After having a great experience at Road Runner Sports, my best friend Caroline insisted that I go there as well and get perfectly fitted for a new pair of running shoes. Of course, I balked at the idea of driving a whole 15 minutes across town for a pair of shoes, but in the end, her insistence paid off. And I made her go with me to take pictures. Hence, our Great Shoe Dog Adventure!
Shoe Dog is just Road Runner Sports marketing for how they fit you for their shoes. I’m not sure if it has any meaning beyond that. But hey, I love dogs, and so does most of the rest of the country so I’m thinking it’s pretty clever. Who can resist a cute dalmation with shoes in his mouth?
First, the Service
So, when we first got there, we were greeted promptly by a nice lady who we asked permission for taking pictures of our great adventure. She cleared it with the manager, and after a brief wait for a Shoe Dog fitting, I was ready to be sized. Just a side note here, to say that this kind of service happened from beginning to end, and I totally loved it. It really made a difference in my experience. Friendly, prompt service is hard to come by these days, and Road Runner Sports has got it going on, that’s for sure!
With all the technology that abounds in the world, you think they’d have something different than the same tool they used 30 years ago when I was sized for a shoe at my small town shoe store. But, I guess for basic sizing, it works.
One thing is, the Shoe Dog adventure doesn’t stop here. They ask you some questions about if you are using your shoes for running, walking, hiking, etc., how much, etc., and then, it’s onto the balance board.
The Balance Board
The balance board essentially lets you see what kind of arch you have, plus it lets you know how you carry your weight on your feet. It turns out that I have a much higher arch than I thought I had, and I carry my weight a little forward, in the ball of my feet. So you stand on the board (above) and then you get to see the computerized version of this afterwards.
Next, they put me on the treadmill and had me run. They video-taped my feet, people!! I loved watching the video of my feet running, especially since the guy helping me could speed me up to make me look like I was running fast! (Olympics, here I come!)
The video of my stride essentially showed that I have a pretty darn straight stride, placing my feet squarely in front of me with a straight aim from my heel to my toe.
The Shoe Type Recommendation
Taking the information they gathered from the questions, the balance board and the treadmill, they recommended I use a neutral+ shoe. Shoe type recommendation–accomplished! High five for a mission accomplished!!
But wait, it’s not over!!
The Insole Mold
To get the “perfect” fit, they don’t stop there. They also take flat insoles and MOLD THEM TO YOUR FEET! Now, this rocks. Now, this isn’t free, but Caroline told me they were my marathon/birthday present and she would pay for them, so I said, sign me up!
They had me stand on this cushion thing, barefoot so they could get my exact foot imprint. They get me ready by having me stand on one foot until they can place the insole directly under one foot. They call this the pelican stand over there.
Placing my foot directly on the insole for a good mold.
The insole is molded, and now we are ready! It is shoe-trying on time!!
Trying on My Shoes
I tried on several pairs of shoes, without the mold first. I narrowed my choices down to two pairs, and I was still totally not convinced on the insole, because I hadn’t tried it on yet. So we stuck the insole into the two different pairs of shoes, one each, so I could get an idea. I thought it felt pretty good, so I took a quick jog around the store to feel it in my stride. I had both shoes on with the insoles in them for about ten minutes, when I tried on one last pair without the insole.
All I can say is, oh. my. gosh.
The insole made all the difference. When I tried the shoe on without the insole, I felt like I was standing in a totally unsupported pair of shoes. They felt FLAT!!
Gimme those insoles!
What’s Up With the Bell
Now, here’s a cool thing they do. Road Runner Sports has a VIP program you can join to get ten percent off of everything in the store. Or near everything I think. Anyway, when people sign up, they ring the bell.
I was totally sold on the service, selection and science they use to fit you at this store. Road Runner has obviously one-upped the whole shoe selling experience in my opinion. And I just want you to know, they didn’t pay me a thing to write this. This is NOT an affilliate post. This is just me, being super duper pleased. Road Runner Sports gets a two thumbs up in my humble opinion!!