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Shopping for shoes only sounds like frivolous fun. In reality, picking out a new pair can be a daunting task. To ensure a good fit and a great experience, remember these five tips the next time you buy.
1. Shop at a running specialty store.
Yes, you can buy running shoes everywhere from Amazon to Walmart, but for the best experience, we recommend heading to a run specialty store. It’s the clerks’ job to be knowledgeable about the shoes on their shelves, plus you’re often talking to another runner. She or he will understand your needs and be able to narrow down a huge wall of choices to a few good options for you. Be sure to share what type(s) of running you do, if you’re training for an event and if you have any injuries.
Bonus: Many shops offer running gait analysis. Give it a try—you might be surprised at what you discover about your stride!
2. Take your old shoes with you to buy running shoes.
A quick look at your old running shoes gives a savvy salesperson a clearer picture of your gait and needs. They’ll look at the areas of tread and upper fabric that your foot has worn down more quickly than others to search for shoes that will minimize this issue.
3. Go in the afternoon or evening.
Just as your feet swell throughout a run, they also swell throughout the day. This means you’ll get a more accurate fit if you go when your feet already mimic how they will feel on a run.
4. Sock it to them.
Have an absolute favorite pair of running socks? Then take them with you! You want to make sure your socks and shoes are a good fit together.
5. Size is just a number.
For the best fit, it’s often necessary to go up a half-size in running shoes from dress shoes. The important thing is that toes have room to move without banging against the end of the shoe. Go with what fits, instead of what you want to fit. Ditto for color and brand; choose what feels the best!