There are several key factors new runners should take into consideration. Shoes, for example, are one of the most important tools to develop a safe, effective and healthy running regimen. If you wear the wrong kind of shoes and end up with joint pain as a result, you might bow out of your new running goals early.
Forget the Tennis Shoes
Although you don't have to buy the most expensive pair of running shoes available when you first start running, you also shouldn't wear the old pair of tennis shoes in the back of your closet. Buy a pair of shoes that are specifically designed for runners. This means they'll cushion your feet better and provide protection as your feet get used to your new exercise.
Pronation and Shoes
How far you roll your feet when you step is an important determination for the type of shoe that you should buy when you're starting out as a new runner. If you have flat feet, meaning you have little to no arches in your feet, or if you roll your feet inward when you step, then you need shoes that provide motion control support. These shoes have extra cushioning on the inside and more stability for the rear part of the foot, in order to prevent your feet from rolling in. If you don't pronate your feet when you run, then you'll need shoes with cushioning in the arch rather than on the sides. These shoes provide support for people with higher arches.
Where You're Running
The location that you plan to start your running excursions can also make a big difference in the type of shoe you'll need as a new runner. If you plan to stick to a treadmill, having well-cushioned shoes is a little less important because the treadmill itself typically has some cushioning to help your feet. But if you're going to be running outside on trails and hills, you'll want to invest in shoes specially made for off-road running. These shoes are sturdier, typically weather resistant and have better traction in the soles so you'll be less likely to lose your footing and slip and fall. If, however, you can't find an off-road trail shoe that's built for your foot's pronation, pick a regular running shoe that matches your arch for best results.
Get an Expert's Opinion
Since you're new to the sport, your best option is to visit a running shoe store and have an expert fit you for the best shoe. While you can certainly guess what type of shoe you need by looking at your arches and observing how you walk, someone who works at these retail shops can watch you and know for certain what type of running shoe is best for you. He'll also make his recommendation based on your experience level and the type of running that you're going to start.