Gait analysis, silly question!

Right. After 9 months of running in my cheapo Nike trainers, and a sore knee from a run over the weekend, I'm going to get my gait checked and get some new trainers.

What's the protocol for what happens? Presumably I don't rock up in my jeans? Can I head in there in my tracksuit bottoms? What is it that actually analyse, my ankles, my knees or my feet?

Anything I should be aware of? Any tips, tricks or notes?

14 Replies

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  • Jeans are ok....if you can roll them up to just above the ankle. If I remember correctly it's your feet / ankles they are looking at.

    I would recommend you take/wear your running socks so that you can try new trainers on with what you'd normally wear.

    I can totally recommend sweatshop.....they have a 30 day return policy and even if you've worn them out and they are muddy they'll exchange if they aren't right for you. I've used the one in bluewater twice.

  • I think Bluewater is my closest one too. Might check it out, take MrsQwest out for a 'shopping trip / come watch me run on a treadmill for an hour' day :)

  • Be prepared to wait a little ad they get busy. Also register for parkrun and take your bar code as pretty sure you get 10% discount

  • Oh really? So I could get a discount with my PR barcode? Nice. Thanks for the tip :)

  • I went in my lunch break when I had mine done so was wearing work trousers which I just rolled up to my knees.

    They mostly look at your ankles to see if they are flexing in or out as you land. Some places like to see you run in your old trainers first, or even just see them so they can look at how they have worn.

    I was given neutral trainers to run in first and was found to over pronate so was given a wide selection of trainers to chose from to try on. Once narrowed down to 3 pairs my gait was analysed in each to make sure they gave me enough support (1 pair didn't) and from there I chose the pair I wanted.

    Allow yourself plenty of time, I wasn't rushed to make a choice at any time but as it could be a large sum of money you spend you need to make sure you have the right pair for you.

    Good luck!

  • I was asked to run on a treadmill and they analysed it on the computer. I also had images of my feet taken I think (it was a while ago) I turned up in joggers and my old trainers. Definately wear running socks. Have fun!

  • This is a useful post as I intend to get some "decent" trainers next month. I live in darkest Cornwall so have a good distance to travel to a shop that does gait analysis so on the helpful advice provided will go with my running gear on!!

  • Just to throw a possible spanner in the works...

    Do places like sweatshop (which sounds very good) also sell 'barefoot-style' shoes? And if so, does gait analysis come into the fitting for those? According to some writers, 'pronation' is normal, rather than something that needs to be corrected - at least I think that's the gist of it?

    I'm interested, not trying to be difficult, honest.

  • Pronation is normal, you land on the outside of your foot and roll inward and onto the ball of your foot and take off square from the ball of your foot. Over pronation though is where you roll over to the inside too much (possibly due to weak ankle muscles) so take off from the inside of your foot rather than square. This is going to cause a twisting motion which will eventually hurt your knees. So the shoes which 'correct' the over pronation should be padded to give you more support on the inside of your foot and prevent you rolling inwards too much, making sure you (hopefully) take off with your foot square.

    If you want to see examples of over pronation walk round a shopping centre and look at all the feet with the fake Uggs on. You'll see a tendancy for the boots to be slumped in, this is over pronation and makes me cringe as I think they're going to go over and hurt themselves (a friend's daughter really rolls her feet as she walks and sort of takes off from the side of her foot rather than the underneath).

  • All I can say is having shoes that correct the over pronation has done my ankles a power of good. I just went in casual trousers - they don't get you to run for long. I was shown a video playback of my feet - which really helped me see what was going on. It made a real difference to my knees which used to grumble a little bit. Having had it done - I'll probably buy the same ones again online a bit more cheaply - and then go and have it done for the pair after that. I can already feel that my leg muscles are stronger and I wonder if the more you run, the more your gait alters.

  • Did mine in Sweatshop at Harrod's Knightsbridge which is quite close to you. You can wear what you like, you just take your shoes off! The hardest bit for me was negotiating the treadmill. The staff are EXCELLENT and the shoes are not expensive. No pressure whatsoever to buy either. I got a pair of New Basics in the right width for about 50 quid. Have fun!

  • I had mine done at Sweatshop in Reading. I took my running shorts with me and used their changing cubicles to change from my jeans to the shorts I also had my running socks on. You are bear footed for one of the machines which you stand on a glass panel and it takes pictures of your feet, this gives a good idea of how your feet are and whether you over or under pronate. There is a treadmill in the shop which they use but as I have never run on a treadmill they gave up on that as I was not running naturally. So I tried various shoes and ran up and down in the shop whilst they observed my run. They recommend some Nike trainers and touchwood I have not had problems with my knee since. Would definitely recommend Sweatshop, excellent staff.

  • had mine done in dw sports in canterbury & they were great. no pressure to buy. they were happy to take the video footage (fantastic watching that back) & recommend trainers then leave it up to me. had 2 daughters have theirs done in dw sports at westwood cross, broadstairs & again, they were very good there also. watching the video makes you really appreciate what over-pronation is & they then compare 3 or 4 different pictures on the screen at the same time which show how other trainers correct the problem on your feet. much better when you can actually see it.

    only off-putting thing for us girls is knowing that there is a camera pointed at your bum whilst you are running :)

  • Thanks Folks, I'm hoping to get out at the weekend for a gait analysis. I've dropped almost 2stone since I bought my last shoes and I'm pretty sure they're worn out or at least getting to that point.

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