ProFeet Review

Buying a pair of running shoes is as simple as finding a pair that fits comfortably…and looks good, right? Yes, and no as I found out on my visit to ProFeet in Fulham, London.

I arrived having already checked out what shoes I wanted (they were a cool colour and looked like they would make me run faster) and I was willing to try others on but knew I would leave with the pair I wanted!

When you arrive at Profeet you instantly realise this isn’t your normal running store. Firstly everyone actually looks like they run and on their website you can see the credentials of all the employees as a nice full disclosure. From podiatrist experts to ultra running coaches you know you’re in safe hands. The next thing you notice is all of the car seats that line the walls. I was instantly greeted and met Steve (Senior Footwear Technician & Treatments at ProFeet) who would be helping me out (I had made an appointment and this is well worth doing). I was sat down in one of the chairs and asked to take my shoes and socks off. Steve then inspected my feet, measured them (apparently they are different sizes!) and asked me about my running, what kind of running I do, had I done any races and if I had any coming up. I told him I had a place for Race to the Stones and that I had done a couple of ultras before. I was then asked to run on the treadmill barefoot while they filmed me from behind. This is where it gets really cool and they show you your running in slow motion.

At first glance I thought how great my running form looked…then on closer inspection my left ankle would totally collapse on landing – not cool! I knew I had slight pronation in my left foot but I had no idea it was that bad. Steve took one look and said not to worry and that I just needed a bit more support in a shoe until I can strengthen the ankle back up. Phew!

ProFeet_Treadmill

Steve whisked off and grabbed three pairs of shoes. Some Mizuno’s, a pair of Scott’s and a pair of Brooks. I tried on the Scott shoes and again ran on the treadmill. My running form had vastly improved! However they didn’t feel quite right and I definitely didn’t want to go and get the first pair I tried. Next was the Mizuno’s. I put them on and they instantly didn’t feel right. Running in them my left ankle had a bit more support but was still slightly collapsing so it was on to the Brooks. Instantly these felt far more comfortable. To be specific they were the Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes and I had read a LOT of good reviews about these. Running on the treadmill was a dream, they were supportive enough without being too heavy and clumpy.

Brooks_Cascadia

So I’d found the perfect shoes, however I had gone in with my heart set on a pair of Salomon Sense Pro shoes. I asked Steve if I could try them on to compare and he said I was more than welcome to but to be aware they have very little support and he wouldn’t recommend them. I figured I would regret it if I didn’t at least try them on. The fit was perfect, I’m not sure a shoe has ever fitted me better. However as they have so little support my ankle was really taking a battering. Steve was bang on with his advice. As much as I wanted the Salomon’s and I hope I can strengthen my ankle up over the next few months to eventually run in them the Brooks Cascadia’s had to be the ones!

Overall I cannot recommend ProFeet enough and I will definitely be going back there for my next pair of running shoes. The advice is spot on, they’re incredibly friendly and they are everything that a running shop should be.

For anyone that is interested ProFeet have three different levels of service.

·      Shoe Fit – Free with shoe purchase (and what I had)

·      Sport Assessment - £40 – for anyone that wants insoles too

·      Pro Assessment - £45-£80 – hugely detailed analysis

This is just a very basic synopsis of their services so for more info check out their website www.profeet.co.uk

A squirrel eating a quaver...nature

Last weekend I headed out of London and upto the Lake District to support my housemate (Becky) running her first marathon. This was also a great excuse for me to get a quality trail run done in preparation for the Carphone Warehouse Race To The Stones

The first night was mostly kit prep, race registration, race tactics, winding up Becky, a swim in Lake Windermere (it would have been rude not to) and much amusement over a squirrel eating a quaver.

I've had some time off running and focused more on the CrossFit side of training recently so it was good to give my running a bit of a test while Becky ran her race. I found the biggest fell and aimed straight up! I was surprised at how I was able to keep my breathing at such a level state despite such a steep ascent - clearly the CrossFit is helping. I climbed up and up for around 40mins until I had a truly incredible view. I had reached the top only to find the actual summit was at least another hour of running. I decided to take it easy and head back down (after a quick drink from the stream) to save my legs for the following days Race to the Stones route recce. The downhill was epic. Flying down the loose scree I was in my element. There were a few sketchy moments but it was so good being back on some proper trails. 

The following day started off with squats...heavy squats and lots of them. This was swiftly followed by a full english before jumping in the car and heading to the trails again. The Race To The Stones route is looking awesome. Fast, fairly flat but with slight rolling hills and endless single track. I can't wait to get out racing and experience the rest of this course! 

Morrocco

The Morocco edit has now gone live and you can check it out over on EpicTV now!!

I recently got the chance to go on a once in a life time trip to Morocco. The plan was to climb, surf and base jump (just Tim on the base jumping for this trip). 

Due to various time / work commitments we all arrived at different times, however once we had all arrived in Marrakech it was time to head to the mountains. On the way we would stop off at Ouzoud falls for Tim to get a quick base jump in (check out the edit here) and for the rest of us to enjoy the incredible waterfall.

Ouzoud Falls

Ouzoud Falls

Before the jump we went through EVERYTHING. Kit was checked, radios were tested, landing sites were scouted, med packs were prepped and worst case scenarios were discussed. Now I've seen someone base jump before but when it's one of your best mates about to jump off a cliff with a parachute on his back it's suddenly very real. I was nervous even if Tim wasn't! 

We headed up on top of the waterfall and set up the cameras and did the last minute parachute checks. Finally it was time to jump. The quadcopter set off, the crowds inevitably ensued and Tim was ready....3,2,1 and jump! Moments of breathlessness (from me) followed waiting for the parachute to open. Then, crack and he's all safe! Or so we thought..

Concerned about hitting the near side of the falls he jumps so far that he lands on the other side. We all sprint to find him and luckily by the time we get there he's safe and ready for a beer. 

Climbing kit checks

Climbing kit checks

The following day we headed off through the mountains on our way to Gorges du Todra. We camped right next to the crag that night and were shocked at how nice all the locals were, especially as soon as they noticed we were climbers. Our experience of Moroccan people so far had only been in Marrakech where everyone wanted your money and as much of it as they could get their hands on. Here in the mountains we were greeted with tea and even given rugs to sleep on by a local shopkeeper - a far cry from the markets of Marrakech.

Nearing the top of the first multi-pitch climb

Nearing the top of the first multi-pitch climb

We spent the first day just getting used to rope work again and working out camera shots for filming etc.

Then we started on the multi-pitch routes. The rock was awesome, super dry and sharp enough to grip on everything (and destroy all of our rock shoes). The topo's (guides for the climbing routes) were interesting...all hand written and the grading was all over the shop. Despite this the routes were amazing and we were climbing in sun and heat, not dodging the English rain.

The first multi-pitch was also nearly our last. I was belaying Matt with Liam right next to me when suddenly we heard Matt shout "BELOW!!!". We both looked up to see a rock hurtling towards us. We both threw ourselves as close to the wall as possible and you could literally feel the air pressure as it shot past. A close call and a reality check of the unknowns of nature.

Even when it was dark there was climbing to be done. Headtorches came out and up we went. 

Even when it was dark there was climbing to be done. Headtorches came out and up we went. 

After a few days of climbing I needed a break so I decided to head out for a run. I had seen a route heading up in to the hills and so I threw my shoes on and headed on up only to be treated with this epic view!

run
A local guide takes us through the climbing routes for the next day

A local guide takes us through the climbing routes for the next day

We had climbed hard and Tim had squeezed another jump in but eventually it was time to move on. An 8 hour taxi ride, an over night stop, a four hour taxi ride and then we were finally reached the coast. 

The taxi rides were cosy..

The taxi rides were cosy..

taxi_wide
My signature I went somewhere and did a handstand photo

My signature I went somewhere and did a handstand photo

We reached Taghazout and before the taxi had even stopped we had a Moroccan man sticking his head in the window offering us an apartment to rent. It was a bargain (although for Moroccan prices we still probably got ripped off). 

The next day it was a 6am wake up and by 06:30 we were in the water ready to surf. The waves weren't great but it was just awesome to be back in the sea after such a long time. Back out for food, then another surf, more food, another surf and then it was time for dinner. It was an epic place to surf with so much variety and so many different breaks to naturally cater for all abilities and I couldn't recommend the place enough. 

A few more days of this and we were done. Shattered, ever so slightly less white and ready for a meal that wasn't bread, rice and meat we headed home.