Today, I am going to advocate having well maintained shoes by choosing the correct shoes in the first place. When you are new to running, or have been running for a while but never paid much attention to your shoes, you should seek out the help of somebody that knows what they are talking about. These sort of people are not usually difficult to find; if you have a running shoe specialty store near you, you have some local experts (in most situations). Everywhere that I have lived there has always been at least one or two running shoe stores within easy driving distance. Most of the time, the people who run those stores are accomplished runners who know how to fit people for the proper shoes.
You will hear words like pronation and supination, (the rolling of your foot towards the inside or outside as it strikes the ground), but you will not need to worry about it. They will watch you run around their store, or on a treadmill, or on the sidewalk outside. Then they will have you try some shoes on and make sure that you get a proper fit.
Be sure to ask questions if you are confused about anything. They are there to help you. By choosing the proper shoes, you will be less likely to hurt yourself and you will be much more comfortable while you are out training.