Shoe Training Graduation

Hello, Friday!  Whew, this has been a busy week—lots of working and working out, and this weekend will be more of the same.  Fingers crossed New York City doesn’t see another monsoon.


Yep, it absolutely poured yesterday.  The streets flooded, and the subway system shut down.  At least it wasn’t snow, right?

Anyway, I don’t want to rehash a previous post, but about one year ago, I attended a graduation ceremony that looked like this:


Upstate New York.  Four hundred and seventy eight graduates.  One diploma.

And Tuesday night, I officially graduated from JackRabbit shoe training!  No ceremony this time, but I did receive a swag bag stuffed with goodies.


Just a little different from last year:  New York City.  Five graduates.  One baller goodie bag.


Aside from the freebies—everything from sweat-wicking socks (do not wear cotton ones, friends!) to calf compression sleeves to a Polar heart rate monitor—this loot also means my JRab training has ended.  When I first accepted this job, I knew the learning curve would be tough, but manageable, and the company’s training program worked really well.  After completing several online training modules, I shadowed some of my coworkers while they did shoe fits.  Watching them in action and learning how they select sneakers proved to be really helpful, and I also attended two in-person shoe training classes with our head shoe buyer:  one devoted to the biomechanics of running, and another that addressed the construction of running sneakers.  In a short period of time, I’ve learned so much about running from a physiological perspective, plus how sneakers work to make the activity enjoyable.  And that’s the bottom line:  the proper pair will make running much more fun!  Speaking of sneakers …


Let’s call this voucher for some free Sauconys (woohoo!) my “diploma,” OK?  And maybe this five-plus pounds of nutrition products could be my tassels?


Woohoo for #runnerd goodies!

Have you attended a non-academic “graduation” of sorts?

28 responses to “Shoe Training Graduation

  1. Wow – excellent goody pack, and well done! Ithink it must be tough to fit shoes as if you get it wrong you could cause all sorts of injury!

    • carriestevens

      It was really intimidating at first because there are so many factors to take into consideration. After getting to know the shoes (and how they work) and figuring out the important questions to ask, the shoe-fitting process made much more sense. There’s definitely a science to it!

  2. That swag bag is INSANE! But well-deserved 🙂

    Someday, I hope to have you fit me for a pair of rad sneakers!!

  3. WOOOO you knew I would love hearing this. Welcome to the awesome running addict store group! We all love them shoes

  4. I want to have a graduation like that! Congrats!

  5. Damn, that’s the definition of SWAG bag! Too bad races couldn’t give you stuff like that! I’m glad that JR puts you guys through some tough training. I’ve often wondered what qualfies the kids at running shoe stores to do fittings other than they like to run.

    • carriestevens

      Can you imagine a race swag bag that’s stuffed to the brim? Now that would be the best race ever. JRab’s training was very thorough, and there are always more experienced staff members and floor managers on-hand to help if necessary. When we first start doing shoe fits, we’re actually shadowed by the store manager to make sure we’re doing everything right and being accurate.

  6. That’s a great bunch of goodies! Enjoy.

  7. I’m trying to figure out what school that is in Upstate NY…I know it’s not SUNY Potsdam or Oswego LOL. It looks like a beautiful campus though…I mean well it is Spring there and it is a nice area in the spring ha ha.

  8. Congrats on your graduation! It sounds like you’re having so much fun at your new job!

    • carriestevens

      Thanks, Natalie! And yes, I absolutely love it! I enjoy the work itself, and it also helps that my coworkers are awesome. 🙂

  9. This is an AWESOME graduation. You are HOOKED up!

  10. Yay, so many swag! I would love to learn more about shoes and running, but it’s probably a good thing I don’t- would have to buy way to many shoes for myself if I did 😉

    • carriestevens

      It’s tough to be face-to-face with so many shoes, but I’ve definitely become more selective. That’s not to say I’m not tempted to buy them, though. 😉 I wore the new Brooks Glycerin during my shift yesterday and surprisingly loved them. I’m actually considering buying them; they’d be a great shoe for longer runs.

  11. WOW all this looks absolutely amazing and definitely a great idea by the company! I’d love to learn more about all the running aspects including proper shoe fit and how each of us is just a little different. I’m sure their is so much to learn that you just never think when buying – very jealous again… Do you find your Kinvara’s to be the right shoe for you after going through all the training?

    • carriestevens

      I’ve become such a running and shoe geek–which isn’t a bad thing. 😉 When I’m walking on the street, I find myself looking at sneakers, watching walking/running gaits, and determining if someone is in the right shoe. I’m definitely still learning, but I feel like I have a solid grasp on the basics.

      In terms of the Kinvaras, I’m a neutral runner (which means I don’t overpronate), so those shoes work for me. I’ve worn them for speedwork and shorter runs, and they work really well. They will be my racing shoes for sure. However, I definitely wouldn’t wear them if I were training for a half- or full-marathon because I’d want something more structured.

  12. That’s so awesome! I didn’t realize how intensive the JRab training was, but that makes me love them even more 🙂

    • carriestevens

      Right? I knew there would be training, but I didn’t realize it would be so thorough and in-depth–but that’s definitely a good thing. 🙂

  13. Way to go!! That is an AWESOME “diploma” and “tassels”! haha. I think more running stores should train and test their employees like JRab does when it comes to shoes – unfortunately depending on who you get at a couple of the ones around here, you may end up with the completely wrong shoe or have differing spectrum opinions on recommendations!

    • carriestevens

      I’m not sure what other running stores do in terms of training, but as you can tell, ours was very thorough. When shoes are updated every six months or one year (depending on the brand), we also have another training session to learn about the new features, a la continuing education. 🙂

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