If you clicked on this article, you are probably expecting to find the miracle shoe of your dreams. The shoe that magically cures you of your current aches and pains and prevents future injuries. The shoe that makes you feel lighter on your feet, propels you swiftly up the treacherous hills in your neighborhood and motivates you to get out the door and run every day. Well I have some breaking news for you: while all of these can be benefits of a fresh pair of running shoes, there is no single miracle shoe that will works for every runner.
Don't lose heart! The best running shoe of the year is the one you have been fit for. The shoe model your best friend swears got her through her last marathon training cycle may not be the right kind of shoe for you. The brand you seen your neighbor walk in every day may not fit the shape of your foot the same way. Not sure how this whole shoe fitting process works? Read on for the full scoop.
What to Expect When You’re Fit For Shoes
1. Gait Analysis
We will start by watching you walk and/or run barefoot or in socks. This allows us to determine if you pronate, supinate or have a neutral gait. In more basic terms, we evaluate how much your feet naturally rotate when you walk or run. This is the most important part of the fit process as it helps us narrow down the right kind of shoe for you from the many options on the shoe wall.
2. Proper Sizing
It is incredibly important to size up in your running shoes! We will fit you in a pair that is longer than your foot measures. Again, sizing is another element that is very personalized to you. The person standing next to you on the starting line for your next 5K may size up 2 sizes from what he measures, while you may only need to size up half a size.
3. Personalized Recommendations
Your running or walking journey is a story we want to hear! Tell us about your specific goals, past injuries and current exercise habits. This helps us know what shoes will best meet your needs.
4. Brand Options
It’s important to try a couple different brands to see what models fit your foot best. I know this message is starting to sound like a broken record but there is no “best brand.” Be open to trying a variety to help narrow it down to your favorite pairs.
5. Shoe Testing
Once your shoes are on, walk around in them, hop on the treadmill, do lunges around the store; whatever you need to do to get a feel for the shoes is OK with us! Make sure you can imagine yourself running or walking comfortably in the shoes.
The best running shoe of 2016 (and any year) is going to be the one that combines all of these elements of the fit process and allows you to find the shoe that provides you with the stability, comfort and fit to match your individual needs. The best shoe for you may even change over time and there may be multiple pairs that are great picks for you. Bottom line: your best shoe is as unique as you are! Embrace it and happy running!
About The Author: Lizzy Peper
Lizzy is the Marketing Coordinator for Charm City Run. Previously she worked as a part time Sales Associate for two years in the Timonium store. Lizzy ran competitively as a member of the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Towson High School and Marist College. She co-captained the Division I Marist women's cross country team in 2015 and graduated in 2016 with a degree in Communication and a concentration in Public Relations. Read her personal blog here: pepinurstep.com.