I am your typical over-researcher; when I dive into something, I do it with all my heart and spend hours on the web or with my nose in a book, learning more about the subject. Running has been no different—I’ve read several books, spent a ton of time on the Runner’s World website and time after time, I saw the advice for new runners: talk to a pro, and get some decent running shoes. And after a false start, due to shin splints from running in my crappy everyday sneakers, I decided it was time to head to my nearest Fleet Feet to get some real running shoes.
My First Fleet Feet Experience
I was mostly excited about going to the running store, but also a little nervous, because I was (and am) pretty clueless about running in general, and running shoes specifically.
Turns out? I had nothing to be worried about! I went in, said “help, I don’t know what I’m doing!” to the first employee I saw, and she was ready to assist! The person I worked with was also named Kate, so we bonded pretty quickly over that, and her upbeat personality made me excited for the process of finding the right pair of shoes for me.
Fleet Feet FitID
The first step was getting a foot scan with their FitID foot scanner. It was really neat! You stood on this mat that looked like a bathroom scale, and it did its magic and got all my foot measurements. The results of this scan were chock full of surprises for me—including the fact was that my feet are a whole size smaller than I thought! There were lots of other insights the scan was able to provide, such as my arch height and an accurate foot width measurement.
The FitID was pretty cool, and they even automatically emailed me the results so I could refer back to them anytime.
A Treadmill Run
Next, (the other) Kate grabbed me a pair of New Balance sneakers she thought might be a good fit and had me run on the treadmill for a few minutes, while she watched a TV that highlighted my legs & feet. She asked how the shoes felt, and I said “okay I guess?” and she said, “well, they are completely wrong for you!” She played back the video of me running and explained some of the mechanics of my body as it ran.
Trying Them On
With the foot scan & the treadmill run, Kate had all she needed to get me started. She brought out three pairs of sneakers and sent me for a short run outside in each of them. The first felt pretty good and looked super pretty (I cared more about the former, but the later doesn’t hurt!). With the second pair, the right felt AWESOME, but the left rubbed weirdly- so those were out. The third pair also felt good; I thought maybe a little better than the first pair, although they weren’t as pretty.
Kate then let me try both these pairs again, this time with Superfeet Pink inserts in the sole. On the second try, the third pair weren’t quite as comfortable anymore—the top of the shoe now hit a little lower on my ankle (because the insert added just a tiny bit of height). The 1st pair still felt pretty good, so I decided they were the pair for me!!
Meet My New Shoes
Video shared with permission by Brooks Running
I ended up with Brooks Adrenaline—and so far? Love them already!! I haven’t had any shin pain since switching to these shoes! My legs (especially my knees!) occasionally hurt, but that all seems within the normal range of someone new to running.
I am looking forward to all the miles these shoes & I will share; if all goes well, they should be with me for my first half marathon in April!
NEXT BIG RACE New Haven Road Race
Most Recent Run:
This was my first official half marathon: The Flower City Challenge-- I also PR'd my 5K time!