Although the grand opening of Blue Ox Running was a great success on Saturday, October 7, Adam and Alicia Condit, who are both runners, have been working on opening the business since March of 2017.
Adam explains. “No matter the size, shape, or speed of runners and walkers, we can all experience the same highs and lows and find a great sense of community when we connect locally.”
But what kind of shoe store is Blue Ox Running? Adam notes the three Ps of their business: “Our store has three main promises: 1) professional people—you’ll receive only the best customer service in an environment that puts people first, 2) personalized gait analysis—we fit shoes by seeing what your natural stride does with video gait analysis and make sure you have the support you need, and 3) premium products—we only carry products that we believe in to prevent injury and be durable to use day in and day out.”
Why is it so important to make sure your running shoes are right for you? Condit says, “Having the wrong shoes can lead to anything from blisters to stress fractures to planter fasciitis or other injuries. It can also just make running less enjoyable and keep you from wanting to be on your feet or get out for good exercise.”
So how can a runner determine the “right” shoes? For that, Blue Ox Running uses some helpful technology and some careful thinking. “We use our video gait analysis to see people walk and run with their natural running stride,” Adam explains. “From there, along with their shoe history, injury history, running experience, and other variables, we determine and choose a few brands and models that should be supportive of their anatomy and needs. But at the end of the process, it really is up to the individual to decide what brand and/or model is fitting their foot most comfortably and which they like best.”
Do the correct running shoes have to be higher priced? Condit says, “Having a ‘correct’ pair of shoes can mean a few different things. Quality shoes that last 400–500 miles will be priced higher than those that will break down and/or aren’t meant for runners or walkers putting them through the paces. But, being in the correct shoe means having the support you need—and most often it isn’t the stability (posting) of a shoe that drives the cost up, but the higher cushioning shoes tend to be more expensive.”
For hard-core race runners shoes can help you train better and win more? Condit says yes and no. “Better shoes can keep you injury free but at the end of the day, it is the muscular and cardio-vascular systems that will get you to the finish line quickest. Showing up on the starting line fit and injury free, and being in the right equipment will certainly contribute to that.”
But Blue Ox Running is not just for the runners who race. Condit stresses that the casual jogger and others also need shoes that fit them well. “Often times we hear the ‘I’m not a serious runner’ or ‘I’m just walking’ as a reason for a person to not think they need to be properly fit,” Adam notes. “The truth is that joggers and walkers put the same amount of miles on their shoes eventually, and with every stride or step they are putting just as much impact on their feet—sometimes more impact and stress per step, with how some land on their heels and/or roll through their stride at slower paces. We fit shoes for many, many walkers and really for anybody that needs support throughout the day, including nurses, teachers, and folks on their feet all day.”
How long—or how many miles—can a person expect a good pair of running shoes to last?
Adam advises: “A good pair of walking/running shoes should last between 400–500 miles, depending on how you use them and/or how aggressive your stride can tear up the tread. Also, even if the tread isn’t yet worn down as much, they should be replaced at least every 6–9 months as the cushioning materials will start to break down and not provide the cushioning or relief to all of the pounding.”
“We LOVE Wisconsin and Eau Claire in particular. We are excited to be face to face with people in the community and share what we find so valuable in our lives!
For more information visit blueoxrunning.com, call (715) 514-0898, or stop in at 417 S. Barstow Street, Eau Claire!