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After completing my morning run, I was off to do some shopping in the afternoon. I have been on the lookout for a nice laptop case for my Macbook Air, most of the ones on sale in Power Mac and iStudio are either neoprene sleeves, or hard shell cases. I was looking for something more unique, so I googled the Mac Store in Beijing, got the address and planned to check it out.
The Mac Store is located at The Village at Sanlitun, the place is easily accessible by Bus or Subway. After downloading all the pertinent subway and street maps into my phone, we headed off to the Village.
We didn’t have much trouble in getting to The Village, the Beijing subway system is tourist friendly, the ticketing machines were bilingual (unlike Shanghai), and so were the station signs.
When we got there, I was pleasantly surprised to see Adidas, Nike, and Mizuno stores. Note that these stores weren’t just regular stores, they were multi level super stores. Somehow, I forgot that I was there to shop for a laptop case and eventually ended up wandering into those three stores.
The Adidas store had everything, running stuff, basketball gear, Y3, casual wear, accessories. But what caught my attention was the Adidas Footscan station
The footscan system analyses a runner’s gait pattern through a pressure sensor mat. The runner runs on the mat, the sensor records the weight shift of the runner’s foot from heel strike to toe off, and the accompanying analysis software (by RS Scan) prints out a graph of your strike pattern, and a shoe correction recommendation.
I did have a hard time understanding the specialist’s explanation of the results, he was speaking to me in Mandarin. I was alright with conversational mandarin, but technical terms such as over pronation, supination, gait were just too complicated for me to understand.
The image above is a graph analysis of my gait, it plots the roll of my foot (pronation / supination) vs time . The green colored graph represents my left foot, while the red colored graph represents my right foot. The graph divides the time into three sections…. 0.00 to 0.15 second (heel strike), 0.15 to 0.70 second (midstance), and 0.70 to 1 second (toe off). The white shaded area represents the mean values of those who tried the footscan system. What this graph implies, I couldn’t understand anymore, the language barrier had me lost… I HAD NO CLUE as to he was saying.
The footwear adviser screen above shows that both my feet are normal. However, the Mid Sole Correction proposal at the bottom half of the screen says that I need shoes that have (2) Rear foot motion control or (3) rear foot anti pronaton wedge… I’m not sure what that means but based on my limited understanding, your feet may be normal, but once you run, gait analysis will show that normal feet can supinate or over pronate too.
The Adidas store is not the only store that had kick ass analysis equipment, the Mizuno store also had a proprietary analysis system
It’s called the Precision Fit System, and unlike the FootScan system where you have to run on a mat, the Precision Fit System first asks you to fill out a questionnaire on your running habits, then it goes on to capture instances of your feet and legs while 1) standing with both feet, 2) standing on one leg, 3) squatting.
It prints out a shoe size recommendation.
Then it prints out the analysis, together with the size and model of the Mizuno Shoe that best fits your feet. I don’t really understand what’s written because it’s in Chinese, so all i can do is hope that the Mizuno stores here in the Philippines would bring in the Precision Fit System. I’ve tried on Mizunos before (Wave Precision 8), and I was quite satisfied with it, they make good running shoes… and having this Precision System in their stores will definitely add to their credibility as a running shoe manufacturer.
Other than the Mizuno, Adidas and Nike stores, there were others like Puma, and The North Face as well..
BUT WAIT… isn’t this supposed to be a post about my trip to the APPLE STORE :) ? Going back to Apple, I didn’t find anything interesting or unique, I just liked the store layout, and the facade.
As mentioned in my previous post, running shoes are the most important investment a runner should make. Understanding one’s foot biomechanics should be a prerequisite in choosing the right running shoe. Having the right pair of shoes could spell the difference between getting a PR (Personal Record) or visiting a PT (Physical Therapist). If you are a newbie runner, and you want to learn more about finding the right pair of running shoes, you can start by reading this or this. These two articles should be informative enough for you to make an educated decision in the absence of the high tech analysis equipment.
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