Monday, October 20, 2014

Are you Running in the Right Shoe for You?

I finally built up the courage to go to a running store to get a full analysis done. Mind you, I'm still not a runner, I'm a walker.

I was curious to see whether the shoes I was buying off of Amazon - Altra Women's Lone Peak Running Shoe and, more recently, Altra Women's Intuition 1.5 Running Shoe - were the right ones for me. Somehow my shoe's toe box twisting to one side as soon as I put my shoes on, was a red flag indication my Altra's weren't working out for me anymore (or ever?).

I stepped into Roadrunner Sports' Killdeer, Illinois location on a Saturday afternoon and met Mel, a rep who would lead me through their patented Shoedog foot analysis program. I filled out a short set of questions both on paper and on the screen: what size and width, type of shoe, exercise (walk not run), and any body pains or injuries.

Then she proceeded to measure my foot using one of those usual metal foot measuring device (10 wide - I totally called it!).

Next I stepped on a mat which recorded the pressure my foot exerted on it while standing still, to find out what kind of arch I have (very, very high - big surprise to me but explains a lot).

I then got onto the treadmill at a comfortable pace (3.0 mph with zero incline) while a camera recorded  my foot fall and gait from behind. We found out I have horrible overpronation (ankles lean in and toes flap out to the side like a duck) that needs some stability support. The main stressors for me where: high arches, too much pressure on ball of big toe and too much pressure on heel.

The next step was to form the inner soles to my foot to help support the heel and arch. They do those on the spot in three to five minutes. Loved it and I feel it's well worth the $79.

We put two and two together after all these tests and measurements and got trying shoes on. Mel got me three pairs of shoes to try on with the special inner soles matching my foot exactly.

The Brooks model was firm and supportive, but a little tight over the top of my foot.

I forgot the brand of the second model, but it was soft and spongy like a cloud, but provided not as much stability and control of the heel and middle of the foot.

The Saucony was the best with supportive, spongy base and stability control but flexible top which allows me to tie all the laces properly.

Overall this was time very well spent (no more than 20 minutes) and I walked away knowing what my foot needs are not just for walking/running but overall. I will be paying much closer attention to the arch and stability control of any future shoes I purchase.

PS I also joined Roadrunner's VIP club which is a yearly fee program to allow you great discounts on purchases online or in store. Plus you get notice of sales and special events.

A very good experience overall and highly recommend Roadrunner (if you're in Killdeer, ask for Mel!).

:o) Happy walking y'all.

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