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Avoiding the agony of de-feet

Whatever activity you choose, indulge your feet with a pair of good athletic shoes. They’ll provide comfort and stability where you need it most.

There are hundreds to select from, and trying to sort through the rival claims and features can be downright intimidating. But these tips should help:

First, if you participate in just one activity, buy a shoe for that sport only. You’ll find them under categories like “running,” “walking” and “tennis” at your local sporting-goods or department store.

Cross-training shoes are a good idea if you like to mix up your routines and need flexibility as well as side-to-side support—for jogging and tennis, say.

Second, make sure the shoe fits properly before you buy them. Many people buy their shoes at night for a better fit, when their feet are somewhat swollen from a full day of use. If your feet are normally wide or large, try some men’s or boy’s shoes.

Third, buy discount, not cheap. Good athletic shoes are always on sale somewhere. Most $50-and-up shoes from recognized manufacturers are built to last. Likewise, you (and your feet) will probably regret purchasing that $19 imported pair.