Recently I visited two different running stores in my search to buy a new pair of walking/running shoes. I had never been to a store selling strictly just running gear, and never would have even known about it if it wasn’t for some of my coworkers. Two of them are really into running, competing in many different road races throughout the year, and they are always eager to offer tips on how to become a better runner. One of these tips included visiting a running store, where they tell you how you run and make sure you get the shoe that is the best fit for you.
After finding out this little tidbit of information, I found two different running stores in the area. The first store was a little bit closer, and a little bit more old-school. We walked in the door and were greeted by a friendly sales representative. She explained their fit process and we got to it. I took of my shoes and tried on a neutral shoe. I then proceeded to walk and then run up and down the store while she watched, looking for signs of pronation or supination (my foot rolling inward or outward when I run). Depending on what you do, you get a shoe suggestion to fit your needs.
The second store was a little more high tech, and the one I preferred. When I first got there I had to stand on a machine that took a reading of my feet. It showed me how high my arches are and also where the pressure on the feet is (for me more in my heel but evenly distributed between feet). I then went outside and ran for the sales representative, but this time he had a iPad and recorded my steps. Afterwards, we looked at it together and he played it in slow motion so I was able to see how I run. He also talked to me about running form, giving me some suggestions, and then brought out some shoes to try on.
Overall, both of the experiences were good, but I enjoyed the second one more. Both of the stores told me to get a shoe that was a half-size to a full-size bigger than what I normally wear because your feet swell when you run, and both of them had a fit process, offering suggestions and helping me choose the right shoe. In the end, I came home with a pair of shoes and excitement at where there could take me.