Importance of Getting Proper Fit for Running Shoes

Until now, my husband has been one of those, whatever-the-store-has kind-of guys. “Eh, this feels okay,” he’d say to himself, slap it on the register counter, pay, and be on his merry way. Unfortunately, now he really needs to be measured and evaluated for a proper fit, or else. After having been measured for running shoes myself, seeing first hand the importance of being evaluated, I vowed to take him to be measured, too, at our local running store where I was fitted. I couldn’t let him continue to run in just anything anymore, especially with an injury like his.

You see, in the past year, my husband spent a lot of time wincing from foot pain. As active as he is being a soccer coach and airborne soldier, it appears all those years jumping out of (perfectly good) airplanes and running with the military has caused foot issues which now needed treatment and therapy. He was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, and given specially-made insoles for his combat boots and shoes. While these insoles have helped him, as well as the New Balance Truebalance Men’s shoe he wears everyday, he was still in need of good running shoes to properly protect him from further injuring himself.

Run Wild is a store about an hour away from where we live that evaluates your foot type and gets you into a set of running shoes based on your foot structure. The importance of having your foot structure evaluated is super-high, especially if you want to avoid being sidelined with injuries (or, in my husband’s case, more injuries). I am thrilled beyond belief with my running shoes I bought from there, and really wanted to get my husband into a pair he could say the same thing about. Not to mention, I wanted to be able to run with my husband without fear of him hobbling like an old fogey the next day.

Despite the horrible weather, we ventured to Alexandria to get him into a comfy, supportive pair. Once my husband was evaluated, the saleswoman picked out five pairs for him to try. He wavered back and forth on a couple, finally settling his comfort level on a pair of New Balance 870. (Side note: I captured his experience of being fitted, which shoes he liked, etc., however, I don’t think the woman thought too kindly of my photographing the store.)

New Balance Men's 870 Running Shoes

Why can’t you just choose any ol’ shoe off the shelf? Why do you need to be assessed? Have you ever heard of these before? Pronation, Supination, Overpronation, flat feet, high arches, etc. With all the variables and all the shoe choices out there to help, why would you want to spend money guessing on something that could potentially hurt you? Your feet are the first thing that hit the pavement when you run, don’t you want them protected? Consider these running shoes like a bike helmet for your feet – for protection. The right kind of protection can go a long way to the health of your legs, feet, hips and back.

My recommendations:

  1. Take your time in finding the perfect shoe. It might not happen at the first store you visit.
  2. Bring in the socks you plan to run in, and a pair of shoes you already run in or work out in. It helps them diagnose your foot type.
  3. Be prepared for some sticker shock. You might feel like fainting at some of the prices of shoes, but understand these brands make it their goal to make a high quality shoe to help thwart injury and provide comfort. With that kind-of higher quality comes a higher price. Your feet will thank you, I promise.

If you don’t have a local running store to turn to for a full, professional evaluation, you can at least diagnose your own arch-type by watching this video from Runner’s World on how to complete the wet test and what it means for your arch and proposed shoe type. Armed with this knowledge, you can take this to any sports store to ask for help. It is preferred to visit a store where a runner actually works in the shoe department, one who is knowledgeable about shoes and the sport and can help by asking the right questions. Try calling ahead to find out, if you can. If no one knowledgeable is available, print and follow these wonderful tips from Runners World to at least get you started on the right track.

Knowledge is power, friends. If you’re going to run, I want you to do it safely, and the right way. Okay? And if you need help, let me know, I’ll see what I can do for you!

Collective Bias sponsored our trip to purchase running shoes, but our shoe choice, experiences, and opinions are very much my own, as always.
Note: New Balance sent us the True Balance shoes to try. While this isn’t a review for these shoes, since these shoes were mentioned before the review was written, I felt I needed to mention it.

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