Okay, it's not very hard. You've bought shoes before. But if you've ever arrived at the store unprepared or ended up with a pair that just aren't quite right, then you know .... it sucks. And if you're spending your hard-earned dough on a quality pair of shoes, we suggest taking them for a serious test drive.
Feet naturally swell and expand throughout the day, so this will ensure that your new shoes won't end up pinching your feet later on.
Inspect the stitching and don't be afraid to ask for another pair if something seems off. Check the lining. Make sure it seems substantial and well sewn, otherwise the shoes won't last long.
When slipping into a dress shoe, you want to wear a light, lean pair of socks. But those aren't the socks you want when you're pulling on a rugged pair of boots.
You want to get the feel of walking, not just standing. If you're uncomfortable in the store or you've purchased online, take a day or two and walk around the house—on carpeting. You can always return them if the soles haven't been scratched.