Running Changes Everything®: Choosing Shoes & Gear at Fleet Feet

Adina stands with her bag of gear from Fleet Feet.

One of the reasons Adina Crawford loves running so much is because it’s accessible to so many and creates a wide-ranging community of people from all walks of life.

Although she appreciates that you don’t need much gear — for example, just a pair of shoes, shorts and a T-shirt can suffice to get started — she’s the first to admit that it’s best to have the right gear. As Crawford knows, gear and apparel should fit comfortably, perform well, and look great.

Crawford is a fiftysomething, self-described middle-of-the-pack runner from the Washington D.C. area who enjoys training for 5Ks, half marathons and marathons because of the fitness, mental strength and renewed sense of self it brings her. In a word, she runs because Running Changes Everything®.

“The beautiful thing about running is that it’s for all types of people,” Crawford says. “You might be running an 8-minute mile, I might be running a 12-minute mile, but we’re all equal because when we get to the finish line or the end of a run, we all did the same thing and experienced the same things. And that’s why we should all be able to wear the right clothes and the best shoes.”

If you've been following Adina's story, you know that her decision to walk into her local Fleet Feet years ago introduced her to the importance of properly fitting shoes and purpose driven running gear. Now, dozens of Fleet Feet outfitting experiences later, Adina shares her must-have running gear.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2

The women's Saucony Endorphin Speed 2.

$160, 7 oz (W), 7.9 oz (M), 8mm heel-toe drop

The Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 is a lightweight, energetic training shoe that’s bound to put a spring in every step. It’s built on a platform of Saucony’s advanced PWRRUN PB foam, SPEEDROLL technology and a nylon propulsion plate that combine to create a comfortable and lively sensation.

“They’re really bouncy and energetic,” Crawford says. “They’re light and cushy and I feel elevated in them. I ran the virtual Boston Marathon in those Sauconys, and they were amazing and comfortable. And best of all, my feet didn’t ache in the days after I ran.”


Altra Rivera 2

The women's Altra Rivera 2.

$130, 6.9oz (W), 8.8 oz (M), 0mm heel-toe drop

The Altra Rivera 2 is a neutral training shoe that provides a lightweight, snappy sensation, no matter if you’re running long or running fast. It has a balanced Altra EGO™ midsole cushioning platform that’s level from heel to toe and extremely energetic.

“They’re definitely one of my favorite shoes this year,” Crawford says. “They have a wider toe box that lets my foot move naturally without feeling cramped. They’re so comfortable, they feel like my slippers.”

Balega Hidden Comfort Socks

Balega hidden comfort socks.

$15

Balega Hidden Comfort running socks offer plush comfort, support and performance for all of your runs. Balega’s proprietary Drynamix fabric wicks moisture away from the skin, and specially constructed, reinforced microfiber mesh ventilation panels keep your feet dry mile after mile. A seamless toe box minimizes friction, preventing chafing on top of the foot, while a reinforced heel and forefoot provide long-lasting durability.

“Hands-down my favorite socks are Balega Hidden Comfort socks!” Crawford says. “They’re soft and stretchy and fit my feet so comfortably when I put them on. When I’m out running, they just feel great – very soft and dry.”

Nike Run Division Swift Packable Running Pant

$130

Made with a mix of lightweight, comfortable materials and subtle reflective elements, the Swift Packable Running Pant can be ideal workout wear or part of a casual work ensemble. They’re water repellent and breathable with two-way stretch, an elastic waistband and hidden zippered side pockets for ideal comfort, fit and functionality. Fleet Feet also offers the On Running Pant, which has a similar fit and feel.

“We all want to look good and feel good when we run,” Crawford says. “My big thing has always been size inclusivity, because that’s where a lot of brands fall short. People want to get out and move but some brands don’t make clothes that fit me. When you find brands that do and make products like this, it makes everything easier.”

Brooks Dare Underwire Run Bra

A woman wears the Brooks Dare Underwire Bra.

$70

Brooks creates some of the bestselling sports bras for runners thanks to their relentless research and design efforts into every size and shape.

They incorporate movement data, laboratory research and the best materials to optimize comfort, support, performance and style. The Brooks Dare Underwire Run Bra is available in sizes from 32C to 40F at Fleet Feet.

“Brooks makes bras for the well-endowed ladies like myself that are comfortable and don’t bounce,” Crawford says. “They’re a brand that really knows what it’s like to design clothes for all types of runners.”

Fleet Feet fit id® 3D Foot Scanning Experience

An outfitter works with an iPad to fit a customer.

When it comes to shopping for new running shoes, Crawford is a huge fan of Fleet Feet’s proprietary fit id® 3D foot scanning technology. The state-of-the-art digital scanning system uses a set of specialized cameras to capture 12 precise data points to construct a 3D profile of your feet. That digital information, combined with Fleet Feet’s dynamic pressure mapping system, helps the store’s highly trained Outfitters assess your natural stride pattern and recommend shoes, socks, and insoles that will provide an optimal fit for the specific length, width, volume and arch height of your feet.

“The whole process they do is phenomenal,” she says. “They measure your feet and collect all of this data specific to how your feet move, and then use that to get everyone set up right with the best shoes. Knowledge is power, especially for a new runner. Every time I’ve ever gone to Fleet Feet to get new shoes, they’ve always helped me find the best ones for me.”

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