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GAIT ANALYSIS EXPLAINED

Here's how our expert staff put you in the right running shoe...


What is gait analysis?

Gait analysis is a way of helping us determine which shoe is best for you. All Runners Need stores offer free gait analysis.

 

To start the gait analysis process with you, we will talk to you about your current running, any future aspirations with running and any previous injuries that may affect the way you run. 

 

How's gait analysis done?

To begin with, we will put you in a neutral shoe and get you running on our treadmill for around 20-30 seconds. This will allow us to look at how you are landing, where you are landing and for any misalignments biomechanically within the ankles or knees.

 

Once we have finished recording your running, we will show you a frame by frame replay. By looking at how you run, and taking into consideration your running goals and any previous injuries, we can understand what type of shoe will suit you best.

 

We will then use the gait test to ensure we find the running shoe that works best for you. Comfort is key, as well as support, depending on the mileage you plan to run. Depending on your running style, stability elements in a shoe may help control the movement inwards at the ankles.

 

At Runners Need we have a wide variety of running shoes, from minimal racing shoes to super supportive cushioned shoes. So there is something for everybody, regardless of your running style. 

 

The whole process takes about 15 minutes and will require you to run at a steady pace for around one minute. You don’t need to book in advance, but please note that during peak times – lunchtime between 12pm and 2pm and Saturdays – there may be a short wait.

 

Understanding pronation; 
Overpronation, underpronation and neutral pronation

Pronation refers to the way in which your foot rolls inwards as it strikes the floor. It’s your body’s way of distributing impact, and a natural part of the gait cycle. Understanding your pronation type is important for selecting the right type of running shoe and ultimately could help you to avoid injury.

 

There are three pronation types:

OVERPRONATION

Around 70% of the population overpronate, so this is by far the most common pronation type amongst runners. As the foot is planted it rolls inward excessively, transferring weight to the inner edge instead of centering it on the ball of the foot. It’s usually seen in runners with low arches or flat feet.

 

Recommended shoe: Stability

UNDERPRONATION

Sometimes called supination, this is when the outer side of the foot strikes the ground at a steeper than normal angle with little or no movement inward, causing a jarring effect, and a large transmission of shock through the lower leg. It’s usually seen in runners with high arches.

 

Recommended shoe: Neutral

NEUTRAL

Neutral pronation occurs when the foot lands on the outer edge and then rolls inward in a controlled manner, distributing weight evenly and helping to absorb shock. On push off, there is an even distribution of pressure from the front of the foot.

 

 

Recommended shoe: Neutral

How to determine your pronation type

If you can’t make it to a Runners Need store to have your gait analysed, the "Wet Foot Test" can give you a rough estimate of your pronation type. This is handy if you’re concerned that your gait may have changed since your last assessment, but it is worth noting that it should only serve as a guide. For a full gait analysis and specialist advice on the right shoe for you, visit one of our nationwide Runners Need stores.

THE WET FOOT TEST

Simply wet the sole of your foot, step onto a piece of heavy-duty paper – or a dark tile or paving slab – and examine the footprint you leave behind.

 

The degree to which the sole of your foot is visible in the footprint will give you an indication of your arch type – and the kind of shoe you might need. 

Arch type: High arch

Indicates: Possible underpronation

Recommended shoe: Neutral

Arch type: Normal

Indicates: A neutral gait

Recommended shoe: Neutral

Arch type: Flat or low

Indicates: Possible overpronation

Recommended shoe: Stability

Where can I get a gait analysis?

Just find your nearest Runners Need store and pop in - no need to book.

Don't Forget:

  • The most expensive pair isn’t necessarily the right pair for you, so don’t be tempted into thinking that a higher price always equals a better shoe.
  • We usually recommended you buy trainers half a size to a size larger than your normal shoes to accommodate foot movement and swelling during running.
  • Shoes that might feel comfortable to you when walking about the shop won’t necessarily feel that way when running, so make sure that you always take the shoes you intend to buy onto the treadmill for a test run. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is gait analysis worth it?

How much does gait analysis cost?

How often should you have your gait analysed?

Once I find a trainer I like, should I stick with it?

How often should you change your running shoes?

How many miles does it take to break in a new pair of running shoes?

Help! My new running shoes are giving me blisters, what do I do?


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