Sneaker Shopping Secrets

Choose the right pair of sneakers for you.

By Cynthia Dermody from Reader's Digest | August 2004

You can choose your next pair of sneakers based on looks, but to prevent injuries, rely on other features — like good support. Here’s what Ayne Furman, a marathon runner and podiatrist, looks for:

Lace them up. Skip styles with laces that start right behind the toes. They squeeze the forefoot. Better: laces that start behind the widest part of the foot.

Read labels. Fit and feel are the best gauge, but knowing the basic shoe types can help: motion control (sturdy arch to prevent inward foot rolling, best for big runners), stability (firm arch, fine for most people),and neutral cushioning (flexible arch for shock absorption, best for high arches).

Pay less. Don’t pay more than $85 unless you want cool features or have special needs.

Test-drive them. Shop late in the day, when feet are at their biggest. But don’t just stand there: On a noncarpeted surface, walk, run or jump to judge shock absorption.