Have you ever gone into a store looking for a shoe that was going to fit you well, suit your needs, AND help minimize any ailments but you left dissatisfied?
I have been wearing the same brand and style running shoe for approximately 9 years. When I went to the Skirack in Burlington, VT on Saturday to be assessed and fitted – the recommendation did not deviate from my usual running shoe. Disclaimer – I did NOT tell the store associate my usual running shoe because I wanted her to make recommendations based on what she was seeing and assessing in regards to my gait, stride and measurements. I met with store associate, Chloe and she did NOT disappoint.
Here are a few things that I feel are most important when being fitted for the proper shoe:
- Foot size
- Foot width
- Foot arch
- Gait – paying special attention to pronation or supination
- Stability of ankles
- How you strike the ground
- How you lift off the ground
Chloe also inquired about the type of running I do – trail vs. road, speed vs. endurance. She observed that my feet are slightly flat, one being more arched compared to the other, I pronate and I have a mid-foot strike. Taking all of that into consideration in addition to the fact that I typically run for endurance and on roads/sidewalks/dirt roads, she brought out 3 different brands/styles. Brooks GTS, Mizuno, and Asics. I tried all of them on and also inserted the SuperFeet insoles that I typically wear to help with the low arches and pronation. I liked all of them, however if I’m going to be a critic, I felt that the ankle on the Asics was too narrow for me and it pinched where my achilles is. The Mizuno’s were very lightweight and offered adequate foot support, however the ankle did not come up high enough limiting the ankle support that I need. I chose the Brooks GTS 19 with the green Superfeet insoles and honestly – this is the exact shoe and exact insole I’ve been wearing for approximately 9 years.
Why change a good thing when you’ve got it?!
My point and recommendation is this: if you are ready to purchase a new pair of shoes or any athletic gear, go to a store that has a wide variety of brands and styles, that does a thorough assessment and listens to you when you tell them your ailments. Chloe was very receptive when I told her I once suffered from shin splints (before my Brooks GTS), I pronate and that I have weak ankles. When you go to a store that only offers one brand – they will recommend that exact brand even if it’s not the right shoe for you.
Research a store near you that does a thorough assessment, get out there and don’t settle for the first pair that comes your way. Shop on!