Give a girl the right shoes…

…and she can rule the world!

just ask Kelly.

just ask Kelly.

I’m a firm believer in being professionally fitted for sneakers. It’s gotten to the point where I won’t even consider buying running shoes without having a professional help me find just the right kicks for where I am in my training.

Have you ever been to one of these places? I can only speak about my store (Road Runner Sports), but the process is similar everywhere: you meet with an expert who talks to you about your running habits (what are you training for, how many miles do you run a week, pavement or treadmill, paper or plastic, Giants or Jets, etc). They have you run on a treadmill barefoot and film it, then analyze your gait to find you just the right sneaker, all for free.

my papa getting his treadmill time at our last father/daughter fitting

So last week, with the final 5 weeks of my training staring me in the face – and my local store hosting its annual St. Patrick’s Day party! – it was a no brainer that I was heading in for the perfect sneakers to end my training and carry me over the finish of my half marathon at the end of next month!

you know the way to this Irish runner’s heart…

I enjoyed some free green beer in my new “Kiss me I’m a runner” mug while I waited for my turn on the treadmill, and had a good time talking with other runners at the party. I got called up and chatted with my expert about my goals, did my quick filmed jog on the treadmill, and got my “diagnosis”. No big surprises there: I put more weight on my right side to compensate for my left knee and I pronate (my ankles roll out when I run). Also I have SUPER high arches – no lie, at my first fitting the expert called all of his coworkers over to demonstrate how he could slide a pencil between the top & bottom of my foot where my arch completely missed the ground. Which was super confidence-building.

But anyway – it was finally time for my sneaker recommendations! Cue the heavenly music and angels bearing boxes of Sauconys and Nikes as I go into full-on Sex & the City fantasy mode. New Balance, Brooks, Mizuno, Asics, Pearl Izumi – you name it, I tried it on!

Carrie Bradshaw ain’t got nothin’ on me.

This is always my favorite part of the sneaker-buying process: it’s the one time in my life where I truly feel like a celebrity. I sit comfortably and give myself foot rubs and leg massages with the store’s foam roller and sprinter stick while the shoe runner brings out pair after pair of colorful kicks for me to try on. Every time they open up a new box I turn into Cinderella, oohing and aahing over the fun colors and gushing about the different features this shoe offers over the others, just waiting for the perfect fit. I even take a sprint around the store to test out the last 3-4 pairs, finally narrowing it down to my perfect, ultimate pair:

I may love them more than a human child.

I may love them more than a human child.

Brook’s Transcends.

They are *the* best. They cradle my ankle and help my alignment, but give me enough cushioning so that my knees don’t even hurt after 4 hilly miles. I don’t remember runs this smooth even before my knee surgery! I’ve never run in Brooks before, but just under 8 miles into this pair and I can already tell that this is the beginning of a loooong and beautiful relationship.

So tell me about your favorite running shoes! Have you ever been professionally fitted? What’s your perfect pair at the moment? Come on: Let’s get some shoes.

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