What is a Gait Analysis? Why do I need one?
If you've purchased a pair of running shoes in the last 10 years chances are you've run on a treadmill, someone's taken a video and up to a few years ago they've drawn some lines on the image and told you that you pronate.
I won't hide from the fact that more than likely we have been overprescribing running shoes. For something so simple we have definitely made it more complicated than it needs to be. (Not to do me out of a job)
So what is a Gait Analysis showing us?
Like anything, it is only as good as the person interpreting the data.
What I would challenge us to do is think about weakness' and strengths on a loaded foot and how a shoe can negate or enhance those weakness' or strengths.
If we are filming someone running from behind, what I am looking for is a weight shift. Can the foot hold itself and the person up under load, where does momentum start then finish and how quickly does that happen.
If all looks good then we know a nicely shaped shoe with no enhanced features should wear evenly.
Which is all we want, a shoe that will wear evenly under the load of the individual. We know 3 times someone's body weight goes through a foot every time we take a step while running. I'm also happy to assume that the most efficient way to travel is a straight line. Any large amount of deviation from center can't be a great use of energy. Meaning if someone is loading the inside of a shoe too much and it's breaking down, or compressing then because of the platform they are on that weakness is going to be made much worse. Causing extra stress somewhere.
If we see that happening we can place a firmer piece of EVA in the shoe under the arch of the foot, wear that extra loading happens. This means that shoe should wear much more evenly.
There are 100 other things we might look at, but for this, I'll keep it simple.
I will never hide from the fact I'm a shoe guy, I love everything about them and used correctly they can absolutely help people run and move better. There is no such thing as the worlds best-running shoe, but there are definitely some awful ones.
What else can a Gait Analysis show us?
We can look at things like cadence, where you strike, body position and balance. There most definitely is more efficient ways to run and sometimes seeing that inaction can be a lightbulb moment.
We are very fortunate to have one of the only Dual Camera Gait Analysis facilities in the country. With the ability to look at almost every angle. So next time you need a new pair of running shoes, keep us in mind. If you need a hand we are always available. With shoes the service is free, Sportmed Podiatry also operates a satellite clinic out of the store and you can book in or be referred for a full biomechanical assessment if you are having injury issues.