Gait Analysis - Too Soon?

I've been reading quite a lot on here, and elsewhere, about gait analysis and am wondering at what point in my running career it's worth while.

I'm currently only on week 2 of C25K. Is this too soon to have developed a running style? Of course I need to be able to run far enough for the shop to have something to analyse!

We've got a Decathalon store fairly local in Oxford, and also a couple of specialist running stores (Fit 2 Run near Abingdon and Up a& Running in Headington). Does anyone have experience of any of them, and which will be the best bet for an over-weight middle aged woman who last ran at school, and who is likely to feel very self-conscious at being scrutinized?!

I broke my right ankle a couple of years ago and had an op on my left knee earlier this year, so definitely think it's worth having the right shoes to minimise the risk of aggravating anything.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

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19 Replies

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  • I would say once you know you are enjoying running and want some new shoes.

  • I agree with Qscout. But do remember the wrong shoes can create injury, so it's a fine balance between once you know you will stick to it (of course you will!), and tempting fate!

    Personally I would go for a smaller independent running specialist, local is even better! If you do not get the right attention when you go in, then leave without the shoes and go elsewhere. Good running shops will spend time and trouble to fit you with the pair that is right for you. With this in mind, try to go at a quieter time, mid week say , and not too late afternoon.

    Many running specialist will not charge for the gait analysis if you buy from them. And remember, you don't need the latest colour etc. Often you can get a bargain if you have the discontinued model.

    Happy running.🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏻🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏻👟👟

  • I (a fellow overweight, middle-aged woman) went to Up & Running in Headington about 18 months ago when I was preparing for a 10k run. Having braced myself for the worst, they were really helpful, and there was no hint of judgement or scorn at all, so I highly recommend them! I'll be going back there soon as a new pair of trainers will be waiting for me under the Christmas tree (I just have to buy them first!). :)

    If you're enjoying running so far and think you're going to stick with it, I'd say get new shoes sooner rather than later. That way you have them before you get an injury through not having good footwear, and having spent lots of money on them you'll have an incentive to keep going! ;)

  • Thank you, always good to have a personal recommendation.

  • Well done for starting!

    If your going to continue running, get a decent pair of shoes and have a gait analysis done, which is free takes a matter of upto 30secs on the treadmill, and your not obligated to buy any shoes at the time. You need to have a gait analysis done everytime you buy new running shoe's. Decathlon are good, so are Sweatshop, there's also run and become a smaller concern with only 3 shops in London, Cardiff & Edinburgh, and up and running with about 30 stores throughout England.😊

  • "Too soon?" you ask. What's the worst that can happen? ;-)

  • I didn't know about gait analysis when I first started and got shin splints in week 2, trust me you do not want to go there...you only need to run for about 30 seconds or so, on a treadmill, they'll be really nice and friendly so don't worry about them looking at you. Ok, they will look at you, but with an analytical eye, they WANT to help... go on, I promise they'll be nice!

  • Very true I;m sure. Thank you for the reassurance

  • Have you been? I went today, I wanted to see if anything has changed since I started running, I feel my shoes aren't really doing me any good...got some lovely noo shoos! Pic to follow after my run tomorrow!

  • I haven't made it yet. Work has just been ridiculously busy and I haven't managed to escape! Going to try next week, so I'll keep you posted.

    Your new shoes sounds fab, can't wait for pics.

  • I think if you choose to contunue the programme that the sooner the better. The right shoes feel better and minimise the risk of injury. I find new shoes encourage me to go out running!

  • I got my gait analysis done for the first time on Saturday (just in time to start the longer runs). Glad I did & wish I'd done it earlier!!! (First time ever on a treadmill so that felt a bit strange, especially since the first one was done barefooted!)

    The small local shop I went to were fantastic, really helpful & patient with this middle aged woman.

    So go for it!

  • It was my first time on a treadmill when I got my gait analysis done, too. 'What speed do you want me to set it at' the guy asked. I hadn't a clue :-D

  • Thank you

  • I had mine done the week before I started running :-). My trainers have been great

  • Given your injuries, if you’re serious about running, I’d suggest undertaking gait analysis sooner rather than later, so that you know your feet are supported in the correct footwear.

    Your ankle break may well have led to a change in your gait without you necessarily becoming aware, Sarah.

    Since your ankle break, if you’ve noticed a greater or more frequent accumulation of toughened skin upon your inner heel, it could be a sign that your ankle could be rolling inwards. Equally, (less common) if you’ve noticed a greater accumulation on the outer edge, your foot could rolling outwards.

    Either way, if the above is something that’s begun to occur, where it may not have done previously, it could be a sign that your gait may have changed.

    There’s no need to feel conscious over being scrutinised, since there’s nothing evasive about the procedure; you’re simply observed as you walk and run upon the treadmill (although removal of footwear may be necessary).

    If that’s what’s deterring you, a simple pedicure should help to allay any fears.

  • Thank you for your advice. You make some very valid points

  • I agree with everything everyone else has said - there's no such thing as too soon to find the right shoes! The fact that I was running in rubbish trainers resulted in picking up an injury after graduation and was out for two months. It's just not worth it!

    You will probably have a moment after leaving the store when you think to yourself "I just spent HOW MUCH on running shoes?!?!" but you will try on a pair that will feel so comfortable and look so pretty that you can't resist... Of course you don't have to splash out but the right shoes are worth the time and money. They'll help to keep you injury free and be your best friend on your running journey. Mandatory photo of the ones you choose on the forum too! :)

    P.S. Don't forget your sports bra! I made that mistake which made running on the treadmill in front of the young, fit man slightly more embarrassing than it could have been!

  • Thanks for your advice, if they help my running and help prevent injury then I'm sure it'll be money well spent.

    Sports bra sorted :-)

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