The 5 best running shoes - from Consumer Reports

When it comes to running shoes, you gotta get some that will support
your most intense workouts or you could end up in pain or injured. But
with so many to choose from, how do you know which ones are best? Our
friends over at Consumer Reports' ShopSmart magazine did the - yes - legwork for you.

They had nine men and women run in 12 pairs of sneakers each (24
pairs total), then had lab experts test the shoes for breathability,
cushioning, flexibility, stability and weight. The same model won for
both men and women - it was also one of the most expensive pair tested.

ShopSmart says, "Avoid buying the cheapest shoe you can find. The
least expensive model we tested, the Champion Wonder C9 (from Target),
was at the bottom of the heap in our tests. This is one place where it
can pay to splurge, especially if you're a serious runner."

Here are the Top 5 Running Shoes from Consumer Reports ShopSmart:

Women's:
First Place: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 2
Price: $120
Why: Best cushioning of all shoes tested. Testers said it gave them the right amount of stability.

Second Place: Nike Air Pegasus+ 2007
Price: $85
Why: Super fit. Cushy, yet stable.

Third Place: Puma Complete Infinitus
Price: $85
Why: Excellent fit and flexibility.

Men's:
First Place: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 2
Price: $120
Why: Cushy, and most testers liked the fit in the toe, heel, and arch.

Second Place: Brooks Glycerin 6
Price: $120
Why: Excellent comfort and breathability.

And here are a couple of tips from ShopSmart to help you buy the right pair of running shoes:

  • Shop at a store that specializes in running shoes.
  • Go there dressed to run - wear the socks you usually run in and any orthotics you use.
  • Test the shoes you're considering buying on a treadmill if the
    store has one. Some stores may even let you run in their parking lot
    for a bit.
  • Try to shop in the afternoon - that's when your feet are usually their most swollen, so you don't end up with tight shoes.
  • Ask about exchanges and returns - find out if you can run in the
    shoes for a few days and exchange them if they're not right for you.

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