April 2, 2019

Gait Analysis : What is it? Why do I need it? and Where to get it?

Gait Analysis is something you may not have heard of or it could be something you want to learn more about. So, the big question – What is Gait Analysis?

Gait Analysis is a method used to assess the way in which we run or walk to determine if we have any bio-mechanical or structural abnormalities in our lower limbs and feet. By performing a gait analysis, we can understand a customer’s gait cycle and recommend the correct footwear and accompanying products for their running style.

What is the process of Gait Analysis?

The process of Gait Analysis is quite simple and straight forward. It is carried out by a trained member of our staff in a number of Intersport Elverys stores. It starts off by an initial consultation with a staff member asking you some simple questions about any current problems you may be experiencing when walking or running. These questions aim to get to know you and the experiences if any you’ve had with running or walking.

Some examples of questions include:

  • What level of a runner are you – Beginner/Intermediate or advanced?
  • What distance do you run per week?
  • What is your goal?
  • Do you suffer from any chronic injuries? Shin splints? Plantar fasciitis? Etc.
  • What surface are you running on – Road, treadmill, trail?
  • Do you currently wear orthotics/ insoles?
  • What type of the shoe they you currently wearing when running?

 

You will then be asked to step on a treadmill and follow the instructions by our trained staff. You will be asked to walk on the treadmill and the speed will be increased slightly depending on your capability. Don’t worry this is only a short assessment and it will not be strenuous! A laptop is connected to the treadmill while you walk, this is where the Gait Analysis assessment happens, and all information is recorded and analysed so our staff can give you the information about your gait and what footwear will be best for you.

How can Gait Analysis help you in preparation for running?

Gait analysis can help you in preparation for running by providing you with an assessment of your gait which will give you an insight to the way you walk. This is important when choosing the correct footwear for running as it will help protect your feet and lower limbs and alternatively prevent any strains or injury.

What is the next step after receiving your Gait Analysis results?

Based on your results from the Gait analysis our team will determine what kind of pronation you have, whether it is a neutral pronation, supination (under pronation) or over pronation. So just what do terms like pronation and supination mean and what do they say about your feet?

Pronation: When your foot strikes the ground, it rolls inwards to absorb the shock. People who roll inward too much or not enough can experience running injuries due to less effective shock absorption.

Overpronation:  Generally present with low or flat arches involves excessive inward rolling of the foot & ankle after landing.

Neutral Pronation:  Normal arches, neutral alignment. The foot experiences a normal amount of pronation on impact. The foot lands on the outside of the heel and then rolls inwards (pronates) to absorb shock and support body weight.

Supination: (Under pronation) occurs due to the bones in the medial arch of the foot being too high. This means they become packed together and rigid, so they are not able to allow normal pronation to happen.

If the customer has neutral pronation or supination (under pronation) we would recommend Neutral running shoes e.g. Asics Cumulus or Brooks Revel.  Neutral pronators can wear a wide variety of shoes; a supinator needs a shoe with a lot of cushioning to avoid strong impacts. A motion control shoe e.g. Brooks Glycerin or Asics Nimbus would be a good option for supination as they are for those runners who need a maximum amount of cushioning. Neutral running shoes are also good for under pronation.

If the customer over pronates, we would recommend Stability running shoes e.g. Asics GT1000 or Brooks Adrenaline GTS. Stability running shoes provide extra stability to help reduce over pronation.

There are a number of different options of Neutral and Stability footwear at every price point each with varying levels of cushioning and stability. Brands terminologies differ but your needs as a runner come first. Recommendations will be made based on profiling, analysis results and customer preference.  We will provide you with enough options to allow you to have a choice depending on your needs and price range.

Where can you get a Gait Analysis assessment done?
10 of our stores currently have Gait analysis:

  • Athlone – Golden Island
  • Dublin – Blanchardstown, Dundrum, Fonthill, Suffolk Street
  • Galway – Retail Park
  • Kilkenny – Parliament Street
  • Limerick – Crescent Shopping Centre
  • Sligo – Johnston Court
  • Cork – Oliver Plunkett Street

Simply call in to one of these stores and request it with one of our running experts. Watch our running expert Eoin explain Gait Analysis in simpler terms below.

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