The sports shoe industry is massive, with some of the biggest and most recognisable names in the world heavily engaged. These organisations are constantly fighting to come up with the best and most innovative solution, although much of the emphasis does seem to be placed on marketing and visual effect. If you're getting ready for some serious running activity ahead, what do you need to know to look past all the marketing imagery and get the best shoe for you?

Choosing for Purpose

Firstly, understand that there are different types of shoe for different types of sport. It may not make too much of a difference for the casual wearer, but it can certainly affect you if you choose the wrong type for your activity. For example, if you're playing tennis or netball, you will need a cross trainer, which allows for some movement or slippage and less grip. If you are running cross-country, then you will need shoes that are designed for trails. These have a different tread pattern and more strength towards the top to deal with the constant change in demand on these trails.

Don't Be Dazzled

Never fall into the trap of buying a shoe simply because you like the way that it looks and no other considerations. You should go through a specific process when you try on each shoe to make sure that it is right in your case.

Do the Tests

Start off by raising yourself up onto your toes and make sure that the shoe doesn't overly restrict you when doing so. When you are wearing the right shoe for you, it should feel as if you haven't got any shoes on when you do this exercise.

Next, make sure that the shoe is not correcting your stance improperly. This means it shouldn't be attempting to roll your feet and legs inward, or pronate them, nor should it feel as if it's trying to push your legs and feet outward. Experts say that the ideal balance is to feel as if you are standing on the side of the foot.

It shouldn't feel too tight or too loose anywhere. People often check to see that their toes aren't being pinched but also should check to see that it is a good all-round fit. Some shoes are much bulkier than others, and it shouldn't feel as if you are being restricted simply due to the size, weight or shape of the shoe. In particular, make sure that the heel is not a lot higher than the toe. You definitely need some difference in height here, but it should not be significant.

Making Sure of Your Choice

If you want to be sure of your choice, ask a sports podiatrist to help you choose and evaluate what sort of support your feet need. After all, you may have a lot at stake if you're going to be doing a great deal of running.