The Shoe Dog

The Shoe Dog

My reading this week kept leading me in a certain direction.  I’ve come to embrace when karma takes my hand and leads me somewhere…..I’ve learned to follow…especially when I don’t know WHY.  Ohhh, this has been a HUGE learning point for me.  Diane, stretch before running.  But Why?  Diane, drink Vitacoco?  But Why?  Why..Why…Why.   I’m like that annoying 2 1/2 year old, who just learned how to put those two sounds together, and I’m using it everywhere I go.  This week, magazines, online articles, and other running friends have been telling me…..Diane, wear running shoes at least 1/2 or 1 size bigger than your normal shoe size.   But Wh…..Ok, I’ll try to stop.  I’ve been doing ok in my size 7.5 Asics….but just to make sure I was setting myself up for success…… I decided to take a trip out to North Brunswick to visit  RoadRunner Sports and meet the Shoe Dog!

The Shoe Dog?  What? Is? The? Shoe? Dog?

Well, it’s a cute whimsical name for a fairly sophisticated computerized foot/stride analysis process they have at the RoadRunner Sports store.  They used a computerized gadgety foot pad to analyze my arch and the stress points on my feet.  Then they had me run on the treadmill and taped my stride to video.   We watched together as he explained that I had a neutral pronation and fairly straight stride.  Then he put me on this heated, rubber walking mat that he used to mold a custom orthotic which he said would give me better arch support, and help me take more of the stress off my heels and push me forward to share my weight more equally over my whole foot bed.  Whew…I feel like my feet got psycho-analyzed and it was a little weird to have so much attention on my feet.  But it was kinda cool too!  I learned alot!

From there I moved on to a shoe specialist who helped me try on a whole host of Size 8 Wide Neutral+ running shoe options.  Yup, Size 8.  There I was….1/2 size larger than my normal shoe size.  I asked if it was because they were putting my custom orthotic inside, and the answer was No.  They basically remove the standard orthotic that all sneakers come with, and put my custom one in its place.  So that doesn’t affect the size or fit.  The 1/2 size up is to give me the extra room for my foot to move forward while running AND to allow for the normal swelling that comes from running for prolonged periods of time.  There ya Go Diane, that’s the WHY you were lookin’ for!!!!

I tried on Brooks, Saucony, Asics and Nike running shoes.  She put my custom orthotic into each of them as I tried them on, and wow — they were all wonderfully comfortable.   Until that moment, I thought my Asics were comfy!  But wow, what a difference.  The Wide width options were great for me.  I’ve always had a wide foot, and believe me — wide widths are incredibly hard to come across in the standard shoe store.  This place claimed to have Wide widths in almost all shoes, which was just great for me.  It was harder than I thought to choose between them.  I skipped the Asics right off the top.  The Nike’s were better than I expected.  I’ve never been able to wear a Nike from a standard shoe store because they run kind of narrow.  I liked them alot.  They were very light and comfortable.  but in the end, I went home with new Brooks Glycerin 10 running shoes. They are heavenly soft! and I just felt amazing wearing them.  I could see myself logging lots of miles in them.

Now if they would just run for me, so I can sleep in……it would be money well well well spent!!

Ciao for now……..Diane

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