By Jay Cardiello, with additional editing by Adelina Tan
This article first appeared on the U.S.-version of SHAPE.com
I know women love shoes, and it can be hard to say “no” to the bright colours and futuristic designs of the various pairs designed for working out, but what looks good may not be the best fit for your feet.
To help avoid foot cramps, blisters, and skin-torn toes, I created this list of simple shoe-buying tips to ensure your new kicks will carry you across the finish line with comfort and ease.
1. Shop Around
The price of shoes is on the climb, as many brands are dealing with higher costs in shipping, manufacturing, and materials. Don’t let this stand in the way of your perfect fit. Do your research, shop around for the best price, and look out for discounts during sales.
2. Buy at Night
Make shoe purchases in the evening when your feet are at their largest. You want a half-inch (or about 1 to 1.2cm) of space in front of your longest toe and to be able to easily wiggle all of your toes. Slip the shoes off and compare them with your bare feet. If the sneakers aren’t obviously wider and longer than your foot, go up half a size.
3. Know Your Foot Type
Wet the bottom of one foot and step on a brown paper bag. Step off and trace over the wet imprint with a pencil. Bring this to your local running store, where a specialist can match your foot shape with the perfect shoe.
4. Know Your Terrain
Consider where you’ll use these shoes the most: on a trail, at the gym, on pavement, or to walk around town?
5. Avoid Overuse
Running shoes break down. Wearing the same pair every day or at times when you are not running decreases the life of sole. Keep a second set of sneaks on hand for running errands, and change your running shoes every 800km (or five months if you’re logging serious distance every week). Write the date of purchase on the tongue of one of your shoes as an easy reminder of the five-month mark.