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Your Complete Guide to Shopping for Athletic Shoes Online

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Shopping for shoes online poses a few challenges, but there are reliable ways to determine which shoes are likely to fit your feet. Whether you are shopping for Puma sneakers, New Balance athletic shoes or any other brand, these guidelines can point  you towards the right shoe size and style.

Get the Right Shoe Size

Ordering athletic shoes online is relatively easy when you usually wear a size in a brand such as Asics sneakers or a similar style of shoes. Many experts recommend ordering athletic shoes one half of a size larger to accommodate foot swelling that occurs during physical activity. It may be easier to find half sizes in many brands and styles when shopping for shoes online.

If you are not sure about your shoe size in a particular brand or in general, you will need to measure your feet. Look for a brand or manufacturer sizing chart and either use a measuring tool printed to scale or measure the length and dimensions of your feet with measuring tape or string and a ruler. It is also helpful to have a sense of the volume of your feet, or whether shoes with a narrow, wide or extra-wide width will provide the best fit.

Examine Shoe Design

A product photo on a shoe retailer shows a number of aspects that determine the fit of an athletic shoe. Look at the height of the upper. High-top shoes provide ankle support, while the profile of low-top shoes may be more comfortable when paired with pants. The type of exercise you do or sport you play and the garments or uniform you wear may factor into the best athletic shoe style.

In addition to the upper height, you should also confirm the material, check the closure system and consider the height and cushioning level of the soles. Canvas shoes are more breathable than leather, but are not as durable or protective. Shoes may have laces or alternative closures to provide a comfortable fit and make footwear easier to put on and take off.  If you have sore joints or are recovering from injuries, you may prefer footwear with more cushioning. Recent trends in athletic footwear have also led to a growing number of minimalist or lightly cushioned soles.

Check the Reviews 

Reviews are most useful for determining whether a shoe style runs small or large. Reviewers may also share useful fit details about how a style accommodates foot volume or width. Other fit and wear details may not apply to your situation unless the reviewer has a similar foot shape. These general pointers can be helpful if you are deciding between shoe sizes or widths.

Shoppers generally have a good sense of what shoes look like before buying. Reputable retailers make a point of posting high-quality pictures of shoe styles with as much color accuracy as possible. Getting a good fit is the biggest challenge when purchasing athletic shoes online. Shop at a retailer with a good return policy, as it may take some trial and error to get athletic shoes that fit.

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