Men's Running & Women's Running

Get off on the right foot with your training in 2013 by having your gait analysed and biomechanics assessed to avoid common injuries and run more efficiently. While you might bag a bargain by shopping online, if the shoe doesn’t fit then it is less of a bargain.

What is gait analysis?

Simply put, gait analysis is the study of the human body in motion. Nearly all specialist running shops now offer a free gait analysis to help runners select the most suitable shoes for their gait, which can in turn reduce the chance of injury and improve running efficiency.

Types of footstrike

There are three different planes of footstrike:

  1. Neutral – when the foot lands upright and without collapsing to either side
  2. Overpronation – when the foot collapses inwards slightly
  3. Supination or underpronation – when the foot rolls out laterally

According to Run and Become managing director Shankara Smith, pronation occurs in three planes; arch collapse, heel rotation and abduction of the foot. Each of these can be corrected by wearing the correct shoes.

Here are Shankara's three golden rules for runners when it comes to buying new running shoes:

Go to the specialists

Everyone's stride pattern is unique, so the best shoe for your friend won't be the best for you. Getting your gait analysed, and shoes properly fitted by an expert takes all the guessing out of it, ensuring you won't end up giving up running, or spending out on a physio, because your shoes don't support you properly. What's more this service is free at all specialist running shops, you just have to pay the price of the shoes.

Don't buy without trying

If your old shoes worked perfectly it would seem a good bet to buy the updated version. But beware, just because the name is the same doesn't mean the shoe is. Brands are wise to the fact that keeping the name the same increases the likelihood of repeat buys, but often the updated versions are significantly different. Safest to get checked out by an expert and ensure there's not a more perfect shoe out there for you.

What inspires you to run?

There are so many running shoe options: road shoes, trail, minimal, barefoot five finger shoes, and you'll find a mass of conflicting advice online: 'Minimalist shoes as the only safe options' / 'Minimalist shoes will cripple you!' Make sure common sense prevails, what gives you the most joy when you run? Do you need to rush out the door and squeeze in 30 minutes for yourself, or do you get bored with road running and want to try something different? There's no right or wrong where the various shoe types are concerned, only what's most likely to keep you running happy. Again, your local running shop will be able to explain all the options and help guide you to your perfect shoe.

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