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.
This video helps the shoe fitter assess what's happening with the arches in your feet and also understand your running or walking form.
Next, based on all the information collected, you'll get a few recommendations of what shoes would work best for you. The fitting process doesn't generally cost extra and will take about 30 minutes from the time you begin to the time to pick out your shoes.
How long will the shoe last?
The average well-made shoe can last between six months to a year. Some experts estimate shoes can last from 300 miles to 500 miles, but sometimes a shoe can last even 1,000 miles. For example, if you're using a supportive insole, you might get more miles out of it. Also, if you're running on the treadmill or grass, your shoe will likely last longer than if you were running on concrete or asphalt.
How much do running shoes cost?
Running shoes can cost anywhere from $40 to $150.
Not all shoes are created equally. You can do your own research and read reviews, but it is generally recommended that a one-on-one consultation is the best way to know which shoes work best for you.
Source: Burke Beck, co-owner of Red Coyote; The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine; the American Podiatric Medical Association.