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Every form of exercise has a preferred style of shoe. For lifting, you want specific heeled or flat shoes. For running, you want shoes that fit your feet and feel comfortable on the run. For cycling—indoor or outdoor—you want shoes that work with the type of cleats you use on your pedals. Shoes are a personal choice, but they’re also something all athletes go through multiple pairs of.
So if you can’t get them to drop a hint about a new type of shoe they’d like to try, all you have to do is sneak a peek at the tag inside their current pair. (This is especially good for runners, whose shoes wear out so quickly they’re basically disposable.) They’ll be grateful for a fresh pair.