Sunday, January 10, 2016
My Trip to Road Runners Sports San Diego
Okay a few years ago I was looking for a place to get running gear at a good price. We have a local running store, and I try and support them as much as possible, but sometimes you just need a good deal. Especially if you are putting in enough miles to need shoes fairly regularly. Enter in Road Runner Sports. I had several running friends who used them for shoes, and were part of a VIP program that got the really good prices on shoes and gear AND free shipping AND a 90 day take back program if a shoe didn't work. I decided to start ordering from them and LOVED the process and the prices. I totally forgot that they were located in San Diego, so when I texted a friend about local running stores to visit, he reminded me that Road Runners was in San Diego, and not too far from our condo. It just so happens that several of the people who traveled with us were interested in going to the store as well, after I explained the very thorough fitting process they go for. I had read about how great the whole process was from STUFT mama's blog, and I was not disappointed at all!
Let me explain the process if you have not ever been. You go in and sign up for an appointment first. We went in on a rainy Tuesday morning, and it was not crowded at all, so I am not sure how long wait times could be. After signing my name, they called me back almost immediately. First of all, we went over everything I wanted to accomplish, and what I was looking for with my shoe, and what I had been running in and why. In the picture above, you can see my technician for the day Rosario, who was VERY helpful/knowledgeable and listened to everything I had to say(and those who know me know I can say A LOT). My main concern was post injury and post PT, that something might have changed, and that maybe I needed a new shoe than what I was running in. I still have fairly regular ankle pain in my left leg and my tendon gets angry still to this day if I do a bunch of hill work or high intensity. We filled out a survey together on a very large TV/computer screen, as well as on a pad of paper that i got to take with me.
After the process, I also immediately got an email with all of the specifics that Rosario found during my video taped run. I was then instructed to take off my shoes and socks, roll up my pants, and step on a pressure plate type of instrument that can tell you about your arches and pressure points. My arches were not high nor low, so that hasn't changed at all. Next, you are instructed to get on the treadmill barefoot, and run while your technician video tapes you briefly. Newbie runners, do NOT worry about running in front of some one. It is VERY brief and NO one judges you about your lack of fitness if you are new to running. The process is very quick and you get a wealth of information about what you need for your running style/body type.
After going over the results of your video, you are asked if you would like to have custom inserts made. There is NO obligation to buy, so I highly recommend doing this process, even if you don't think you will want them. It is really nice to try them out, and they are custom made specifically to your feet, so very specialized to you. Let me back up about my video. I had some disheartening findings. My feet looked even more turned out than normal, even when I had shoes on. I really thought I had this way more under control than the video showed. It really made me sad that it appears we have made no improvement:( What was even more interesting was that now my ankles were rolling in, something we have never seen on the previous videos. I really don't think it was there previously and that we missed it, I think it is a relatively new issue. The good news is, stability shoes can help with this issue, and while I LOVE my sacouny Kinvaras, I was willing to try out some stability shoes as long as they were low on cushioning.
I was lead to a seating area where a new technician came and helped me with shoe selection. Based on Rosario's suggestion as well as his, I needed a stability shoe with low cushioning. I was trying to be unbiased about brand and color, but honestly, it was hard. Some of the shoes he pulled were UGLY! I also had indicated that I was interested in trail shoes, so I tried a few of those as well while I was there.
In the end, after trying on, running in, and re videoing, I found a winner. I never would have guessed the Asics Gel DS trainer 20 would have won, but when I put them on, they fit like a glove. The part that sold me more than the fit was the fact that when I ran in them, I could see immediate results on the video. The ankle rolling stopped altogether in my left foot, which was the worst of the two, and was about 90% corrected in my right foot. The toeing out was also a tiny bit better as well, in both feet but still not where I want it. Oh well, I am a work in progress. I also found a trail shoe that I would really like to purchase, once I start trail running more.
The best part is that even though the shoes I found were a hideous color, the price for VIPs was perfect, AND I walked away knowing without a doubt that i had the right shoe for comfort and for the issue I was having. I didn't just blindly pick a shoe based on fit or color, it really did fix the problem. I like knowing that my hard earned money isn't being wasted. I highly recommend if you are EVER in San Diego that you visit. We were there for three hours, but we all walked away with new shoes and socks, AND free shipping of our purchases back to home, since we were traveling. I also ended up with another piece of gear I needed, some cold weather pants that I can't wait to try out tomorrow. All in all, 5 stars for all of the techs working there!!!! Incredibly knowledgeable in every type of shoe, sock, piece of gear, everything really. I will for sure be going back next year for a re evaluation. PLUS, they have in stock WAY more shoes than any of our local smaller stores, so spend time trying on and trying out as many shoes as you can. It really is worth the time to find the best fit for you and to do this type of analysis once a year. Thank you Road Runners Sports for such a great experience! I wished I lived closer, i would be in way more than my budget could probably handle:)