Back in April this year I started the Couch to 5k course – joining up with my local running group the support I received was amazing and the friends I made are keepers. Once the course was completed I quickly progressed to complete my first 10k only four months after my first run (1 minute intervals).
I’d promised myself new running shoes after managing 10k – to be honest I wasn’t sure I could do it and was amazed on the day (it was an accident as the bridge we’d planned on crossing was closed!)
I’d heard my running friends talking about Advance Performance for a while and was getting some foot and shin niggles whilst running – my trainers were around ten years old and had seen better days so I decided to approach them for help.
I went to the Peterborough store for gait analysis, for advice on stretching and to get a pair of professionally fitted running shoes.
My old shoes were in an embarassing state but I was immediately put at ease as they’ve seen much worse. I didn’t know that I’ve been trotting about in shoes that were a size too small! Within two minutes we had the answer to my foot problems – did you know that you need to go up on average of one shoe size for running shoes? No? Me neither!
The analysis started with me running on the treadmill for around 30 seconds in my old shoes while my feet were recorded with specialist equipment – we then watched the footage back together and saw that I was over pronating on my right foot (my ankle rolled inwards as my foot landed). Kerry explained about heel striking and the importance of it – I didn’t realise that I was running on my forefoot (the ball on my foot was hitting the ground first) – some people do this naturally and some people do it on a treadmill as it’s so different to running outside.
Kerry brought out a selection of shoes for me to try, pointing out and explaining the technical bits of each design.
I tried on eight pairs in the end to find the right ones – heres a few of them…
The Mizuno Wave Rider 20
These are a neutral shoe (without extra support), look great and are really lightweight – they have a built in convex and concave wave geometry for a softer landing and smoother transition – but after watching back the footage they just didn’t solve my ankle issue.
Brooks Defyance 9
This is a neutral road running shoe – it’s a bit stiffer but versatile, offering a combination of smooth ride and cushioning. Its asthetically pleasing too but sadly still not supportive enoigh for me.
Asics gel persue 3
This is a lightweight and versatile – a very nice option for either distance or speed without much trouble. It has superior comfort, decent arch support, and smooth transitions for everyday running.
Once we got into the supported shoe we saw a difference in my gait – I was no longer over pronating and was heel striking (my heel was making contact with the ground first).
We whittled it down to three pairs and I was even allowed to run around outside in the car park in them all before choosing the right pair for me.
Adidas Supernova St
This shoe has built in guiderails to support the foot and provide the pronation control I need as well as having Boost foam, which is comfortable and responsive and custom midsole support
Well what else can I say? The staff are so friendly and knowledgeable – they’re runners too so know what problems we can come up against when pushing ourselves.
Advance Performance is so much more than just a sports store! Their aim is to help their customers achieve their personal goals – which could be anything from just starting out, getting ready for a Marathon/Triathalon or obsticle run or simply having comfortable feet – aside from stocking pretty much anything you could possibly need – they’re really knowledgeable if you’re struggling with anything in particular like the dreaded shin splints.
If you haven’t had gait analysis, I strongly recommend that you do. It’s free at Advance Performance when you buy shoes with them, otherwise it’s £25 (but you’ll get a voucher for £25 off shoes for when you need them) – and it’s worth every penny to get well fitted shoes that will enhance your performance and aid your recovery.
I noticed a difference from my first run – I stretched out as normal and haven’t had any foot or leg pain – my new running shoes are like clouds for my feet – the difference is amazing.
The service and shoes were provided for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.