When I first started into Triathlon Training, I had no idea the amount or the specificity of the equipment that I would need. I of course knew that I needed a bicycle, running shoes, and some clothing, but had no idea about watches, bike shoes, aero helmets, aero wheels, wetsuits, or any of the other myriad of items. In fact, my first running shoes were simply some I picked up at a local sports store for cheap. I just had not idea.
When I started getting more serious about my racing and my running, I knew that I needed to purchase some shoes that would enable me to have the best running performance. Once again, I was at a loss of where to turn to start this process. I looked online and searched for different items about running shoes. I found a lot of information specifically about running marathons or distance races. I did not find a lot of information about specific ideas for triathlon shoes. I took some of the ideas from the information that I found and began the process of purchasing shoes.
Along the way, I have discovered several different ideas for selecting shoes that I would like to share in this post.
- Get Fit – No this is not a redundant idea of getting more physically fit, but rather get fit to the type of shoe you need. Most running specific stores will help you discover which shoe will be the best for you. Many of these stores will take you through a series of tests to determine which shoe fit will be best for you. Having done this a few times now, the process goes something like this. First, the sales representative will talk to you a little bit about what you do for running, how long you have been running, and what your goals are in running. I look and ask for someone who has been with the store a while so as to get the best kind of discussion about my needs as a runner especially since I focus on Triathlon specific running. Second, they will either electronically, by using a special pad you stand on, or manually, by using the old sizing metal platform that is always cold, they will determine your size and width of your foot. Third, they will head to the back to bring you up a sample shoe for you to do some exercise in. I always know that the sales person is going to pick a shoe they like, so I am leery of just latching on to the first shoe. The sample shoe will be a neutral shoe with no lift or assistance to keep your foot straight. Fourth, the sales rep will have you get on a treadmill and run for 5-10 minutes while they record the way your feet fall. You will want to wear something that you can run in comfortably. The last session I had like this, the gentleman also recorded me from the side to make sure I was landing correctly. After you finish this brief running session, the sales rep will watch the video with you. He is looking for supination, which is the opposite of pronation and refers to the outward roll of the foot during normal motion. If you have too much supination then you will need to have a shoe that will help to balance your feet. I have a pretty neutral fall to my feet so this has not been a problem for me. At one of the places I have visited, they had me stand on a glass screen that took a measurement of the pressure points of my foot. This helped to understand the arch level of the foot. After all of this data is collected the sales rep will choose a shoe for you to try. This fitting process is very important.