After a two-hour gait analysis, that is! Well, we started with a coffee, and some left-over flapjack, and every so often Mike had to go and attend to another customer, so it wasn't exactly pressured, but I arrived at the shop at 10am and left at 11:55am
But with new shoes
I had been suffering from bruised toenails - four of them, after increasing my distances. My Brooks had only done about 440km, but because I am overweight I always wonder if that puts more stress on them. I'd also noticed that my hip and knee have been sore after a run, and the pain in my shin has been waking me up at night. Not good. So I booked an appointment for a gait analysis, thinking that new shoes might be needed.
We talked about my running - what surfaces I normally run on and what distances I do, and what pace I tend to run at. (Slow.) My current shoes are Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17, designed for over-pronators, which I've always been told is what I do.
Mike measured my feet - length and width - twice. I stood on a bit of perspex over a slanted mirror to check my arches (?). I have one foot longer, wider and flatter than the other, which doesn't really help when it comes to finding shoes. Any shoes. He put me in Scotts to start with and I ran on the dreadmill and was videoed. The Scott is a neutral shoe but has a <thing> (I don't know, some technical doohickey) that means that if you do pronate, it will throw you even further off centre. I didn't, much...
The Scotts were narrow, though, so we moved on to an On, which was sort of okay, and then a Hoka, which was wonderful, and then another On, which was very much not okay (too narrow), and then another On, which Mike said would 'challenge me' (I think this is the equivalent of an undulating course). It did - it was very weird and I was sort of pushing my feet forward and at the same time scraping my heels. Mike tactfully suggested that perhaps I wasn't quite ready for these yet (too slow was what he meant). Then he put me back in another On which was more like what I was used to and it was okay. Then there could have been an Altra involved as well but at this point I was starting to glaze over, as I'd dreadmilled all of them. I reckon I did about a km today!
The Hokas rock you slightly forwards (a bit like a FitFlop, if you're familiar with them), and you could see on the video the differences in how I landed (heel/mid foot) between these and the Ons and the Scotts. He was a bit worried that I'd be worried that these are men's, but I'm used to that and I'm not overly bothered about pink shoes anyway, so that was okay.
Once we'd agreed on the Hokas he checked I'd laced them tightly enough and sorted the heel lock for me (ten thumbs, me). I then had to stand on an incline forwards, and a really steep slope coming downhill to make sure they didn't slip. He tried them with a heel wedge, just to be sure, but I felt this was pushing me out of the shoe and it was rubbing slightly on my ankle bone, so we decided to do without those.
And that was it! I feel very thoroughly analysed. After all that, I desperately hope that they are right, because I find buying shoes a complete nightmare. I didn't have time to take them for a trot today but will do so tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for me!