Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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DOR Podcast #99: The Running Retail Episode: Best Practice, Choosing the Right Shoe, and Advice for Retail Workers

Today on the podcast Matt & Andrea discuss the ins-and-outs of run retail. Before starting Doctors of Running and becoming a physical therapist, Matt got his start in at a running shoe store. Our hope with this episode and forthcoming resources on our website is to give running retail employees a framework to help customers find the right shoe for them. They'll give you resources and key questions to ask as you and the customer learn what's best for them.

Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify | Anchor


Sponsor: Running Warehouse!

This episode is sponsored by Running Warehouse. We've been loving gear the Vuori gear they have available, especially the Performance Tank and Kore Short. They're comfortable and stylish for both running and lifestyle. Running Warehouse also has the brand new Saucony Enorphin Pro 3 in stock, which is Matt's front-runner for racing shoe of the year. Head over to to check out these and more!

Shop Vuori
Shop the Endorphin Pro 3 (Men/Women)


0:00 - Intro 
5:40 - The Subjective: What's your favorite running store? 
7:02 - Matt's history in run retail 
15:24 - The pitfalls of using pronation to prescribe shoes for runners 
19:26 - Tips for run retail employees to help customers find shoes 
24:54 - Ask key questions to help customers figure out what they want 
34:30 - The difficulty of in-store gait analysis 
38:20 - Helping customers learn about what they like in shoes 
42:14 - The trouble with static foot tests 
45:40 - Using the RUNCAT to find ideal shoes 
54:42 - Asking the right questions to determine shoe comfort 
59:02 - How to be a better running store customer 
1:03:28 - The importance of building great relationships 
1:09:11 - Wrap-up

Science Blog: Explaning the RUN-CAT and How You Can Use it to Shop for Shoes
By Chief Editor Matt Klein

Based on research from a validated scale on running shoe comfort (Bishop et al., 2020), there are five things to consider when trying on a shoe:      

How comfortable the heel (back) AND forefoot (front) feel under your foot,    
How stable the shoe feels,    
How flexible the front of the shoe is and    
How comfortable the overall shoe feels on your foot (especially the top).  

These are from a scale called the "RUN-CAT" that was developed recently to help people figure out what shoe may be appropriate for them. These factors are important to consider and can only be determined by actually trying on the shoes! If possible we suggest going to a local running store that carries these to try on some shoes to see which one fits all five criteria for you! This takes some practice, particularly as a new runner, to understand what each of these mean for you as a unique individual. It is best to assess comfort not only from standing or walking in the shoe, but also taking the shoe for a quick jog (around the store or outside if they let you).

Recent Episodes

#93: "Our 3000 Mile Journey"
#94: Surviving the Summer Heat
#95: Science of Designing Running Shoes
#96: Science of Biomechanical Shoe Testing
#97: Your Endorphin Speed 3 Questions, Answered
#98: How the Massive SC Trainer was Made (ft. New Balance)

Recently at Doctors of Running

Skechers Persistence - A beginner friendly shoe for daily training, featuring a forefoot H Plate for pop
Asics Metaspeed Sky+ - A big update to the super shoe stride racer
Xtep 160x 3.0 - A narrow, but very fast peba racer for 5k to half marathon
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer - Brand new massive stacked shoe for long runs
Salomon Phantasm - Lighter, super rockered road shoe

Follow Doctors of Running on Social Media

Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
Twitter: @doctorsrunning
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at

Xtep 160x 3.0

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