At Fleet Feet Sports PDX, our fit is comprehensive. We are committed to making sure that when you walk (or run) out the door, you’re in the best position possible to meet your running or fitness goals.
We’re known for how we fit shoes. It’s called a “gait analysis” or “fit process.” Here are the basics of what you should expect.
First, we get to know you. We like to have a short conversation about your goals, injury history, and upcoming races.
Second, we ask you to take off your shoes and socks. Why? Because we want to see your ankles, your feet, your bunions, your toes, your arches. Seeing all this allows us to qualitatively assess what problems you may or may not have in your feet, so we can recommend shoes that best accommodate the volume, length, and width of your foot. We’ll have you walk a bit, which will allow us to observe how you move. A more technical description of what we’re doing is assessing your biomechanics, gait, and foot shape. During this part of the process, we are gathering a bunch of evidence in our heads which we will use later. Our neurons are firing!
Third, we measure. We measure your feet to get quantitative facts about them (arch length, foot length, foot width).
Fourth, we put it all together to make a recommendation. With all the information we now have – your goals, your history of fitness and injury, your feet and how you walk – we work on the perfect fit.
We’re known for shoes, but we have tons of knowledge about other products, too, like inserts, injury tools, bras, and nutrition. See below for more information.
2. How long does this process take?
On average, it takes us around a half hour to fit you for shoes. We are happy to spend more time with you, or less, if you’re in a hurry. Just give us a heads up if your parking meter is about to expire or if you have a lunch date with your aunt in 20 minutes. We’ll be sure to respect your time.
3. How much does this analysis cost?
It really, really costs nothing. We are a specialty store, so the products we carry require a specialty fit. It’s plain old-fashioned customer service, and we’re here to serve you!
4. Can’t I just buy my shoes online?
You totally can. And actually, you can purchase a lot of products through our website. But we highly recommend getting fit, and getting fit over and over again. Sports science evidence not only suggests but actually declares that biomechanics change over time. Age, weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and higher mileage can all affect what your feet need. Also, the product changes. The shoe you’ve worn for the last 20 years, across a million versions, may update and suddenly be shorter, longer, wider, weirder, or better. We know every dirty or awesome detail about product updates, and we want to make sure the shoe you’ve always loved still fits.
5. What footwear brands do you carry?
We carry a wide selection of footwear from Asics, New Balance, adidas, Nike, Brooks, Hoka, Mizuno, Altra, and Saucony. (in no particular order).
6. This sounds intimidating. Is it?
No, we hope not! We employee staff who are passionate about fitness at every level: some of us are walkers, others are casual runners, and we have a few fast people. Because we’re passionate, we care deeply about fitting our customers correctly – whether you’re starting to walk or wanting to train for a marathon. None of us have it all figured out: we’ve dealt with injuries and setbacks, and we all started somewhere.
Running and walking shoes are vitally important, and so are other products that we mustn’t fail to mention.
Socks: you won’t find a cotton sock in our store. We stock only socks that are high quality, synthetic, highly breathable, of all different lengths and thicknesses. We would be mortified if you got blisters from a sock in our store: no cotton permitted!
Inserts: we recommend a few different brands of inserts: Superfeet, SOLE, and Spenco. Inserts benefit runners and walkers of all types, as they align and support the heel as well as the arch. We have a literal insert rainbow on our wall, full of inserts for every arch height and foot volume.
Bras: it is crucial for a sports bra to fit properly. Our staff are trained to measure and fit you for a bra that will protect and support you. We can’t stress how important a well-fitting sports bra is for comfort and protection.
Injury prevention: Phew. Our list of injury tools is extensive. We have massage tools from Triggerpoint, Addaday, Pro-Tec, and Moji, and anything from anti-chafing sticks to socks designed to help alleviate plantar fasciitis to compression socks to Correct Toes. We can help answer any questions you have about these products and even show you how to use them.
Not to mention…
We also are educated to help you pick the right nutrition for your next race, the right headlamp, running watch, or hydration pack. You name it, we’ll do our best to help.