bruno Massao on

    In Greek mythology, Hecate was the goddess of intuition who possessed three-way perspective that allowed her to bridge the gaps between past, present and future. She was particularly useful at crossroads, as she could discern origins and determine where each of the two paths would lead. Yet even Hecate, with her third sight and intuition, would be left dazed and dizzied by the dilemmas facing the entertainment industry today.

    Though the United States has largely emerged from the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, the industry issues raised by the unprecedented circumstances continue to engulf studios. The major Hollywood entities are now caught in a schism between traditional theatrical moviemaking and streaming video on demand (SVOD). Old school versus new with pros and cons aplenty.

    Should studios relinquish the high-upside revenues of theatrical and go all in on streaming, the apple of Wall Street’s eye? Can SVOD replicate the financial success of a box office hit?

    To better understand the multifaceted strategic choices studios must now make, we looked at the film industry’s shrinking theatrical windows, the divide between theatrical and streaming intellectual property, and the value of streaming subscriptions versus box office totals. This highlighted the conflicting approaches studios are taking to maximize the value of their IP in a landscape fraught with challenges and uncertainty.

    Shrinking the theatrical window

    With movie theaters largely shuttered during the majority of 2020, studios began releasing films directly to consumers via premium video on demand (PVOD) and various streaming platforms. This expedited the collapse of exhibitor’s outmoded exclusive window requirements. Hollywood has now shifted from a 60-90 day exclusive theatrical window where films didn’t arrive on SVOD platforms until roughly seven months after release to movies being rerouted to streaming after 45 days or less in theaters. It’s as seismic of a shift as Chuck Berry pioneering rock n’ roll music.

    “So far, I see little evidence that the shattered theatrical windows are impacting box office performances of movies that were universally expected to be successful pre-pandemic and are currently pretty successful,” Scott Mendelson, box office analyst at Forbes, told Observer. Both A Quiet Place Part II (which has grossed $146 domestic since its Memorial Day Weekend debut) and F9 ($122 million since opening June 25) are performing relatively in line with his pre-COVID estimates.

    “Right now, they love to double dip by getting their box office profits and an SVOD bang. But studios are increasingly realizing that shorter theatrical windows lead to bigger SVOD bangs.”

    Most major blockbuster titles earn the majority of their gross within the first 38 days of release, which falls in line with the new windows. Current consumer behavior, which still exists within a vacuum of abnormality to a certain degree, seems to imply that the theatrical window for pre-determined successful features doesn’t appear to be affected by streaming, Mendelson argues. We’ll know more when Marvel’s Black Widow opens day-and-date in theaters and via Disney+ Premier Access ($30) July 9. But not every feature film has the benefit of a pre-established branded safety net.

    Despite the optimism tentpoles such as Godzilla vs. KongA Quiet Place Part II and F9 have brought to executives hoping for a return to traditional distribution, the box office hasn’t rebounded as quickly as the national economy. Domestic ticket sales year-to-date in 2021 ($1.15 billion) are still 38% behind the same span in 2020 ($1.86 billion), per Comscore. The inconsistency is an added incentive for studios to hustle certain films into their streaming libraries. This is especially true with eight major SVOD combatants currently crowding the marketplace.

    “Every studio recognizes that movies are important drivers of SVOD,” Rich Greenfield, partner at technology, media and telecommunications research firm LightShed, told Observer. “Right now, they love to double dip by getting their box office profits and an SVOD bang. But studios are increasingly realizing that shorter theatrical windows lead to bigger SVOD bangs.”

    With streaming accessibility just a hop, skip, and a jump away, the entertainment industry is emphasizing direct-to-consumer models more and more. There’s a reason the major entertainment conglomerates have undergone significant restructures over the last year.

    Deciding between the theater and the couch

    Hollywood is running out of consistent big bucks franchises as the potential for IP to become a consistent blockbuster continues to narrow and diminish. Mid-budget fare, star-driven vehicles and original concepts have also faced increasing box office challenges over the last 15 years. If you thought the barren wasteland depicted in Mad Max: Fury Road was desolate and hopeless, take a gander at the entertainment industry’s thinning margins.

    “Right now, Hollywood is in the same conundrum it was in two years ago,” Mendelson said. “Outside of Marvel and DC, there’s only about half a dozen big theatrical megabucks franchises.”

    There’s only so much value that can be squeezed at the moment. Mendelson points to a best case scenario for an original film like Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, which earned $227 million worldwide against a production budget of $40 million (discounting marketing) in 2017. With theatrical releases growing riskier and costlier, studios are questioning whether similar smaller-scale films can pull the same profit on PVOD, where the studios generally keep 80% of the revenue as opposed to the standard 50% split with exhibitors.

    “Hollywood is in the same conundrum it was in two years ago. Outside of Marvel and DC, there’s only about half a dozen big theatrical megabucks franchises.”

    Universal earned more than $500 million in 2020 in PVOD revenue from 10 films, yet Trolls World Tour accounted for roughly one-fifth of that total. The film surpassed Avengers: Endgame as the highest grossing PVOD title in history with north of $100 million. Yet Endgame generated $800 million in theatrical profits alone. The 10 most profitable films across 2018 and 2019 all yielded returns of at least $400 million to their respective studios. That doesn’t even account for revenue generated from secondary windows such as EST, VOD, DVD and Blu-Ray, and eventual SVOD sales. (Endgame earned an estimated $107 million in domestic home market performance, per The Numbers.)

    Streaming simply cannot generate the same per picture profitability as a hit blockbuster first released in theaters.

    SVOD is being championed as a way to circumvent the challenges of theatrical and, to an extent, it absolutely can. Paramount’s would-be franchise starter Without Remorse is a safer dice roll on Amazon than it is in multiplexes as a new-to-screen concept. Yet streaming platforms still sell themselves to consumers by promoting their collections of theatrical films. For example, Netflix thrives on pictures that were hits a decade ago or were box office bombs in theaters that audiences are now catching up on. Meanwhile, SVOD-only films lack staying power with the average movie losing 63% viewership per day from week one to week two, according Entertainment Strategy Guy. This telling chart from Ampere Analysis via WSJ speaks volumes about the minimal footprint left by streaming exclusive features.

    Netflix films

    Netflix and Sony recently agreed to a lucrative new licensing deal, with the latter reportedly receiving $1 billion over four years in the pact. The deal suggests that theatrical Pay-One features, which migrate to streaming after leaving theaters, must be valuable to Netflix. It provides the streamer with a steady pipeline of movies that receive prestigious theatrical rollouts and provides Sony with a financial cushion that enables the studio to continue taking bets on movies like Baby Driver and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In that way, the relationship between streaming and theatrical can be extremely additive, to say nothing of the cross-platform opportunities for shared continuities such as Star Wars.

    “I’m of the opinion that Netflix has done just fine with crappy IP.”

    At the same time, Netflix spent $469 million to acquire Rian Johnson’s Knives Out franchise, which earned more than $300 million worldwide in its first outing. This removed a new and viable original franchise from multiplexes. Despite the roadblocks and uncertainty of theatrical moviegoing, the streaming powers that be recognize a valuable trickle down effect.

    This is one reason why David Offenberg, Associate Professor of Entertainment Finance in LMU’s College of Business Administration, doesn’t believe Netflix’s lack of in-house IP is as concerning in the short-term as others might argue.

    “I’m of the opinion that Netflix has done just fine with crappy IP,” Offenberg told Observer. “They’ve got so many movies with so many big stars that are coming from Sony, Lionsgate, etc. that I’m just not convinced they need to have the IP that Disney has to be successful.”

    By the same token, it’s not as if studios always need a movie theater to create a phenomenon.

    The Mandalorian is the biggest breakthrough content franchise over the last few years,” Greenfield said. “It’s done more to help the value of the Star Wars brand than any of the recent movies without ever hitting theaters.”

    We’re seeing examples of both symbiotic relationships between platforms and antagonistic swipes. It’s a constant struggle of protecting against the downside and swinging for the fences.

    Streaming subscriptions vs. box office totals

    The tug-of-war between streaming and theatrical should be its own Olympic event. The prospective benefits and pitfalls of each provide enough juicy drama-filled subplots to match an entire season of This Is Us. In the current climate, true value depends on the goals of a given studio.

    “I think a successful theatrical run will always make more money on a bit by bit basis,” Mendelson said. “By default, raw revenue earned is more valuable than the perception of success in terms of high viewership on a streaming platform.”

    Mendelson points to Eddie Murphy’s Coming 2 America, which garnered 41.6 million hours-watched in its first month of availability, per Nielsen data. Yet the impressive run did not net Paramount any additional money for selling the film to Amazon nor did Prime Video generate additional money outside of subscriptions. “The buck stops here in terms of revenue,” Mendelson surmised.

    Despite theatrical ticket sales steadily declining in the U.S. since 2002, per The Numbers, the industry generated at least $10 billion in annual domestic ticket sales from 2009-2019. Worldwide box office totals have hovered around $40 billion in recent non-pandemic years. When healthy, there’s enough money to be made that even Gordon Gekko would be satiated.

    But according to a forecast from Lightshed Partners, SVOD subscribers will nearly double from roughly 650 million worldwide at the end of 2020 to 1.25 billion by the end of 2024. By 2025, SVOD services are projected to generate $85 billion in global revenues, per The Wall Street Journal.

    In a vacuum, streaming can’t replicate the immediate cash infusion of a box office hit such as Frozen II, which delivered Disney nearly $600 million in theatrical profit in 2019 as well as an estimated $80-plus million in domestic home market sales. But subscriptions represent monthly recurring revenue, which can be more valuable than a box office one-off. In December, analytical firm MoffettNathanson estimated that Warner Bros.’ decision to open its entire 2021 film slate day-and-date on HBO Max and in theaters would cost the company $1.2 billion in revenue for the year. With HBO Max’s monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) approaching $12 (~$144 in annual ARPU), the streamer would need to add 8.3 million new subscribers this year to cover the loss. As of late April, HBO Max was on pace for more than 11 million new subs in 2021.

    Wall Street fawns over recurring revenue. For example, Netflix is valued at ≈ 9X annual revenue. If HBO Max adds 11 million subs at $144/year, it could potentially represent added company value of as much as $14 billion. (The WarnerMedia and Discovery merger changes the equation and implies that AT&T was conceding its entertainment ambitions). 

    M.G. Siegler, General Partner at Google Ventures, said at the time: “Essentially, [WarnerMedia CEO Jason] Kilar is saying the long-term value of HBO Max subscribers is worth more than the box office revenue of not just one of these movies but all of these movies. And if successful, he’s not wrong! But it’s an insanely risky bet to make right now. It totally upends the business.”

    Greenfield points out that Netflix generated more revenue in 2019 ($20 billion) than the combined Disney and Warner Bros. film studios ($19 billion). Individual film titles may be devalued in a move to streaming, but they also become key additions to a collective library which can become its own ecosystem.

    “You’ll reach more consumers every time,” Greenfield said of streaming. “The subscription business is a better business.”

    Perhaps it’s telling that over the last 18 months, nearly every major studio is jockeying for position to be the next Netflix while Netflix isn’t in any rush to become the next dominant theatrical studio.

    “I think beyond more cinemas carrying Netflix’s titles seven days in advance of the Netflix drop, the pandemic hasn’t changed much for them,” Kasey Moore, editor-in-chief of What’s on Netflix, told Observer.

    Should studios emphasize their streaming services or theatrical studios? The more holistic and cynical answer may be to opt for whichever strategy Wall Street deems most valuable. It’s simply a matter of internal ambition, which varies from studio to studio.

    “Stock price,” Offenberg said when asked which medium should receive top billing. “That’s the reality from the CEO’s perspective. The most important thing to them is keeping investors happy.”

    In the current marketplace, Wall Street is enamored with the long-term upside of SVOD. With theme parks closed, cruise ships anchored, and movie theaters shuttered in the pandemic, the Walt Disney Company lost billions of dollars in 2020. Yet the company’s share price soared 70% to all time highs because of the explosive growth of Disney+.

    For a media CEO of today, it doesn’t matter how many subscribers you have or how many Oscars your studio won, Offenberg argues. What matters most is if the stock price is okay and if the company can stay in business. Right now, as entertainment media conglomerates attempt to appease the whims of investors, that means focusing on streaming whether it’s fair or not.

    Maximizing the value of IP

    All this leads us to Hollywood’s primary quarry: maximizing the value of IP. Offenberg notes that, historically, studios have gone about this in two ways: price discrimination and ancillary revenues.

    Price discrimination can be broken up into tiers with super fans paying a premium to see a film on opening night, a casual fan waiting for a reduced price matinee, and a passive fan waiting until the film comes out on cable. Ancillary revenue covers brand expansion efforts such as toys, merchandise, games, Broadway musicals, etc. All of that still exists. We know studios still value this approach since none of them have permanently given up on theatrical, which is critical for price discrimination.

    But on a macro level, studios now face a fork in the road: do they support the theatrical experience or their streaming service (or even throw their weight behind cable channels, which still generate large revenues but are decaying)? If a studio decides that direct-to-consumer business is going to be its top priority, as former Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company would do in 2018, it’s going to need “scale, scale, scale.”

    “If you don’t have scale, no one’s watching,” Offenberg said. “Without scale, you can’t compete and you can’t put yourself in that bundle of services that consumers remain subscribed too.” Netflix has scale—which can roughly be defined as the point at which a streamer is reasonably cash flow positive on a consistent basis—thus their churn is low. That’s what every streamer is chasing.

    Netflix is the only major streaming service that has reached scale and is generating cash off of its streaming service. All the other major SVOD players are costing their parent companies money (Disney expects Disney+ to reach profitability in 2024; WarnerMedia projected HBO Max to hit that mark in 2024 or 2025 prior to merger). With the FTC and DOJ expected to regulate monopolies more stringently in the digital era, acquisitions are going to become increasingly difficult. Any thoughts that NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS or Lionsgate might have had about joining forces are clouded. If you can’t consolidate and you can’t create organic growth to reach scale through internal means, your streaming service will fold.

    “Competing with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and Disney is not easy,” Greenfield said. “I’m actually shocked how many are even trying to.” Sony Pictures surveyed the landscape and opted to become a content arms dealer raking in lucrative licensing revenue rather than try and play in the same sandbox.

    So what’s the right choice?

    Reprogramming consumers out of the habit of watching filmed entertainment at home is going to be incredibly expensive, time consuming, and difficult for studios. The pandemic has conditioned audiences to expect immediate gratification. In 2021, consumers practically demand to be able to watch anything, anywhere, at any time. Regardless of which path the major studios opt to take as the world continues opening up, providing flexible access to your programming is key to navigating this new normal.

    If a studio opts to prioritize SVOD above all else, it is signaling a desire to intentionally disrupt its legacy media business and endure a significant financial squeeze in the short-term in an effort to gain long-term financial security through scaled streaming. This is a Herculean effort of difficulty given the enormous investment needed to compete. Few services will survive the gauntlet. Those that do will be in a position to generate massive annual revenues.

    If a studio decides to continue hedging its bets or forgo in-house streaming all together, it’s a sign that the company is willing to gamble on a decaying business model that still boasts high upside on a film-by-film basis and as a sought after arms dealer. It’s not always quite as costly as a multi-billion dollar pivot to streaming, but it may also lower a studio’s ceiling in the long-term.

    By Brandon Katz •

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