I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you probably chose your last pair of workout/running shoes based on how they looked. Then, you tried them on and they felt “alright” so you kept them. Then, when they look kind of shitty and worn out, you repeat the cycle. This has probably been going on for a couple of decades and who am I to come along and try to change your mind? Well, I’m a tenacious little punk when it comes to making you feel better about fitness.

Times have changed since I ran my first marathon in 1998 (!!) when only a handful of specialty sneaker stores existed. Times have ch-ch-changed because the technology that used to be reserved for elite athletes in university labs has become mainstream. These days, every specialty running store has the ability to properly fit you for your body and take into account your biomechanics and the style of workouts you do. Even your run-of-the-mill average Nike store has a treadmill inside.

You probably avoid those specialty running shoe stores because

a) you don’t do all that much running anymore,

b) having someone watch you run is totally embarrassing and you would rather die or

c) you think you have a pretty good idea about what kind of shoe you like and don’t need some salesperson telling YOU how to spend your hard earned dolla dolla billz.

These are all ridiculous reasons and you know it. You owe it to your creaky joints to at least hear what these specialists have to say. See, just talking. No pressure:

You can go in and look at the different shoe types, try them on, walk or run in them, or if you’re feeling brave, you can get the full gait analysis experience.

What’s that? Well, lucky you I took a few photos of my friend Mindy when she was getting fitted for a new pair of shoes at Brooks Running. She got the full experience by participating in “Run Signature”,  Brooks’ radical new approach to gait analysis. They take a more in depth look at how your body wants to run and offer the right shoe to fit your run, your way. Also, they put reflective markers on your legs so you feel a little bit like Iron Man.

First you squat, then you walk, then you run (if you want), while the markers get fed into a computer algorithm against a massive database of information. #SCIENCE!!!

This data helps you understand what your feet and knees are doing in relation to your body. Every good specialty store, Brooks included, will ask you how you like to feel when you run. Words like “cushioned”, “supported”, and “streamlined” can be helpful. I say things like “fast, I want these shoes to make me faster”, which is probably pretty annoying.

Has this tenacious little punk convinced you to give science a chance?

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