Last year I went to the Asics Store in London to be fitted up for the right shoe. They offer a foot scan and gait analysis. From these tests they were able to work out the shoe I required was the Asics Cumulus 13 (at the time).
The Cumulus is at the highly cushioned end of the market, whereas most manufacturers are now offering lighter, less padded shoes (i.e. transition between traditional and minimalist shoes). For example, Asics have the Gel Blur 33 series and the Saucony Kinvara is probably the most famous of this type of shoe. These shoes tend to be more flexible that their traditional counterparts.
You probably want to try these to see if they are suitable for you, as the increase in flexibility is a result of less padding so they may or may not suit you.
Too late for this time, but I would never go to a shoe-company shop - you need to the salesperson to be able to offer dozens of shoes, not just those of one company. Especially companies like Asics, who excel at making cushioned and more-minimal shoes, but offer little in the way of more supportive and motion-control shoes. Some brands do some types better than others.
Try an independent shop.
Thank you both, I must admit I like the look of the Saucony Kinvara – My friend has a pair and he loves them, though it's obviously different strokes for different folks. This might be a silly question, but do any manufacturers offer a kind of 'trial period' with their footwear? I'd hate to spend ££s on a new pair only to feel that after a couple of runs realise they're not for me?
I'm not aware of any manufacturers - the shop is more likely to be the one offering this. Some shops will let you run on a treadmill or down the street, but not take them away for a few days, as they can't then re-sell them. Same thing for bike saddles - frustrating as they are so expensive. I don't know where you are, but I have always found the most-helpful shops are privately-owned independents, as they understand the need to repeat-custom from loyal shoppers. And I wouldn't go on aesthetics or what your friends like, at least until you know that you have similar feet/running styles!
I am not 100% sure but I believe SweatShop are reasonably generous with their returns policy if you are not happy with the shoes. Best to go in and ask though.
If you are near London then a company called ProFeet are very knowledgeable and have a pretty decent range of shoes available too. The cost os usign them will be a little higher but you will most likely get the right shoes first time. Plus if you are injury prone then it may be a cost worth paying.
Oh yes, Profeet in Fulham - very expensive but good customer service and you will be able to go back again and again until you are happy! That's what you pay for with them!
Ok, may as well offer our services too. At our running shop in SW London we offer a Physio Endorsed Fitting Service and 30 day Run Better Guarantee for complete peace of mind!
Online you can take 14 days risk free to test a shoe but there is only email guidance as to which shoe might be best. I would recommend trying a mild-stability shoe in your case given that a neutral shoe didn't work out so well. Email us at the shop for more specific advice!
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