A few months ago, a friend told me that she decided she wanted to try running. I of course was very excited for her! You know I’m already scheming to get her to sign up for Gazelle Girl next year! 😜 Anyway, I suggested she get properly fitted for running shoes because it can make a big difference in how you feel, and can help you avoid injuries.
Last Thursday I went to Gazelle Sports in Holland because I wanted to share with those of you who are Michigander runners, but might not have gotten a proper shoe fitting, what goes into the process. They do a great job there, and I would suggest Gazelle Sports to anyone looking for running shoes (and more!). They have several locations other than Holland, including: Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Northville, and Birmingham.
Finding the best shoe for you is a simple process, but can make a world of difference for your feet! Josh helped me out and confirmed my choices in shoes were best for my feet, and even found one I haven’t tried yet that I hope to!
- Goals – Josh asked what my goals are, and what I had coming up as this all comes into play for shoe choice. I mentioned getting back into some longer distance running.
- Gait analysis – I walked in a straight line without my shoes on, and he observed my natural gait to see if there is any pronating. What was the determination? Stability! I actually land pretty neutral, but have some flex in my ankle so I would most benefit from a shoe like Brooks Adrenaline GTS (my favorite shoe!)
- Measure feet length and width. One thing taken into consideration is your instep too. I have ‘high volume’ feet that are most happy in a 2E width, even though they don’t even measure wide.
- Shoe recommendations – He suggested a few different options for me based on my gait, goals, and feet shape/size. Other than the Adrenaline’s, he suggested the Hoka Clifton and the New Balance 860’s. SPOT ON!! 👍 The only other shoe I’ve been super happy with was the NB 860’s. As a general guideline, you should replace your shoes every 300-500 miles. This can vary though per shoe and individual. NB and Brooks have been great for longevity and comfort. I’ve been very curious about the Clifton’s, so I’m keeping those in mind to try for next time.
- Testing out the recommendations – They give you the option of walking around the store or even going outside to run on the sidewalk to see how they feel.
Note: Women’s extra wide widths generally aren’t stocked in the store, BUT they can order what you need and have it shipped right to your doorstep. 🙌 Easy-peazy! For this fitting, I tried on the men’s wide in the NB and Hoka which would be equivalent to a 2E in women’s.
Josh said he believes in the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” theory. So, if you’ve been running for a while but never got fitted for running shoes, and haven’t had any issues, then you probably don’t need to switch brands. But, if you’re interested in trying different shoes (ex: moving towards minimalist / zero drop shoes), or your goals are changing, he would suggest going in to see what options might work best for you…they have a lot to choose from.
The staff at Gazelle Sports works hard to find you something you’ll be happy in. One time several years ago I went in and I had multiple staff members around me brainstorming solutions because they like “tricky feet.” They truly care and take time to find the best shoe to get/keep you running. And they have loads of the best products to help you in your journey, like hydration packs and water bottles, hats/headbands, nutrition, clothing, etc. Have you seen their epic collection of Goodr sunglasses? 😎😍
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS is my favorite shoe. There were two models in a row (the 15 and 16) that didn’t work for me. So, thats when I was spending a lot of time at Gazelle Sports trying to find an option that could last me until the next model of the Adrenaline’s came out. That’s when I was wearing NB. The new model of the Adrenaline’s (the 18’s) are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! They have a pretty flexible upper which makes my high volume feet so happy! They’re significantly more flexible all around than past models too, which makes for feel good running right from the first mile.
What’s you’re favorite running shoe?