Bridge to 10K
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Gait Analysis

Good evening folks

I'm on W2R2 of Bridge to 10K and have finally booked my gait analysis at a local running shop. I've done my research, and have chosen a chap who knows his stuff and is an experienced runner and coach. While I'm certainly in need of a decent pair of running shoes, I am just a little bit concerned that I'm going to be encouraged to buy an ultra expensive pair after the analysis. Can anyone tell me of their experience of gait analysis and what type of running shoes they recommend for a fairly new, not so fast runner?

Many thanks :)

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I went to Up & Running. All keen runners and all would go out of their way to get you fitted in the right shoes for you. I was given a choice and great care was taken so that I walked out of the shop with the shoes that felt right to me. A keen runner will not sell you the most expensive shoes unless they are also the best for your needs. They told me to come back any time I wanted to check my gait, not necessarily to buy shoes. The shoes will be tailored to gait first of all, though they will also want to know details of your running. Having said that, running shoes from a running shop are going to be more expensive than the same model online. I didn't feel I could have free gait analysis and then buy the shoes elsewhere, but it's an option.

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Thank you Flick. I intend to buy the shoes when I’m there, like you I couldn’t have the free analysis and just leave. I’m not knowledgable about running and do want the best advice and shoes, just a bit nervous I suppose.

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Certainly our local independent running shop will charge £25 if you have the assessment but don't buy the shoes there. Rightly so as they spent around 40 minutes with me. I ended up with a pair of Brooks GTS18 which were £120 (before 10% club discount) but I did chose the more expensive of 2 pairs which were suitable

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Just so you have both sides of the coin. Gait analysis has become a multi million dollar industry that isn't supported by science. Salespeople in shops be they runners or coaches are no trained medical professionals and have had only limited training provided by the very industry making a fortune from selling the shoes. The modern running shoe has only really been around since Nike invented them in the 70s and in that time no shoe has been shown to reduce injury when sold on the basis of gait correction. Recent research now suggest that the only actual effective mechanism for a runner buying a shoe to make a judgement on that will reduce injury is comfort alone. To that end all shoe companies have pivoted towards ultra cushioning. The old science of over pronation, neutral, under pronation etc has failed. The only other stream of evidence suggests that everything shoe companies have thrown into shoes actually just encourages bad form and to this end they are also trying to pivot to barefoot ideology with reduction in sole technology especially the heel to try and re encourage the natural foot strike we all had before we started wearing there shoes in the first place.

Lastly I will say that you are most likely to be recommended Brooks or asics shoes simply because they are feeding these shops that biggest margins I suspect. Brooks have even gone on record to say they are struggling to get away from the gait selling route.

To balance my points, I will say a medically trained podiatrist that can build orthotics correctly can help with biomechanical gait issues.

If you do still buy shoes from the shop be aware that they have special ranges that are specifically sold through gait analysis and these are often at significant price increase to similar shoes from the same manufacturer sold online. But if you do still buy, I suggest you mention if you are a member of a gym or club as places like up and running auto offer 10% off.

Remember they won't meaningfully sell you a bad shoe. I'm not suggesting a machievelian conspiracy. They will be helpful and genuine with sound advice like getting the sizing right and you may walk away with a shoe you feel happy with. Trouble is you may have done that on your own anyway which is why the industry continues 😁 if you find my points provocative, please consider I'm just trying to encourage discussion and thought on the subject.

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Not Up & Running. I wasn't given any Asics to try. One pair of Brooks, among several other shoes. I came away with Mizunos. they are now relegated to casual wear. As somebody who ran in plimsolls, baseball boots or bare feet (and often a mini dress!) in my youth, I can tell you that properly fitted running shoes are the way to go. Of all the pairs i tried at my first gait analysis, only one had that feeling of the shoe disappearing. I went to them for my first On shoes too and am glad I did because they took enormous trouble to make sure the shoes fitted correctly. People I know and respect (my sisters bloke who has done the London Marathon, my sister who used to be a physio, my GP - whom I suspect is a runner since she knows so much about it) recommend gait analysis. But ultimately we all have to decide for ourselves. There are many opinions, all religiously adhered to: cushioned shoes; minimalist barefoot shoes; bare feet; any old shoes as long as they fit. Gait analysis will not only pick up your actual gait but also other factors. I throw my right foot outwards, compensation for having one leg shorter and weaker than the other because of previously fractured femur: the man who tested my gait picked up on that, said running with it would give me hip problems further down the line, and gave me exercises to strengthen and correct it, which have been very helpful. Gait analysis, whether or not you believe it works, is unlikely to do any harm.

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I don't disagree with any of that flick. Your right it probably won't do any harm other than to your wallet 😁. My only experience is I went along with my asics gt-2000s which are a mild over pronation shoe which I'd bought as I felt I needed them from the useless wet foot test. They told me I was largely neutral with a small flick so I could get away with either shoes and then they tried to sell me some gt-1000s a cheaper version of what I already had. When I asked why? their response was they were newer. So a lesson there is if you find a comfy 120 quid pair of shoes, go buy last seasons version for 50 quid. They did not want to sell me the on cloud flyers despite me now having run 400km in them without injury. The on shoes aren't aligned with the gait analysis sales model. My gt-2000s were fine also but needed to be a half size bigger albeit I had ran fine in them until that point.

I'm sure wherever you go you will get useful advice and I'm not knocking that. I have read most people over pronate ie 70-80% but most do not need an over pronation shoe but most shoes are neutral and pronation shoes cost more despite that being the norm.. All a bit odd.

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Who did the gait analysis? They don't sound very ethical. The flyers are, i think, supposed to be mild support. but, anyway, as you say, On use a different ethos and their correction comes from the cloud pods allowing your feet do their thing. I have a very neutral gait with a mid-foot strike, so i could have worn virtually anything. My daughter is also mega neutral and she runs in Brooks by choice. We were both given a wide range of shoes to choose from, in my case including sales models. I think Up & running are more concerned with you getting the right shoes than the most expensive. but then they are all keen runners, do discount for NHS staff, organise a lot of runs and charity stuff. I guess they make their money from returning satisfied customers. The price for me is academic since I've never managed to find On Running shoes any cheaper, online included, except in the occasional sales such as Runners Need recently had (which usually means the very small or very large sizes that nobody wants).

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I understand all your points.

I was offered both Brooks and Asics to try but I felt 120 for Brooks along with all the time that was put in was reasonable.

On my own I would definately have bought a much smaller size and not necessarily enough support for my overpronation. I did check online after and there was very little price difference in the model I bought.

I've since bought trail shoes on my own at a huge discount in a sale, but in a good size thanks to my gait analysis.

I knew going in that I was an overpronator due to a chiropidist visit years ago so I really wanted advice. The chap at Up and Running Horsham was a very keen runner himself and not at all pushy. The fact that I was given shoes to go and run outside in with the risk that I then wouldn't but just blew me away. I will be going back in due course and may even be cheeky enough to take my trail shoes to get his opinion! 👍🤣🤣

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Great point about the sizing, gait analysis won't help with that, but good sales advice does. Running shoes seem to be all over the place with sizing as well which doesn't help so important to send them back if you buy online and you don't have a fingers width spare at the ends and room for your feet to spread in the toebox.

Did you get non neutral trail shoes then? I was under the belief that they were all neutral but you get so many crossover shoes now it's hard to say. If you do run in neutral trail shoes, I'd be interested to know why you think that is ok but not on the road?

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Good point. They certainly seem fairly neutral but they classed themselves as supportive in the search too. For me, my gait was really poor at the start, my Brooks have really helped straighten my gait out. Given the lack of support trailies I read that many people run in both so thought I'd try them. I guess given the difference in terrain and therefore the way I run is different off road to on, its almost apples and pears. I still prefer my Brooks on road, plus they've trained me to run better so I feel less risk off road. Long term I do worry a little about joints etc on road so feel I need better protection if you like on road than off where it can be softer and I have to take more care with my footfall anyway 🤔

Sizing was key. Even the finger measure... I never would have given myself enough space. It's too ingrained to want those smaller numbers!! 🤣🤣

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You may find this interesting as you are an overpronator runnersconnect.net/running-...

I think the stuff about focusing on your form up top is golden, I think people should focus on their form and core strength as much as a resolution to lower limb problems as they do on the shoes they buy.

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Great articles both of them. I agree with the upper body. Once I got further into the programme and my overall posture improved I felt a real difference. Early on the shoes certainly helped me feel like I was landing better so it may have been a helpful step.

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You may find this a great read about brooks, it very nicely talks about the history and change in ideaologies around running shoes from brooks perspective.

bloomberg.com/news/features...

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You’ve hit on the key to gait analysis: getting the right shoe for you. We are all so different. I had a pair of Brooke’s Ghost (not recommended to me, I fancied trying them and bought online).i didn’t like them. They encouraged me to heel strike (Im a mid foot striker) and felt too cushioned to me. My slaughter runs in Brooks, including Ghosts, and loves them.

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I totally agree with you. I think it's all a big marketing ploy. I'm a slight over pronator with other issues and wear a structured shoe with orthotics for running. I'm still not convinced I should be but that's for another time and post. My podiatrist tells me it doesn't matter what type of shoe I wear. To quote, " no shoe is going to help or correct". My husband and loads of friends and relatives were big runners back in the day and none of them wore special shoes and rarely, if ever, got injured whereas I've gone from one injury to the next. Now, it might not be the shoes. But I'm now thinking it might be ☹️

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I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying it's a marketing ploy, I don't believe shoe companies are deliberately selling us stuff we don't need, but they are trying to sell us stuff that may not be quite what we need. I think they work with the current science and pivot when trends change, I think if the barefoot movement had won out, they would still be shoe companies selling us barefoot shoes(make of that what you will). That article about addressing your entire biomechanical movement especially from up top seems particularly relevant if you are still getting injured.

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My shins have never hurt since getting a gait analysis. I’d thoroughly recommend it. £120 for a pair of saucony for me but I can feel the difference they make but I massively over pronate 👌🏽

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My tennis elbow cleared up totally after getting my gait tested. There must be something in it after all 😜

In all seriousness, and I don't want to be arguing my point of view at all because you can't prove anything one way or the other from colloquial evidence. But what you say is interesting in that shin pain is usually caused by impact from overuse, heels-striking or being overweight. A more cushioned shoe would help and could be seen to be a magical cure, but as you ran further the problem could re-emerge as the real solution could be go away and learn to mid foot strike(they can't sell you that though) or lose weight(again they may not be able to sell you that).

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Ok

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Beware of buying last years versions if you haven't actually tried them. I.e. New v15 last year v14 as there can be changes the the newer version that would not suit - perhaps a smaller toe box (I have seen this mentioned but can't remember which brand it was). Online buying, I think, should be version for version buying.

The only store I'd be wary of buying from is the one who's profits just fell as they do like to upsell- get you to buy insoles for another £40.

No one should pressure you to buy and should respect your budget level. Good description from FlickM3 about shoes "disappearing on your feet". I have also never needed to break any shoes in which I've seen mentioned a few times. OK don't go out and run miles and miles first time out (even though I have) in new shoes just in case there is a problem - but break in? No.

Don't forget to let us see your new BF's once bought.

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Same with me, I've never had to break shoes in. Just run straight out of the box. I would be suspicious that shoes that need breaking in are not properly fitted.

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Tell them your budget when you go in and ask for previous years' models.

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Sorry lollytwist, I think my pontificating about gait analysis has lost the point of your original question.

Go get your gait analyzed and consider what they tell you, you may find you are a neutral runner and the world is then your oyster. With regard to your ability level and where you are at the moment they will likely recommend based on the distance you run ie longer runs 10k - HM - and Marathon require shoes with progressively more support(again debatable but lets not go there) but as a 5k runner and a novice you will likely be best with something that is a bit softer and comfort oriented to give you the most shock absorption in your run. Don't buy anything you aren't comfortable wearing and the fits like a glove analogy is particularly useful in this instance.

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No apologies required, it has been so interesting reading everyone's points of view, and really helpful for me to hear what different experiences you have all had. I'm looking forward to getting it done, and buying the right shoes for me.

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I think the thing with gait analysis is that it is absolutely a sales technique, albeit one with some logical thinking behind it. Essentially it's better than a shot in the dark, same as getting a foundation match or a book recommended on past history. The value of gait analysis all very much depends on what you want from it. If you're looking for a miracle marriage with the perfect shoe then you're out of luck, as there's no physical shop in the world that can offer limitless stock, or indeed the years of physio training required to their staff. If you are after a bit of advice, have an interest in seeing how your feet work in slomo (I loved that, how often do you get to see your ankles and feet doing their thing? Hello down there! I have a new found appreciation for you!) and would like to narrow down the vast wall of unicorn coloured shoes, then why not? ...with the caveat that I'm sure there are some shops that are better than others.

My experience at my local independent shop was good, I got 45 minutes stamping about on a treadmill—first and last time for that experience—and the nice boy was very patient and didn't laugh when I clung onto it with white knuckles, squeaking. He talked me through lots of shoes, some discarded before even trying to run in them (what on earth were those puffy things? Hoka? They looked like foam bananas and felt odd), and the shortlisted ones were filmed and compared in action side by side, both with each other and my plain old bare foot. I got through several Adidas, Brooks and some Asics. He showed me various interesting things about my foot responding to each model, he made sense, and I didn't feel pushed to buy any particular shoes, or indeed any at all. The ones he recommended, and as it happened I liked best, were basic Brooks Vapors, and definitely not the most expensive (a comparatively minimal £90). I googled them when he wasn't looking because I am that sort of person, and I couldn't get them cheaper so I cheerfully bought them. I negotiated some free Hilly socks too. Then I got a fancy black forest mocha from Costa. All in all, a lovely morning.

I think some pointers though - I would be really dubious of a shop that charges for gait analysis if you don't buy a pair of shoes afterwards. This is not a science, it's a guided sale, and as with any sale you should be under absolutely no obligation if you're not 100% happy, financial or otherwise. Next, the attitude of the staff. Are they going for the hard sell? Do they listen to your questions and answer honestly? Are you being guided towards particular brands, or offered the whole range covered by their shop? Do they give you time to make a considered decision? Lastly, do they stand by their recommendation? If on top of everything else they are prepared to accept a 30 day return on a worn pair they have recommended to you then I think it's a safe bet, and you can be confident they've got your interests at heart as well as their sales.

I remain happy with my Brooks, but have since then bought some Ons online because I couldn't bring myself to pay £135 in a bricks and mortar shop for a pair of shoes which were a gamble because I simply liked the colour and the idea. I took the risk because (aside from the fact they were £50 cheaper) I am more familiar with how my body works in action; before I couldn't tell if I was feeling discomfort simply with running, or with the shoe itself. Now I'm pretty comfortable with the motion of my running style I think my future gait analysis will probably not be on a shop treadmill, but on my feet in the wild. (Famous last words of course, watch me crawl back to Run4It in a few months, covered in blisters...)

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I'm with you Sqkr. That's on the fence. Don't really accept the science behind GA, but it's better than nowt! And who wouldn't want to see a slo-mo action shot of their feet.

Of course I had it done. Bought the recommended shoes, but more because they were a newer model of Asics than I have and based on gel for shock absorption since I'm mostly a road- runner.

I was told I'm neutral which is brilliant as I do like to keep an eye out for a bargain and like the idea that my market is a wider one.

I have to say, everything pinkaardvark says makes more sense to me and as I said, I didn't have it done because I believed in it, more because it was somewhere to start narrowing down the Unicorn-wall of colour (think that's how it was put!)

It sounds as though FlickM3 has been lucky with a really great salesman - if only they were all like that. The problem is it differs massively person to person, shop to shop, brand to brand. My salesman tried to follow my lead when I laced up using the runners loop and done it backwards with the loop on the inside. I'm thinking he wasn't a runner!

Nonetheless, you should always listen to advice and follow your gut. If you don't feel like they know what they're talking about, you're in the wrong place.

I'm wishing there was an Up & Running near me!

Thank you lollytwist for raising this, it's allowed a very interesting read of everyone's thoughts on topic. I hope you do find something suitable and of course go on to run injury-free. 😘

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Well FlickM3 now buys her own shoes online and has four pairs of Ons, all different models, but she’s still glad she had that initial,gait analysis. Actually I’ve had another since at the same place but didn’t buy shoes. They offer free no obligation analysis. And my turquoise Mizuno Wave Rider 20s with the shocking-pink flash? Tbey are now very nice leisure wear trainers that don’t make my feet sweaty. lollytwist I would advise you to have the analysis at least this once then make your own mind up 😊👟👟👟

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My fave shoes are £28 Saucony kinvara. You don’t have to spend a fortune. My first shoes were Karrimor tempo which I loved. Still have the trail version. I didn’t get gait analysis as I started running on the trails

Just a mention about breaking shoes in. I have broken in a pair of Mizuno trail shoes which I was warned might need it as they were quite stiff. They were ! Fine now though and softened up after running on the beach and trail in them

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