Three things you should definitely do to find the right shoe: Get fitted, have a gait analysis performed and determine what type of foot you have.
Last night, I went to Road Runner Sports for a video gait analysis, foot scan, shoe fitting and to have custom insoles made for my shoes. They do it all right there in the store! It’s fancy shmancy and the video analysis, foot scan and fitting are completely free and no appointment is needed – just walk in and they will do it ALL.
The store is massive and they have two rows of treadmills all equipped with the technology for their "Shoe Dog" experience which involves a video gait analysis. They have you step on a little blue pad that transmits a reading and image to the big flat screen showing where you carry your weight and what type of foot you have. It looks like a brain scan but of your feet. My reading showed my insanely high arches and the fact that all of my weight goes to the outer edges of my feet.
They then have you hop on the treadmill barefoot and run for a minute or so while they record your gait. Once you hop off the treadmill they show you your form in slow motion and go forward and back so you can see the tiniest little details and subtleties that you would never notice otherwise. I learned that while my feet roll outward, my Achilles is actually right where it needs to be. This is important info in picking a type of shoe (stability versus neutral).
The stick the custom insoles into a machine that warms them up and gets them ready to be molded to your foot. It’s seriously cool. Then they have you step on this other contraption that is super soft and cushy and form the custom insole to your foot. It then hardens and is good to go. This is perfect for me because I need an insole that will support my arches. I've learned this the hard way.
They print off all of your info and then another staff member runs and picks out a ton of varieties to try based on the shape and size of your foot, the mileage you run, your gait and the type of terrain you run on. You can test them on a treadmill or on the little track around the store.
I tried on half a dozen shoes and was thrilled to find out the most recent shoe I’ve been running in and loving is basically the perfect shoe for my foot. Seriously, if I would’ve come here sooner it would have prevented so many injuries, lost toenails and discomfort. I could kick myself now.
My final choice:
Fun fact: I've never known another place to let you exchange your worn shoes after 90 days if you're unhappy with them but Road Runner Sports does! You get to test-run your shoes to make sure they’re perfect. They don't care if they're dirty and worn - they will trade you for a pair you're happier with. It's seriously awesome customer service.
Find your Road Runner Sports store here or shop online at roadrunnersports.com.
What's the perfect shoe for you?
What kind of feet do you have?
* This post is sponsored by Road Runner Sports as part of a 3-part series, but as always, all opinions expressed are original and authentic.