What's It Like: To be fitted for a running shoe

Instead of making a decision after going online and reading a few reviews, you'll have a pair of shoes that was made for someone with your gait, arch height and your level of pronation.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: November 25, 2012

Why get fitted for a running shoe?

It can be intimidating to go into a fitness store and get fitted for running shoes, in part because there are so many different types of shoes. Having someone assess which shoes would work best for you has a few benefits.

For one, it better ensures that you will pick out the shoe that will be most comfortable. Instead of making a decision after going online and reading a few reviews, you'll have a pair of shoes that was made for someone with your gait, arch height and your level of pronation.

Pronation is the normal flexible motion and flattening of the arch of the foot that allows the foot to adapt to ground surfaces and absorb shock in the normal walking pattern. Excessive pronation, excessive inward motion, can create an abnormal amount of stretching and pulling on some of your ligaments and tendons and also can contribute to hip, knee and lower back injuries.

If your job requires you to be on your feet all day, you could also benefit from a shoe analysis. If you have a poorly made or old pair of shoes, you might not have the support you need. This could cause your knees, hips or lower back to hurt.

What happens when you're fitted for a running shoe?

To start the process, you'll be asked what you're going to use your shoes for. Are you going to start walking more to exercise? Are you training for a half marathon? Are you going to use your shoes for multiple purposes? Are you exercising outside or inside? You'll also be asked about injuries, such as arch pain or blisters or maybe any knee, lower back or hip problems you're experiencing.

Next, you'll get on a treadmill barefoot, and you'll be recorded running or walking for about 10 seconds. The shoe fitter, sometimes a specialist in sports medicine, will watch the video with you in slow motion and explain what he or she sees.


by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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