Having the right running shoe, when you are embarking on this new active lifestyle, is important and is something that we at Intersport Elverys, Athletics Ireland and Irish Runner get asked regularly, which is understandable as this process can be quite overwhelming. There are so many brands, technologies and pricing options to choose from when looking to buy a pair of running shoes. Our goal every time a customer comes in store enquiring about footwear is to simply break it down for them from a running expert’s perspective.
Running shoes are the most important tool you will have so it is important to find the right ones. Running shoes are designed to help your foot strike the ground properly, reducing the amount of shock that travels up your leg. Basically, every customer that comes in store looking for information on running footwear, our team guarantees them a footwear service promise that can be broken down into three steps.
Step 1: Getting to know you as a runner
First, it’s important to know what level of a runner you are and the experiences you have had with running. We’ll find this out by asking you questions like;
- What distance are you running?
- What is your running goal? (10km, marathon, get fitter, run faster, etc.)
- Do you suffer from any chronic injuries?
- What surface are you running on – road, treadmill, trail?
- Do you wear orthotics/ insoles?
- What type of shoe do you currently wear, what have they worn in the past?
Step 2: Assess your foot type
We will assess your foot type using the Footbalance podoscope and with your permission examine your foot and carry out a gait analysis. What do these processes involve you might ask?
Footbalance: Essentially, is a 100 per cent customised insole that we specially mould to your feet, it’s 100 per cent unique to you. It adjusts your alignment from your feet up through your entire body improving full-body movement whether you are walking to work or doing your long run on Sunday
Gait analysis: This is, in short, a method used to assess the way in which you run or walk to determine if you have any biomechanical or structural abnormalities in our lower limbs and feet. The Gait cycle describes how humans move. So, by performing a gait analysis we can understand a customer’s gait cycle and recommend the correct footwear and accompanying products for their running style. Once we get your permission to carry out the above analysis, we will mould Footbalance 100 per cent custom insoles for the customers and while they are cooling, we will carry out the gait analysis.Step 3: Recommend the best pair for you
Based on your results from the Gait analysis our team will determine what kind of pronation you have, whether it is a neutral pronation, supination (under pronation) or over pronation. So just what do terms like pronation and supination mean and what do they say about your feet?
Pronation: When your foot strikes the ground, it rolls inwards to absorb the shock. People who roll inward too much or not enough can experience running injuries due to less effective shock absorption.
Overpronation: Generally present with low or flat arches involves excessive inward rolling of the foot and ankle after landing.
Neutral pronation: Normal arches, neutral alignment. The foot experiences a normal amount of pronation on impact. The foot lands on the outside of the heel and then rolls inwards (pronates) to absorb shock and support body weight.
Supination: (underpronation) occurs due to the bones in the medial arch of the foot being too high. This means they become packed together and rigid, so they are not able to allow normal pronation to happen.
If the customer has neutral pronation or supination (under pronation) we would recommend neutral running shoes eg. Asics Cumulus or Brooks Revel. Neutral pronators can wear a wide variety of shoes; a supinator needs a shoe with a lot of cushioning to avoid strong impacts. A motion control shoe eg. Brooks Glycerin or Asics Nimbus would be a good option for a supination as they are for those runners who need a maximum amount of cushioning. Neutral running shoes are also good for under pronation. If the customer over pronates, we would recommend Stability running shoes e.g. Asics GT1000 or Brooks Adrenaline GTS. Stability running shoes provide extra stability to help reduce over pronation.
There are a number of different options of neutral and stability footwear at every price point each with varying levels of cushioning and stability. Brands terminologies differ but your needs as a runner come first. Recommendations will be made based on profiling, analysis results and customer preference. We will provide you with enough options to allow you to have a choice depending on your needs and price range.
Call into your local Intersport Elverys store to discuss your foot type in more detail. This is our process we use when determining the right footwear for our customers and we can’t recommend it enough.
Top Tip: Make sure to break in your new runners by wearing them over shorter periods initially. #allofus