Gait analysis, as waste of time?

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05/02/2014 at 22:09
Shoes smell like horse piss wrote (see)

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

The independent running shop I use offers VGA on request.  Generally, they will ask to see an old pair of your shoes and get you to run outside for a short distance.  They will then make a suggestion based on their experience and knowledge, and get you to try a variety of shoes.  They will also get you to run on their treadmill without the VGA switched on, and just watch you run.

As an independent shop they suffer the customer who comes into the shop with no intention of buying to try on a shoe then buys at huge discount from an online retailer with half the overheads and doesn't give a stuff about running.  You can choose to buy your running kit from wherever you like.  Independents offer a service, which you have to pay for; the same as any other service provider.  You don't have to pay for it if you don't want it.  They are passionate about running, but they also have to make a living.

In a similar way, the shoe companies are passionate about running.  They design and make shoes based on years of R&D and customer feedback because they want to produce a fantastic product.  This does involve a lot of marketing and sometimes hype.  But lets be grown up about this; they also have to make a profit to continue what they are doing.  If you could get away with selling something you were passionate about (I'm sure there is a joke in there somewhere), and make a profit at it, wouldn't you do it?  They wouldn't continue doing what they are doing if there wasn't a market for it.  And if you think the prices are over inflated, don't buy the shoes.  Go out and buy a pair of Hitec Silver Shadows instead and have done with it, or just go barefoot. 

(Edit And just to get back to the original point; VGA is a useful tool when used correctly.  Not all retailers use it correctly, and just blindly follow what the software is telling the retail assistant.  Often, software will be pre loaded with a list of suitable shoes based on a fairly basic algorithm.  This kind of VGA has no real merits except for shifting shoes off the shelves. 

Edited: 05/02/2014 at 22:23
Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/02/2014 at 23:06

Shoe companies are not passionate about running.  Like any company, their sole purpose is to make profits for their shareholders.  There may be some people working for shoe companies who love running, but that's not the same thing at all.  No matter what those people think, profit is the company's only reason for selling shoes, not the other way round.

06/02/2014 at 08:28

The running shoe shop VGA seems to me to be based solely (sorry) about pronation control. Why worry about that when there's no evidence to show it has any impact on injury rates? Why worry about pronation when the runner might overstride? Why worry about pronation when the runner slams down on their heel with an overstride? Why worry about pronation when the runner bends at the waist or has a really slow cadence? They don't offer analysis and expertise on these things. If they want to offer analysis, then look at the right things!

The best thing running shops could offer is a way to scan your feet for size and shape and have a way to connect that info with the data of all running shoes to quickly find the best and most comfortable fit for you, because that's what really matters.

06/02/2014 at 08:36

 Cheerful Dave wrote (see)

Shoe companies are not passionate about running.  Like any company, their sole purpose is to make profits for their shareholders.  There may be some people working for shoe companies who love running, but that's not the same thing at all.  No matter what those people think, profit is the company's only reason for selling shoes, not the other way round.

 

It's not the way they start though. The venture capitalist vultures get their claws in when they see an opportunity to make money.  It is a mutually beneficial partnership. 

Big global company buys small running shoe company; small running shoe comapny gets investment; running shoe company gets bigger; running shoe company makes profit; big global company gets a return on its investment.  

That opportunity exists with sports shoes companies because there is a market for sports shoes.  The ventur caopitalists wouldn't bother their arses if we didn't buy the shoes.  We are all free to make our own minds up.  We don't have to buy into the hype.

Edited: 06/02/2014 at 08:37
06/02/2014 at 13:06

Absolutely right Chris. The only thing that gets my goat is people who come on this site and say " get yourself a gait analysis" I think all those runners being given that advice should have a link to this thread and let them make their own mind up. 

 

09/02/2014 at 20:31

As a newbie I've had a shocking time with specialist running shops and the gait analysis they offer. The old pumas I use are great but discontinued, looking for the 'same as' really but running shops are insistent these pumas are all wrong for me (really? They've done 500 miles ish with no injuries, not even a blister). 10 pairs of recommended shoes I've brought on advice, worn a couple of miles on the treadmill and returned because of bad fit and blisters. They are obsessed with me being slightly over pronounced in one foot (me and the rest of the world).  The small independent running shop was just rude. Suggesting that novices don't appreciate how expensive running shoes are (I had £150 budget) and that real runners don't care what the shoes look like (yeah sure). I didn't realise that the 'experts' are really just taking an educated guess and there is no advantage to getting a gait analysis over trying on lots of pairs of shoes. What's more I'm am not being picky or 'not giving the shoes a chance' if after a couple of miles I get blisters or shin splints. 

09/02/2014 at 20:38
I don't care what my shoes look like. Although I think the most I've paid for a pair in the last 4 years is about 50 quid.
If you got 500 miles out of your old shoes then try to find something similar.
09/02/2014 at 21:11
NoodleBug wrote (see)

As a newbie I've had a shocking time with specialist running shops and the gait analysis they offer. The old pumas I use are great but discontinued, looking for the 'same as' really but running shops are insistent these pumas are all wrong for me (really? They've done 500 miles ish with no injuries, not even a blister). 10 pairs of recommended shoes I've brought on advice, worn a couple of miles on the treadmill and returned because of bad fit and blisters. They are obsessed with me being slightly over pronounced in one foot (me and the rest of the world).  The small independent running shop was just rude. Suggesting that novices don't appreciate how expensive running shoes are (I had £150 budget) and that real runners don't care what the shoes look like (yeah sure). I didn't realise that the 'experts' are really just taking an educated guess and there is no advantage to getting a gait analysis over trying on lots of pairs of shoes. What's more I'm am not being picky or 'not giving the shoes a chance' if after a couple of miles I get blisters or shin splints. 

 

That's some bad luck.  TEN pairs you've bought and returned. Wow.  What evil running shops you use.

And blisters and shin splints after a couple of miles.  I really feel for you.

Pretty bad luck for a guy who, two weeks ago, said they're a new runner, running for about a year, but never run a race and never had an injury.

Good luck with your next pair.

09/02/2014 at 22:06

I swing between sizes so in fairness some of the returns were due to trying different sizes. I am gutted about some of them, the Ravenna 5's -my profile picture- were gorgeous and fit great but the adjustable stability bar rubbed me raw in about 800metres. On a positive note yesterday I learnt from a lovely young chap in a high street sports shop (the only person to actually look at my current running shoes) that my pumas are a junior boys size so slightly wider than women's shoes of the same size and with more basic technology so less lumps and bumps in the sole. I'll be looking at the junior lads shoes from now on then I guess. The blisters have been a pain but the shin splints didn't hang about and I have doubled my millage with all this extra treadmill work trying new shoes so not all bad.

10/02/2014 at 12:45

I have bought my last 10 pairs of shoes from an independent running shop.  I'm lucky, because I have a neutral gate and a light mid foot strike.  I know which shoes suit my feet.

If somebody asks for my advice about purchasing running shoes, I generally point them in the direction of a specialist independent running shop.  The chains are ok if you know what you want, but if you don't......... prepare to be underwhelmed! 


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