Somnio shoe review and jacket giveaway

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 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:

Warm Up JacketHere’s how to enter: 
1. Become a follower and tell me in a comment
2. Be a follower and tell me in a comment
3. Extra entry–Tell me what you think about the concept of customizable shoes
4. Extra entry–Post this on your blog and let me know.
You can enter until June 4. I’ll pick a winner via and announce the results on June 5. Good luck!

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  1. Julie says

    I think that the concept of custimized shoes is great…I would love to have the perfect shoe made especially for me and my feet:) It would be even better if the price is right!

  2. Michelle says

    I've seen ads for these in Runners World and wondered how they worked. I'm a little skeptical of the online fitting. No dealers in 100 miles for me.

    Interested to see how they work for you!

  3. Running and living says

    I like the idea of custom fit shoes for those with foot problems, or who are injury prone, and also for beginers.

  4. Paige (Two Runners And A Brown Dog) says

    I like the idea of customizable shoes. I've had one pair from Nike, but it was more of a custom design (color) than customized for fit.

  5. Big Daddy Diesel says

    I remember I was at my local running store last fall, they were telling about this product, how they its layers and they cut away based on you your feet, they didnt have much more information, they were going to start training on it later in the week, I thought it was interesting, a literally custom shoe.

  6. Michele says

    I think custom shoes sound like a great idea. Obviously, no foot is the same so runners could definitely benefit from this.

  7. Molly says

    I like the concept of those shoes….you can get clothes tailored to fit you perfectly, why not shoes…which are the most important thing you wear!

  8. ShutUpandRun says

    OK – first – I am LOVING that jacket. I hope I get lucky with this giveaway, that's all I can say. Second – I love this idea. I have found running stores to be really inconsistent in how they advise shoes. Some say I'm neutral, some say I need stability. Which is it? I would love to be fitted properly and with the kind of attention you are talking about. Really cool stuff.

  9. Katie says

    The last time I was in Pacer's, someone talked to be about those shoes, but I got scared away. But after reading this, I'm thinking about them again – my legs do two different things, and over time I've experimented with make the right leg happy, left leg not right, or the reverse. I think it would be interesting to try these.

  10. Steel Springs says

    I think the idea of customizable shoes is great! I wonder, though, if the experience will vary a lot depending on who is doing the fitting. The online fitting seems less appealing to me.

  11. Kenley says

    I think that customizable shoes are pretty cool. I will ask a buddy of mine in UK if he knows of this company and if they are widely known there as well. I saw a show (how is that made) a while back where they made customizable racing shoes for elite runners and believe it or not, the price was not that bad. I think I might be having some kind of PF disorder too I should get checked out. It comes and goes but recently with all of the road running. Thanks for the review and take care.

  12. Kenley says

    I will link you soon, as I also have another post in mind too. its a surprise, you will see. lol

  13. Kathrin says

    I think it's nice to know that the option of a customizable shoe is out there and available.

    So far (knock on wood), I haven't had any real running related injuries and am happy go lucky in my (compared to other brands and models) cheap Adidas Kanadia TR2… But if running injuries would keep on creeping up on me, I would definitely give it a shot!

  14. Sarah says

    I do like the idea of it…everyone's feet and form are so different. I have been lucky to find a pair of shoes that seem to work really well for me…so I will stick with them for now.

  15. Stephanie says

    I think customizable shoes would be awesome! Anything that can help you run without injury, or can provide the added comfort for your feet, would be great!

  16. Viper says

    Seems like a lot of work for a new pair of shoes, but I guess I fall into your exceptions category — that is to say, I'm exceptional. Cheers!

  17. MCM Mama says

    I'm a follower.

    I'm in that Pacers all the time. I may have to check that out. It definitely sounds interesting.

  18. whataboutsummer says

    I have seen their ads and have been dying to know if the customizable shoes are legit or not! Thanks for sharing

  19. Pam says

    I think the whole concept is pretty amazing. We aren't all built the same, and I think it's cool that this company is recognizing that and catering to the individual.

  20. Rad Runner says

    I like the concept, very interesting, getting down to the nitty gritty of things and looking at the persons foot. I likes

  21. run4may says

    I have never had a customized shoe but I think it's a great concept. It's opening a whole new world of running.

  22. Amanda - RunToTheFinish says

    I love the idea of customizable shoes, it means that it will truly fit your foot for the best foot strike and better form means your whole body feels better

  23. Scrappytbear says

    Ive had trouble any times I have changed shoes; I know I dont footfall just right and I have PF in my left foot (likely). I think shoes custom -fitted to our needs would be an awesome advantage for comfort and running for years to come! LOVE it!

  24. Heather says

    Hi all this is Heather from Somnio and I wanted to address some of the points that have been brought up. I want to thank you all for liking our idea. The whole Somnio premise was set up on having the shoe adapt to the foot rather than the other way around. I would say about 60% of the customers I have fitted personally have different set ups left to right.

    So in addressing your comments, first of all the online process. We always recommend going to a trained fitter HOWEVER we have a series of videos for the online process that pretty much replicates the Line Up device. It is very simple to do either in front of a mirror or with someones help. Plus if you call the freephone number any one of us here can help you through the process. 866.966.7861

    For Kenly – we have about 20 stores in the UK and the shoes have been perceived really well in not only the UK but the rest of Europe. We are still a new company and at this moment we are just trying to open doors and show running stores our technology in producing these customizable biomechanical shoes.

    I am more than willing to answer anyone's specific questions.

  25. Jill says

    I do like the concept of personalized running shoes….I just go through so many shoes/year with the mileage, I'd be curious to know how many miles you get out of them b/c I'm sure they can't be cheap. Thanks!!

  26. Medievalist says

    And I think customizable shoes are great. Glad to see you went to Pacers – they are a great store.

  27. Jen T says

    As someone who has dealt with several injuries and lives in constant fear of future ones, I am very interested in the concept of customizable shoes. I will be eager to hear what you think of yours!

  28. Angie Bishop says

    I think people who want to run should be able to. Some shoes are super gimmicky like those silly Masai Barefoot Tech shoes but that doesn't mean all shoes are. If your shoes that are made to help with a chronic problem work for you, then all the power to ya!
    I am glad you found a way to run pain free :)

  29. Heather says

    Jill – the shoes have a typical lifespan of most running shoes of 300-400 miles which is about average for running shoes. Price range is between $130 and $160 depending on which model you choose.

  30. Cynthia O'H says

    I love the idea of customized shoes. It will be interesting to get some feedback on how well the shoes last.

  31. ModernMom says

    I'm a follower and love the idea of shoes being customizable (is that how you spell that?) for a newby runner like me!

  32. Jeff - DangleTheCarrot says

    I really like the idea of customizable shoes and these might be a real good idea for my next shoe purchase!

  33. Beth says

    I don't know that everyone really needs custom shoes, but I would think for some it would help (like my husband who has a pretty bad ankle due to an old break – he doesn't have the same range of motion in that ankle as the other one).

  34. Irene says

    I like the idea of customized shoes. I'm using custom orthitics right now, so why not the whole shoe?

  35. Keith says

    Why I like customizable shoes – its for the mass market of 1. Everyone's feet are different from everyone else's (everyone's left is different from their right), so if they can build a shoe just for me, thats reasonably priced, and it's is a reasonable process to get one – then why not! Sounds ideal.

  36. Tricia says

    I LOVE the idea of customizeable shoes. I didnt know they existed before this entry. I pronate more on my left than my right. (not so coincidentally the left ankle is where I had my stress fracture and now nerve issues).while I love my mizunos, they dont work perfectly for BOTH feet. I like how somnio takes into account your injury history and weight. Very cool!

  37. Garden Runner says

    I do like the concept of customizeable shoes- it's conforming to your needs. I also like how the company is willing to conform to the runner, and not the other way around like it is for so many larger name brands. For me it would be the way to go since I already wear an orthotic insert for a high arch. Will have to check these out for sure:o)

  38. LMC says

    Customizable shoes are a great option for some runners. I'm all for at least trying new things that may help improve running.

  39. Lisa says

    I really love the concept of these shoes and hadn't heard of them actually. I've been dealing with several foot injuries for the past 9 months or so and haven't been able to run at all for the past 2months and right now, anything that can possibly help me get back on the road would be amazing!! I'll definitely look into these shoes. thanks for the tip and review!

  40. Petraruns says

    These are very cool- my local running store (in rural England! I know!) are going to be stocking Somnios and I look forward to hearing more feedback. After years of trail and error I am going to stick with what works but who knows what will happen!

  41. Alinda says

    I think the idea of customizable shoes is intriguing. I have been running consistently for about six months now, and I still have not found the right pair of shoes (so scared of injury). So anything new, I'd try it.

  42. Black Knight says

    Interesting post. For me it's always difficult to find the right shoes, however in Rome the Adidas shop makes customizable shoes. I dind't know Somnio, now I look for them here in Italy.

  43. Pat says

    Apparently, I'm just one of many loyal followers who love that jacket! I am torn about the idea of customizable shoes. Sounds great, but the fit would need to be exact.

  44. 4meplus5 says

    You are linked on my blog and I am now a new follower :)

    I am currently running in VFF's and liking them but am not against wearing shoes. I just haven't found the right pair I guess. I think a customizable shoe is a very interesting idea and would maybe be just what I am looking for. I am lucky that my VFF's fit like they were made for my feet (not so with all VFF wearing runners) so I think I like this concept.

    And like Pat said…. I love the jacket :)

  45. AM-GoalsfortheWeek! says

    I'm a follower…and thanks for the shoe review. hmmm….i'm on the hunt for new running shoes w/my new PF diagnosis;-)

  46. Chloë says

    And customizable shoes sound brilliant because there's no way to get the running shoes *you* need exactly, seeing as how feet are such a messy situation. But I think the company needs a few years to work the kinks out, so I'd hold off investing in them for a while.

  47. Tracy says

    I think the idea is very cool. My feet are two different sizes/shapes- 1 is shorter and wider- so the idea that off the rack shoes are going to be best for both of my feet is unlikely.


    I think custom shoes are awesome. I do not pronate at all with my left foot and so my left shoe breaks down before the right one. Maybe I should look into this!

  49. WannabeRunner says

    And I think customizable shoes are a great idea. It would basically be able to take the place of orthodics in certain situations. Plus, who doesn't like a shoe that was made just for them :)