As you’re logging mile after mile on commercial fitness equipment, you can feel that the right pair of shoes makes all the difference in your performance. Your running shoes are not so much a fashion statement, although with so many styles in awesome colors and patterns they absolutely can be. Your primary objectives should be comfort and protecting your feet and lower extremities so you can run on commercial treadmills without the risk of injury. Once a new pair of shoes is broken in, it can feel great while you jog on commercial ellipticals, but after several months, you notice that the support is lacking and your feet may ache after your workout session. When this happens, it’s a sign that it’s time to invest in new shoes. In order to get the best bang for your buck and find the shoe that fits your specific needs, here are some tips to help you purchase new running shoes: Know your running style Before buying shoes, it’s important to know what sort of runner you are. This includes recognizing where your foot first contacts the ground – heel or forefoot? Knowing this helps determine where you need cushioning. Also, if you have ever suffered an injury such as blisters, shin splints, plantar fasciitis or tendonitis, these can be improved with a proper fit. Leave some wiggle room The heel should be snug but not tight, and you’ll want some space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe because feet may swell during a run due to heat. When you lace up your shoes, your heel should be able to move some and there shouldn’t be discomfort or irritation. Additionally, once the laces are tied, you should be able to wiggle your toes. Bring your old shoes When you purchase new running shoes, bring your old kicks along. This will help the salesperson determine if you’ve been wearing the proper footwear or if you need a design with a different shape or arch support. It will also show the salesperson how your feet strike the ground, which affects what sort of shoes you should be wearing. Visit a specialty store Proper footwear for running is an investment, so it’s important to go to a shop that specializes in the sport instead of a department store that focuses on gym shoes. The employees will have better knowledge of what runners need, and there will be a wider selection or shoes to choose from. Many specialty shops also feature a treadmill so that you can test the shoes before making a purchase.