Running shoes are designed for running and work a lot better for running than tennis shoes, basketball shoes and walking shoes. If you are mostly walking, most any athletic shoe will work to start with, but if you plan on running, do your legs a favor.
As you progress, you will want to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Many mass retailers sell shoes that look like running shoes. For beginners they may be fine. But they don’t have the same goodies built in to them like the shoes you will get from a good running store. If you are running three miles or more per week, do yourself a favor and invest in a pair of good running shoes from a running shoe store.
Tell the running shoe store that you are just starting a running program. If you have not been fitted in the past by a good running shoe store, make sure they see you run or walk. A good store will be able to identify the best type of shoe for you. While a good fit is critical, so too is making sure the shoe is the right type. The correct type of shoe will support your foot and ankle to optimize the way your foot strikes the ground. If your foot tends to lean to the outside, you don’t want a shoe that forces your foot to lean even more to the outside. A good store will put you into a shoe that fits and also helps your foot to plant properly. But if the store personnel don’t see you run or at least walk in the shoe, they can’t ensure they are putting you in the right one. You should not have to ask them to observe the way your foot hits the ground – they should be telling you they want to see this before suggesting shoes.
Overpronation / supination (underpronation)
Do you overpronate? Supinate? It is not critical that you know this. Ignorance can be bliss. In my humble opinion, you don’t need to know anything about pronation or supination. All you need is a good running shoe store, because they will know and put you in the correct sho.
Keep track of your mileage. Shoes typically only last 300 - 500 miles. While that seems like a lot, once you start enjoying running (by following the plan), 10 - 15 miles per week will be a piece of cake.