All About Gait Analysis

What is Gait Analysis?

Gait analysis is the process of observing your individual running style and we offer this service free of charge in all Up & Running stores. 

Why Do You Need Gait Analysis?

By watching you run, we aim to help you find the best running shoe to suit your unique movement pattern.

The In-Store Experience

When you come in for your gait analysis, one of our experienced team members will first discuss your running with you, asking details such as your goals, any injury history, the types of surfaces that you run on and the distances you are running. These can all have a bearing on the shoes that are recommended.

You’ll be given a pair of neutral shoes to wear; these are cushioned shoes without additional stability features, and will be used for your initial baseline run. You will then be asked to step onto the treadmill and run at a comfortable pace for about a minute. Your stride is recorded and assessed by the team member, who will explain and discuss the findings with you. Your ankles, and ideally your knees, need to be visible so you may choose to wear leggings or bring a pair of shorts with you. Additionally, we recommend comfortable clothing, and a sports bra, to allow you to move uninhibited on the treadmill.

 What Will You Find Out From Your Gait Analysis?

Your running gait is unique to you, although there are three broad types of running style. All are natural, and not necessarily better or worse than one another, and all benefit from the right footwear to suit their characteristics. You will either be a neutral runner, overpronator or underpronator.

Neutral is when the foot lands on its outer edge and then rolls inwards, finishing approximately perpendicular to the surface. This movement is known as pronation, and is a natural shock absorber. Contact is spread around the arches of the foot, holding the knee and hip aligned, before pushing off into the next stride. Neutral running gait is one of the two most common styles, and runners with this style will be recommended cushioned shoes that allow the foot to continue in this pattern, and checked on the treadmill for both suitability and comfort.

Overpronation is the other common variation of gait. As the foot lands, it rolls inwards in an excessive or uncontrolled manner. Generally the knees will also come together, and the hips may rotate and drop. This is associated with a wide range of common injuries in the foot, knee and even back. Runners who overpronate will be recommended to wear a more supportive or stable shoe matched to their individual degree of deviation at the ankle and knee. The method of support may vary between brands and models, so will be specifically chosen for the individual and then again checked on the treadmill.

Underpronation or Supination. As the name suggests, this is the opposite of overpronation, and the foot strikes the ground on its edge, but does not fully roll in when absorbing the landing impact. As the foot is more rigid, a supinator would be advised to wear a neutral shoe with good cushioning where they land. In some cases a shoe with supportive guide-rails may be recommended to help direct the foot inwards. During your gait analysis, other factors such as your posture, cadence or rhythm and more will be taken into account, and our team is always happy to help and advise so you get the most out of your running.

Do I Need to Make an Appointment? No, we don’t make appointments. If you are short of time, then it’s advisable to avoid busy periods such as the lunchtime.

Do I Need to Bring Anything With Me? It is always best to bring the shoes that you have been running in recently as they show a lot of clues about your running history to date. It doesn’t matter how old they are or what condition they are in! You need to be able to roll your trousers up so that we can see how you run from your knees down, although the member of staff will also be looking at your hips, as well as your knees and ankles.

How Will I Know Which Shoes to Choose? You’ll be offered the opportunity to try on a selection of shoes which are all the right level of support, then it is down to your personal choice of comfort, fit, colour and price! You’ll be able to try them out on the treadmill.

*During current Covid restrictions mean that the customer will need to start and stop the treadmill themselves. Full guidance will be given.

Watch our video to find out what happens during gait analysis

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