Sunday, May 26, 2013

Treat your feet right

There are so many gadgets for runners in the consumer world: apps, watches, hydration belts, etc.  But the most important of any of those are having the right pair of sneakers.  Outfitting feet is so important to keep a runner moving along and one of the easy ways to prevent injury.

Last weekend, I headed to Road Runner Sports for their free shoe dog analysis.  I just wanted to get a fitting on my new running sneakers, but I figured why not since I already drove down there.

They ask you a few questions about current shoe size, average mileage per week and average terrain. 

After that, they put you on this gel board which measures the pressure applied each foot and whether you have heavier pressure on the ball or heel of your foot. Then comes one of the hardest parts of the whole experience: running (or walking) on the treadmill barefoot. I definitely failed this part and looked like a huge doofus. It was so incredibly hard to do this barefoot.

The final part of the analysis is customizing your inserts. As you stand on these puffy blocks, your shoe fit expert has you rock back and forth and fits them to your feet. 

And here is my one gripe (and really it turned out to be a positive) was that they give you custom inserts, but never once mention the price. If the inserts were $25, that may be boat, but the inserts were $70-80 depending if you are a current VIP. With that said, I did need inserts because of my high arch and I could immediately feel a difference in the arch support.  The inserts are supposed to last through about 3 pairs of shoes, which makes the price a little easier to swallow.

After finding what type of shoes would work best for you as a runner, you are paired with another employee who brings out shoes based on your profile.

Generally I wear Asics.  I have three different pairs of sneakers.  I think Asics are a quality product for the price, not to mention they have some pretty shoes!  The guy brought me out two different Nikes and a pair of Brooks.  I had told him although I love Asics and they fit my feet well, I wanted to branch out and try other brands before any Asics.  You are allowed to run around the store in the shoes to test them out to get a better feeling of how they fit.

I ended up buying the Brooks Glycerin because they fit my foot the best.  They felt stable, comfortable, and not bulky.  So far, after running a half relay and a 5k, they have not disappointed me yet.

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