Friday, February 8, 2013

On getting fitted for running shoes...

BIG HUGE DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an expert!! This is my experience.

First, here are my personal rules for getting fitted.
  1. The biggest thing that I can tell you up front about getting fitted for shoes is, be honest with yourself about the way the shoes make you feel. 
  2. Go to a running store. The people that work there are (usually) experienced runners. And runners are kinda like skiers in that we love to talk about running with each other. However, we're not as spacy as hard core skiers. 
  3. Listen to their recommendations. 
  4. Try out the shoes for a bit. If you don't like it, don't be afraid to take them back.
That being said, here's my experience.

I love running. Really I do. So when I get around anything to do with running, I lose my mind. Brandon was seriously embarrassed on Saturday because I was basically the little kid in the store that wanted to touch and try out everything.

For real, we walked in the store, I told them Brandon had been fitted around Christmas time. However, I wanted to confirm what the store had told us was correct. I liked my experience at my store ten times better and so I wanted to make sure Brandon had the same experience.

And then I was like a bee buzzing around the store in excitement. I found some gloves on sale, because Hello! It's freezing cold here in Michigan and winter won't be over until April.

They had phone covers that said "13.1," "Run," and "Runner Girl."

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd they had a 13.1 sticker that was in tie-dye!!

Thankfully, I resisted. How? I don't know.

Oh wait, yes I do know. Brandon had shoe options and he wanted me to help him "ask the right questions."

So Brandon is testing out shoes and I'm sitting on my hands trying not to get up to look at shoes. I could see a brand new pair of my shoes and I was trying really hard not to do anything about it. I told our sales rep, I'm about 50 miles away from needing new shoes. (And I am!) The other guys there were like let's look at your shoe so you don't have to get the same color. I look at the color options and silently talk myself out of getting fitted.

We get to talking about the upcoming race season. I am still trying to talk myself out of getting fitted. Then they ask what races I've done and I mention I've lost weight running.

Meanwhile, Brandon is getting close to figuring out his shoes and suddenly the levy broke.

I couldn't help myself anymore.

I said, "Since I've lost weight, I kinda am curious if the recommendation would be different."

The sales guy said, "Well let's check things out. It is a definite possibility."

At my store, the first thing you do is walk in front of the sale rep. They're watching to see what your feet do when you walk. After that, this store has a machine that you stand on to see where you put the majority of your weight while you stand. It confirms your pronation or lack thereof in some cases.

Then they measure the size of your feet old school. They not only check the length, but the width of your feet.

This part is important. Last fall I found out that I've been in a size 8 all my life when I should have been wearing a size 9. The sales rep told me that some people get offended when they go up a size, but that with running it's important to give your feet room to move around.

Then based on your walking test, the fancy schmancy machine and your shoe size, they bring you options.

This is where it gets fun and interesting. This is also where you're supposed to speak your mind.

I love running a lot. I want to be the best runner possible. For me, that includes my shoes being bright, happy, and pretty.

So when a sale rep hands me a shoe that is colorless, I have no problem saying I don't like them for that very reason.

But back to the process.

So they tell you why you've been brought the options they did. I fall into the stabilizer category because my feet tend to roll a bit when I walk.

They have you try on two different shoes at the same time to see which one you prefer over the other.  It could be a possibility that you don't like both. But it's kinda like at the eye doctor when they ask if the first option is better or if you can see better with number two.

The first shoe I tried on was a cool mint green color, but the cushion on the heel was bulky. I don't like bulky. I have enough weight to tote around when I run, I don't need extra shoe to worry about too.

The second shoe I tried on was less chunky, but white. I mean it was pretty much white with a few orange and pink stripes here and there. I don't wash my shoes until after I'm done with the mileage. It's a thing. But more importantly, I felt like my feet moved around too easily. Remember when I talked about having your width measured? I'm a B, a very skinny B. So when I try on a shoe, I want it to fit like a glove. I don't want to have to tie my shoes tight either to get the shoe to fit either.

The next shoe I switched out for was a really common and popular shoe, but I didn't love it. 

I then figured out the tongue on the all white shoe was hung up and re-tied the shoes. It was much better but I still hated the fact that it was all white. The only other option they had were a black and white pair.

While I was waiting for more options, I noticed that there happened to be a pair of Mizunos in the section he was pulling from and it was also VERY pretty. Not exactly neon, but the colors were still very bright. There was pink on them and I had a gut feeling about them.

I asked the guy if they had my size and also if they were for sure a shoe that would work for me. I didn't want him to tell me yes just because I liked the color. He said they did. He checked and they had my size!

And they were comfortable. Felt like I was walking on a cloud. And sooooooooo pretty!

I'm falling in love with them all over again now as I talk about them. The guy then had me put on the same shoes on both feet to see if it wasn't a fluke.

In my mind I could picture the clouds parting and the sun shining blissfully and it was a nice 72 degrees.

In other words, Mizuno Inspire 9s were my shoe!

I kept walking around the store and Brandon was like, "Will you change out of those shoes so I can buy them already?"



If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Also, this post is part of my new pal Laura's Fitness Friday.

Happy Friday!


The Macons said...

God I neeeeeed your motivation! Pretty shoes!

Gina said...

I walked into the running shoe store convinced I was going to buy Mizunos and I ended up with my Brooks. I do love them, though!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I ran with the same worn out pair of shoes for over 2 years. No wonder my knees were hurting all the time. My podunk town doesn't have a running store but I'm DYING to actually get fitted for real. I just bought shoes and I'm still not sure I love them. Bummer.

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