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I recently sat down with Brian Morrison, one of the owners of Fleet Feet in Ballard to get fitted for a new pair of running shoes. Immediately, I was impressed with how far the technology has come since my last shoe fitting over a decade ago when I walked into Fairhaven Runners up in Bellingham, or even my years in high school running cross country, when the only technology was the salesperson’s eyes. My primary goal was to find the most ideal shoe for my running goals. Secondly, I wanted to follow my own advice that I give to my patients and prevent injury by getting a proper fitting from experts. One thing I was impressed with about the fitting process at Fleet Feet, was how similar it was to Rebel Med NW regarding our philosophy of creating a valuable experience and encounter for our patients.
It’s been a while since I have been active in the running scene. I’ve been focused on building Rebel Med NW with my wife Phonexay over the last four years and seeing patients as a Naturopathic Physician. Ironically, I encounter the same challenges that I try to teach other people how to manage: being too busy with kids, running a small business, working multiple jobs, and trying to build a community in Ballard for my 2 kids to grow up in. The Morrison’s reached out to my wife and I, realizing we too run a small business in Ballard and care about keeping the community fit and healthy.
The 4 part fitting process:
Listening to my concerns-
Brian was a pleasure to work with as he adeptly multitasked by helping me along with another customer at the same time. Without making us feel rushed, he was able to educate us about the fitting process and the important factors that make up a perfect shoe. He set up a great experience as he tried to understand my needs and expectations.
Objectively looking at the feet: fit id Scan –
I am a tech guy, so I was impressed and jealous at the same time over the fit id Scan. I immediately wanted one for my office to help further my abilities to assess functional and injury related concerns for my patients when they come in for physical medicine purposes . In a matter of no time, I had a scan of my feet with objective measurements that Brian would use to figure out my Cinderella running shoe. Meanwhile, my mind immediately began to analyze the mis-alignment patterns in my low back that I would normally need to get periodic treatments for.
Trying a few Shoes –
I went in with a strong brand loyalty bias, but I also wondered if I wasn’t missing something regarding the different shoe brands options. I decided that I was prepared to break from years of wearing Brooks in the case that the combination of the fit id Scan and Brian’s recommendations warranted it. Maybe not too surprisingly, after almost going for the other brands Brian showed me, I went with the Brooks Ghost which is likely going to further cement my bias for wearing the local Seattle favorite.
Recap and prevent injury –
Brian continued to educate us on the therapeutic use of structured insoles such as Superfeet or Currex, which I ultimately decided to purchase with the shoes after comparing the difference between low medium and high arch insoles and no insoles. Brian also gave me some great advice that I also give to my patients in regards to fitting insoles which more is not always better. The foot is designed to collapse and support the natural foot strike by acting as a spring to handle the force of the body’s weight as it strikes the ground. Having something too rigid or high at the arch could actually set you up for abnormal shoe wear, excessive supination, and a potential foot or ankle injury while running.
Some of the unique services available at Fleet Feet include:
3D imaging of your foot using the fit id Scan system to create a three-dimensional model of your feet to assess for features beyond simply size and width. This information is helpful when working with a fitting specialist to determine the ideal running shoe.
Socks! What an easy way to feel like royalty by just wearing a nice pair of fresh running socks, or any other fresh running gear for that matter. Fleet Feet keeps its selections simple, focusing on quality over quantity. They carry socks, protein and glucose snacks, packs, outerwear, runner specific accessories, even massage and roll out tools.
Orthotic Fitting – more advanced custom orthotic fitting coming soon
Overall I was very impressed, and glad to welcome Fleet Feet to the Ballard Neighborhood. I will be sending many of my patients just a few blocks down the street to have their own 3D fit id Scan and fitting session with the great team managed by the Morrisons and the Fleet Feet Staff.
I will likely head back to Fleet Feet to get another pair soon because I find they are quite comfortable to wear while I am running around my office seeing patients all day.
Check out some more great articles from Fleet Feet:
Fleet Feet Ballard
5404 22nd Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
M – F: 10:00 – 7:00 pm*
Sat: 10:00 – 6:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 – 5:00 pm
FREE BALLARD COMMUNITY RUNS
Tuesday Fun Run @ 7 pm, 5 mile run
Wednesday Sunrise Run @ 6:30 am, 3- 5 mile run
Winter Sunday Runs @ 9 am, 3 & 5 mile runs
Rebel Med NW is an integrative medical & primary care clinic providing a diverse set of practitioners and therapies to assist with musculoskeletal injuries that take place while trying to perform and stay physically fit. Acupuncture, Massage, Spinal manipulation, and kinesio taping services available.
Find us in Ballard:
About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Simon is the Clinic Director of Rebel Med NW in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA. Seattle Met Top Doctor 2017, 2018, and 2019, Dr. Andrew Simon specializes in primary care, physical medicine, and mind body medicine including biofeedback training. He lives in Seattle with his family and is an adjunct clinical supervisor at Bastyr Center for Natural Health. His clinical interest is in the intersection between health and technology in our tech-savvy and health-focused modern world. He believes in using the advances in body-tracking tools like heart rate variability(HRV) measurements to help people improve their awareness about behavioral health choices and support stress resiliency.
1. A Visit to Fleet Feet in Ballard – Running series with Dr. Andrew Simon