Because athletic shoes today are sports-specific, you would be well advised to find a store that carries a wide variety of shoes for all sorts of activities and that employs sales personnel who are familiar with the merchandise and the needs of specific athletes. If you have a definite biomechanical problem in your lower limbs, you would be wise to consult first with a podiatrist who is an expert in sports medicine. Then you will know better exactly what type of shoe to look for.
You must also take into consideration the type of surface on which you will be exercising. Different terrains, court surfaces, or playing fields will call for different types of shoes. Avoid buying the best-looking or highest-priced athletic shoe without taking the above into consideration. If you have any doubts at all, keep shopping until you find a knowledgeable salesperson. Remember, although a certain shoe may feel okay when you try it on in the store, it may be totally inadequate for your needs when you are exercising.
The three major factors to consider when purchasing athletic shoes are, as for non-athletic shoes, cushioning (shock absorption), stability, and flexibility. Recent developments in designing and manufacturing these shoes have resulted in footwear that is far superior to that of 20 years ago, and their increased stability, flexibility, and shock absorption provide more comfort than any other type of shoe made today. That is why it is not unusual to see business executives, both male and female, wearing running shoes to work, switching to regular shoes only when they reach their offices. Let's take a closer look at a typical modern running shoe to find out exactly why it helps protect the feet and legs from injury.