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Shopping Guide

Tips for Choosing Great Shoes

The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. All those steps equal several miles seven days a week, and they add up to about 115,000 miles in a lifetime. That's more than four times around the globe! It's important to choose a pair of shoes that will keep you walking tall and keep your feet happy and healthy.

Take a few minutes to think about how you want the shoe to perform, what you'll be doing while you're wearing them, and consider (and look at if necessary) your feet. What do your feet need?

All sneakers are designed to support your feet, protect them from injury and provide traction so that you won't slip in addition to making you look great. But despite these common features, different sports have different requirements for footwear. For example, a running shoe has more cushioning for shock absorption than a basketball shoe, but the basketball shoe has more ankle support for sudden stops and starts on the court.

New technology is constantly replacing the old, so that the retro Air Jordans that were on the cutting edge of technology in 1985 have been replaced by newer models like the Nike Shox. Although Nike Air Jordan shoes are the hot fashion item, new technology from other companies doesn't always make them the first choice for a long hard day of playing basketball.

After you've decided what type of shoe and technology is best for you, read a few reviews. If you are looking for a pair of shoes just for looks, skip the above steps and just choose your size, style, and color.

Now that you have decided on a pair of shoes, let's make sure you're getting the right fit.

Here are a few tips and general guidelines for getting the right size.

Have both your feet measured.
Your feet may be different sizes, and you'll want the shoe to fit your largest foot. Your feet expand while bearing weight, so make sure you're standing when they're measured. Have them measured regularly because your feet grow as you get older.
Wear the appropriate sock.
For example, if you're trying on a pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes that you would normally wear a heavy athletic sock with, make sure you're wearing those when you try on the shoes, but if you're looking to buy a pair of Puma shoes to throw on while walking the dog at 6am and you wouldn't normally bother with socks because you can't find a matching pair in the dark, then you might try the shoe on with a thin nylon or barefoot.
Pick the right time of day.
The best time of day to try on shoes is usually at the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen. This way you can ensure your shoes will feet even in a worst case scenario.
Try on both shoes and check the fit.
Make sure your heel fits snugly in each shoe and doesn't slip as you walk. Can you wiggle your toes? If you don't have a half-inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, approximately the width of your thumb, try a larger size. Remember the grownups pushing on your toes as a kid and asking if you could feel it? Don't buy your shoes too tight. If it is the last pair in stock and you're praying that it will stretch to be comfortable, forget it. While natural materials like soft leather and suede have some give, most shoes will not dramatically increase in width or length.
Take the shoes for a test drive. Test for comfort by walking or jogging a few steps.
Remember, humans walk several miles a day, almost every day of their lives. Take a stroll around the carpet. Parade your new shoes around the store. How do they look, how do they feel, and how do you feel while wearing them? If the shoes don't feel comfortable right away, try another size or another pair or customize the fit with a heel pad or arch support. A good fitting, stylish pair of shoes should make you feel like royalty or at least give you a little bit of a warm, happy feeling.

Whether your purchased a pair of Nike Air Force One shoes for fashion reasons or a pair of Nike basketball shoes like the Air Huarache 2k4, you should feel comfortable in your shoes.

Blisters, sore arches, and cramped toes after a day in your new Reeboks or Pumas aren't going to make you feel like a million dollars. If your shoes don't fit or you just aren't satisfied with how they make you feel and they are unworn, get another pair. Feet are the foundation for the body and without a good, strong foundation, eventually the house collapses.

Date : 2008-4-4 [Return]