If you are out and about in Houston you are sure to see lots of people enjoying the outdoors in a variety of ways; walking or running in Memorial park, enjoying yoga in the park, or just playing with their children and pets. What could be missing that could aid in their enjoyment? A properly fitted athletic shoe!
Should I get professionally fitted?
Everyone’s gait and foot strike- how and where your foot hits the ground- is unique. This means each person’s athletic shoe should also be unique to you and the activities you enjoy. Runners will often experience arch pain, shin splints, or even back pain when in a shoe with the wrong fit and style. Talking to an expert will help you find the right shoe for you and your lifestyle. An expert will analyze your gait, and suggest coaching to help with form and gait.
I’m not sure what to expect.
An expert will start by analyzing your gait and foot strike. They will also ask about your fitness goals, your daily lifestyle, how you enjoy your current and previous shoes, injuries, and exercise history. After getting to know your foot style they will begin the process of observing & measuring your foot and trying on shoes.
If you have a history of plantar fasciitis or painful knees, shoes with specific cushioning or support may be recommend to aid healing and a more enjoyable workout. Expect the fitting process to take between 15-30-minutes including evaluation and trying on several different shoes.
I just got new shoes, now what?
Get out and about! Hit the gym or trail to break them in. As you are going through your usual routine take a moment to notice how your body feels. How is your knee and/or back pain? How do your ankles and shins feel? Take assessment of how your body is reacting to the support of your new shoes. It is very likely you will notice a change from the time you are fitted, but if you have injuries it may take a little while for your body to heal and adjust.
For the most part you can use your new shoes for a variety of sports and unless you get injured or begin training for a significantly different activity such as CrossFit or a marathon there is no need to get rechecked each time you buy new shoes. That said it is wise to get rechecked if recovering from injury or if you are not satisfied with the performance of the current gear being used.
If the latter is the case, don’t panic—many high-end athletic equipment stores offer generous return policies. Let us know how a professional fitting benefitted you!