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5 tips for buying your perf gym sneakers!


There’s nothing worse than shelling out for a pair of running kicks, only to find out later that they are too narrow, flop up in the back or otherwise make your dogs scream. Ugh. We chatted with trainer and marathoner and owner of Fitness 121 in Roseland, NJ, Francesca Pucher, about how to score your best sneakers—on any budget. Read this before you scoop up a spring pair.

1. Let the salesperson know exactly what sport you’ll be playing.
Don’t try to navigate the sea of shoes by yourself. Instead, ask a salesperson for their input. “Tell them you are on a budget,” Francesca tells us. “They will have you try a bunch of shoes on.” Last season’s sneaks tend to be more affordable, and Francesca also recommends looking online for coupons before you hit the stores.

2. Don’t judge a shoe by its color.
It’s temping to pick the first cute pair you spy, but track practice isn’t a fashion show. Sadly, when it comes to athletic shoes, you HAVE to buy what fits your foot best. Francesca suggests hitting a sport-specific store like Sports Authority or Dick’s Sporting goods if you’re a runner. If you’re looking for shoes for classes at the gym, you can go to Kohl’s or Payless for bargains. Don’t buy anything that feels wrong from the start.

3. Run around like crazy.
When you’re trying on shoes, don’t just sit there. “Walk around in both shoes,” she says. “If you’re looking to run in them, jog around the store or go on treadmill if they have one. Make sure that your toes wiggle well in them that you’re not falling out of the back of them.” We know it might sound crazy to be spotted running around Lady Foot Locker, but it’s key to test how the shoes feel when you’re moving.

4. Look for mesh.
Running? Francesca suggests looking for sneakers that have mesh panels on them, so your feet will be able to breathe. That means you’ll have few blisters and less overheating.

5. Wear the right socks.
Pull on your sporty socks before you hit the mall. “You want to make sure the sneaker fits well with the sock you are going to be wearing,” she swears. And don’t forget to clip your toenails before you shop—they can bump up against the top of the shoe, causing blood blisters.

Don’t forget to ask the store about it’s return policy before you leave!

BY KATIE ABBONDANZA ON 1/18/2011 11:58:00 AM

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