The Big Peach Running Co. fit process is designed to get you into the right shoe and reduce potential injury so that you can make running or walking more fun and enjoyable. There is never a need to make an appointment, and it is free of charge.
Shoes are the most important piece of equipment for runners and walkers. Our job is to make sure that you not only have a GOOD shoe but the RIGHT shoe for YOU. Our fit process is focused on determining which good shoe is BEST for YOU.
Our fit process takes time to understand each individual’s foot characteristics and also uses Video Gait Analysis to understand what happens while the foot is in contact with the ground and how this relates to what type of platform is needed from a shoe. Of course, there are other considerations as well, including usage intentions (walking, running, gym work), surface (road, trail, indoor), frequency, distance, existing injuries and individual goals to name a few.
Finally, once we have gained knowledge of each individual, we are able to make recommendations and move into what we call Fit, Feel & Ride. It is here where shoes are tried and tested, often with two different shoes on each foot to gain an understanding of the subtle differences between the two. Part of our job is to educate runners and walkers about proper shoe fit and it is during this phase of the Fit Process where we will ask questions. More importantly, we will listen to your answers and use that feedback to help you decide on the best fitting and feeling shoe. It is not uncommon to try on several shoes during this part of the process!
Sound thorough? It is! We take our footwear fitting very seriously. BUT, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we promise to have lots of FUN along the way. And we always start with the end in mind: To get more enjoyment out of running or walking so we can say that our BEST miles truly are those covered on foot!
As part of understanding foot characteristics, we’ll measure your foot, visually inspect your foot, and make note of any special considerations including arch depth. Understanding the depth of an individual’s arch can be an indicator of injury and how well a shoe will fit. It also provides us with some of the information we need to make shoe recommendations.
Make no mistake, fit is a hugely important aspect in injury prevention. There are many studies indicating that fit is likely the most important consideration in selecting proper footwear.
Video Gait Analysis is important in understanding what happens while the foot is in contact with the ground. Shoes can provide varying degrees of stability for the foot, so understanding whether the foot is in a stable or unstable (overpronated) position while on the ground is important as it allows us to better understand how much stability is needed for an individual.
When the foot is in an unstable position, it creates stress on the lower body and it can lead to discomfort and even injury. Our goal is to reduce the amount of stress which can also reduce the chances of injury while also making the running/walking experience more enjoyable.
During Video Gait Analysis you will walk or run on the treadmill using what’s classified as a “Neutral” shoe or one that does not have any element that provides additional stability. This provides us with a baseline understanding of the degree of stability or instability of an individual’s foot.
For runners, we may also gather video from the side during gait analysis. Side video allows us to determine if a runner is overstriding. The more a runner over-strides, the more force is generated, thereby increasing the need for protection. Of course, side video also gives us the opportunity to have an initial discussion about running form.
While trying on and testing footwear during the Fit, Feel & Ride phase, discussions often focus on having sufficient room in the forefoot, having an adequate taper at the midfoot and heel, and having enough arch support so as not to feel an “emptiness” under the foot. And, of course, your individual preferences will also be taken into account.
The testing phase not only includes trying on each shoes but to also running in them, either on the treadmill, inside the store, or even outside. This will allow you to get a better feel for the cushioning, how they fit and determining if anything feels uncomfortable. This is also your opportunity to give us feedback so we can help guide you into the best shoe for you.
The most common mistake made by most runners is to overstride or to strike with their foot too far in front of their center of gravity (or hips). When overstriding, both the foot and the knee are not able to absorb shock as efficiently resulting in braking forces and compromising your posture. Not only can overstriding contribute to knee & shin pain but also lower back pain as well.
So how to address overstriding? There is little that footwear can do. Adjusting your running form and less aggressively on the heel and more towards the middle part of your foot would help. Keep an eye out for fee clinics on running form through our newsletter.