The right running shoe can improve your performance and reduce the chances of injury.
Step 1: Shop at the right time Go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes. Shop for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are swollen to their largest size.
Step 2: Bring the right stuff Bring old running shoes or sneakers. The wear and tear will help the salesperson determine your gait and what kind of shoe you need.
TIP: Bring along a pair of the socks you wear when you run.
Step 3: Get cushy Make sure the insoles provide proper support. Favor injection-molded soles over compression-molded; they provide more shock absorption. You may have to buy separate insoles for extra support.
Step 4: Be flexible Test the flexibility of the front of the shoe by pushing off with the ball of your foot.
Step 5: Make sure the shoe fits Make sure there's a thumb's width between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe, and that the widest part of your foot sits snugly alongside the widest part of your shoe. If the store has a treadmill, try out running in different shoes.
TIP: Due to the swelling that occurs during running, running shoes are often a half-size larger than your regular size. If you're deciding between two sizes, err on the side of caution and go with the larger one.
Step 6: Don't overdo it Replace your running shoes as soon as they wear out, which is usually within 300 to 500 miles.
FACT: Runners' feet hit the pavement more than 1,700 times per mile.