2019 Gear Trends
RaceME sat down with John Rogers, owner of Fleet Feet Sports Maine Running in Portland Maine, and Erin Flatley, Marketing and Social Media Manager, to learn about trends we can expect to see in running gear this year.
Starting with shoe trends, John said, “I see the future of shoe innovations continue to be aided by the latest technology in 3D imaging and scanning. This precise data combined with in-store gait analysis, makes it easier to assess proper sizing based on a person’s foot type, individual shape of arches and pressure points. These advanced imaging tools give us more accurate details for measuring gait characteristics from ‘heel strike’ to ‘toe off’ with significant information in real time. In the future, I see more shoe stores having the ability to create personalized inserts and footwear right in the store.”
A Fleet Feet and Karhu Collaboration
The Karhu Ikoni is a revolutionary development in the world of running shoes. This shoe was shaped by foot-scan data from more than 100,000 Fleet Feet fit id images (see more about fit id below). That means real feet dictated the specific design of the shoe and that Fleet Feet customers, owners and employees (maybe even you?) are part of development process. Stop into either Maine Fleet Feet store location and find out more information about this unique footwear.
fit id™ creates a 3D scan of a person’s feet and provides specific measurements including foot width, length, and arch height. The scan takes five seconds to complete and appears on an in-store tablet, allowing the fit specialist to review, discuss observations, and find solutions together with the individual. Customers can get re-scanned on future visits, so Fleet Feet Sports staff can discuss any changes in measurements. fit id™ helps create a powerful in-store experience for customers that is free and they can’t get online. The technology also includes a kids’ scanning feature, which incorporates a gaming element into the scanning process.
Though there are numerous factors that come into play when assessing shoe mileage – from training styles and surfaces to your body weight and mechanics – replacing your shoes every 300 to 500 miles of wear is a general practice for athletes. Because of these very unique circumstances, Erin Flatly from Fleet Feet Sports Maine Running gives us some personalized indicators to follow to when it comes time to start shopping for the next pair of shoes.
Erin recommends to go by feel. “If it doesn’t feel like it used to and you notice subtle changes in how the shoes conform to your foot or how it is performing while you run, that is sign of wear. Also take notice if physical signs in your body such as certain twinges, shin splints or aches that start to come on gradually, because that is another key sign. Other physical signs that you need new shoes are any blisters or hot spots on your heel from the back of the shoe wearing down, or if the shoe is not feeling stable to you.”
Shoes are a very personal piece of equipment for many athletes, requiring a lot of research and trial and error to find the right brand, style and fit.
Extend the life of your shoes
1. Only wear the running shoes when running. “Mileage is mileage, and even just standing, due to the compression, will take its toll,” said Joey Michaud, Fleet Feet Maine Running stores’ Retail Experience Manager, who then provided a great analogy “It’s similar to how carbonated beverages lose fizz over time and go flat. It’s the same with the composites that make up the encapsulated air inside the shoe material. With every step, you are compressing that material down further and further.”
2. Alternate with another shoe around halfway through the life of your main running shoe and and slowly incorporate it in. This allows your main shoes longer time to recover between runs, which allow them to maintain their structural integrity for longer.
3. Do not wash your shoes in a washing machine. Instead, use a sponge and a toothbrush with soap and water. If you do get your shoes soaking wet on a run, take the laces and inserts out and let all parts dry completely.