I recently decided it was high time for a new set of trainers. I’m not a runner, but my feet do take a bit of a battering from cardio classes at the gym, so I trotted on down to Sweatshop to see what they had to offer.
In the past I would usually either focus on price, brand or more realistically the colour of the trainers I’m buying. I’ve never taken into account the shape of my foot, how I run or how high my arches are. Luckily for me, Sweatshop do focus on these (very important) things, as they offer a free footwear consultation.
The consultation is carried out by staff who seriously know their trainers, plus it’s completely free with no obligation to buy. Firstly, they find out about the type of exercise you do and how often. Next, you take a run on the in-store treadmill to video your gait. After analysing your movements (and also having a good look at your feet), they are able to use everything they’ve seen to select the right pair of trainers for you.
When I was going through the consultation, I was given the option to try custom insoles by Footbalance. As I had discovered during my consultation I have high arches and underpronate when I run, it was suggested insoles would help balance me out.
I’ve never had insoles before and these are moulded especially for you. You stand on a machine that heats them around your feet, while the trainer expert person keeps your feet in the correct alignment. After a few minutes they set solid and you can pop them into your trainers.
I tried on three different pairs of trainers, all different styles and brands. Eventually I settled on Asics GT 2000v4 running shoes. They fit really well, I like the colour (important) and they’re really nice, light and comfortable. And, at £114.99, they also weren’t the most expensive in the shop.
I bought the insoles at £45, but again there’s no obligation to buy (even though the insoles have been moulded to you).
Overall, I was really impressed with the whole Sweatshop experience – the staff know their stuff, they have a huge range to choose from and I didn’t feel pressured to buy at all. I will definitely be making them my go-to trainer shop of choice.
When was the last time you bought a new pair of trainers and what did you go for?