Gait analysis provides runners with essential information about their running style. This information is always important, as no matter how long you have been running, knowing your running style plays a crucial part in selecting the right shoes. The major focus of gait analysis is to measure the degree of pronation. Pronation is the natural inward roll of the foot as the outside part of the heel strikes the ground. This roll acts as a shock absorber for the leg and body, optimally distributing the force of the impact of the heel hitting the ground. OVERPRONATION occurs when the feet roll inward too much UNDERPRONATION (SUPINATION) occurs when the feet don’t roll inward enough. Gait analysis matches the runner’s degree of pronation with the correct shoe type. The aim is to counter-balance the over- or underpronation to help to reduce the risk of injury and improve running efficiency.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PRONATION, HERE
WHAT IS VIDEO GAIT ANALYSIS?
Video gait analysis involves running for a few minutes on a treadmill while a recording is made of the runner’s feet. This footage is then slowed down and analysed in detail by an ASICS professional, who will then explain their findings in simple terms. Runners can then choose from various shoe types, selecting cushioning, structured cushioning and maximum support - based on the results.
As well as helping runners to find the right shoe by assessing the movement of the foot, video gait analysis also looks at leg and body movement to see if running efficiency can be improved. By slowing the video down and viewing the different running stages in detail, ASICS representatives can help identify certain movements which may be triggering injuries or reducing efficiency.
WHAT OTHER ISSUES CAN ASICS GAIT ANALYSIS IDENTIFY?
As well as under- and overpronation and running inefficiencies, ASICS gait analysis can help to identify a range of issues including:
- Slow cadence - Taking long strides at too low a frequency
- Heel striking - Where the heel lands and whether that could lead to injury
- A lack of core strength - Whether a lack of core strength is causing a runner’s hips to drop and forcing the knees and ankles to rotate inwards
- A lack of flexibility - Inflexibility in the hamstrings and calves is one of the leading causes of running injuries
All of these issues can result in injury and dramatically reduce your running efficiency. However, once identified through gait analysis, they can all be relatively easily fixed with a combination of core strength building, flexibility work and the right choice of running shoe. Read more about how to choose the right running shoes.
WHY IS GAIT ANALYSIS IMPORTANT?
Gait analysis is important because it can help to reduce the amount of compensating the body is forced to do when we run. Imbalance around the joints means that large muscle groups such as the hamstrings, glutes and quads often do less of the work then they’re supposed to. In their place, smaller stabilising muscles have to step in and compensate.
These stabilisers are forced to compensate mile after mile, and this wear and tear can lead to long-term niggles and injuries that affect your ability to train consistently. Essentially, it’s an injury that’s waiting to happen. That’s why, if you take your running seriously, the issues a gait analysis can reveal is invaluable.
IS GAIT ANALYSIS WORTH IT?
If you’re an experienced runner with a good idea of the running shoes that are best suited to your running type and you do not experience frequent or recurring injuries, gait analysis may not be necessary for you. However, for newer runners, ASICS gait analysis is a great way to learn more about your running style, what you can do to improve it and which type of shoe is likely to be the best fit for you. You’ll also get the opportunity to try on different pairs of running shoes with an expert, who’ll be able to provide advice and suggest shoes that you may not have considered.
HOW MUCH DOES GAIT ANALYSIS COST?
You should never be charged for gait analysis unless you’re receiving
a much more detailed service than is usually available in stores. Currently the service is available in the following stores:
- Sweat Shop Dunkeld
- Run-A-Way Sports
- Brian Bands
- Athlete's Foot
- ASICS Mall of Africa