Find your sports shoe match! These guys are masters at finding the perfect fit for your feet
It’s expert service with a smile at Mochika – Outdoor Life.
As anyone who’s interested in any kind of sport or activity will attest, having the right gear is super important – it could make all the difference between achieving your best and getting hurt!
Being ‘an outdoorsy sort’, I’ve enjoyed several sports over the years, from martial arts to trekking, and most recently (and largely thanks to the partial lockdown imposed by COVID-19), running. Malta offers myriad scenic routes and country trails to discover, and I’m keen to explore more of its rugged countryside.
Disclaimer time: despite enjoying lengthy hikes and trekking adventures, I’ve never been much of a long-distance runner. I set out to change that a couple of years back, factoring short runs into my training and working up the courage to participate in The Grid obstacle course race. Fast forward a couple of years in which running took a back seat, I’m once again determined to make it part of my routine – but first, I need a great pair of shoes.
This is where outdoor and adventure shop Mochika comes in!
Known for their expertise in shoe and boot-fitting, it’s not the first time I’ve turned to them for help, and I knew they’d be able to set me up with the perfect kicks. Apart from a great range of hiking and running shoes for different feet, they also offer Superfeet insoles for better shoe fitting as well as a range of supports, socks and compression garments to help increase comfort and reduce injuries – just what the doctor ordered for my troublesome feet!
At the shop, the affable Ryan Saliba – an exceptional athlete in his own right – is on hand to take me through Mochika’s well-developed fitting method and help find my perfect shoe. What I’m after is a light, trail running shoe that’ll be comfortable for my wide feet regardless of the terrain, and if it looks good, well, that’s a bonus!
Finding my perfect shoe
After discussing what I want, Ryan instantly recognises the need for a versatile trail running shoe and points me to Salomon’s SENSE RIDE range. Explaining how this shoe draws on road-running standards to provide a comfortable ride and soft cushioning, he points out the use of vibe foam, which is a firmer type of foam than that used in several other running shoe brands, aimed to reduce vibration. It also features a medium grip, which performs well on different surfaces and is particularly in line with Malta’s rocky trails. I’m sold, and zero in on a lilac pair that seem to be calling my name.
The shoe fitting process
It’s now time to whip my tootsies out for measuring. Ryan laboriously measures both feet while I stand and sit, explaining that feet will generally elongate when standing. After making the discovery that my left foot is a little larger than my right – I know, right? – Ryan pulls a couple of shoes for me to try.
Settling on the style
I start by trying the Salomon SPEEDCROSS – the brand’s celebrated trail shoe which often finds itself on best trail shoe lists – and apart from being super comfortable, the shoe’s impressive grip on the floor is instant. Next, I try the TRAILSTER, which is another comfortable fit, though slightly firmer at the front, which may not be the best for my wide feet. Finally, I give the lilac SENSE RIDE we spotted earlier a try, and it fits like a dream. After having a bit too good a time running up and down the ‘rough terrain’ slope at the shop to feel the shoes in action, the decision is made: the lilac SENSE RIDE makes the cut!
The icing on the cake
Ryan’s expertise really shines when it comes to selecting the right accessories to go with the shoe. He suggests a few different insoles to try on my medium arch and replaces them with the standard interior of the shoe. They all bring something different to the table, and after some deliberation, I go for a Superfeet insole that hugs the heel, making it ideal for support while running. Finally, a good set of compression socks complete the process, and my feet feel comfortable, supported and itching to get out onto the trails!
If you’re looking for the perfect running or hiking shoe, or any other sporting and camping equipment, I can’t recommend these guys enough! Apart from fantastic products that deliver the goods, the service at Mochika is knowledgeable and friendly, thanks to their passion for the great outdoors – what more could you ask for?