No matter what your passion, it’s amazing how important it is to have the right shoe. I mean come on: you wouldn’t lace up a nice pair of oxfords to play a game of basketball … or, at least, I’d hope not. No, you’d put some thought into what type of shoe was needed for the activity. By being aware of this very simple (yet often overlooked) fact, you can improve performance, minimize injury, and enjoy your activity so much more.
This was a huge learning curve for us. Over the years, we’ve both been in and out of so many different types of running shoes I’m ashamed to count. Fallen victim to creative marketing gimmicks? Check. Bought the latest pair because they’re utilizing some new proprietary, space-age memory foam-based technology? Done. Busted out the Visa for some new, wacky fluorescent color? Absolutely. We’ve bought running shoes based on every reason under the sun. Who hasn’t? It wasn’t until recently that we changed our approach.
Prior to running the Chicago Marathon last year, we were both content with getting a pair of shoes that either came “highly recommended,” were highly rated online or just plain looked cool. But in deciding to run Chicago (and subconsciously making the commitment to becoming life-long runners), we decided to take a step back and really evaluate what type of shoe we would be getting ourselves into.
Enter the local independent running store. They provided free gait analysis – educating us on the importance of understanding your stride. Man, I’ll never forget running in a pair of shoes that truly complemented my running style. Talk. About. Perfect. So perfect, that I ran in that specific brand/model for well over a year (several different pairs – same brand).
That experience started a whole new obsession. The obsession of finding shoes – regardless of brand, color, space-age proprietary material, or anything else – that truly complemented our style of running. We found our most current pairs from a running store up in Encinitas called Movin’ Shoes (additional locations in La Mesa and Pacific Beach).
With a friendly, knowledgeable staff, the option to lace-up and run and a plentiful selection, Movin’ Shoes can get you fit for whatever style you prefer.
After trying several pairs – we both found ourselves in Altra Torin’s (available in both men’s and women’s) and couldn’t be happier. The support, versatility, room (especially in the toe box) and Zerodrop™ heel REALLY complement our running style.
While Altra’s may not be for everyone, they are – at least for now – definitely for us. I encourage you to take the time to go into your local running store, sit and TALK with their knowledgeable staff about how YOU run. If they offer gait analysis – GREAT! If not, no worries. Go ahead and lace-up as many pairs as it takes until you find what works for YOU.
We’re only one week into training with the Altra Torin’s and we can’t wait to see how we’ll perform in October at Long Beach.
I suppose there really is something to be said for that old saying “if the shoe fits …”