The Most Important Tool
I will openly admit it; I have an unrequited shoe crush. Tiffany Blue Nike Running shoes complete with a swarovski crystal “swoosh”, is the object of my affection. Cute right? But oh so wrong for my feet, which supinate and feature a high arch; meaning I require a shoe with stability and flexibility- and they don’t come bedazzled. Your running shoes are one of the most important tools in your bag, besides proper hydration. Ready to give up on running because your ankles, toes, or feet hurt? Proper fit and shoe can help defend against injury, and assist you in running with the correct gait.
While spending your day at Sports Authority trying on countless pairs of shoes, running around in circles, and generally harassing the staff is one option; San Luis Obispo provides 2 options that are way more efficient. GH Sports is one of the leading suppliers of performance wear for Athletes of all abilities. Their showroom on the south side of SLO features high tech clothing, shoes, Gu (tastier than it looks), and Garrett- the friendly Gait Analyzer who is an avid runner himself. The test itself is quick, and pretty painless. My time with Garrett took about 20 minutes; we discussed my running history, past injuries, and training plan. My foot and arch were then analyzed by stepping on a wet piece of paper. Weird? Yes. Telling? Absolutely! Garrett was able to determine my pressure points, and foot shape. Finally, I hopped onto the treadmill for a quick 2 minute run to determine my gait and point of contact. At the end of the session, I had in hand a list of shoes perfect for my feet and my specific needs. The entire analysis was free, whether I purchased my shoes at GH Sports, or went elsewhere. However SLOcals, please shop local, it’s a good thing. Super busy and don’t have time to spare in person? Grab a friend and a treadmill, and capture your own gait on film for locally owned Running Warehouse. It’s easy to upload your video to their site, for a quick analysis by their in-house Pros. The analysis is not as in-depth as the analysis from GH Sports, but an excellent option for those on the go.
Finally; just as our body structure changes with weight loss or gain, and injury our body mechanics change as well. There is no harm in having your gait checked any time you purchase a new set of shoes, especially if you notice any changes in your level of comfort. Your feet may never change enough to fit perfectly in the Tiffany blue Nike shoes, but your feet will love you at the end of a long run in the stable, and flexible shoe.
My perfect shoe? The Asics GT-2000 Running Shoe, with Tiffany blue laces. See you on the road!