Couch to 5K

Going for gait analysis - support/advice?

I'm thinking that now I've graduated I ought to invest some money into doing this new hobby properly. I could go for a expensive running watch, but I think the tech-free, practical idea is to get a good pair of trainers - and go for a running analysis thing...


I have no idea what to expect, what to wear or where to go! Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up?

I live quite near a Nike store, and a very small runners need (shepherds bush), which I could try. But

Can anyone recommend anywhere in Central/West London that wont treat me like a mad fat slowcoach and laugh at my trainers!?

So many questions, and I probably should just do it, but any advice/support gratefully received!



17 Replies

i went to the sweatbox. I felt my legs were taking a bit of a bashing because my running shoes were not that good. I don't know if there is one near you. I just turned up in my running gear...well my shorts and tshirt and trainers and they did my gait analysis straight away. It was very quick and they suggested as neutral pair of shoes. They didn't charge anything for the service.

I came away with a £90 pair of running shoes..I didn't think it was cheap. But they do do their job. My legs feel much less bashed after running and 1 day's rest between runs is enough for me.

I've got a watch too...but i think i'd go for the shoes first. I love my watch too I up load my runs afterwards and it clearly shows I am progressing and all the runs I've done. Its not just the times and distance I like about it.


I looked up sweatbox... do you mean sweatshop!!?? lol

My running gear is in the wash but should be dry by tmw, so I think I'll tryo to go then. £90 i could just about justify - as long as they last a while!

Then maybe the watch - if i can hold out :) Thanks Marc!


yes I meant sweatshop :0) mine seem to be lasting well


I went to Sweatshop (but not in London) They were fab. I'm definitely not an uber fit twenty-something, so was quite nervous but I had no need to be. Was served by a very knowledgeable lady of a similar age to myself. I did the run on the treadmill, we viewed the resulting video and was I recommended neutral shoes. I tried on several pairs, again running on the treadmill in them and I eventually came away with the beautiful-ugly shoes that I have now.

Go for it gnimia, you won't regret it!


THis all sounds helpful and postive - thank you AM. Hopefully my local store will be the same


I wrote a post about my experience with gait analysis

I went to sweatshop really lovely and you get a 30 day guarantee with them so if your trainers aren't right, yes even after running with them you can exchange them.

Go for it.


Great post Spoonie - thanks for sharing :):) A blow-by-blow explanation was jst what i was oping for! IF its not too personal (!), can I ask what you were wearing? Did you go in your running gear?

Sounds like sweatshop is a winner. ALthough have just found out my local store is Notting Hill - aaargh!


I went in sports bra normal top but had running capris on, I took my trainers and some socks with me.


Another vote for sweatshop here, really friendly and non judgemental (metrocentre Gateshead store), like people have said not cheap but the 30 day guarantee is the best around. Happy shoe hunting :)


That's where I went to have mine done :)


Gateshead is a bit of a trek from here... but I'm pleased reviews for Sweatshop are unanimous!


Sounds like a good move :) I had gait analysis done about 4 weeks ago now and bought some nice new running shoes/moulded insoles. I had this done at sweatshop. Not cheap but they made a massive difference and I feel well worth the money. I just turned up in jeans and shirt. Rolled jeans up a bit and popped on the treadmill etc. Try not to be too self conscious although I appreciate that's harder said than done but you'll be glad you did ;)


THe massive difference would be good, but Im just hoping for something comfortable and not pink! If it shaves 5 mins of my 5k thats a bonus- haha :)

Interesting that you went along in jeans - very tempting!

Thanks Paul


You're welcome :) Let us know how you get on.

There are a number of stores in London. Try this link to find your nearest:


I went to sweatshop too. I took my running things with me (capris and trainers) and got changed in their changing room. I also came away not actually buying my shoes from them because they didn't have the shoes I liked in the size I needed. I bought the insoles though, and ordered the trainers from the internet (about £30 cheaper). So don't feel embarrassed about checking out the Internet prices before deciding whether to buy the shoes you choose, especially if you've got a strict budget.


I went to sweatshop yesterday as I was curious about gait analysis. The whole analysis took about 20-30 minutes. They ask you questions about how much exercise you do and why you have come here etc. They get you to stand on 2 foam mats next to a computer and they ask you to stand straight, turn the other way and slightly squat, face forward and put your weight on your toes and then put your weight on your heel, while doing this, she places an insole under your foot and moulds it to your foot shape, explaining what she is doing all the time. She then shows you on the computer and you see a replay of your feet and lower legs and she explains to you any problems she found. I was told I had a neutral gait and no problems were found. She then if you wish, get shown some trainers that she think will be best suited to your feet and running style. If you are a woman they do ask you if you wish to be fitted for a sports bra at the same time, but it was late in the day and my kids were getting restless so I didn't bother with the bra shopping. I did buy the trainers and the insoles as was told I had a 30 day no quibble returns if I didn't like them. Too early to say yet if the insoles/trainers are any good.


Well, I bit the bullet and made it to Sweatshop yesterday. My local shop is Notting Hill and tbh I was worried that even if all the other SS stores are lovely, this would be the one full of beautiful, lithe running snobs!

I thought it would be good to be in my normal kit - but getting there in running gear on the bus didnt feel very logical so i decided to run it.

This means going up Holland Park Hill - Its hardly Ben Nevis but 18months ago it nearly killed me on the bicycle, dn i hated wlaking it - so I was pretty nervous about that on its own - but despite the heat, I made it up in one go (pausing only for traffic lights, slipping laces, and wretched tourists milling about on the pavement!)

The apparently impossible has been surmounted!

In fact I was so quick up there (well compared to what I thought I'd be) that I had to carry on past the shop and into Kensington Place Gardens to get the full 40min session. Wow! That was full of proper looking runners but I'm glad I made it, and it has potential for future routes too. Yey!

Having stretched and cooled down a bit, I headed to the shop, and took a glance through the window! Eek - 5 very fit young chaps talking animatedly and waving expensive techincal t-shirts around - i took my slightly sticky, cereal-freebie vest-clad self around the block, and by the time I'd got back, they'd gone.

And for the next 15 mins I had all the support and help i could want from the 2 lads in the shop - they asked questions nicely, laughed at my jokes, explained what they were doing and why (in words of one syllable). Even when 2 much more experienced and higher spending runners came in (both older and fitter than me!) they were apologetic, but let me get on with trying the three different pairs he recommended for my "neutral" style, dropping in regularly. It was quite interesting seeing my ankles on the screen - Have never looked at myself from that angle before!

He practically begged me to join the running club - its a new store and the assistant manager who's there is obviously really keen to build it up and they'll take anyone - lol!

The final choice in trainers are new balance, and along with the insoles about 100 so could have been worse. And they aren't pink! I haven't tried them yet (and won't get a chance for a few days now) but on the treadmill they felt pretty good and supportive so I'm optimistic!

However, its likely to become a very expensive weekend as I dropped my iphone on the kitchen floor last night, and the screen is smashed - aargh!

Thanks again for all your responses guys - really helped put my mind at ease!


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