As part of the Chicago Running Bloggers I was invited to a fun event last night at the newest Road Runner Sports Chicago location at 1435 N Kingsbury Street. I'd never been to Road Runner Sports before but I'd heard about their Shoe Dog fitting process and was eager to try it out.
But first things first! When running bloggers get together we have to do one thing above anything else. And that's run! Actually, first we had to try on some sample Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s.
(Photo courtesy of Too Tall Fritz)
These shoes were SO LIGHT! Seriously. I've been running in motion control Asics (the Gel Foundations for anyone who cares) for probably a year and a half and those are bricks compared to these stability shoes. I'm usually really wary about running in lighter shoes but we did a 3 mile run and I felt fine.
Although, that may be because the 3 mile route we ran from the store was full of narrow sidewalks and dodging pedestrians, lots of traffic light intersections, and general city congestion. Not the best (or fastest) 3 mile route I've ever run but I'm struggling to think of a better one in that part of town.
Anyway, once we got back to the store it was time for even more fun! Beer and pizza, entering our names into a raffle, massages and consults from Chicago Chiropractic and Sports Injury Centers (who are super nice AND in my neighborhood) and, finally, the Shoe Dog fitting!
The fitting process is rather proprietary so we weren't allowed to take any pictures. But the process is totally high tech AND you get custom molded inserts that you can purchase to go in the shoes you chose. They do a foot scan to determine your arch height, they measure your foot, and they have you run barefoot on a treadmill for about 10 seconds. And of course they video tape the whole thing. The most awesome part I think is that they can compare video clips from all the shoes you try on side by side so you can really see which shoe works best for you.
And the custom insoles. I have a really high arch and I've never felt that much arch support before! I may be a convert.
I did drop some serious cash on a new pair of Saucony ProGrid Guides after the analysis showed my Asics were just a bit too much shoe for me right now. The staff were just so helpful and knowledgeable and I felt good about my purchase.
However, I did come away with something else pretty awesome. I actually won a free massage from Chicago Chiropractic and Sports Injury Centers. I had already been planning on going in for an official consult on my whole hip pain issue after chatting them up at the event so it's like the stars aligned.
Sadly, we didn't have quite enough attendees to have a free shoe raffle but I'm hoping that Road Runner Sports does more fun events in the future! I believe they are starting a Women's Fun Run on Thursdays at 6:30 which might be something I'll look into. The store has a free parking lot (!!) and it's close to the #8 Halsted Bus and the North & Clyborn red line stop. Plus, it's right behind the HUGE Whole Foods. Running then dinner at the Whole Foods hot bar? Sounds good to me.
Thanks to Road Runner Sports for reaching out to the Chicago Running Bloggers group and hosting a fun event! And if you're in the Chicago area and looking for a new pair of running shoes, definitely head over to Road Runner Sports! I know I'll be back.