Gait analysis, as waste of time?

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27/12/2013 at 10:24

My personal experience with Gait Analysis is as follows:

First ever running shop visit had me stand still while she looked at my feet, then sold me the shoes she wanted to sell me.

Second ever running shop visit had me run on a treadmill while the guy watched from behind, then sold me the shoes he wanted to sell me.

Third time I went to Sweatshop, the young chap took me to the treadmill, popped some insoles in a heater thing, had me run for a while, showed me the video and the movements of my feet/ankle/shin. Explained while watching the video how I was over-pronating slightly with my right foot but nothing to worry about, took the insoles out of the heater and put them back on the pile.

He then asked me to pick the trainers I liked the look of and he'd let me know if they were neutral and so suited for me. So I pointed to the Brooks I'd gone in to buy and he said yup, they'll be fine.

Job done, I was happy. And I didn't have that niggling feeling that I'd been had.

27/12/2013 at 11:09
Flob wrote (see)
Let me be clear about this?? What are you- a bloody politician?

My earlier comment:

As I stated earlier, there is no undisputed evidence so therefore anyone claiming that they have the answer is simply being dishonest unless they state that it is only their opinion and not supported by any meaningful scientific evidence.

By this I mean that companies selling products using unproven data are being dishonest. Unless you are such s retailer then I am not commenting about you because you are just giving an opinion and not selling it to the public.

Nike paying for and not burying a study that questions the industry wide sales pitch is an interesting development. Hopefully, one day there may be a double blind study that is large enough and balanced enough in numbers to provide a clear answer about injuries and shoe types which takes in gait analysis as a contributing factor.

I had gait analysis today and according to the salesman, metal gaits are best! Boom!

Its like this. 

Although the case for gait analysis is till unclear, we still have to get on with our lives, and shops still have to do the best that they can to fit people with the right shoes.  This means that they must use all the tools at their disposal, one of which is gait analysis. 

It is not just for your sake either.  If I as a shop assistant sell you a pair of shoes with a 30 day guarantee, and you bring them back, then my manager is going to kick my ass.  Of course I am going to insist on using every tool at my disposal to constrain the choice. 

Furthermore, your typical customer when you work in such a shop is somebody who already has a problem.  They will have bought a pair of shoes from Sports Direct, had a problem, and decided to give somebody more upmarket a chance.  Are you seriously going to tell me that you would just give them a shoe that felt comfortable, and hope for the best?

27/12/2013 at 18:27

Encourage your customer to have a go on the treadmill that nearly all running shops have to make sure that the shoes are comfortable when running.  But that is all. Sports direct typically don't have a treadmill.

27/12/2013 at 19:22
The latest studies suggest that comfort should be the main criteria for choice.I am not saying it is indisputable. I am merely offering it as an argument as it is what I do anyway.
To be fair, as there is no solid evidence that supports inshop video analysis as a valid way to choose shoes, your argument is like saying that doing anything is better than doing nothing. I 'm not sure that is a very scientific approach, unless all running shopkeepers are involved in the worlds biggest study into gait analysis success rates.

Surrey- sports direct only had a conveyor that brings staff in one door and out the other.
27/12/2013 at 20:47

The thing is Flob that we do not have a scientific consensus about what works yet, and the retailers job is to offer the customer the best chance of getting the result they want. The people who are saying that we should not do gait analysis, do not have any suggestion as to what we should put in its place. I think it is legitimate to use it as a component, and only as a component, of a strategy to try to determine the customers needs.

While the scientific studies on gait analysis have produced mixed results, the fact that some have upheld it means that it is something worth pursuing at the current time. You make a joke about shopkeepers being involved in the worlds biggest study into gait analysis success rates, but in a way that is what they are doing. Individual Sweatshop members of staff are assessed based on the number of returns they get, and are held accountable for them.

Surrey - if the customer is going to obligingly run on the treadmill for you, and you have the facility to film them, why would you not?

27/12/2013 at 20:57

The times I've been into running shops and seen, or more importantly, HEARD running on the treadmill with dreadful running form -bending at the waist, overstriding, landing on the heels etc. It hurts even to listen to them, yet all the shop assistant is doing is looking from behind to see if there ankle rolls a little bit much! Then in the other corner there's another sales assistant telling runners that minimal shows will make them land on their forefoot! Nope. It's all nonsense.

Buy what fits well and is comfortable, then learn how to run with better technique

27/12/2013 at 21:06

You would be making a grave mistake if you think that every problem in running can be solved by buying what fits well and is comfortable and learning how to run with better technique.  That is one of the worst examples of a person claiming to have all the answers. 

27/12/2013 at 21:12

I used to listen to this rubbish...I went to a propper running shop and got To go  on running machine.

i was advised as I have flat feet I needed a motion control shoe,they were comfy but big bulky and heavy...I did put up with this for a few pair then I decided to go on comfort making sure I had same length and 2e wide.

i then tried on nb 860 v2 which would never been sold to me in a shop,felt light,and managed to get to 17 mile run in them without a problem at all.i then got a 2 nd pair which now are almost had it now.

 

iam now looking for a new pair as Iam doing my 1 st marathon next year.

i have no problem going for something comfy( which many may say is wrong for my foot) 

If find a flat shoe with no arch way better for me even that I have flat feet...this goes against what Iam told. 

 

27/12/2013 at 21:54

Ben,

You said earlier that new shop assistants in Sweatshop tend to have a bigger 'return rate'... but that this improves markedly with experience.  Did you see a pattern to the changes that those assistants made?  For example, I wonder if new assistants tend to be 'over' prescribe solutions.  Or perhaps it's the other way round.  Or maybe no discernable patterns.

27/12/2013 at 22:01
Ben. have injury rates reduced since the invention of these medicsted shoes?
27/12/2013 at 22:27
Nose Nowt wrote (see)

Ben,

You said earlier that new shop assistants in Sweatshop tend to have a bigger 'return rate'... but that this improves markedly with experience.  Did you see a pattern to the changes that those assistants made?  For example, I wonder if new assistants tend to be 'over' prescribe solutions.  Or perhaps it's the other way round.  Or maybe no discernable patterns.

The inexperienced assistants tended to take a simplistic view i.e. “this is overpronation and I correct it by sticking something hard under it”.  This often resulted in over prescribed solutions, as you elegantly put it.  A more experienced assistant will often prescribe slightly less support than the footage would indicate. 

As people get more experienced, they look at the way the customer is running more.  They look at whether the shin bone is getting knocked sideways, and the customers running posture.  They look at whether the customer is landing on the heel or the forefoot, because while most shoes are good for heel strikers, many are crap for forefoot strikers.  Above all they look at the customers history more, in terms of previous injuries and what has worked for them in the past. 

The bottom line is that every piece of information you can get about the customer is significant, and the video footage is not so much the single most important piece of information, as the one you need to give all the others context. 

27/12/2013 at 22:36
Shoes smell like horse piss wrote (see)
Ben. have injury rates reduced since the invention of these medicsted shoes?

Let me play devils advocate here, ignoring the fact that I have previously worked for the devil. 

The US Army Centre for Health and Preventative Medicine carried out a major study into the effects of gait analysis at FortDrum.  Injury rates were recorded over the two years before the programme was implemented, and over the two years after the programme was implemented. 

The sample size was huge, literally thousands of soldiers, and the injury rate in the years after the programme was implemented halved.    

Obviously I am cherry picking one study here that backs up a given viewpoint, but my argument is that you are wrong to dismiss these methods completely. 

28/12/2013 at 01:06

Thanks Ben. 

 

ps... there's no such thing as the US Army Centre for Health and Preventative Medicine

partly because the Americans spell it Center... but mainly THERE IS NO SUCH WORD AS PREVENTATIVE... not on either side of the Atlantic.  It drives me mad when so many people use it... even BBC news readers etc. 

Thanks.  Rant over. 

Edited: 28/12/2013 at 01:10
28/12/2013 at 02:12

Running shoes are just like any other product whether it be a hat, shirt, jeans, food or drink. It should be up to the shoppers choice on what he/she wants to buy based on the style, comfort, fit. Fitting shoes based on gait or foot type is a false paradigm preached by shoe companies. 

We must remember that running shoes sales assistants are paid on sales commissions and they have no right to force us to buy the most expensive cushioned or stability or motion control shoes. It is laughable when the sales assistants claim you have flat feet when you have a distinct medium to high arch. 

 

Edited: 28/12/2013 at 02:14
28/12/2013 at 08:23

now I usually overlook these type of threads but this one has been going on for sometime now.

im totally against being given the type of shoe from a salesperson just because they have seen me running on a 'false surface'.

i totally agree with horse piss. You need to look into running technique, muscle structure,posture. 

the most simplistic form of exercise goes back many thousands of years has been affected by our sedentary lives (sitting in offices etc) which in turn affects our muscle groups. I.e all of them running from back to down the ankle. You strengthen these.......like they are supposed to be.........like a normal human being structure then you start running correctly.

which eventually will be passed onto running form.

look at the top athletes of the world, they are constantly monitored for running form/technique to make them more efficient and less likely to injure themselves.

28/12/2013 at 08:36
Ben. the answer is no
28/12/2013 at 09:46

Jeremy,  

the most comfortable trainers I have ever worn are Brooks pure drift which are minimalist.  Mainly because they have a large toe box.  Unfortunately even where manufactures do make wide fitting light shoes such as NB, they won't supply to the Uk.

Edited: 28/12/2013 at 09:46
28/12/2013 at 09:55
Nose Nowt wrote (see)

Thanks Ben. 

 

ps... there's no such thing as the US Army Centre for Health and Preventative Medicine

partly because the Americans spell it Center... but mainly THERE IS NO SUCH WORD AS PREVENTATIVE... not on either side of the Atlantic.  It drives me mad when so many people use it... even BBC news readers etc. 

Thanks.  Rant over. 

 

It's in the OED.

28/12/2013 at 10:34
Shoes smell like horse piss wrote (see)
Ben. the answer is no

Well at least you are coming to this issue with an open mind. 

28/12/2013 at 11:47
Rich949 wrote (see)
Nose Nowt wrote (see)

Thanks Ben. 

 

ps... there's no such thing as the US Army Centre for Health and Preventative Medicine

partly because the Americans spell it Center... but mainly THERE IS NO SUCH WORD AS PREVENTATIVE... not on either side of the Atlantic.  It drives me mad when so many people use it... even BBC news readers etc. 

Thanks.  Rant over. 

 

It's in the OED.

It's also listed in my Collins dictionary as an alternative form of "preventive".

That being said, the US Army dudes he referenced use "preventive", so you're half right. It's a word, but it isn't used in the name of that particular organisation.

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