Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fleet Feet

Photos by OHventures

Fleet Feet
1174 East Powell Road
Lewis Center, OH 43035

In beginning my training to run a half marathon, I was told over and over that the number one thing I must do is invest in a good pair of running shoes. I already knew that having some snazzy sneakers was a good idea when beginning to run, however, I was a bit behind on just how snazzy those sneakers should be. If you are going to be a runner, and especially if you are taking part in any sort of endurance event, you are putting yourself on the line and making yourself vulnerable to injury.

It's easy to dismiss this advice and take it lightly. I mean, it's just running, right? I always thought, "I don't need super expensive's just a gimmick...I'll be fine." But, the threat of injuring yourself while running is a serious topic. Some fine footwear for $100-$150 is a small price to pay in the long run, because not only will you perform better in endurance events and day-to-day cardio, but you will avoid extreme injuries such as shin splints, knee issues, and hip problems that could last a lifetime! All of your bones & muscles are connected (I know, that's 4th grade anatomy, but we often forget this). So, if you are running with shoddy shoes, you are sending negative waves from your feet all the way to your back. The last thing you want to do is mess yourself up for the rest of your life just because of naivete or negligence.

So, let's get some shoes!

Ohio has a great number of stores that specialize in personalized footwear (as I like to call it). Instead of just trotting into a Foot Locker and having your size eyeballed by a college student in a referee uniform, a professional running store will measure the ins and outs of your footsies to determine what types of problems you have and where you need the most support.

It's not rocket science, really. My running store of choice was Fleet Feet in Lewis Center (by Polaris Parkway just outside the I-270 loop). Here, the shoe experts took a look at my barefeet and noted the movements they made when I was relaxed and when I put pressure on them. They measured my feet, and also had me run on a treadmill for about 30 seconds.

The diagnosis? Personally, I have over-pronation in my feet, meaning the arches of my feet go inward everytime I take a step (or stride).

The remedy? I would need some extra support in the arches of my shoes.

The prognosis? With the extra padding in the right pair of shoes, my running would be less painful in my knees and shins, and I would consequently run much better, with greater ease, and - for once - the proper way!

The verdict? After running in my slick new Brooks shoes (at a cost of just $105), I most definitely was lighter on my feet and was able to run even further than usual.

As an added bonus, I recieved a free pair of running socks, which I learned to be very important in allowing your feet to breathe when running long distances! Stores like Fleet Feet also offer other running gear such as gels, belts, clothing, water bottles, etc.

Driving to Fleet Feet in Lewis Center doesn't make too much sense for those Ohioans living anywhere other than Central Ohio. Luckily there are a few other Fleet Feet locations in Ohio:

Fleet Feet Northeast Ohio
114 E. Aurora Road (Route 82)
Northfield Center, Ohio 44067

Fleet Feet Cincinnati
9525 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati OH 45242

And, for a complete listing of stores in Ohio where you can get specially fitted running shoes, visit OhioOutside.

Now that you have Happy Feet, get out there and TRAIN HARD!

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