Once you decide to start running, don't let your good intentions get sidelined by the wrong shoe. Here, five key things to consider before making a purchase:

Fit. A properly fitting shoe is one that you are unaware of. If it pinches, pokes, or doesn't hug in the proper places (like the heel) it is not a good fit. Every shoe company uses a different 'last' that generally defines the fit of that brand. Some lasts are "V" shaped, some are more "Rectangular." Try on lots of pairs at your local running store until, like "Cinderella" your find one that fits like a glove.

Stability. In general, there are three categories for running shoes: Neutral, Stability, and Motion Control.  A neutral stance in general is for someone whose Achilles would be at a 90-degree angle, doesn't have flexible arches (flat feet), and tends not to over-pronate. If you do over-pronate, you need stability. In general, you will require a medial post built into the mid-sole. A medial post is the hard rubber that is usually gray against the white on the inside of the shoe. The old-school theory was that more 'medial' support was better, but people have recently realized that it actually makes your feet 'weak and lazy.' I over-pronate a lot but like running in neutral shoes. Make sure to get expert advice in this area, use common sense, and get to know yourself.

Durameter.  "Durameter" is a measurement of density in rubber. The durameter of the mid-sole (the white squishy part between the 'upper' fabric and the black 'out-sole' that hits the pavement) is what gives a shoe its 'ride.' Just like shock absorbers in an old Cadillac would make you feel like you were in a boat as you went over bumps, or the suspension on a Jeep would make you feel like you were in a go-go cart, the durameter can either be really beefy and springy, or stiff and hard like cardboard. This is all personal preference.

Less is more. In general the less support you have in the mid-sole, the better. This goes with overall weight, too. Like the Princess and the Pea or Goldilocks, you don't want a shoe to be too heavy or too light. The worst thing you can do if you tend to hit the ground with a lot of impact is to buy a shoe that doesn't have enough cushioning, or one that has too much of really, really dense Medial posting that will be like running with a lead plate under your foot. There is a growing trend in the media to go back to the equivalent of running in sandals. This advice is short sighted. Modern running shoes are brilliant--you just need to find the one that is right for you. For much of my running career, I had no idea about how shoes were constructed. I wish I had done my research early on.

Aesthetics. Of course, don't buy shoes based on what they look like. But if they are so ugly that they will prevent you from putting them on and going for a jog, then certainly consider another pair.