In order to fit shoes with the appropriate amount of support to your feet all the staff are trained to assess your gait. We don't use video analysis of you running on a treadmill to accomplish this. Although this looks very good when you are running on a moving belt your feet don't do the same thing as they do when you run on a hard surface. So, when we opened up in 1998, with the help of Alison Meldrum a State Registered Podiatrist and using the knowledge gained from my Sports Science degree we developed a way of analysing gait that we felt was more accurate. It does mean that we have to carefully train all our staff to understand basic Biomechanics as well as what each shoe does for the runner and how it does it.
After 15 years of trading we still feel that analysing gait in this manner is the most accurate way of fitting shoes for running.
We will need to see your feet as nature intended and from seeing the shape, lumps and bumps and how they change when you do a few simple movements we can see how you will move when you run.
Although this is in effect the gait analysis bit over with this isn't the end of shoe fitting - We will ask you a few questions about recurring niggles and aches. Have a look at the wear pattern of your current running shoes if you have brought them with you. Then from the shape of your feet we will pull you out a selection of shoes for you to try.
It's worth mentioning socks at this stage. The fit and thickness of sock you prefer to use will affect the fit of your shoe. We recommend using a breathable (non cotton) sock. How thick or thin it is, is a personal preference. We can provide try on socks or if you always run in a particular brands then please bring these with you.
Once you have the shoe on your feet with your chosen sock then we will check to make sure you have enough room for your feet to expand on a hot day and it's over to you. Only you can decide how comfortable the shoe feels and whether you like the feel of the cushioning or not. To help with this we have 30 yards of concrete corridor at the rear of the shop that you can use to test drive the shoes. From this you can make your selection. There is no need to book for this service.
Please note we charge £20 for gait analysis. This is refundable against a pair of shoes within 28 days or free when you purchase a pair of shoes.
So, you pay no more for the shoes than the prices shown in the shop. Should you decide not to purchase then you will be charged £20 if a gait analysis was performed. This £20 will act as a voucher against footwear for 28 days from the day of issue. The reason we have had to do this is because we have had an increasing number of people using our services and then purchasing elsewhere.
The reason we can't sell our product in store as cheap as we do online is because we spend time and use our knowledge to help you select the best pair of shoes for your running gait and foot shape. Including the chance to give each pair of potential shoes a test run on our concrete corridor.
Barefoot/Minimalist/Forefoot Running Shoes
If you want to learn to run more mid foot and buy low heeled shoes that will make it easier to do this then please be careful. It is best to have these types of shoes as additional shoes to start with and to use them sparingly. Depending on how minimalist you have chosen to go will depend on whether you start with running 100 yards at a time or a mile or so. But, we recommend reverting back to more traditional shoes in between (or cycling or swimming if you prefer) and gradually building up the number of miles done in these shoes. This will prevent stiffness in calf’s and Achilles. You may need to seek specialist coaching to get a good posture sorted. In effect working on your running style should become as much of a training consideration as your long run, hill reps or intervals. Nick Constantine from Soul in Motion who is a Chi Running coach does come in and do taster sessions from time to time. For more information on dates and to book in see our blog, facebook or give us a call (0191 2614322)
C. Stead BSC (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science