Gait Analysis

I need new running shoes and thought about having gait analysis first before I buy them. I understand that a treadmill is used for the analysis but I have never used one before and I heard that you run differently on one. As I only run outdoors am I wasting my time having the analysis done? I have done the wet foot test and looked at the soles of my old shoes so I have an idea that I have arches that are between neutral and high but haven't a clue what type of shoes I need. It's like a minefield and I feel so confused! I keep putting it off but I know I need to do something soon. Can anyone offer any advice please?


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9 Replies

  • Hi I went to up and running and went on the treadmill you only have to run slowly and they video a close up if your feet and ankle to see if they are straight they will then try a shoe and see how different you run. I would absolutely recommend you get this done - I was running in the wrong shoes but once I got the right ones for me it makes running feel easier and I no longer get pain in my shins or thigh.

  • I felt the same as you. I was worried about going on the treadmill but they start you off at walking pace and the running bit is for a few minutes and even then it's not fast. If the assistant is good they'll set you at ease and the results of the treadmill will enable them to recommend the most appropriate shoe for you. Taking into account how much a decent pair of trainers will cost & how much you rely on them it's definitely worth the effort. As you may know it's a tradition to take a picture of new running shoes and post them on here so we can all admire them ☺

  • I have mixed feelings about it too - like you, the only time I went on a treadmill was for gait analysis and it felt very different. And I was told that given that I was looking for trail shoes (and ideally minimalist) it was not going to make any difference to the shoe recommended (I have a feeling that manufacturers may have got wise to this now and I see 'cushioning' and 'stability' creeping into trail shoes too)

    As it happens the first shoes I got as a result of that session were abysmal in practice (interestingly, not minimalist). My knees knocked together, I couldn't feel the ground. That was in the days when Sweatshop operated a 'bring 'em back covered in mud within a month and we'll swap them'. It was a long journey but the next shoes were excellent.

  • Hi Trish,

    That's a very interesting post. I did the whole of the C25K on a treadmill in our works gym this time last year but am now mixing it up with at least 1 outdoor run each week, so I can speak from experience of both types of running.

    Re: gait analysis - it sounds from your own wet foot test that you think you need it. In which case you have *no choice*, other than employing an expensive professional running coach, but to use a treadmill in a either a physio/podiatrist/sports clinic or in a specialist running shop. There is no alternative for you I'm afraid.

    You say:

    "I have never used one before and I heard that you run differently on one"

    I'd say that isn't true at all - that's like saying you walk differently on a treadmill. The only differences are how it feels and once you start walking and then jogging and the running, then the differences will become a little clearer to you. It's really very simple and you shouldn't feel apprehensive - it will feel completely natural once you get going. I'd also never been on one before until my physio put me on hers to see if my orthotics would allow me to run again finally after 20 years :-)

    You also said:

    "As I only run outdoors am I wasting my time having the analysis done?

    Not at all - gait analysis is not there exclusively to help indoor runners - the vast majority of runners run outdoors (no?) and the running shoes on sale are mainly made for this, so why is gait analysis offered if not to help mostly outdoor runners? See what I mean?

    In order to give you confidence in the results, I'd suggest the following:

    (1) have gait analysis done a few times in different places (eg Up & Running, DW Sports, Runners Need etc)

    - if the assistants are worth their salt, then they should all say a similar thing regarding your alignment.

    (2) do NOT feel compelled to make a purchase

    - try a LOT of shoes on and make notes re: the different ones you've tried on. An assistant might recommend 1 particular pair - beware of this. Try on different brands and then narrow it down.

    I'd echo what Sharon and Fiona have said above.

    Good luck and please let us know how you get on :-)


    PS I see from your Liver Bird pic you're either from or based in Liverpool - I'm on the Wirral. For gait analysis I'd recommend either Natterjacks on North John Street or Southport; or Runners Need in Eastham on the Wirral or Up & Running in Chester.

  • Just get some shoes that feel comfortable :)

  • I agree with John in that it is probably best to get more than one gait analysis. I had a gait analysis and purchased the recommended shoes but still struggled with constant pain and injuries. I went to a sports physiotherapist who said the gait analysis was incorrect and that i needed support. Which one if any is correct ? I wonder how accurate the analysis can be. Although we all have distinctive running styles these can change slightly during running. We adjust our stride and gait when running uphill, downhill, sprinting, running when fatigue. As most of our running is normally done when we are slightly fatigued it would be different from checking our gait running slowly on a treadmill for a minute.

  • Thanks all for the help and advice. It gave me a bit more confidence when I went to the shop this morning. As John suspected I live in Liverpool and had researched which store I would go to and had already settled for Runners Need in Eastham so it was great to see someone recommending them. I am glad I went there as I was assisted by Steve who was very informative and helpful. I explained I was not familiar with the treadmill and he was really patient. My gait was analysed in several pairs of shoes and I was confident with the result which bore out my own suspicions that my ankles roll inwards. I am happy with the shoes I settled for - Asics GT1000 4 and can't wait to try them out on solid ground (I won't be using a treadmill again any time soon!)

    Not wanting to break with tradition, here they are, Tah Dah.......

  • Ha ha, can't work out how to attach it!

  • You need to start a new post with the picture. We cannot attach a picture to a reply.

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