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!
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.
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