Just had a really fun experience buying new running shoes down at the Running Revolution in Campbell.
When I first decided to try out running, I bought myself a pair of running shoes on sale at zappos.com, not wanting to invest a lot of money in running shoes when I wasn't sure if I was going to stick with it. The shoes ended up working out better than any pair of shoes bought sight-unseen over the internet had a right to, but I always wondered if I could do better with a properly fitted pair of shoes. Running Revolution does a whole biomechanical analysis to help you find the right shoe, so I decided to go check them out.
It was pretty thorough. The saleswoman asked me some questions about how much and how far I run and whether I had any injuries. She looked at the wear on my existing running shoes. She had me stand on a pair of pressure plates that measured where I put pressure on my feet. She watched me walk to the end of the room and back, and then had me run on a treadmill while they recorded video. Then we watched the video and she analyzed my gait.
The most interesting thing was that as soon as I got off the treadmill, she said, "Your left side is definitely your weaker side." Which is true - when I get soreness or muscle tightness when running, it's disproportionately in the left leg. (My left leg is also the one that's prone knee pain that is alleviated by running.) On the video, you could see that when I land on my right foot, I tilt outward just a bit, and when I land on my left foot, I tilt inward just a bit. Other than that, my running gait actually looks pretty good - my ankles stay straight, and I land on the midfoot.
With the geeky preliminaries done, she brought out a few pairs of shoes for me to try, and asked me questions about how they fit, and let me go outside and run around in whichever ones I liked. I ended up with a pair of Brooks Dyad 6s, which really felt insanely good from the moment I put them on. I suppose the real proof will come when I've run in them for a while, but I'm really happy with how the whole shopping experience went.
Plus, for that kind of customer service, I definitely expected to pay a premium, but the shoes were the same price that I'd have gotten if I'd ordered them from zappos.com.