Take these three steps before buying new sneakers.

They look sharp. Check. They’re on sale. Check. The sexy shop assistant says they make your calf muscles pop. Double check. But before you swipe your credit card, make sure those new sneaks do more than swaddle your hounded dogs.

Your shoes play a big role in protecting your pelvis and hips, says Lori Thomsen, a physical therapist in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Thomsen warns that your muscles, ligaments, and tendons can quickly become overstressed if they’re not given proper support. That leaves you more susceptible to injury – and less competitive in your sport. So no matter how awesome the shoes look, stop and perform our three-point inspection.

If those sneakers fail the tests on the right, leave them in the store.

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