Our 5 Step Fit Process
The 1st Place Sports 5-Step Fit Process is designed to help our customers find a shoe that provides maximum comfort while also providing the protection you need to avoid common running injuries. The Process takes about 15 minutes to complete, is painless, can be very informative, and the best part is - its FREE!
Step 1: The Interview
A short history of your running and walking goes a long way in determining the proper shoe for your running or walking style. In order to determine the perfect shoe for you we asks questions like the following:
- Do you run or walk?
- How far or how often to you run/walk?
- What are your running or walking goals?
- What is your injury history?
If you are currently running or walking, please bring in your old shoes. The wear pattern on the sole of your shoe tells us a lot about your running/walking form.
Step 2: Foot Analysis
We will give you a quick foot pressure test to see the shape of your foot and to also get at look at the structure of your arch. The arch plays a very important role in the mobility of your foot during the weight-bearing phase of your gait cycle. We will also measure your foot for length and width. Running and walking shoes usually run smaller than your normal street shoes, so getting the size correct is paramount to successful shoe selection. As you move through your gait cycle, the foot will turn to the outside to allow the heel to touch the ground first. Once the heel touches the ground the foot will pronate (movement from the outside of the heel toward the arch). The amount your foot pronates or does not pronate determines your foot category.
We can also use the Achillex Gait Analysis System! Achillex is a sensor that is worn on the ankle and heel that measures the degree of pronation, impact forces, and vibration in the foot while actually running on hard surfaces. The analysis takes about five minutes and requires one jog down the sidewalk to get a detailed analysis of your running style. The information is automatically downloaded into the Achillex software in seconds. Once the information is downloaded, the computer will help to determine the type of running shoe that is needed by the individual. Different running shoes can then be compared for the best possible shoe for that individual!
Step 3: Defining your shoe category
The interview and the foot analysis will give our expert shoe fitters the information they need to select the proper shoe category for you. We classify runners and walkers into the following categories:
This person has a high rigid arch that does not pronate. This type of foot needs maximum cushion to protect the runner/walker from the forces of impact. When your foot strikes the ground you land with three to four times the force of your body weight. We recommend cushion shoes for this type of runner.
This person has a normal to low arch that tends to roll slightly to the inside of the foot during weight bearing. This person still needs a shoe with good cushion, but also needs a shoe that will help keep the foot stable during the gait cycle. We recommend cushion-stability shoes for this type of runners.
This person usually has flat feet, no arch, or has a very hyper mobile ankle. The foot rolls too far to the inside during weight bearing. We recommend motion control shoes for this type of runner.
Step 4: The Fit
Once we have determined your category, we are ready to try on comparable shoes from different manufactures. Shoes from different manufacturers will have slight variances in how they fit and feel. We need you to make the final selection based on your own personal comfort. This part of the fit process will include checking the fit of the shoe while you stand. The foot will expand when you stand up. We want to make sure that you have enough room for your foot to expand during the weight-bearing phase of your gait cycle.
Step 5: The Verification
By the time your reach this point of the fitting process you should feel as if your feet have found a new home, but we must still verify the selection. The final test is as we watch you run/walk on our treadmill or we may send you outside for a quick test on the sidewalk. We want to make sure the shoes perform as expected and that you are satisfied with the selection.
After your purchase we want you to feel confident that the shoes you take home are the best available for your comfort and protection. After all, we want you to be a life-long runner/walker and also a life-long customer.