Many runners can spend up to $300 on new running shoes from a generic sport store. Apart from a new pair of shoes, those runners commonly go home with the increased risk of developing an injury as a direct result from being sold the wrong type of shoe.
We spoke to the Founder of the Running Company, Chris Chapman, on why it’s so important to get running shoes that fit, and how to do it quickly and effectively.
It was late 2008, I was the national account manager for one of the big chain of sports stores, overseeing Australia and NZ, based in Sydney for Nike, it was 5:30am and I was driving the 4+ hours to get out to a new store owners in rural NSW.
When I got out there and met them, they were lovely people, warm, welcoming but it soon became glaringly obvious that they knew:
1/Nothing about running as neither of them ran,
2/Knew nothing about shoes, their previous jobs were working in a Captain Snooze franchise selling beds, and
3/They had been left to fend for themselves by the business managers of that franchise, asking me about everything from footwear basics, how a shoe should fit, what is rolling in etc, to how many staff they should have on the shop floor on any day.
I was horrified to know that these people were so nice but they’d chosen to buy into a respected big chain store franchise because of the pure motivation of how much money they been told that they could make, even though they knew next to nothing about shoes or running or anything else related to either shoes and running!
I drove away from that meeting thinking, if these people had no knowledge, passion or idea around shoes or running and they threw their livelihoods into it, then I might not have had as anywhere near as much money as them but I had everything else which they didn’t.
In October 2009, I’d left my 8.5 years at Nike and opened the first Running Company store in Bondi Beach.
Armed with the cumulative knowledge of having worked in sporting retail locally in Adelaide (I grew up in Happy Valley) and globally in London from 1997-2001 and wholesale with Nike in 3 different positions from 2002-2009 from within the footwear marketing team, Medical and Technical and then wholesale sales, I knew the industry extremely well and knew what it was missing.
Having worked intimately with footwear designers, developers, biomechanists, physio’s, podiatrists, chiropractors, athlete’s, trainers etc at Nike, I knew that it can sometimes take a team of 10 and more people up to 3 years to design, develop and build a specific pair of shoes.
So why does it only take 5 minutes at a retail store owned by someone who used to work in a captain snooze franchise who knows nothing about running, footwear and everything else in between to sell you a pair of shoes that you will pay usually in excess of $200 for and put your trust in that these shoes will help keep you injury free and get you into running for the first time in years…
Welcome to The Running Company.
We’re the complete opposite of every other running or general sports store out there in retail land, why?
- Because we’ve worked in the wholesale side of running alongside some of the best minds globally who develop the footwear for all the brands, we know how shoes are built, why and what the right shoe should feel like and can do for you.
- Because we care about you more than how much money we can get out of you.
- Because we know about running, we’ve all run from 5k to Ultra marathons, Ironman and everything in between.
- Because we’ve had the injuries, ITB, Plantar Fasciitis, Achillies issues…
- Because we can justify why 1-2 pairs of shoes are right for you and more importantly are also able to justify why every other pair of shoes on our footwear walls are not.
- Because we believe in long term friends of the business, not just a quick sale to sell you a cheap pair of shoes.
- But most importantly, Because we want to see you succeed in either achieving your first 5k or first marathon, enjoying running, staying fit and healthy (warning, running can actually become addictive…)
So how do we do this?
We need to hear your running history, any injury issues and your future goals for running.
We need to see your old/current running shoes to see the fit you’ve been used to and the wear pattern of the shoe.
We’ll then have you being filmed running on the treadmill both barefoot and with your old shoes to see what’s been happening and what you’ve been putting your body through. What we’re looking for primarily is your rearfoot degree of pronation (we’ll explain this in further detail instore but know that it is a good thing.)
We’ll slow this down frame by frame on both your left and right foot to see if there is any Asymmetry between your left and right lower leg movements and what degree if any.
3/New Shoe Assesment.
Now comes the fun part, time to test out as many shoes as we need to get the job done!
We will reassess the effect of the shoe on the foot to see which shoe gives the right amount of balanced support and keep you aligned.
4/The choice is yours.
Of those shortlisted as functioning the best, it’s up to you to choose the most comfortable pair for you. Some people value look more than comfort and that’s fine, so long as they’re functioning right and the fit is great for you, it’s whichever one you want!
Ps. Not everyone ends up with a choice of 5 different styles, everyone is different and as such some people have a choice of 1-2 options, some people have 5, it’s whatever is best to help keep you running and making sure that the footwear isn’t a contributing factor to holding you back from achieving your goals.
Pps All shoes are sold at the recommended retail price, there is no extra charge for this service.
5/Why do we do all this?
At the heart of what we do is to help keep you injury free.
We need to ensure that the footwear that you run in, is set up specifically for your body’s mechanics, quite simply, with the wrong footwear, you could spend hundreds and thousands of dollars at the physio, podiatrist, chiropractor to get right.
We deal with trusted sports medical practitioners (like Move Physiotherapy & Pilates and Bodyline Health …) who all send their clients to us so that they can ensure that the treatments they’re prescribing are not being undone by poor footwear that was sold to them by someone who simply didn’t know what they were doing and didn’t care but just tried to make a quick sale.
Going through the process takes time, you should allow yourself a minimum of 30 minutes for a fitting and if it helps we can make a specific appointment for you, it can sometimes take over an hour but it’s worth it and we’re happy to spend the time doing it if you are.
If anyone wants cheap shoes and take a gamble, then go on the internet, you’ll snag a bargain – guaranteed.
But if you want to make sure that the shoes you’ll be spending over 70 hours running in (avg 12 km/hour 5:00min/km pace for over 800km) don’t give you an injury, drop us a line, we’re here to help you achieve your goals.
Please don’t hesitate to sing out with any questions whatsoever!
The Running Company – Adelaide prides itself on:
- Donating $1 from every sale of every shoe to 1 of 3 local charities – you choose who.
- Recycling your old shoes to stop them going into landfill through Nike Re use a shoe.
- Want a coffee – we appreciate a gold coin donation to 1 of our 3 charities instore with thanks to “Carnavale Coffee Roasters” for a quality coffee whilst in store.
- Proud Sponsor of the South Australian Road Runners Club (SARRC).
- Proud Sponsor of Yumigo trail running.
- Proud Sponsor of the Bike Society Excel Sports Moana triathlon series.
- Proud Sponsor of Rogaining SA.
- Proud Sponsor of all parkrun runs in SA
The Running Company – Adelaide
Shop 3/278a Unley Road,
Hyde Park, SA 5061