Blog Master G

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Fleet Feet Rules

Sunday, January 20th, 2008 · 2 Comments

On Thursday I finally got new (much-needed) running shoes. My old shoes were New Balance 808s — great shoes, but designed to be trail running shoes, and they were pretty beat up. I developed a sore undersole on the outside edge of my right foot that seemed to flare up whenever I ran. Goodbye, foot pain, and hello much better sole cushioning and all-around foot support!

fleetfeethorz-blue4.gif After picking up Jen from the train station following her week in the Big Apple, we headed to Fleet Feet on Wolf Road in Albany. I had read about the store’s Personal F.I.T. process on its Web site and I liked what I read, but they exceeded my expectations. From the moment I walked in the door, I was greeted (by Mary, who’s a runner herself and obviously knew what she was talking about) and received the most incredible personal service that one could ask for.

Here’s what Fleet Feet does in an effort to ensure you end up with the shoes in the right size that are designed to match the unique shape and features of your feet:

  • Measure your feet (both sitting & standing)
  • Mark key points on your feet during the measuring process (to determine how much arch flattens when it bears weight)
  • Recommend a handful of shoes that match your foot & running goals
  • Fit you with Superfeet that match your arch & provide better support
  • Watch you run (on a treadmill with a video camera pointed at your feet or, in my case, outside since that’s where I normally run)
  • Let you compare every possible combination of shoes (including one of each brand on each foot — New Balance and Asics in my case)

I tried on shoes from Mizuno, Nike, New Balance, and Asics. Though I was biased toward New Balance (American company that makes its shoes in the U.S.) and Asics (I had previously tried on the Asics 2130s and immediately loved them), I felt confident that I was getting the right recommendations based on my foot and running style.

asics-2130.jpg I narrowed it down to the New Balance and Asics, and ultimately ended up with the Asics 2130s (which happen to be the Runner’s World Editor’s Choice and have a great reputation among runners); I love the heel cushioning and support they provide, combined with the Superfeet Orange replacement insoles.

The difference between the handful of shoe stores I had previously visited in Wilton Mall and Fleet Feet was unreal. As you might expect, there’s no foot measurement, no personal attention, and help only from people who say things like, “Uh, a half marathon’s what? 12 miles.” Granted, I don’t expect everyone to know how far a half marathon is (13.1 miles), but I’d rather buy running shoes from someone who’s actually run one.

Whether you’re in the market for running shoes or otherwise, visit Fleet Feet and you won’t be sorry. Plus, you’ll be supporting a small, locally-owned (franchise) business instead of a giant chain store.

I also walked out of Fleet Feet with some sweet new running gear (seamless, South African-made socks that absorb sweat (balega), Mizuno pants, and a Nike top). Today I ended up with a cool new, sweat-absorbing running hat when I stopped in to see Jami at work.

I’ve put 5 miles on my new shoes so far — 2 miles on Friday and 3 today — and they feel great. My foot pain is gone and my stride feels good.

In other news, it’s great to have Jen home! It was a really busy week at work for me, but I managed to get out for happy hour at Circus Cafe with Sarah, Eric, and Justin one night; hang out at Justin’s place a couple times; and last night we saw Juno (really funny, good movie!), then had some peeps over (Anne, Tom, and Alexis) for a mean round of Yahtzee and Scattergories.

Tags: running

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gina // Feb 10, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Hey Gabe! Thanx for the great recommendation. I found my local Fleet Feet in Syracuse and they were awesome. Can’t wait for Nashville.

  • 2 The Little Joys of Running // May 21, 2008 at 9:03 am

    […] felt pretty good at first — lighter and tighter than my Asics. Only problem was they were a little too tight, and I didn’t really break them in properly. I […]