Today I went to buy new running shoes at the urging of my trainer. She said the minor problems I was having when running would be eliminated with the proper shoes. Since I trust her advice, I decided I should invest in a pair of good running shoes that are properly fitted.
Getting running shoes that fit properly is a pretty easy process. You just have to visit a running store where sales people are properly trained to fit running shoes.
How to Find Running Shoes That Fit
My friends over at Fleet Feet are dedicated to helping people find the properly fitted shoe for their running. They’ve got a set process that helps sales staff connect people with the right shoes whether they are walkers, runners, or ultra-marathoners.
Here’s how their four step running shoe fitting process works:
First, We Listen
Tell us about yourself. Are you running currently? Walking? What are your goals, your struggles, your limitations? There’s no such thing as too much information here and the more we can discover, the better we can help!
Second, We Watch
We use 3D scanning technology as part of the fit id experience to take precise measurements of your feet. The state-of-the-art scanner captures 12 data points—like length, width and arch height—to give you personalized shoe and insole recommendations.
Outfitters then diagnose your stance, stride and step to fine-tune the solution. Once we assess the biomechanics of your foot, we’ll mine through our extensive product selection to come up with the best shoes and gear for you.
Third, We Act
Here’s where the rubber hits the road. Whether you try on two pairs of shoes or eight, we will work with you to find the right match. From getting them on to lacing them up the right way, we’ll be there through the whole process. We can also talk socks, insoles, gear or apparel—anything we think might benefit you.
Finally, We Plan
You’re geared up and ready to go. So what’s next? Time to look ahead. Training programs, tips, injury prevention and recovery—we want to discuss and plan with you because the end of the Outfitting Process is only the beginning of your journey.
My Experience With Shoe Fittings At A Running Store
I hopped on google to find stores geared toward runners in the Memphis area. There are several throughout Memphis but I decided on Fleet Feet Sports in East Memphis. I chose the store because I knew how to get to it and because they had a website. I adore any place with a website (and a blog too).
Their four step process for helping you find the proper running shoes sounded effective and as a newbie runner I wanted someone to help me find the right shoes.
On the drive to the store I almost talked myself out of going. I worried about what to say, whether or not they would laugh me out of the store, even whether my feet smelled. By the time I got there I had conquered most of the concerns and told myself since I drove there I should go in and see what happened.
After a few awkward seconds of standing around waiting for someone to notice me a sales guy approached me and asked what I was looking for.
I had no idea.
I told him I just started running and needed new shoes. He went through the process of measuring my feet and asking questions about my training.
I then tried on 5 different pairs of shoes and jogged down the sidewalk in front of the store in each one. The sales guy watched me run and told me which looked like it was giving me the correct support. He checked the fit on each shoe before and after I ran in them.
It was a little intimidating running in front of a “running specialist” but I am glad I did it because I ended up with the correct pair of shoes… something completely different from what I thought I needed.
My New Running Shoes
My last pair of running shoes was a size 8 women’s pair of new balance running shoes.
My new shoes: Size 7 Wide Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 13 Running Shoes. Does anyone notice a difference here?
Even though they are men’s running shoes, I still think they look pretty good:
Here’s what they look like in fancy advertising photos from the company:
Back to the original point… I was buying shoes two sizes too big for my feet to compensate for the extra width of my feet. Wrong, wrong, WRONG! Because I was just guessing about which shoes to buy for running I was causing problems and setting myself up for a possible injury.
It it important to get shoes that fit the width and length of your feet, because that will completely affect your running. The wrong size shoes were causing me a ton of problems when I was trying to run.
Without going to see a professional I never would have gotten the right shoes. I highly reccomend next time you need new shoes get the proper help. Someone trained to watch runners run will know exactly what kind of shoe will be right for you. It will save you from a ton of problems later on.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS Running Shoes
Since this original post I’ve since upgraded to wearing the right size in the women’s version of this shoe. It’s just as awesome with all the same features but lots of nicer colors!
If you’d like to read my updated review of these shoes, check out my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 Running Shoes review.
Running Shoes Buying Tips
I found my proper running shoes and have now been using the same brand and style for years. I’m forever thankful that I went to a running store and got properly fitted running shoes.
If you’re looking to get your feet fitted for running shoes, here’s how your running shoes should fit and a few tips to remember.
- Toe Wiggle Room – You should have about a thumb’s width of room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. This wiggle room is necessary! Buy big enough shoes and save yourself from the problems of tight fitting shoes like blisters and black toenails.
- Secure Hold -Your running shoes should have a secure, comfortable fit through the midfoot. Imagine a hand gently holding your foot in place.
- The Heel Deal – There should be little or no slipping at the heel. This can be very common with shoes that are not properly fitted.
- Don’t Buy For Looks – Fashion shouldn’t be your number one concern with running shoes. Shoes that look cool might not be the best fit for your foot. In my case fashion definitely wasn’t what got me the right shoe for my foot. Focus on feel and fit instead of how cool the shoes look.
- Shop At The Right Time – Your foot size changes throughout the day so the morning probably isn’t the best time to select a shoe if you will always be running after work. Your feet start swelling in the morning and continue until 4 pm so shopping for shoes in the afternoon or evening is your best bet.
- Don’t Assume You Know Your Size – You may wear an 8 in Nike but that doesn’t mean you need an 8 in New Balance or Brooks. Each brand has slightly different sizing and shapes so you should have your feet measured and fitted each time you buy a shoe or switch brands. Always try on your new shoes to make sure you have the right fit in that brand and style.
- Bring Your Socks – Always bring the socks you wear for running and any inserts you may need to wear. You’ll want to make sure you are fitted with the gear that you will be using each time you run.
- Ask for a deal – When you’re ready to pay at a store ask to see if they have any discounts. Many local running stores offer discounts for certain groups and local running clubs. If you’re a member or sign up then you could potentially save big on buying shoes.
- Remember Shoes Don’t Last -You’ll have to buy multiple pairs of shoes over the year if you are running regularly. Running shoes need to be replaced every 300 to 500 miles depending on wear patterns. Keep track of when you buy shoes and a training log so you know when they need to be replaced.