Last week I went to Fleet Feet in Altamonte Springs to pick out a new pair of running shoes. In the past I’ve always gone with shoes that felt good, but I’d never been fitted for running shoes. I decided to go through the whole fitting process for this pair. It took around 45 minutes and I think it was well worth it.
The first thing they do is measure your feet. Before running I always wore an 8 or 8.5. After about a year of running I started buying my running shoes in a size 9. My last pair were actually a size 9.5. After some measuring, while seated and standing, it was determined that I actually needed a size 10. Holy cow!
After getting me in a size 10 pair of shoes we headed outside. With the help of their handy dandy iPad they had me run down the sidewalk and back and took video of me running. Let me tell you, watching yourself run in slow-mo is NOT fun. Helpful, but not fun. With the video they were able to see more of how I ran and how my feet hit the ground. I kept my ankles straight while running but when my heel would hit the ground it would hit towards the outside. Does this make a difference? Apparently so.
Once we were back inside we started out with three pairs of shoes – Asics (something similar to the Gel Noosa’s I currently own, Nike (can’t remember which pair), and Brooks Transcend. We tried the Brooks first and I loved them! They had a good amount of cushion and were nice and roomie. I felt like I was sliding around a bit in the heel so the sales girl showed me a special way to tie my shoes to help with that. It made all the difference.
I really didn’t like either of the next two pairs. The Asics were very similar to what I had, but the Brooks still felt better. I didn’t like the Nike’s at all. They felt to tight around the back part of my heel and they just weren’t comfortable. Since I really only like 1 of the 3 pairs I tried, she brought out a 4th pair by Saucony. I hadn’t ever even tried on their shoes before so I was excited.
I liked the shoes a lot, but still was drawn to the Brooks. I actually ended up putting on one of each pair and taking them for a spin. It made me feel like someone in a movie that runs out of the house in a hurry with mismatched shoes. After my run I still felt the best in the Brooks. Hooray!
Once we were back inside we moved on to inserts. Normally I wouldn’t have even considered inserts since running shoes are expensive enough on their own. But since I wasn’t having to pay for my shoes (I’ll explain that later) I decided to hear her out. The inserts made such a difference! They made my feet feel more stable and like the shoes were made for me. I was still a little shocked by the price but decided that since I went through everything to get properly fitted that I would go ahead and get them.
I was very happy with my experience at Fleet Feet and the whole “fitting” process. The staff was friend and knowledgeable, they have a great selection, and they are VERY close to home. They also offer a free Yoga for Runners class once a week that I absolutely love. I’ll definitely be back when I need more running gear. I even took my new shoes out for a spin around the neighborhood once I got home. I’m really excited about training in them this summer/fall.
*Disclaimer: My shoes were paid for as part of the Best Damn Race ambassador program. I paid for the inserts on my own. All thoughts and opinions are my own.