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Look for a heel counter that holds your heel in place and keeps it from rolling in and out. Flexibility in the forefoot area so the shoes bend easily with your foot. ( if the shoe is stiff, your leg and foot muscles will have to work hard)

An arch support is necessary to keep the foot stable and minimize rolling inside. Shoes should have a fairly wide base for stability and balance. The bottom of the heel, for example, should be as wide as the top of the shoe.

Cushioning should compress easily( Several different materials are used now). The midsole area absorbs the most shock and should have the greatest amount padding. The heel (Which, particularly for women, should be three-quarters of an inch higher than the sole) needs padding, too. Too much causes fatigue, and too little causes bruising.

Start with the manufacturer's least costly shoes first--try them on. Then keep trying up the price range until you find the one that feels best. Try on running shoes with the same kind of thick socks you will be wearing with them.

Adequate toe room (at least one-half inch of clearance). Running shoes, particularly in women's sizes, run small, and women often need a half-size or whole size larger running shoes than street shoe.