Run Gait Analysis Explained.
If you are new to running or have never heard of a ‘run gait analysis’ hopefully you will find the information below especially useful.
So what is a Run Gait Analysis?
Quite simply it is a method used by running shops to determine what type of running shoes suits your running style. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to identify a shoe that will suit their own running style and often get caught up in the current trend, whether that is “I need a carbon plated shoe” or “the most expensive shoe must be the best shoe.”
How does it work?
The process begins with finding out a little bit about your running background such as, what terrain you are running on, upcoming races, running ability, injury history, and typical mileage. These kinds of questions start to give us a better understanding of what type of shoe will suit your running needs. The first step is getting you running in a neutral pair of shoes at a typical easy run speed. During this time, we will extract a 10-second video slowed down to a frame by frame view. This will help identify potential problems during your run gait. Issues can include ‘overpronation’, collapsing of the knee and lack of hip stability that can all lead to those annoying niggles we all get! The run gait analysis is a great tool as you can then compare run gait videos in multiply different shoes for comparison and ensure you get a shoe best suited for your unique gait.
Overpronation / Over Supernation / Neutral
These are all buzz words that get thrown around a lot and it is important to understand what they mean. The image below starts to give you a really good idea of what these terms mean.
- Overpronation usually stems from a weakness in the foot or people with flat arches that causes the foot to roll inwards. As the foot is planted and put under pressure it rolls inwards excessively, causing the weight to move to the inner edge. For people who overpronate excessively and suffer from recurring injuries, we would typically recommend a stability shoe.
- Neutral gait usually means the foot lands on the outer edge and then rolls inwards in a controlled manner allowing for an even distribution of weight and shock absorption. We would typically recommend a neutral shoe.
- Oversupination occurs when the foot lands on the outside at a steep angle with little or no inward movement. This can sometimes create a jarring sensation and excess pressure through the lower leg. Often seen in runners with high arches. We would typically recommend a neutral shoe for this gait.
It is important to remember that your running shoe is there to aid your running and is usually not a miracle worker. Common injuries often stem from other issues such as muscle imbalance, lack of flexibility and running form. This is typically why we would recommend you see a physio if you are having recurring injuries or get a more in-depth running biomechanical analysis.