The Active Soles fit process is informative, thorough, and fun. There is never a need to make an appointment, and it is free of charge. To fully understand how the Active Soles fit process works and how it is an integral part of proper footwear selection, it is useful to first understand some of the basic aspects of foot mechanics in runners and walkers. Specifically, we want to elaborate on Gait Cycle and Pronation. Both the Gait Cycle and Pronation are an integral part of the Active Soles Fit Process.
Different shoes are made for different users, but also for different usage intentions. Type of activity and distance, whether it's marathon training, a 5K or 10K road race, a triathlon, judged Racewalk, or walking event can play a role in proper footwear selection. Likewise, the surface, whether it's a trail, track, treadmill, or road, can also influence footwear selection.
Using Video Gait Analysis, we gain an understanding of an individual's pronation tendency, enabling us to guide each guest to the correct footwear category. Footwear is classified at Active Soles by the degree of stability and/or the drop (differential between the height of the heel and the forefoot). Whether a Structured Cushioning shoe (mild, moderate, or high stability), a Neutral Cushioning shoe (little to no stability), it is crucial to correctly match the degree of stability a shoe provides with the degree of stability that an individual needs. In addition, discussing intended usage and any conditions/injuries will help determine the drop best suited for you. Watching frame-by-frame footage from our Video Gait Analysis enables Active Soles to zero in on the nuances of each individual. It also allows YOU to view the footage, making it easier for you to understand why one particular category or type of footwear will be more appropriate for you than another.
We talk with each guest and look at your feet to learn about any injuries or inconsistencies that need to be taken into account (neuromas, bunions, sensitive areas, etc.) If you use, or are considering the use of over the counter inserts or custom orthotics, this too, will factor into our conversation. All of this is important information to consider when selecting a shoe. Within each footwear category, different shoes are constructed to match particular foot types, as well as to accommodate orthotics
Given what was learned in the first two steps, and given our intimate knowledge of the various construction methodologies of each shoe, we will bring out a few different shoes that we feel should be considered. At this phase, feedback from you, our guest, is crucial (because it is here where science meets art). Consideration should be given to fit (length, width, heel stability and toe box volume), feel (how the shoe contours to the foot), and ride (cushioning, responsiveness, weight and transition from rearfoot to forefoot). We always recommend that our guests run or walk in each shoe in order to get a true understanding of how each shoe feels and performs while it is being used for its intended purpose. Our respective sidewalks, parking lots and treadmills are available to you for this testing.