When you are interested in trying a new sport what is the first thing you do?  I know I look for the gear to go with the sport.  That is why when I was challenged to take part in a five kilometer race in November I started to seek out advice on the running gear I would need.  Right off the bat I found the two essential things I would come to need were a supportive bra and the right pair of shoes.

I thought I would have no problems.  I would go to any store get a pair of tennis shoes and a sports bra and I would be on my way.  Of course that is not how it happened but I thought it would.  The bra was an entire issue all itself.  Not all runners have an A or B cup but the bras available in stores would have you assuming they do.  I did have to special order a style online and am happy with the choices available to me.  Shoes were abundant but I found finding the right pair for my foot and running style were a bit trickier.

Thankfully I had help from knowledgeable staff members. The first thing I was told was that I needed to narrow down the pronation of my foot when running.  Thankfully I had worn my old tennis shoes.  From them they were able to determine that I had a pretty uniform wear pattern.  This meant that I was going to be choosing a stability style running shoe.

Had the staff noticed that I tended to wear out the inside of my shoe they would have recommended a motion control shoe specifically designed for a foot that has little to no arch that would typically result in wear on the inside portion of a shoe.  On the other hand had I wore out the outside of my shoe I would have had to look into cushioned running shoes which help to offer extra support to people with incredibly high arches.  A low arch means are naturally going to be an overproator and a high arch means that you are an underpronator.  I have a neutral pronation which means my foot offers perfect proportion; the middle arch width is equivalent to the width of the connection between my heels and toes.

In order to find the perfect pair of shoes I was told to come back later in the afternoon after I had done some mild walking.  This would allow for the natural expansion that a foot goes through as the day progresses.  This makes sense also because as I run my foot will expand.  I also went out and bought socks that had moisture wicking qualities and brought them back with me later that afternoon.

The sales person was great and I felt he asked all the right questions in my quest for running shoes.  I had never given any thought to running shoes so I was happy to have his assistance. His questions revolved around my novice status; he wanted to know how many miles I planned on running, what was the ground going to be like that I was running on, my weight and also about any past foot issues.

With this information he measured each of my feet and pulled shoes to help me find a perfect fitting shoe.  I was told a perfect fit would include a thumbs width between my big toe and the front of the shoe.  Also, that the width should fit like a glove not too snug but not at all loose. The heel should not move and the laces should be tied without causing irritation to the top portion of my foot.

After trying on multiple styles I narrowed my quest down to two different shoes.  I was lucky because the store I went to had a treadmill to run on to try the shoes out before purchasing.  It was lucky that I did this because the pair that was more appealing to my eye and would have won the contest was not the perfect shoe for me.  Putting in my first few miles was torture but not because of improper foot wear.  My body took time to adjust to running but my feet were fabulous with my new running gear.