Outsole Fit Tip: Many running shops will recommend looking at the wear pattern of the outsole. In certain circumstances, unusual wear patterns can provide a piece to the puzzle of guiding someone to the best shoes for his or her feet.

Langer warns not to rely on this too much, however, saying, “A large percentage of runners wear the lateral aspect of the heel, and this is perfectly normal because 80-90% of runners are heel strikers and tend to land slightly on the lateral aspect when heel striking.” Put simply, if you’re wearing the outside portion of the outsole's heel, this isn’t anything to fret about. With that said, other less common wear patterns may offer important information to an expert assisting you with shoe prescription.

Midsole Fit Tip: A shoe with stability built into the midsole is a good place to start for runners and walkers who overpronate, which means their feet roll inwards with each step. In most shoes, stability is provided via a multi-density foam built into the arch of the midsole to provide greater support and control of that inwards roll. For people who don’t overpronate, shoes with less support and more cushioning in the midsole is often most comfortable

Upper Fit Tip: Some strategy should be involved with identifying an upper that will work for your feet. “The single-piece uppers that utilize thermoplastic overlays and welded seams instead of multiple-piece uppers with lots of stitching are much better at minimizing pressure points,” explains Langer. If you have bunions, hammertoes, or other boney prominances on your feet that may rub the wrong way, be sure to pay attention to where the upper’s overlays hit those spots. While the color of the upper is also often a consideration, design and comfort will always win out a few miles down the road