This is time of year when I start looking ahead to next year and start determining what goals I want to pursue and achieve. With 1300+ miles logged on roads and trails 260+ hours of physical activity so far, I welcome the brief, self-prescribed “off-season” between Thanksgiving and Christmas to enjoy increased family activities, see the wonder and joy in my three kids’ eyes, and attend a few holiday parties (some that involve running clothes and some that actually involve street clothes).
This period presses a physical and mental reset button akin to a walk break or aid station on a 50-miler trail race.
Part of that reset button this year has been to reevaluate my footwear intentionally to find solutions to some nagging issues I’ve been having. Enter…the good folks at Fleet Feet Nashville who have brought the Fit ID system to Middle Tennessee, a full 3D foot scan “measuring everything that matters” in a whopping five seconds. And combining their friendly and knowledgeable staff (“Hi Maya!”) with this latest technology is a winning combination.
Here’s what I learned through this experience at the Fleet Feet Nashville store in Green Hills.
My feet are wider than I thought, and I’ve been wearing shoes that are too narrow. Surprise! This explains the extra-worn area at my pinky toes on some of my shoes (and the callouses that have formed on those wee toes). Those little piggies have been crammed in there, and they’re trying to bust out!
My feet are of the “high arch” kind (“Disney feet” as my wife calls them), and I’ve been wearing shoes with too-little arch support, making my feet work harder than usual (and therefore fatiguing sooner) on long runs. Surprise!
My feet are two different sizes. One a half size larger than the other. One is wider than the other. Another surprise!
My feet are a mystery to me, even though I’ve read multiple articles and listened to countless podcasts in recent years about shoes–low vs high vs zero heel drop, wide vs narrow, neutral vs stability, minimal vs maximal. So when I’ve shopped for shoes on my own (“I can do this myself, thank you very much”), I’ve found just-OK shoes but not great shoes for my feet. And honestly, I’m not really happy with any of my current shoes. They work and get the job done, but they don’t get the job done well. They don’t allow my feet to function best.
Fleet Feet Nashville to the rescue!
Based on the Fit ID scan, Maya then asked questions about the kind of running I do–distance, surface, goals, history, injuries, pains, etc.–then bopped to the back room to pull several pairs of shoes to try (Brooks Ghost 10, New Balance 880, and Hoka Bondi 5 for road plus Hoka Speedgoat 2 and Altra Lone Peak for trail). Each one fit like a glove. My pinky toes had room to groove, and they didn’t bulge through the shoe wall. Not really a surprise because…Fit ID and Maya.
To accommodate my high arches, she also suggested using special insoles (Columbia Montrail and Superfeet Orange) instead of the factory-supplied sock liner insert which is flimsy in comparison to these rigid insoles. Another surprise (I would have “intuitively” put the special insoles on top of the sock liner insert…der). These special insoles provide foot support over more surface area of my foot and help with power transfer to the ground (akin to properly inflated tires on a car) which helps me run more efficiently for longer distances and faster paces.
This store visit was more a recon mission than a shopping mission since it’s the holiday season (translated, I now know what specifically to have a little conversation with Santa about) so I’ve yet to officially select one of these recommendations, but I fully intend to be on my best behavior so I make that Nice List.
My big takeaway so far from reviewing 2017 and planning for 2018 is that it’s time to intentionally buy road and trail shoes so I’m properly equipped with the right gear to achieve 2018 goals.
My time at Fleet Feet Nashville was a fantastic experience, and I appreciate the time, attention, product knowledge, and friendly customer service Maya provided on this visit. Which tells me that she’s likely already on the Nice List.