Guide to buying the right shoes - Healthier. Happier.

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Woman looking at a display full of running shoes

If you’re getting into exercise, you can’t overestimate the importance of good shoes. Whether they are for walking, running, hiking or a team sport, then good, comfortable shoes will make it much easier to get fit and stay active. So here are a few pointers on choosing the right shoes for you:

  1. 1.

    Your shoes will need to be a good fit to give you the support you need for whatever physical activity you are doing. Ensure you have a gap of around a centimetre from your toes to the end of our shoes to ensure you don't damage your toenails.
  2. 2.

    Most shoe brands cater to slightly different shapes of foot, such as narrow, wide or long, so it is important to try on a few different brands to find the right pair for your feet.
  3. 3.

    Most of us actually have slightly different sized feet, so fit your larger foot first.
  4. 4.

    Having sufficient padding is essential to support your feet and ankles while you're working out.
  5. 5.

    Don't buy shoes if you think you will need to break them in. Trainers should be comfortable from the very first wear and shouldn't hurt your feet or cause damage in any way.
  6. 6.

    Some types of activity will wear your shoes out quickly, requiring you to replace your shoes periodically. With running shoes, for example, expect to change them every 400 to 800 kilometres. Be sure to consider this when you're purchasing shoes and include it in your budgeting.
  7. 7.

    If you're unsure, ask the sales person if the shoes you're looking at are appropriate for your planned physical activity. For example, hiking boots need sufficient ankle support, running shoes should have cushioned soles and good ventilation and squash shoes should be non-marking.