For all those who are so inclined to celebrate Mother’s Day, happy belated! This is the first year that both my mom and my mother-in-law are no longer in the immediate area, which meant Mother’s Day got to be about just me, ha. And my husband, brilliant man that he is, knows that all I really want for Mother’s Day is to be alone, so he took the kids off to run errands while I read and ate peanut M&M’s on the couch. I also absconded with my friend Julianne to the local Road Runner sports shortly after that. I’ve been wanting to try their Shoe Dog shoe-fitting because it’s supposedly very scientific, blah blah blah.
I am tired of the shoes I’ve been running in and my last venture into new shoes, the Brooks Cadence, wasn’t exactly a bust, but I’m also not loving them. I had read several reviews of the Shoe Dog fitting process (at Roadrunner Sports) by some bloggers I follow, so I thought I’d try it out (sadly, this wouldn’t be a sponsored activity, but just my own curiosity). The fitting process is actually pretty cool. There are several steps: 1) They have you stand on a pad that measures your weight distribution, 2) They film and analyze your gait on the treadmill barefoot, 3) They actually check your foot size, and 4) They make/fit you for custom orthotics. Here’s the process in pictures.
Oops, forgot to take a picture of the video gait analysis. Well, imagine you can see two bare feet running on a treadmill. I pronate on my left foot just a touch, and Julianne pronates a good bit.
I also entered some information in my profile about my running–like what surfaces I run on and my weekly mileage. I would wear an 8.5 wide or 9 if I go regular. I was then told that I should be wearing a mild stability shoe, and Julianne was told she should wear a stability shoe. Our shoe fitter then gave a couple recommendations to another employee, who got some shoes for us and worked with us to find a pair we liked. I ended up trying on a pair of Asics (which I can’t remember the name of because Asics tends to use letters and numbers and not actual words, which I feel is not a good idea because it’s hard to remember), the Nike Lunar Glide, the Brooks Ravenna, and the Mizuno Wave Inspire. We also tried them all on with the custom orthotics. I’m not going to lie, I liked those orthotics. They were pretty thin and flexible, unlike some others I’ve worn. However, at the price of $71, they’re also quite a bit more expensive [Side Note: A friend and I were talking about how this is a bad business model. They create the orthotics for you for free to try. If you don’t buy them, they toss them I think. Because they are so much more expensive than generic ones like Superfeet, my guess would be people are less inclined to buy them. If they were cheaper, they would be more likely to sell them and not take a loss in throwing so many out. Just a thought.].
I probably liked the Brooks Ravenna and the Wave Inspire the best, and I walked out with the Inspire. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure I’ll keep them, though. Here’s my reasoning why. Again, keep in mind that I’m just a random runner and not an expert, but this is what I’ve read and determined for myself. I don’t like wearing shoes that are meant to accommodate my random quirks of running. Yes, there are some things that aren’t negotiable, like my foot size/width, but others like imbalances in weight distribution or foot strike ARE able to be addressed. Rather than buying shoes to accommodate my imbalances, I’d prefer to actually work on my strength, flexibility, and form to be a stronger runner. For low-arched folks, there are supposedly some exercises to even help you strengthen that area. While I liked the cushy-ness of the Inspire, it is almost a 12 mm drop, which is significantly higher than what I’ve been running in, and more prone to encourage my heel strike and possible injury. I also don’t like that alot of online shoe advisors almost automatically suggest a stability shoe for you if you’re running more than 30-35 miles a week.
Finally, I found it weird that Julianne and I have fairly different strides and feet yet were suggested the same shoe (she also walked out with the same pair). I was also disappointed that when I got my Shoe Dog profile emailed to me, it didn’t include access to the video or images of weight distribution (I would have taken more pictures!). All in all, I think it was cool to get all the measurements done, and I learned a little more about my running. You’re not obligated to buy anything, and you could always do some more research about shoes suggested for you, etc. I would definitely recommend the process as a good place to learn more about your feet/form, although I think the shoe advising part wasn’t awesome. And actually, Julianne realized she’d tried on and bought the wrong shoe size (which she said was probably why she thought they felt like “slippers” ha).
[Post-script Edit: I chatted briefly with my running coach from last fall, and he said he would have put me in the Wave Inspire as well, so I’ll probably keep them. Shows how much I know, ha]
In other news, my semester is finally over, which means I am going to have to spend the next couple weeks scaling back the sugar and caffeine! I’m excited to start reading my various food/diet books and try some new recipes. One thing I did yesterday, cuz I’m a moron, was wear sandals outside and hurt myself. Our neighbors put some ridiculously thorny tree branch out by our garbage bins, and as I was going by, I stabbed my foot on them. Fast forward 30 minutes later, and I’m thinking, “Why is my foot hurting so bad still? Geez!” So I look closer, and I see a thorn sticking out of it (Yes, I’m slow at recognizing my body’s signals about pain and such). I try to pull it out with my hand, and I realize it’s in deep. So I get out my tweezers and pull this beauty out.
My toe still hurts like the dickens. Argh. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I’m hoping it doesn’t get infected or anything, turn gangrenous, and fall off…I hear that your big toe is important for running.
Anyhow, my friends, happy running! I have my first real speed workout on the books today. Wish me luck!
Any suggestions for shoes based on my profile?
Or found a shoe fitting that you really like (the best, which is trial and error, tends to expensive, ha)?