Last summer Chris talked about his experience with the Mizuno “Run With Us” Mobile Running Lab. Apparently the drive from Oklahoma to Las Vegas takes a lot longer than I realized because it finally rolled into my town Friday. And since it was at my local Fleet Feet store, I took full advantage to head on over and see what it was all about.
The trailer was hot and only a few people could be in there at a time. There were two fit stations inside, a bench where you could sit to try on shoes and shelves of each model of Mizuno shoe in each size.
The fit stations consisted of a plate where you stand that connects to a console with a computer in the front. First I stood on the glass right in the center of the plate and the machine scanned my feet. This tells the technician my shoe size and evaluates my arches and stance. Based on this scan, I have normal arches and I stand with my feet mostly straight forward but with a slight “V” position.
Then they have you walk back and forth so they can watch the pronation of your foot. They ask if you are a midfoot or heel striker. I guess if the participant had no clue you would probably be asked to run around and they would answer the question for you.
They have you stand back on the plate, with your feet on the sides and do a squat to determine the flexibility of your upper ankle joint. If you can’t get fully into the squat your joints are less flexible. I was able to do the full deep squat.
Next step is to have you stand in the center of the plate and a camera measures the line of your legs, basically checking to see if you are normal, bow-legged or knock-kneed. Then they have you stand on one leg and do two single-leg squats on each leg to check if your knee moves in to the center. I tracked normal on each of these measurements.
Lastly, if you are a woman, they have you do a test where you place your hand flat on the console and lift your pinky finger. Apparently there is a correlation in flexibility of the connective tissue in your hand to your legs, but only in women. I have super-flexible pinkies!
So the result of all this was to give me a shoe recommendation from the Mizuno product line. They recommended the Mizuno Wave Rider or Wave Precision… both of which are neutral shoes.
The first time I got fit for running shoes I was put in neutral. Then I was put in stability, which I’ve stuck with for a while. Now the Mizuno lab diagnosed me with neutral.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do with that information. I did not get a new pair of shoes, but the ones I tried on sure were comfy. Probably some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever put on.
But I was impressed with the whole process, so I dragged my husband to the Saturday location for the lab and got him checked out. He was placed in neutral shoes as well.
If you get the chance to go through this process, I recommend it. The tests are interesting and highlight all the different systems in the lower body that can affect our gait.
My one beef with the fitting… they’re touting that all participants in the lab get a tech t-shirt. My husband and I were both granted shirts labeled as “100% cotton”… but they’re decent looking shirts and the information/process was informative, so I’ll give Mizuno a pass on denying me a shirt I could run in!