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:
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.
Is gait analysis worth it?
Absolutely! Running regularly in the wrong type of shoe with a pronounced gait abnormality will almost certainly lead to more injuries in the long term. A full gait analysis takes about 15 minutes, and it’s completely free – so why take the risk? Pop into your local Runners Need and give yourself peace of mind.
How much does gait analysis cost?
Nothing. Gait analysis is free in all Runners Need stores.
How often should you have your gait analysed?
We recommend having your gait analysed once a year as your running style will naturally change the more you run.
Once I find a trainer I like, should I stick with it?
Brands often make small changes and updates to their running shoes, so a newer style or model of running shoe may no longer be suitable for you. If you’re unsure, talk to one of our staff.
How often should you change your running shoes?
Generally, you should replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles depending on your weight and the surface you run on. For someone who runs three miles three times a week, this would roughly equate to a new pair of running shoes every 10 to 12 months.
A good test is the ‘kitchen bench’ method. Place the shoe on the counter - If you can make it rock with one finger on the heel, or you can see that the midsole has compressed, it’s usually a sure sign that it's time to get a new pair. Similarly, if the sole is overly worn out in one area more than others, it’s time for a new pair.
For more information, read our article on when to replace your running shoes.
How many miles does it take to break in a new pair of running shoes?
While there is no set mileage to wear in new running shoes it’s important to take it easy and break them in before going for long distances.
If you can, alternate your new running shoes with your old ones. Not only will you notice any changes between the old and new models but you’ll also give your feet and legs a chance to re-adjust to the new pair, which will have a firmer, less compressed cushioning.
To avoid injury close to an event make sure that, if you need new shoes, you get replaced them at least four weeks before a race.
Help! My new running shoes are giving me blisters, what do I do?
Your running shoes should be comfortable from the moment you put them on. Breaking them in won’t change the way they fit, so if you’re getting blisters or the shoes are rubbing, they’re probably the wrong size.
Is there a minimum age for gait analysis?
We do not recommend gait analysis for under 18's as they are still developing and growing.