Friday, August 11, 2017

How to pick the PERFECT Shoes for your!

So, since I'm officially training for the Route 66 Marathon and Half, it means it is time for new running shoes.  While I may put too many miles on my training miles on these shoes, I'd rather buy a new pair a few weeks before race day then run on old shoes and risk injury.  I knew that needing new shoes meant I would go to my favorite running store.

There are plenty of speciality running stores in my city but I always choose Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.   Disclaimer: I am a former employee of Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa but this is an unsolicited review of my experience.  I first discovered Fleet Feet years ago on a visit before one of the Route 66 marathons and realized that I had been in the wrong size and type of shoe for years.  Upon returning to Texas, I had to visit my local running stores and continued to be mis-fitted so therefore, my loyalty lies with Fleet Feet.  Their process is professional, personal and precise.

Last Sunday, I met with one of the owners of Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, Lori, who personally fit my shoes.  It wouldn't be the first time in the past 5 years that she has fit me for shoes, but it had been over a year since she had last fit me so she put me through the whole process to see if anything had changed since the last fitting.

First she measured both of my feet - while sitting and standing.  Then she put me on the treadmill and taped my running from behind.  This tells her what me fit do when hitting the ground - heel striker, toe or mid foot runner, pronate, supinate or neutral.

It is quite an art of studying the runner foot.  I pronate and toe off.  I have bad form (that's my opinion) and will be needing to take the Healthy Runner class at Fleet Feet so I can get some guidance on how to change my striking.  What I didn't know was that my feet had changed (another benefit of aging).  I went from a 7 normal width to a 6 1/2 wide.  WOW!!

With measurements, and the visual analysis in hand, she knew which shoes would be perfect for me.  She came out with 3 pairs in hand.  She put a right foot of one style on my right foot, and the left of another style on my left foot.  I then went outside to the sidewalk to run.  This is the elimination portion.  Which one felt better?

I couldn't decide.  So I put a pair on and ran in the mates.  I then put the other pair on.  Ran some more.  I still couldn't decide since they were both such excellent runs and felt so comfy on my feet.  So after she felt the shoe on my foot (not just the toe, but the heel and mid point),  she gave me her professional opinion and I went with those.

Now these, are my new runners.  I had sworn years ago that I'd never ever run in a New Balance.  I never thought they made a decent running shoe.  Hmmm...she proved me wrong.

And of course, when you buy new running shoes, you should buy new running socks.  My favorite (as well as my son's) are Balegas.  Deep heel beds, no slip, and I swear I can't make a hole in the toe (and I'm a toe runner so I usually have toes in my socks and shoes).  So I bought myself these fun ones, and the boy the boring gray ones.

Then we looked at one of their new products - Groove silicon wedding rings.  Since my husband is a contractor and I use my hands a lot at up as well, we rarely well our actually wedding rings, so we knew this was a great daily wear answer.  So we both bought one and we haven't taken them off since.  We have had a few runs in them, showered in them, worked in them and we are so glad we made the investment!!

Running shoes are important.  Invest in your feet and in your shoes so your running career will last longer.  Your local Fleet Feet can also aid you in injury prevention, as well as sports bra fittings, and so much more.  Be sure to check out your Fleet Feet store before going somewhere else.  You won't regret it.

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