Finding the Right Running Shoe

Getting Fit for the Right Running Shoe

As I was preparing to start running I talked to several people and stopped by The Colorado Running Company to find out about what I needed to do to find the right running shoe. In the past I would have headed to one of the sporting goods chain stores and found a pair of shoes that fit and been done with it. But Ed wanted me to look at minimalist shoes, and back in January I had met John from the Colorado Running Company when I stopped in to pick up my 26.2 sticker. He suggested that when I was ready to run, I should come back for a fitting. Perfect. So last week I stopped by the store and the search for the right running shoe began. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was a little intimidated. Running was new to me and the staff had a lot of experience, but my hesitation was for naught. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Their goal wasn’t to just get me out the door with the gear I needed, but to take the opportunity to teach me about the gear, how I run and share from their experience. It was fantastic and I learned a lot.

I asked Peter from the store to share a bit about what someone coming in for a shoe fitting should expect. Below is his guide for finding the right running shoe.

Before You Arrive

1.  Bring in your old shoes (1 or 2 pairs) This allows them to see wear patterns and help determine what will work best for you.

2.  Bring any orthotics or other inserts. Again, this allows them to take into consideration any special needs you may have.

3.  Plan for a minimum of 30 minutes for the fitting. If you have any foot issues such as bunions, orthotics, etc. this may take a little longer.

In the Store

1.  The staff should do a foot scan. This will show them the size and shape of your foot, the height of your arch and help them determine where to start in the fitting.

2.  They should ask you about your goals. Will you be walking or running? What distance are you training for? What environment are you running in — treadmill, trails, blacktop or concrete?

3.  Then they will determine the type of shoe. How much cushion, motion control, drop from the heel to the toe, etc.

4.  After they type of shoe, finding the size comes next. Making sure there is no slip in the heel and the right amount of room in the toes.

5.  After you determine the size it is time to hit the treadmill. During this testing they are looking at the function of the shoe. They should use a camera to tape your stride, impact, etc. and will check for pronation and supination.

6.  Repeat. Trying several shoes is necessary, Peter suggests a minimum of 3 pairs and they had me try 7-8 different options.

7.  After the function and fit are determined it is up to the runner to determine feel. Find the pair that meets your needs and feels the best. If it doesn’t feel good, you won’t wear them and run.

Here’s a short video of the fitting to give you an idea of what to expect when you are out finding the right running shoe for you. A huge thanks to John, Kelly and Peter from the Colorado Running Company for all the help as I get started in the running world.


I ended up getting the very first pair I tried on, but testing out several pairs gave me a sense of what options were available and made me comfortable with the choice. All that’s left is getting out there and putting them to use now! What is your favorite running shoe?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the products and services mentioned in the post above may have been received free of charge for review and/or promotional purposes, and some of the links posted may have been "affiliate links". This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, my reviews are based on my honest opinions and I will only recommend those products or services that I use personally and believe will be of value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions's 16 CFR, Part 225: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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