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.
Would you be interested in a free, online gait analysis?
"Your run expert was phenomenal and went over and above any other agent I've spoken to at your competitors. His knowledge was excellent, response rate super quick and recommendations were spot on."
By providing us with videos of you running, and answering a short questionnaire our run experts can help you to find the right shoe; as well as giving you advice on your running form, injury prevention, and ways to get the most out of your running.
If you would like more information please email us at email@example.com
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. We also ensure we have a wide range of brands for you to choose from, including men and women's nike trainers.
The whole process takes about 15 minutes and will require you to run at a steady pace for around one minute. We currently advise booking your slot in advance, which can be done here.
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:
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
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 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.
Where can I get a gait analysis?
- 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?
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.