Athletic Shoes Review

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Running Shoe: New Balance 1226

Price tag: $140

Although this shoe is heavy on features that stabilize your foot, it's flexible and plush, both must-have features for runners. A sock liner conceals the firm midsole cushioning that provides lightweight shock absorption. Runner's World performed tests that show the 1226 is firmer than New Balance's previous version, putting it in the stability category. If you're an average-to-large size high-mileage runner desiring a supportive shoe, look no further.

Tip: Buy your first pair of running shoes at a store instead of online so you can test how they feel. You may need to buy them at least one size larger than your regular shoes as your toes need room to move around. Good cushioning will help you to avoid shin splints.

Walking Shoe: MBT Fora

Price tag: $245

MBT shoes have been hailed as shoes that tone your muscles, strengthen your core and improve your posture. They supposedly activate muscles throughout your body as you stand or walk, and give you the sensation of walking on sand. It's not the snazziest looking shoe, but it has a firm sole, good traction and lightweight support and antimicrobial mesh. They will make you stand taller — the heel is elevated. The verdict is out on other benefits.