By Kristin Boza
Getting fitted for the right workout shoe is essential for every athlete at every workout level. Whether you’re competing in a Cross Fit competition, running a marathon, or simply taking a power walk through the neighborhood, you’ll need to ensure that your shoes support your body to prevent injuries. Running Excels, 10328 S. Western Ave., offers a free, customized shoe fitting and gait analysis for every customer.
“The first step is to look at your foot structure; we’ll have you remove your shoes and socks and walk across the floor,” Bev Lynch, Running Excels owner said. “Then, we’ll have you walk on the treadmill, or if you’re a runner, you’ll walk and run on the treadmill.”
At this point, Lynch and her staff will also film your feet from behind for 30 seconds. “This way, we can show you what we’re seeing,” she said. “While we’re filming, we’re evaluating how your foot is striking, whether you are pronating in, if your arches are collapsing, or if your foot is neutral.” Lynch also looks at the customer’s knees and the height of their arch.
Next, Lynch asks what the customer does for exercise and if they’ve had any previous injuries. “We also look at your old shoes to see how they’re wearing on the bottom,” she said. “We’ll measure your feet and typically go up a half size so your toes aren’t hitting the shoe.”
All of these evaluations will determine what type of shoe the customer should try on. Lynch aims to bring out three choices and stresses that the choice should be made on fit, not color. She encourages her customers to take the shoes for a run outside or on the treadmill, to test them out before making a final decision. All in all, the whole process only takes about 15 minutes.
“Everyone is welcome to get fitted and analyzed,” Lynch said. “We get a lot of walkers in the store and the first thing they say is ‘I’m not a runner!’ But we service clients who run, walk and cross-train, so we carry every type of shoe for their needs.”
Lynch also sees customers looking for a pair of shoes to kick around in. Since people tend to wear gym shoes for activities other than working out, Lynch recommends getting two pairs: one for everyday use and one exclusively for working out. “Otherwise, your shoes will wear out faster if you wear them for every activity,” she said.
For more information on gait analysis or any of the events Running Excels sponsors, visit RunningExcels.com.