A great pair of shoes can make or break your race.
A great pair of shoes can make or break your race.
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As the runners make their way along the 13.1-mile route, many of them have taken up a new and exciting challenge.

It can be very inspiring to watch these runners take on not only the test of a race but also the heat and humidity that Bermuda has in huge supply come the morning of the Half Marathon Derby.

One thing for sure is that everyone will hopefully have sorted out their footgear before race day.

“It is a marriage between socks and shoes,” explains Sharon Fenn, owner of Sportseller in the Washington Mall.

Bad-fitting

And if you don’t get them right a bad-fitting shoe can not only lead to an uncomfortable run but could also cause injury, Ms Fenn adds.

Those injuries don’t just affect out feet, either, but a bad-fitting pair of shoes can also affect our knees, hips and back.

“When we start something new we want to find and get the best advice to make sure that we keep at it and don’t give up,” she says. “If something hurts or is uncomfortable, we’re much more likely to give it up. We want to get you out there and be successful.”

That’s where the team at Sportseller come in. Known for their thorough and accurate advice on sports-shoe fitting, they will take a look at the way you move and the look of your feet and determine the best shoe for your weight and your intention.

“When you first come into the store we ask people to take off their shoes and either walk barefoot or with socks on. Then we have them stand on one foot and bend and we’re looking at your feet and ankles as well as your knee and hip relationship to determine the structure of the shoe that you need.

“Based on your body type and your needs that will determine the cushion level. We like to have people try on several shoes to get an idea of what shoe will fit best.”

If you already have a pair of shoes that you think may need to be replaced, it’s a good idea to bring those in as well as the socks that you intend to wear.

“Old shoes tell a story of what’s happening and the way you are wearing them,” Ms Fenn explains. “They can also help us determine if you do need a new shoe.”

Ms Fenn says the standard line is to replace shoes after about 400 to 500 miles of use. While she says that some may think it will take years to reach that type of mileage, even the average runner running about 3 to 4 miles, three times a week will need to replace their shoe every 10 months to a year.

“People will find things starting to hurt and usually that is because the shoe has reached its limit,” Ms Fenn says.

Luckily, the variety of shoes available has exploded and the market has been putting out more and more and better technology in the shoes that are being produced –– making them lighter and even more comfortable to wear.

Activity

The store also has a variety of cross-training shoes and walking shoes and can offer advice on what shoe is best for the type of activity you intend to do.

“It’s ideal to buy a pair of shoes and give yourself some time in the shoes before a race as you don’t want to be buying shoes too close, but if your shoes are absolutely dreadful it’s best to buy a new pair no matter how close it is to a race,” Ms Fenn says.

She adds that they are not about just handing over a box and walking away or just selling a shoe just to make money. Ms Fenn has been in the sports shoe and sportswear business for 21 years and has seen many customers grow up and continue to come to the shop for their shoe fitting.

“No matter what it is you’re trying to do, whether it be losing weight, doing a race or for stress relief, we don’t want you to fail at it. It’s important to get your shoes fitted by someone who knows what they are doing. We want you to get out there and enjoy it –– that’s what we like to do.”