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I recently took a field trip to a running store, leaving Alameda to visit the Road Runner Sports store in Concord.  This little adventure occurred last Monday (April 05), and I made a purchase just after 12:00 p.m.

After arriving at the store, I was greeted by Jenni, who asked if I needed any help finding something in the store.  I told her I’d like a pair of running shoes, and would like to be properly fitted for the new pair of shoes — the process begins with Jenni learning a bit more about my running history and my summer goals.

Once done with the brief number of questions, I stepped on a floor mat designed to measure arch type, foot shape, and pronation tendency.  Then it’s time to get on the treadmill and jog normally for about 30 to 60 seconds, which also analyzes your pronation tendency, arch type, heel strike location, midfoot, and other vital information.

If you keep the Shoe Dog page provided to you from Road Runner, the online Shoe Dog system is able to recommend shoes based on your prior running habits (and prices are listed online).

I bought my other running shoes at Transports in Oakland, and they put me on the treadmill and analyzed my pronation, but very few additional details were offered.  At Road Runner Jennie spent 10 minutes discussing the meanings of each custom analysis of my running motion — I was extremely impressed with the quality of service.  She took the time to make sure I knew exactly what I was being told about my running style.

After our discussion, she recommended a couple of shoes I should test, along with instructing me how to pick new shoes in the future.  I tried on a pair of Asics 2150 (I already own this pair), Brooks Adrenaline, Saucony ProGrid Guide 2, and Nike Structure Triax.

Jenni had to help some other customers, so I was thrown into the care of Tabian, who observed me run around in circles for a few minutes.

I ran around the store a couple of times wearing each pair of shoes, as I tried to predict which pair would feel best during a long run.  I instantly nixed the Structure Triax from Nike because they didn’t fit comfortably, though the three remaining pairs proved to be more difficult to choose from.  I decided I didn’t want to purchase another pair of the 2150s, which removed the Asics 2150 from discussion.

I tested each pair of shoes a couple of times, and eventually chose the Saucony ProGrid Guide 2 shoes.  Ted and numerous other runners I know own Saucony shoes, but I’ve also watched as Brooks became even more popular.  (I’ve ran more than 20 miles in the new shoes since purchasing them, and they’ve felt comfortable every mile.)

Every step of the way, I had an employee there to check on sizing, ask me how each one felt, and let me decide.  Best of all, neither Jenni or Tabian tried to sell me on any of the shoes — they actually let me pick which pair felt best.  It’s nice to not be unfairly pressured by sales people looking to try and sell the most expensive shoes, even if they aren’t the best option.

My shoes cost $79.36 (including tax), with the price including my VIP discount.  Overall, my experience at Road Runner in Concord was excellent — the service was amazing, employees are knowledgeable and patient, and the store has everything a runner could want.

If you’re thinking about heading over to Concord, keep this discount code in mind.

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