Motion Control, Maximalist, Carbon Fibre, React X, Dual Density, Decoupling. Help! I just want to know what runners I should be wearing? What are the best running shoes for me?!
Since when did finding the best running shoes for your feet become like reading the roll call at a silicon valley primary school? What do these terms even mean?
Well, with years in the shoe game as both a podiatrist, technical rep, running coach and amateur athlete, Pride’s own Ben Westaway has developed your Perfect Fit! Running shoe fitting with our podiatrist. During your Perfect Fit consultation we take out all the hyperbole, add in all of your biomechanical data, combine your preferences relating to fit and feel, and we come up with your Perfect Fit.
Let’s talk to Ben Westaway about how Perfect Fit was developed
Ben: From my experience as a podiatrist one of the biggest challenges that injured runners, walkers and athletes face is how to choose running shoes that are the best running shoe for them. As a shoe lover, run coach, podiatrist and admirer of many athletic shoes I get an insight into this every day! Why not get all the shoes?
Then, I took a step back, and thought of it from the perspective of a non-shoe geek such as myself.
There are an abundance of shoe brands out there, with each company spending millions of dollars working to come up with the latest technological advances in foams, uppers and midsoles. They then pair this with multi million dollar marketing departments whose aim is to sell you their product. Their product which will claim to be the “best running shoe” available. No wonder It’s a challenge to pick your ideal shoe when everyone is telling you there shoe is best!
I thought there has to be an easier way.
Shouldn’t finding the best running shoes for you be a fun, rewarding and enjoyable experience? And that’s how Perfect Fit was born.
Firstly our podiatrists take a detailed history about you. This involves discussing the highs and lows of your running career. We need to know about your injuries, your goals achieved and the most important ones, your goals for the future. We also focus on your current footwear and orthotics, their current role, success or short comings.
We then analyse your biomechanical profile. This is where the in depth knowledge of lower limb function takes hold, assessing the movement of the joints in your feet and examining how your legs and body move during a detailed gait analysis.
Next comes the fun part. Shoes. Luckily we are located in one of Melbourne’s premier shoe stores, Sole Motive, so we have access to a specifically hand-picked, analysed and updated range of running tech.
The science of running shoe selection is complex and individual. The mechanical design of the shoe is an important factor in the battle to overcome a running injury.
Based on our assessments, we will select specific pairs to fit and trial. Here your job is to find the most comfortable and enjoyable pair while we are busy making sure everything is looking right from our end from a biomechanical standpoint. Then, we marry the two together and find the best running shoe for you. Your Perfect Fit.
When you finish, you leave with the education on how to wear-in your new shoes, and understanding of why they are the best running shoes for you and how best to train with them to help improve your overall enjoyment in this wonderful world of running.
Let’s draw back the curtains and take you through the Perfect Fit experience with Clare*
*Clare’s name changed for the purpose of this example
Clare booked in to get her Perfect Fit with Ben as she was beginning to build up her training towards the Melbourne Half marathon and was finding her current runners causing big toe joint soreness after about 5kms of running.
She wasn’t really sure on how to choose the best running shoes for her and a friend from the running club had recommended this new process to have her feet and running gait assessed.
When Clare sat down with Ben in clinic at Sole Motive in Queen Street, her Perfect Fit started with Ben conducting an assessment on her feet and running gait. From this it became apparent that her problematic big to joint had significantly less range of movement. This in combination with Clare’s current shoe of choice, a flexible Nike Pegasus Turbos* had lead to a grumpy and sore big toe.
*Nike Pegasus Turbo’s are a great shoe, just not Clare’s Perfect Fit*
Following the assessment, Ben recommended some specific footwear from the Sole Motive range, aiming for options which are more cushioned and less flexible in the front of the shoe. After comparing between the selections and post running trials, a clear winner was found. Immediately comfortable and offloading for her toe.