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Run Karen Run!

18 November 2012

The other day, I was invited to check out the services at The Athlete’s Foot, where they specialise in professional shoe fitting, and helping you find a shoe to suit your feet and your lifestyle.

The deal was that I would go through the whole process of getting my tiny, little feet measured, analysed and matched with something from the latest range of their exclusive Asics shoes and I would report on what the experience was like.

At first, the whole idea made me laugh – both with bewilderment and nervous anticipation.

SHOES? YOU MEAN SNEAKERS? FOR RUNNING?

I wear a lot of high heels. When I talk about shoes, I like to talk about leopard prints, nubuck leathers, peep toes, sling backs, and studs.

So when I think about FUNCTIONAL running shoes… I think, “Eh what’s the big deal?”

Truth is, I’ve never had my foot properly fitted for a proper running shoe. I only ever buy sneakers at Warehouse Outlet stores, where I grab something that looks good, in my size, and on sale at 70% off. Shoe comfort? Meh, I’ll just wear it in. Or I’ll just wear thicker socks.

Or worse. I would buy designer “lifestyle” sneakers online, on sale. Zero fitting experience!

I think I have only ever bought about four pairs of sneakers in my adult life.

And given my recent fitness pursuit into the world of cycling, it made me a bit I embarrassed by how uninterested I have been towards looking after my feet. After all, I now know things about bikes I never imagined I would, and it has made my life better. So maybe owning a pair of proper running shoes is another whole world of undiscovered pleasure waiting for me.

So here we go…

The Athlete's Foot

This is me, arriving for my first ever professional shoe fitting!

The Athlete's Foot

That’s right! I wore my leopard print, leather, peep toe heels for just the occasion haha.

I was met by Christina, a professional shoe fitter.

But I suddenly got a bit nervous. Cold feet, you could say. Was she going to be like one of those professional BRA FITTERS with cold fingers and a big prodding attitude? Was she about to fondle my toes?

Thankfully Christina was just fine. She explained the whole process to me and asked me a bunch of questions to work out whether I have problems with my feet, what kind of lifestyle I have, and how I might use my new shoes.

At one point, she asked, “So what do you wear when you run?”

I was rather embarrassed and mumbled, “My Converse Chucks?”

I may as well have said I run in my thongs, because Chucks are trendy “lifestyle” canvas shoes, not made for running! Naughty Karen!

The Athlete's Foot

She measured my foot. Size US 5. No surprises there.

Like I said… I have tiny, tiny little feet.

The Athlete's Foot

I was ushered over to The Athlete’s Foot Fitprint system, which was pretty cool. I stood on a pressure mat, which told me about my arch, balance, pressure points.

LOOK! Apparently I’m a little more “flat footed” on one foot. Christina thought that could mean that one of my legs is slightly longer than the other.

What the hell? Apparently it’s REALLLY common. Well, there you go – I am a bit wonky in the legs!

Now I can’t tease my husband about his different sized feet :P

The Athlete's Foot

I also walked across the pressure mat, and it showed an analysis of my foot, my walk, and how I roll. How I roll! It was really interesting.

It turns out that I have really good feet and a really good walk (despite the allegations made about my legs not being the same length). Which is why I don’t have any problems with my feet, ankles, legs, muscles, or back. I make up about 65% of the Australian population that have a neutral foot type. And it all comes down to good genetic luck really.

With that information, Christina said she would get me three different pairs of shoes to try, and whisked off.

Part of me – the girl who loves to shop – was a bit distressed. I ONLY GET TO CHOOSE FROM THREE PAIRS OF SHOES?

But then I looked around the shop and saw HUNDREDS of shoes lining the walls of the shop. So then I was relieved that I had Christina’s help to narrow the choices down.

The Athlete's Foot

She came back and placed the 3 pairs of shoes in front of me and I immediately thought….THOSE PINK ONES ARE SO MINE!

But of course I had to focus on comfort and I tried my best to give all of them a fair go.

From left to right: Mizuno (Wave Ultima 4), ASICS (GEL-Landreth 7), and ASICS (Gel-Nimbus 14).

I first tried on the purple ASICS shoes and there were great! I’ve never worn such comfortable sneakers in my life!

The white and navy Mizuno shoes were a teensy little bit firmer on the sole. I preferred the purple ASCIS shoes because of their flexibility in the sole.

The Athlete's Foot

This is me going “Oooooooh well lookie here, this one might be the winner!”

I look like a school girl in this photo! Maybe I should have worn my skinny jeans. And right there is a giant fashion tip – shoes make all the difference to an outfit. Shoes say everything.

The pink ASICS shoe definitely gripped and supported my foot (from front of the foot to the heel) so much better, making it more comfortable than the others. It had very cool shock absorption, great flexibility and just an awesome overall fit for me.

I was bouncing around the shop, focusing on my step and my foot arch, going – OH YEAH THIS IS HOW I ROLL!!

The Athlete's Foot

See? Love at first sight. They are, after all, screaming bright pink.

I can’t wait to go running in them. I don’t think I have run any long distances in 7-10 years!

I’ll be testing these babies out and letting you know how I go :)

I’ll also be giving away an Athlete’s Foot Gift Voucher in my next post, so stay tuned!

(This post was kindly sponsored by my blog advertisers Nuffnang.)

xxx