Finding the Right Shoes for You

Walking into most running stores can be a puzzling experience.  At one time or another, most of us have bought running shoes that were completely inappropriate for our feet because they were a great color, super light, or cool looking.  If we were lucky, we didn't injure ourselves.  Let's face it:  running can be tough on our bodies, and wearing the wrong shoes can make it tougher.  Improper stability causes your joints to operate out of alignment, creating premature wear and tear, and unfortunately...pain!

Every running shoe company makes a wide variety of models, and it can be difficult to determine which one is best.  Not all Asics, Saucony, or Brooks shoes are created equal.  Nor do they fit the same, although most brands have some consistent characteristics.  When you shop for running shoes at Sneaker Factory, you will have the assistance of experienced professional shoe fitters to help you make your selection. 

When you come to see us, bring at least one pair of your old, worn sneakers with you.  We will examine the wear on the outsole to get a good idea about the way your feet move through each stride.  We'll ask you to walk barefoot so we can see how much pronation your feet experience.  We'll examine each foot carefully for indications of overpronation or poor fit, such as excess callus, damaged toenails, developing bunions, and blisters.  After determining the level of stability, guidance, and support that your feet need, we will present several options for you to try.  We encourage you to take each pair outside for a brief run on the sidewalk so that you can experience the unique ride of each shoe.  Your fitter will watch you run and walk in each pair of shoes, and then help you determine which model and brand works best for you. 

As you can see, fitting running shoes is more art than science.  Not that there isn't a ton of good scientific evidence confirming what we do.  Many stores will offer digital video analysis of your stride, which can be helpful, but it only tells a small part of the story.  Other stores have machines that mold custom inserts for your feet, in complete disregard of the level of support provided by the shoes beneath them.  At Sneaker Factory we recognize that there might be many shoes with the right amount of stability, but the combination of perfect stability, support, guidance, and comfortable fit can be much more difficult to find.  It's a process that involves some trial and error here in the store, and a dialogue between you and your fitter that will help narrow down the choices.  That interaction is elemental to the process, and can't be replaced by any scientific methods.  Call us "old school" if you will, but we haven't stayed in business longer than any other running store in New Jersey just by chance. 

More than anything, we know that each runner is unique.  The famous running guru Dr. George Sheehan is credited with saying that "Every runner is a science experiment with a sample count of 1".  There aren't many rules that apply to everyone, but your feedback is the most important element.  We want to hear your stories, your goals, your complaints about your aches and pains, and your ideas.  We'll get to know you - and your feet.

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