The Fleet Feet Sports FITLOSOPHY™ is our commitment to the concept of a proper FIT in all aspects of our lives - from our commitment to helping you find the proper FIT for your running shoes, to assisting you in determining how running, walking, or an active lifestyle fits into your life. Simply stated, FITLOSOPHY™ is our FIT Philosophy and our approach to everything we do. Our process begins by ensuring that runners and walkers of all abilities (and ages) are fit with the proper footwear, sports bras, and technical apparel to meet their individual needs.
We provide the complete FIT. We can also help you find solutions for inserts, socks, and sports bras! Once all of that is taken care of, don't forget about apparel! Wearing the right apparel can make your fitness experience a lot more enjoyable and successful!
The Personal Footwear Fit Process
Step One: Getting to Know You
We listen carefully to your needs, take into consideration any aches and pains, and evaluate your experience with your current footwear.
Step Two: Measurement
Several measurements of each foot help us determine proper sizing. We record both un-weighted (seated) and weighted (standing) measurements as well as different point to point measurements. We will take a look at your feet for signs that will help us fit you properly and determine any special needs.
Step Three: Gait Analysis
We’ll observe your foot in motion. This helps us determine how you move and the biomechanics of your gait.
Step Four: Fitting and Recommendations
Based on our findings, we will bring out the shoes that may work best for you. We’ll carefully inspect the fit and watch as you run or walk in each shoe. We’ll discuss the options, provide you with our recommendations, and answer any questions.
Step Five: The Decision
This one is all you since you are the only person who knows how the shoes actually feel.
Step Six: Ready to Go
Now that you’ve made a decision, we want to make sure that you know we are committed to taking care of your additional or future needs.
Why We Don't Use a "Foot Scanner"
Many people wonder why we don't use a "foot scanner" that you can step on to determine what shoe or insole is right for you. These computerized scanners, which are being installed in drug stores and superstores, show your foot's pressure points and arch type. It's a fancy way of doing the "Wet Test": wet your feet and stand on a surface, like a brown paper bag, that leaves a visible footprint. The wider the band that connects your heel and ball, the lower the arch you have.
Your arch type effects your biomechanics and is an important component of choosing the right shoe for your foot, but it is only part of the FIT story since at least 20% of people's arches act differently than they "should". Here at Fleet Feet Sports, our FIT Process has three main components that help us define your foot and make the best shoe recommendations for you: foot morphology, biomechanical assessment, and "other".
Foot morphology is a fancy way of saying that we analyze your foot size, shape, and arch type. This is done by visually looking at the foot statically and dynamically (important since you are in motion when you run!) and taking multiple measurements with an old-fashioned Brannock device. This helps us to choose the right size shoe and shoe brand since each shoe company fits a certain shaped foot better. That is why your friend may swear by his Asics shoes, but they cause you pain.
Next, we examine your biomechanics by determining your arch flexibility and doing a gait analysis (either watching you walk barefoot or with our video gait analysis software). This tells us if you overpronate, supinate or are naturally efficient which in turn, governs what type of shoe (neutral, stability, or motion control) you need, as well as the curvature of your shoe's last. Key here is arch flexibility since a rigid arch needs extra cushioning to help attenuate the shock produced when the foot hits the ground at forces of 2-4 times body weight. Whereas, a flexible arch disperses shock better, but all that flexibility in the mid and fore foot can cause overpronation which stresses and torques your feet, shins, knees, hips and back causing its own host of problems.
Finally, we take other special considerations into account like your gender, weight, training surface, weekly mileage, injury status, orthotics, and structural deviations in the foot like bunions and extra bones. We put all this data together and bring out 2-3 pairs of shoes that we think will fit you best. Don't be surprised if one of those first shoes feels amazing - it means that we did our job right!
When you think about it, the foot is a marvelous structure. It has 28 bones (including the sesmoids), 33 joints, 112 ligaments, plus tendons, nerves, and blood vessels that work in unison to support, balance, and propel your body. No two feet are exactly the same nor do they always fit into a specific category. Don't cheat your feet and let a computer scan recommend an orthotic or running shoe for you. An injury is going to cost you a lot more, monetarily and mentally, than a good pair of shoes. Invest in your feet. Let our Fit Professionals teach you about your feet and help you find the perfect fit. We guarantee it!