Before getting into the why and the wherefores of choosing the correct insole or sports shoe. Lets look into what is termed “Gait Analysis”. This helps us and a bio mech technician understand the way our feet strike the road and identify any movement related problems. Originally developed for elite athletes, Gait Analysis is now main steam and is actually used as a selling aid by many well- known foot ware manufactures and sports shops.
HOW IS GAIT ANALYSIS ASSESSED
OK, there are many software systems currently in use for Gait Analysis, but basically all require the same things, an optoelectronic camera recording a runner walking, jogging and running, and a tread- mill. The recorded data is feed in to the software program and the results will give the technician a pretty comprehensive readout the individuals gait profile.
IS GAIT ANALYSIS EFFECTIVE?
What it will definitely highlight is the degree of pronation ( the inward role of the foot as it strikes the ground) This natural movement acts as a kind of shock absorber that should distribute the impact of the ground on your feet, ankles, knee’s and hips in an even way.
- Underpronation, is where the feet don’t roll inwardly enough.
- Overpronation, as you might have guessed is the opposite. The feet role in too much.
- Neutral, indicates little or no role.
It can also highlight any other underlying weakness. If you have had one flagged up then you can then work on strengthening it. So thats all good.
But is it an effective system?
YES: If it is done professionally by a trained technician using modern equipment.
NO: If the analysis is done outside the shop with a shop assistant watching you jogging up and down on the sidewalk.
Believe it or not I have seen that method in action!!
Gait Analysis has long moved on from the old “Arch Analysis” modelling. With the new video/software tools we have an effective way if indicating what type of training shoes may be “prescribed” is available to serious runners.
If you are suffering some sort running related aches, pains or recurring injuries then a visit to a podiatrist is indicated. Read a success story
A store based Gait Analysis report, whilst useful; should best be used for the store in house promotion highlighting the comfort and fit of their range of running shoes. The rest leave to the medical professionals.