For those of us who wear shoes to run, finding the right pair can be a challenge sometimes. A new type of running shoe aims to fix that.
Somnio has designed running shoes that can be custom-made to the runners’ needs. The company offered me a chance to try that approach and I want to share that experience with you. Getting a pair of Somnio’s is unlike any other shoe fitting you’ve had, I can tell you that.
I went to the Pacers running store in Arlington, Va, to be fitted. The first step is to stand barefoot on a line-up device. Then, standing on one foot, you do a few single-leg squats on the device–the Pacers’ fitter lined up a laser on the middle of my knee. This measures your arch height and whether or not/how much, you pronate. The fitter determined that I am neutral on one foot and slightly pronate with the other. This is pretty much in line with what I have been told in the past by doctors and/or shoe stores.
From here, Pacers took into consideration my weight, injury history, and arch height to select individualized “components” for my shoes. My fitter then built up my shoe and again used the laser to check how I tracked, then had me do some test runs outside. He watched me run and made some adjustments, and then I was good to go.
My original plan with the shoes was to try them without my orthotics, hoping that because the shoes were built up with my plantar fasciitis in mind, I wouldn’t need them. I first did some walks in the shoes. They were a comfortable fit, however, it was clear within a few walks that I would have to resort to my orthotics–my PF was flaring up. Since then, I’ve done several runs with the shoes/orthotics and I’ve liked the ride. I can definitely feel the difference between these and my regular running shoes and they have helped keep my PF in line.
Somnio makes several different models, including motion control, stability and neutral shoes, each customizable to the runners’ individual needs. Right now there aren’t a ton of stores carrying the shoes, but Somnio does offer an online fitting service to help runners determine their shoe “prescription.”
I can understand how the whole concept might seem gimmicky, especially if you you are barefooter or minimalist runner. For me right now, shoes are a must, and I like the idea of having something customized to my needs.
For those of you who would like to try Somnio’s shoes, the company is offering my readers a $20 discount until 8/31 when you purchase your shoes online. Go to www.somniorunning.com and enter coupon code SOMSUM10 at checkout.
In addition, Somnio has offered me one awesome warm-up jacket to give away to a reader! Check it out–I think it is pretty cool looking, and, it’s a $70 value: