The Problem with Gait Analysis
The problem with gait analysis – where to begin? Well for a start gait analysis has made us all a little foot and trainer obsessed! Pronation is a word we all love to quote – but pronation is not the enemy! It is a normal, natural and much needed element of the gait cycle (be that running or walking) To control it is to stop the foot functioning as it should, robbing the body of stored elastic energy and shock absorption and effectively stopping muscles further up the leg from firing correctly. If the foot is ‘stuck’ in pronation then this probably needs attention but this too can often be solved by strengthening and working on how we run/walk.
My second big beef with gait analysis is that it often just involves a video of the lower leg and foot – we don’t just run from below the knee! Overall posture, pelvic mechanics, flexibility and how we use our arms are just a few areas that need analysing. Simply correcting what’s happening from the hips up may improve gait as will working on ankle mobility/calf flexibility (often a cause of over pronation). So when you are next sold a pair of trainers – and there are some lovely ones out there in some lovely colours – just bear in mind that you are one big complex unit and getting the man in the shop to look at your feet is just a small part of the picture.
My advice on trainers? Go to the shop, try a few running shoes, buy the pair that feels most comfortable for you and then go out and enjoy your running!