Who needs any excuse to shop for shoes? Here is your hall pass!
Let me start by saying I apologize for the rant you are about to get on the importance of proper footwear. Know that I do it out of LOVE! Shoes are an element of fitness that I have found is literally the base of all our goals. And we all know what Meghan Trainor says, it’s all about the base!
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Have you ever had sore feet (ankles, knees, hips, lower back…insert body part here)?
So sore maybe you couldn’t exercise that day.
Maybe, the problem lasted so long you gave up running (insert other mode of exercise) for good.
Told you, it’s all about the FEET!
As an exercise scientist, the first advice I give a client coming in exasperated with this cycle of pain and inactivity is to get fitted for shoes.
"I have worn them since (insert decade ago event).”
“But, I just got these at (insert retail store name that sells athletic shoes but does NOT do fittings: Khols, Footlocker, Macy’s etc)."
Saying it out loud usually does the trick as they look down at their fancy or completely “worn in/out” footwear. I empathize telling them,
"All brands make different models and it is the model (Not the brand) that is made to their specifications."
I lighten the blow of decades of bad base choices by sharing my personal story:
As you have heard before in my blog I was an athlete from birth, playing every sport I could. As a middle child hand-me-down footwear was common but by 5th grade my shoe size surpassed all my sisters. Finding NEW shoes was even further complicated by the fact that the nearest shopping mall was about 2 hours away and the sporting goods store in our rural town was still under the impression “Women did not sport” having about 2 models in my size at any one time.
In 9th grade I started my first official year of high school track and after our once a year school clothes shopping trip to the mall I had the lightest pair of Nike’s in the land!
I LOVED these shoes!
I was FAST in these shoes!!!
And after 2 weeks of practice I had shin splints so bad I couldn’t walk due to these shoes.
My coach gave me a Road Runner Sports magazine to order new shoes and it changed my running world!
When I called to order shoes the rep walked me through everything (maybe because I was a 14 year old using my Dad’s credit card clueless to the array of colors and brands now available to me!). She asked me:
“What is weight…height….Sport?”
-A hundred pounds soaking wet, growing by the day and at the time TRACK!
“What surface do you primarily run on? How many miles per week?”
-All surfaces; track, Main Street Cheboygan, and the back roads of Riggsville (Now, she knew I was a hick). By mid-season as a Miler, 2 Miler, and 2 Mile Relay Runner I would be over 30 miles/ week.
“Have you had any issues or injuries that cause pain when you run? Blisters? Knee pain? Lower back?
-No? Im a kid, nothing ever hurts…well besides the shin splints that had now grounded me for a week.
“What type of arch do you have?”
-After wetting my foot and stepping on a white piece of paper we could classify me as a high arch, making the right choice in shoes LIFE CHANGING!
She told me I was “Neutral” and asked me to flip to that section to look at my options…OPTIONS! I can honestly say, running has never been the same.
So in short, if you made it this far, you hear me. You know that the wear and tear we put on ourselves really does make a mental, and physical difference in our health so why not help our bodies out and look fly while we do it!
Visit their Shoe Fit Guide and complete the survey HONESTLY.-Even if “Run” is not in your vocabulary, walking, cross training all of it needs proper equipment!
See what category you fall in and find a pair that fits in YOUR price range. Expect to spend $75-$95 because you and your health are worth it. If you are specialty training for a marathon or tri you may want to bump up all the way to the $120 range.
-Their VIP benefit is totally worth it. 90 days to test out the shoes with no questions ask if returned.
-Don’t go by looks, go by feel!
-This investment will last you about 300-450 miles! At 20 miles/ week that is 3.5-6 months!
I wrote this entry because this is so common I end up talking to a client about it daily! I urge you to know you are worth it and take the time to listen to your body. You do NOT have to deal with pain from exercise. If there is any way I can help make your movement more sustainable please reach out, I’d love to chat!