1. Athletic shoes should be immediately comfortable and not require breaking in.
2. An average athletic shoe should last you 1000km, although this is influenced by your body weight and the surface you run on.
You'll need to replace your shoe when it has become distorted from constant wear or the midsole has become compressed and is less able to absorb the force of impact.
3. Shoes must have sufficient room at the toes (a minimum of 2cm) and not compress the sides of the feet in a way that could cause friction and so lead to sores or corns.
4. Identify the primary activity that will be performed in the shoes and select accordingly —different kinds of exercise may require different kinds of shoes.
5. Traditional shoes for running are designed to absorb impact forces, which can be between three and four times your body weight.
Lightweight mesh materials can ensure that the upper is breathable and doesn't stretch or distort with exercise.
Some runners are now choosing `low profile' or 'barefoot' running style shoes that does not offer the same support or cushioning as a traditional sports shoe.
If choosing this type of footwear, adjustments to your running technique may be required to avoid injury.
6. Aim for a sturdy heel box, good arch support and appropriate cushioning.
Shoes for general athletic or aerobic activities can have features that help control biomechanical problems.
Your podiatrist can help advise you about the correct shoe for your activity and foot type.