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I'm a big fan of going to a specialty running store to get shoes, particularly running shoes. I've run in some New Balance shoes that I liked a lot (2011 NB 890s...) but, when I go to the local running stores of which we have three here, they have treadmills. A lot of times, I'll try to go during the week, when they aren't as busy. They'll watch me walk and check my footprint (arches...) out and then go "you need this [Neutral...] kind of shoe..." and then I just try them all out, run on the treadmill and figure out which one feels the best. I'll spend a while, put one shoe on each foot and go through them all before I pick. Sometimes those stores can be a bit pricier but even when I had started walking around the neighborhood, to dry to get in better shape, the shoes I got that way worked and were comfortable.
Every brand has different models of shoes (Stability/ Neutral/ Performance/ various racing/ flat/ barefoot models as well...) but I think that it's worth some time to find shoes that are the best, even if they're only slightly better than some other pair. There's a few other sorts that can be interesting. Some of the "barefoot" shoes are ***really*** excellent for various sorts of lower duration activities.
I like the Brooks Pure Cadence shoes a lot as they have a toe separator and the footbed is contoured like Birkenstocks, but they are running shoes. The heel isn't really built up and I've had most of my fastest runs in them but my old ones are awesome to wear to work/ store/ hanging out/ etc. I've run moderate distances in them and they're a bit light for me to do 15+ miles but they're really excellent shoes that are a bit different and are extremely comfortable. I'd at least compare a pair at the running store!
I've been buying New Balance since they first started making them in Cambridge in the 70's. I'm tall with 13B shoe size, and most running shoes are only available in medium width. New Balance has many different widths and they fit my feet better than any others I've tried. I've owned other running shoes but never been happy with them.
Once they're too worn to be "running shoes", they become my everyday shoes. (But I do change into slippers at work since I'm indoors at my desk most of the time).
The shoes I wear to work are New Balance - they actually have a small collection of casual type dress shoe (if that makes any sense! :)) in addition to running shoes. I absolutely love these shoes - they have the look of a dress shoe but the feel of a running shoe. The staff at the New Balance store measured my foot width and size and the fit has been perfect.
Of course, I'm not always so good at protecting my feet - at home I love to wear my flip flops... it gets hot and humid here.