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Monday, March 11, 2013

New Shoe Adventure!

*Photo Courtesy of The Running Lab Facebook Page

On Friday night, the boyfriend and I embarked on an adventure to find new running shoes! The ones I have been using (New Balance 720's) have lasted me through 6 years of on and off running. I think it was time to find something new. Through my searching for running specialty stores in the Metro Detroit area, I found The Running Lab. It was a little bit of a hike away from the town we live in, but I found their fitting process intriguing, so I decided that this is where I needed to go.
It took about 45 mins to get there, and once we found some parking, we tucked inside and started browse. I was surprised at how many people were in there at the time. I almost expected it to be dead on a Friday night. However, after being there for a little while, I realized it was the local runner's hub. They were familiar with their customers and knew their general situations. It was nice to find myself in a small local store like this.

                                                                                *Photo Courtesy of

I was assisted in my shoe finding mission by Swenja. She asked me about any injuries or issues and then asked me to walk around the store barefoot so she could get an idea of what my foot was like. She told me I would need a neutral shoe and then measured my foot and ran into the back to see what she could find for me. She brought out 3 pairs and explained to me that the one pair she REALLY wanted me to try on (Mizuno Precision 13), they didn't have in my size. So the next best thing was the Mizuno Wave Rider 16. Then I tried another shoe that seemed very minimal to me (I think they were Saucony KINVARA 3) and a pair of Brooks Ghost 5s. I liked the lightweight feeling of the Saucony, but they weren't cushioned enough, and I liked the cushioning in the brooks, but they felt kinda clunky like my New Balance had always felt. So it was back to the Wave Riders. She had me put those on and brought me back to the treadmill to try them out. 
The treadmill was really cool, they have 2 cameras set up to film you while you run. That way, you are able to see where your foot lands and your form. I always felt like I landed in the right spot, but turns out I land a little too far back! Interesting. She had me try on another pair of Mizunos that were similar to the Precision to see if I wanted to special order, but I was really impatient and wanted to leave with a pair that night! 
 I ended up deciding on the Wave Riders 16 in Rouge Red / Apple Green / Dark Shadow and had a chat with Swenja about my form and cadence. All really good information to know if you are planning on doing a lot of running!
She explained to me that I have a month to try them out and get them dirty and really give them a good go, and if I don't like them, I could still bring them back and get something else! I LOVE that policy! I can't tell you how many shoes I've bought and worn only 2 or 3 times because they just aren't comfortable, and I can't return them because they are worn! 
I brought them home and yesterday, I did my first trial run. There was a lot of unexpected adjusting. Loosening of laces and a last minute trip to the dollar store for some sports tape because they were rubbing my ankle bone a weird way that they hadn't when I tried them on. But that's all part of breaking a new shoe in! I ended up running (with a little bit of walking) for 80 minutes and doing 7 Miles (the most yet!). They held out nicely and didn't hurt too bad. I'm sure once I wear them a bit, they'll get more comfy.

I was a little unsure about the color of them, normally I'd prefer the Aruba Blue / Electric / Anthracite combo...but after Swenja likened them to a Watermelon...I was on board! 
I'm really excited to run with these on my feet and I feel confident knowing that they were fitted properly by someone that knows what they are doing and that they stand by that fit!

If you are ever in the Brighton, MI area and are in need of some new running shoes...Seriously...Go. They know their stuff and carry good quality products. I'm sure I'll take a few more trips out there as the year progresses. It's worth the drive!

What Kind of running shoes do you have? 
How was your buying experience? 
Are you planning on repurchasing the same pair when it's time?





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