Gait analysis, as waste of time?

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09/01/2014 at 05:37

The fastest runners pronate, its the sprinters domain. The fastest distance runners pronate since they just exercise a sustained sprint.

Pronate, supinate. Its something we're born with. Short of smashing up your ankle joints and rebuilding them there's not much one can do to change them.

The problem with pronation is that its not very efficient at low speeds or in my case, mud. The runners I see who get the most speed out of low fitness levels have dead straight ankles or supinate.

As for the marathon, due to the long term fatigue effects its probably the straight ankle form that prevails.

Edited: 09/01/2014 at 05:38
09/01/2014 at 11:09

I believe the top  elite runners could save  5 to 6 seconds per mile over the marathon by shredding the weight of a shoe and manning up and running bare foot. 3.5 to 4 minutes could be shaved off world record time by shifting to bare foot. 

Running without shoes, without the ankle weights shoe impose could very well lead to running faster times. If the average runners can save minutes on their long distance races by shifting to bare foot running. Imagine what the elite runners could do if they ran bare foot ala Adebe Bikilia style?

I have a belief that running shoes are a heavy resistant force that slows runners down and does not really do much by just being a status symbol of perceived wealth and power. Runners wearing expensive shoes is show boating wealth just like a person wearing a Rolex watch, wearing designer label clothes, driving an expensive Sports car, owning a yacht or owning a mansion and investment property/share portfolio. 

By simply removing shoes and running bare foot a runner can run his best time possible if he/she believes. It is the fear and conservative nature most runners have that they will not give a bare foot marathon a shot.

More efficient stride and carrying less weight resistance force will help generate faster speeds and faster times. Shoes are a resistance force slowing runner down. Remove shoes and reveal the true speed and time runner could achieve. Because of the conservative nature of most runners they do not want to take the risk of running without shoes. 

Edited: 09/01/2014 at 12:40
09/01/2014 at 20:21

Christopher McDougall has a lot to answer for!

Edited: 09/01/2014 at 20:21
11/01/2014 at 21:43

Wow this is a somewhat lively thread! Personal experience, I had a couple of pairs of trainers that were fine, then when I went for a pair that didn't do my legs/feet I went and had a gait analysis, tried god knows how many different pairs and found a pair (being size 13 with wide feet is fun) that I have got on well with. Bought a new set couple of weeks ago (diff brand) and again didn't work. Have now gone for another pair of the same post-analysis "Newer model". It helped me. Marketing and all that jazz doesn't matter, if it helps it helps. The cynical would make it all about that but advancements in all aspects (knowledge of the body, improved materials etc.) means it's not just marketing BS. 

11/01/2014 at 22:27

Wah wah wah. What exactly is your point? 

11/01/2014 at 22:29

How are the shoes slowing down someone RW.? If you've got the right running technique your foot hardly touches the ground when running. 

11/01/2014 at 23:04
Lightweight cushioned shoes tend to be energy neutral because the energy you save from the cushion actually gets balanced out by the having to move the extra weight. What shoes do is protect the feet when heel striking to save energy.
11/01/2014 at 23:10

When you run off-road, the cushioning takes on an additional function. 

When you slam your foot down on a sharp rock, or a tree root, it protects the foot like a boxing glove protects the hand. 

The rock/tree root is going to bite into something!

05/02/2014 at 09:28

05/02/2014 at 10:23

linky thing not working?

Edited: 05/02/2014 at 10:24
05/02/2014 at 10:38

Copy and paste into browser


05/02/2014 at 10:45

I did. Very interesting. Ben take note. Seems like quite a good study following nearly a thousand novice runners for 12 months. 

05/02/2014 at 10:57

Gait analysis is useful for showing up a weakness in the kinetic chain that you don't readily notice yourself.  For instance, you may be dropping a hip causing a twist in the running motion.  This will have effects further down the chain in both the knee and ankle.  A good running store will point this out to you and suggest ways to correct it.  They won't try and sell you a pair of shoes you don't need. 

Some people want the quick fix method; a pair of shoes or an orthotic insert to correct their pronation, and this is fine.  In the long run, it is always better to fix the source of the problem.  This can take a lot of small adjustments over a long period of time, and may not always be possible due to a number of factors.

05/02/2014 at 11:04

And when I click my fingers you will wake up. What planet are you living on Chris? Running faults can be diagnosed by a FULL GAIT ANALYSIS. Not the sales trickery in the shops.

05/02/2014 at 11:53

Yes, there may be some shops out there using VGA to shift stock.  However, you must be mistaken in thinking I suggested anything other than VGA a useful tool to have. The experience and knowledge of the staff in a good running shop is invaluable.  A good running shop, as I said above won't sell you shoes you do not need.


Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/02/2014 at 15:41
Chris Pearson 8 wrote (see)

Yes, there may be some shops out there using VGA to shift stock.  However, you must be mistaken in thinking I suggested anything other than VGA a useful tool to have. The experience and knowledge of the staff in a good running shop is invaluable.  A good running shop, as I said above won't sell you shoes you do not need.


Yet looking at the study posted earlier today, if the running shop is selling anything other than a neutral shoe to a new runner then they're doing just that (selling you shoes you don't need).  Or maybe there simply are no good running shops?

(Except Run To Live, obviously )

05/02/2014 at 16:37

So a good running shop has gait analysis in order to point out faults in our running style rather than selling shoes? Is that the running shop in Cloud Cuckoo Land?

05/02/2014 at 16:58

That is a fair point, but like I said earlier; People who are not prepared to take the time to sort out their running form want a quick fix - Shoes or orthotics.  You may say it is the evil shoe companies pushing this upon us, but there are countless stories of peoples running being transformed by changing shoes.

I wear a neutral cushioned shoe and a 4mm, low drop shoe.  I have no problem with my feet.  Running shops sell shoes because the market exists.

05/02/2014 at 17:46

The last point is key Chris. If the customers buy into the blurb then the running shops have to. In fact the ones pushing the blurb are the shoe companies. The shops hands are tied. The can't say here's a pair of 140 pound shoes which you are paying 75% for marketing and suspect technology. They would soon be out of business.

Edited: 05/02/2014 at 17:47
05/02/2014 at 18:01

VGA of the type running shops offer is about selling 'special' shoes whilst making the buyer feel they've had 'special' treatment.

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