Friday, July 6, 2012

If the Shoe Fits....

I recently did something that was long over-do:
I got fitted for running shoes and a sports bra!

For a while now, I've been experiencing pain in my right knee any time I run over 5 miles, and I've been getting blisters in the same spot on my right foot.  Also, I've been wearing three sports bras every time I go out for a run or do any other type of high impact exercise for as long as I can remember.  Wearing less than three sports bras does not provide enough support for me to run in, and it causes some discomfort/bouncing.  Not good.

I finally realized that I needed to go in for a professional fitting for both shoes and bras, and I knew exactly where to go:

Marathon Sports!

I was lucky enough to have a very knowledgeable sales associate help me out.  We  briefly talked about my level of running experience before jumping into my recent running issues.  I told her about the pain in my right knee after long runs, and the reoccurring blisters.  I also mentioned that I may be running on the outside of my feet, and striking with my heel. 

She asked me to stand with my feet together, and to walk to the front of the store and back.
She came to the conclusion that I am slightly bow-legged, and have internally rotated knees and hips.

At first she thought I would need a neutral shoe, because the combination of bow-leggedness and internally rotated hips would balance each other out when running.

She had me try on a pair of neutral Nikes, and head outside to take them for a spin.   I ran down to the end of the block and back as she watched my feet.  After the first run she realized that I am actually over pronating (meaning that my ankles drop in) instead of turning my feet out, which was what we originally thought was the issue.  After reaching this conclusion, she said I needed a stability shoe to provide some more support. 

I tried on another pair of Nike's.  They were called the Nike Zoom Structure.
Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 15 Wide Women's Running Shoes - Pure Platinum, 10
After lacing these up and doing the "thumb test" (seeing how much room is at the end of the shoe)  we headed outside for me to try a little run in these.  I liked the feel of these, they supported me in the right places, and seemed to fit the shape of my foot pretty well.  Even though I liked these ones a lot, she still had me try on a few more shoes just to make sure they were the right ones.  I liked the color combinations of some of the other shoes, but I didn't like the fit or feel as much at the Nike Zoom Structures.

After running in the Nike Zoom Structure's, I found that most other shoes weren't supportive enough.  I realized that I liked the support, and felt more comfortable in a stability shoe

Next on the agenda was picking out some synthetic socks.
 Synthetic socks are important because they prevent blisters by wicking away sweat.  I chose a 3-pack of the most colorful ones in the store, obviously.
The final thing on the agenda was picking out a supportive sports bra.  She asked me what my bra size I was, and then found a high impact sports bra with an underwire, and a super supportive bra with adjustable velcro straps for me to try on.
 As soon as I put on the one with underwire, I knew it was the one for me.  I tried to hop around in the dressing room to make sure it was supportive enough for me, and it was!
It looks a little different from the basic sports bras that I'm used to, but it does the trick.  The first time I wore it, I was so impressed.  I held me up, prevented bouncing, and I could breathe! Wahoo!

I strongly encourage every runner to go and get fitted for shoes.  I learned so much about my bone structure and my gait.  I'm hoping that this new gear will really help improve my running!  

Fingers crossed for no more knee pain or blisters!

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