Before my life as a runner, my theory was pick out a pair that fit well and look cute and you are set to go. As I transitioned into this new found life I have come to the revelation that shoes matter. Not necessarily the brand and not just the color or cool feature. The fit matters! So, my sister and I visited a running store in Greenville called On On Tri. The team there helped us to find our best fitting shoe. They looked at my feet standing and had me run in tons of shoes. After narrowing my selection down to three pairs of shoes, I put each on for a final road test. The differences were subtle but, in the end I found a pair of shoes I LOVE! They are supportive, roomy, comfortable, squishy, and everything else my feet were missing in my BOGO rack room kick arounds! And then the guys at On On Tri did something that made me a little nervous... they cut my shoes! Okay, I know there are a lot of opinions on this technique. And to be completely honest, I am not really technically sure what the whole shoe cutting thing is about. My novice understanding of this method is that cutting into the soles of the shoe allow the foot to bend/flex/move with the shoe as naturally as possible (sort of like the new shoes on market for example Nike Free Runs with free sipes). According to Livestrong.com this process of cutting into the soles of shoes or siping was invented by Paul Sperry (the boat shoe guy) after watching his dog run on ice. Sperry noticed the groves on his dog's paw and watched the dog run over ice without falling. He patented a process termed razor siping where thin lines are strategically cut into the shoes soles. Today we use this method to create a more comfortable fitting shoe that mimics the human foot. Added bonuses of this comfort are stability. So there we are my beautiful new running shoes, soles as white as they'd ever be and I am asked if I want them cut. My sister tells me all about it and I send them off to be mutated! What a GREAT call! I feel like the shoes are an extension of my feet. As I run on trails of gravel, bumpy sidewalk, smooth asphalt, and everywhere in between, my feet are smiling! So, what did this teach me?
1.) Fit matters. Look for an expert to help you. On On Tri rocked my running world. Look for your local running or triathlon store and set up a fitting. Before being fit by an expert I would have picked a pair off the rack in a 7.5. Well, I found out that for running shoes, an 8 is a better choice. Who knew?
2.) To cut or not to cut? That is the question...I choose cut! I love that my shoes allow my feet to work as they were created!
3.) When in doubt, give them a try. I have never been to a shoe store where you are encouraged to run in your shoes on the street. I liked the freedom to take a test drive!
4.) Pick what works for you. You know your body best. At the end of the fitting I was left with 3 pairs of shoes that "worked" for my feet. I was ultimately in charge of picking what worked best for me. And what a stinkin' cute pair I got...they are pink and fabulous and fit for a princess!
20 Days until we do this thing!