BRAND name, colour, style and price usually have a great influence over what we buy but when it comes to finding the right pair of shoes for running and exercise it is all about fit.
Allen Cuttler, owner of specialist store Get Running, said to maximise comfort when running it was important to have a correctly fitted shoe.
Mr Cuttler, an avid runner who has 25 years' experience as a specialist running shoe retailer, said in order to select a correctly fitting shoe an individual's bio-mechanic must be assessed first.
"When that has been established, only then can you choose the brand with your fitting needs to complete the correct shoe package," he said.
Mr Cuttler said when buying a new pair of running shoes shoppers must also determine their personal needs.
He said some of the questions shoppers needed to consider were:
- If you are either running or walking, how long or far are you running?
- How frequently?
- What are your goals for the next eight months?
- Are there any health issues?
- Do you have pain and where is that pain? Are you a diabetic?
- Do you seek medical advice first? What socks do you prefer to wear, if any?
"Do your own research. Ask a fellow athlete where they got their shoes," Mr Cuttler said.
"Once you are satisfied, go to a specialist and spend some time with them.
"Try not to rush into a purchase. Set aside half an hour and have a run in the shoes before you make a final decision. If you are a runner consider buying shoes from an outlet that employs runners."
Flying Feet Podiatry owner and podiatrist Danelle Kenny said a good fitting pair of shoes were the foundation to a safe workout.
"If you make life difficult for your feet they will make life difficult for you," she said.
"You're better off going barefoot than wearing an ill-fitting or old pair of shoes with no support when exercising or running."
WORKOUT SHOE GUIDELINES
1. Support. The more you can support your foot the less work your muscles have to do. Shoes with laces are the best option. Try to steer clear of shoes with zippers and elastic sides.
2. Look for a shoe with a firm mid-sole.
3. Heel counter. The back of a shoe should be nice and firm.
4. Break line. Make sure the break line - where the toe bends - is in the right position.
5. Fit length, width and depth. Make sure there is enough room for toes to move around.
6. Match the shoe to the activity. There is no point buying a shoe designed for sprinting when you intend to use it for walking.