When you shop for running shoes, how do you narrow down your choices? You might have a go-to brand, and, of course, you should always try them on and make sure they feel good on your feet, but beyond that, do you know what type of shoe you should be running in? Short of going into a running specialty store and getting an evaluation from an expert, do you know how to figure it out?
One of the reasons we love being brand ambassadors for Brooks Running is because they’re always coming up with ways to help us all run a little happier, and their awesome Shoe Finder function — which helps those of us shopping from the comfort of our own homes figure out our Stride Signature — is a pretty brilliant way to do just that.
What’s the Brooks Running Shoe Finder?
First off, let’s talk a second about the Shoe Finder. Basically, it’s a quiz (and who doesn’t love a quiz? There was a reason I subscribed to Seventeen for years and years, and it wasn’t because of their stellar eyeliner advice) that takes you through all aspects of your running style. It guides you through your natural foot position, stability, joint flexibility, injury history, mileage and more before prompting you to select the kind of experience you want: Do you prefer to float above the ground with “more” shoe? And if so, would you prefer to be cushioned or energized? Or, rather than float, are you more interested in a lightweight shoe that allows you to feel the ground? If that’s the case, do you want to feel connected to the run, or would you like to be propelled?
So, the Shoe Finder guides you toward the shoes that best work with the way your body wants to run based on your Stride Signature (meaning the highly individual way your body best moves when running), but you still get to weigh in with your own preferences, which is pretty much exactly the way shopping for a new running shoe should go. Interestingly, my quiz didn’t guide me toward my beloved Ghosts at all — my suggestions were the Unisex Racer ST5, and after that, the Transcend 3. Who knew? (Besides Brooks, apparently.)
What’s the Deal With a Stride Signature?
Of course, you don’t have to take the Shoe Finder quiz to take advantage of their Stride Signature research (and, in fact, you can get the full, totally run-geeky scoop here — it’s a fascinating read if you’re into that sort of thing, which, clearly, I am). The whole idea behind Stride Signature is to optimize what is right about your run rather than try to “fix” what is wrong, because what’s wrong for one runner could be perfection for another. (Need proof? Watch the running form of the top 10 or 20 runners at any race and note how different they are, even if they’re all similarly speedy and healthy.) But, if you feel confident that you know how your body moves and you know what type of shoe you should run in, it’s simple to shop for shoes by experience: Cushion Me (soft and protective), Energize Me (responsive and springy), Connect Me (lightweight and flexible) or Propel Me (fast and built for speed).
Now that the informative portion of the lesson is out of control, let’s move along to the fun part: The giveaway!
Give It Away Now!
Want to win a pair of Transcend 3, Adrenaline GTS 16, Ravenna 7, Launch 3, PureCadence 5 or PureFlow 5? Take the Shoe Finder quiz and let us know your results in the comments. And we’d also love to know whether the shoe recommended for you is the one you would choose, too!
We’ll select a random winner on March 1 and contact them via email and in the comments. U.S. only, please.
What’s your Stride Signature? Were you surprised by your results? —Kristen