We begin by asking the right questions about their running, walking or fitness history, including injuries and what specific shoes may have worked well in the past. Combining this with a visual inspection of their bare foot while standing and in motion, we can focus our search for shoes that will be very comfortable and work well for their intended use.
While the treadmill allows us to film so we can watch in real speed or slow motion and has a higher tech feel to it, there are some limitations to treadmill analysis. The sidewalk allows us to see more potential problems because many people run a little differently on the treadmill than on a hard surface. For example, we will see more overpronation on the sidewalk than the treadmill. Also, concrete is a better testing ground for the cushioning of a given shoe. The key is having the opportunity to do both as needed.
This also ensures that the shoes work as intended and the customer has had a good opportunity to compare support, cushion, fit and feel of similar models.
If they do not feel great we encourage them to return to the store for reevaluation.