To find the right shoe, shoe sales staff often watch customers run on a treadmill or outside. “The visual analysis of a customer’s footstrike is an essential part of finding the right shoe,” explained Dan Schade of Fleet Feet in San Francisco. “The goal is to use a shoe to correct any overpronation, help with shock absorption and guidance for supinators or complement their foot strike if they have a neutral foot strike to begin with.” Schade distinguishes the Fleet Feet exam as a tool for shoe fitting and urges runners to seek the advice of sports medicine doctors or podiatrists for gait analysis that addresses injury- or form-related issues. “We work closely with podiatrists, physical therapists and sports chiropractors so we can refer our customers,” explained Schade.
This piece first appeared in the January 2012 issue of Competitor magazine.