Gait analysis, as waste of time?

101 to 120 of 186 messages
29/12/2013 at 05:42

There is nothing wrong with trying shoes on in store to find a shoe that is the right fit and then deciding the shoe is not what you want. You go home and buy that shoe in the colour that you want for a cheaper price online. 

29/12/2013 at 09:30
Nice RoadW and we wonder why our high street is in decline
29/12/2013 at 12:24
RoadWarrior wrote (see)

There is nothing wrong with trying shoes on in store to find a shoe that is the right fit and then deciding the shoe is not what you want. You go home and buy that shoe in the colour that you want for a cheaper price online. 

You would have been welcome to com into my shop and try on every pair of shoes that I had, and go away and buy them online, provided you didn’t make use of my time or expertise. 

The sole commodity I was trading on, was my ability to make a better pick than you. 

29/12/2013 at 13:50

I have never returned a pair of shoes. I make sure that the shoes I want are the correct size, are comfortable and are the brand and model  I am looking for at a reasonable price within my budget. 

If I spent time trying on more than one pair of shoes, say two or three I would more than likely buy the pair that I liked within my budget on special from the running store. I just do not like it when the sales assistants try and pressure me into buying the more expensive shoes in a brand or model that I do not want. 

A loose or tight fitting shoe that does not fit the whole foot will feel uncomfortable and lead to cramping if tight or heel slippage/rolled ankle if loose fit. Too much cushioning in a shoe may lead to the foot rolling inwards. Firm stiff stability/motion control shoe forces the foot to roll out instead of naturally rolling in. Running shoes are working against the natural foot bio-mechanics. Would it be better to work with the natural bio-mechanics than against it and wear a running shoe that works with your natural bio-mechanics instead of trying to correct your natural foot motion?

 

Edited: 29/12/2013 at 13:59
29/12/2013 at 14:23

It very much depends upon the customer, and the number and severity of problems they have.  The less problems there were the more your approach would be correct.  If you get somebody who is a chronic overpronator who is painful to watch, or has chronic plantafashiitis then you are going to have to take a more interventionist approach,at least for now. 

29/12/2013 at 16:02

In my experience, those who go to running shops looking for 'guidance' and 'gait analysis' are the runners with dreadful running technique and no knowledge of the subject matter at all. They also buy into the idea that it's all about the shoes. 'Wrong' shoes are the sole cause of injuries and 'correct' shoes are the only fix.

If every time I walked through a doorway and I banged my head against the side, the answer isn't to wear a special helmet to protect me, it's to learn to walk through the doorway better.

 

29/12/2013 at 16:22

Trying to change somebody’s running style, is a high risk strategy, because the very act of changing it brings a high risk of injury.    When it goes wrong, it goes wrong big time, and it is not something that should be undertaken lightly. Using shoe type to correct a problem is gentle and unobtrusive by comparison. 

Edited: 29/12/2013 at 16:25
29/12/2013 at 16:33

What happens when the running style changes ben? 

Say I went into a shop with serious 'over bullshit pronation' and you sold me some shoes that fitted. 3/4 months down the line I've been doing some strength work in the gym as part of my marathons routine.

now those shoes are, in all truth Useless.

Why not sell them some neutral shoes and advise strength work.

surely that's the better way to sell a shoe to someone in the long run.

29/12/2013 at 16:35
Poor running form is a higher risk
29/12/2013 at 16:38

Also as they have a serious condition like PF I wouldn't advise running at all until it's sorted. But that's another matter

When you saw they had a serious over pronation. Which in your words was painful to watch why not teach them to run properly, running is realistically the most natural thing to a human.

29/12/2013 at 16:51
Shoes smell like horse piss wrote (see)
Poor running form is a higher risk

No it isn’t. 

There is better data to suggest that artificially changing your running style causes injuries, than there is to suggest that one style is better than another. 

Running injuries are generally not very serious and generally don’t put you out of action for very long.  It is when you start messing around with somebody’s running style that you start to see people getting ruined for a substantial amount of time. 

Even by teaching somebody a running style that is correct or better than their existing style you might end up doing them harm. 

29/12/2013 at 17:04
Ja5onW wrote (see)

Also as they have a serious condition like PF I wouldn't advise running at all until it's sorted. But that's another matter

When you saw they had a serious over pronation. Which in your words was painful to watch why not teach them to run properly, running is realistically the most natural thing to a human.

You could be forgiven for thinking so, but you get some pretty hopeless cases.  If somebody has a very weak arch and a very flexible ankle than you are never going to teach them good running form. 

If you are able to run injury free for the most part, then you should be grateful for it, because  there are people out there who desperately want to be serious runners but can’t find anything that works.  One such case was one of my colleagues at Sweatshop who suffered from chronic PF.  She was an excellent rower and cyclist, and she wanted to add a marathon to her list of accomplishments.  She visited lots of sports injury specialists, and spent a fortune on equipment, but nothing ever really solved it. 

I personally tried to avoid using motion control shoes for all but the most hopeless cases, but there are people out there for who they are the only hope.  Your nuclear weapon for somebody who overpronates hopelessly is the Brooks Beast, and I have only had to deploy it on a couple of occasions.  Once was to a guy trying to get into the army, who was painful to watch, and had pretty much given up on finding a solution to his foot problems.  He ended up coming back and buying a second pair to walk in. 

31/12/2013 at 08:32
Ja5onW wrote (see)

What happens when the running style changes ben? 

Say I went into a shop with serious 'over bullshit pronation' and you sold me some shoes that fitted. 3/4 months down the line I've been doing some strength work in the gym as part of my marathons routine.

now those shoes are, in all truth Useless.

Why not sell them some neutral shoes and advise strength work.

surely that's the better way to sell a shoe to someone in the long run.

 

Ja5onW wrote (see)

When you saw they had a serious over pronation. Which in your words was painful to watch why not teach them to run properly, running is realistically the most natural thing to a human.

 

This is a really interesting debate. And questions like this add to it (unlike those contributors who selectively read only half of what Ben is saying before chucking insults around).

I've not worked in a shop, with experience of meeting hundreds/thousands of runners for shoe fittings. Nor have I been on dedicated courses at Roehampton University, so mine is an 'amateur enthusiast's' response. But surely the answer to your questions are pretty straightforward. 

If you change your running style, in the way you suggest... then you'd need to change your running shoe.

I think a discussion that involved a suggestion that gym-work could improve the pronation issue would be sensible. And I'd hope that a good running shop would indeed do that (in reality, some would and some wouldn't). 

Now YOU might be dedicated and hardcore, but my guess would be that 95% of runners would take the supportive shoes and never go near that gym to do those strengthening  exercises.  It's the way of the world.

And as for "why don't you just teach them to run properly?"....  well, yes.  Good idea. But they've just turned up at a running shop.  You certainly can't expect the shop to pull the shutters down and get to work on an intensive running-form teach-in !   And if you wanted to send them away... 95% of people don't have the time/dedication to follow that through, IMO. In the real world, you'd end up with no sale... and a disillusioned runner.

In short, I think a good running shop should offer the advice you suggest, but for the vast majority of people, they're better having a good shoe to suit their current needs. And if they are one of the few that work to improve their form / strength, then come back and buy shoes to fit the new needs.

Incidentally, if you did actually do your strength work in the gym and solved your over pronation, didn't your original question include a contradiction?.... Because it can't have been "bullshit" overpronation... because you just solved it.

 

31/12/2013 at 08:49

Thanks for the reasonable response NN. I wasn't talking about me  I'm perfect and never had a problem .

to be honest this is quite an interesting debate and I was merely 'stoking the fire'.

The reason it annoys me is the blatant dis-regard for peoples running form, I know like Ben said, some are pretty useless and require some 'support shoes'. I totally agree with that. But the majority of people are like you, an enthusiast (me too)some good running technique/advice would do a lot of people good.

31/12/2013 at 20:36

One thing I will add on the pronation issue, is that it is fairly common for an overpronator who becomes a serious runner, to become neutral over time as there ligaments become stronger. This is essentially what happened to me. Very often shoe selection is not so much about a shoe for life, as a short term fix to get you to a place where it will be less important. Having said that, you are always reluctant to move the newly neutralised runner away from their support shoe, because it is already proven to be working.

31/12/2013 at 20:45

Another thing that needs to be clarified, is that gait analysis is not, repeat not about the shape of your foot as it hits the floor.  The shape of your footprint was used as an indicator in early tests, but it is not what you are actually trying to detect, and it is an unreliable indicator.  What you are primarily looking for is the movement of the ankle, the shin bone, and the relationship to the knee. 

A person cal have a completely flat arch and still be a neutral runner.  It is unusual, but you see it from time to time.  By the same token, you get people who overpronate, and don’t leave a particularly flat footprint.  I would never advocate the footprint test as being a reliable indicator of gait, and neither would most running shops today. 

There are many types of "gait analysis" and some are more rigourous than others. 

Edited: 31/12/2013 at 21:05
31/12/2013 at 23:19

When I had my so called gait analysis done at Sweatshop they just looked at footfall and found a still that had my foot landing at a slight angle. No ankles, knees or shin bones were mentioned. 

31/12/2013 at 23:28
Did they try and flog you the "magic" insoles?
01/01/2014 at 12:26
The Grinch wrote (see)

When I had my so called gait analysis done at Sweatshop they just looked at footfall and found a still that had my foot landing at a slight angle. No ankles, knees or shin bones were mentioned. 

Some assistants are better than others, and some explain the process better than others.  The main thing they should be looking for, is whether the movement of the foot causes the shin bone to be displaced horizontally.  If you place your thumb and index finger either side of the shin bone in a neutral runner, and ask them to place their weight on the foot, it stays in exactly the same place.  In an overpronator, you will feel it pull your fingers sharply sideways. 

The other thing that critics of the process overlook, is that it doesn’t just constrain shoe choice, it shows you what is going on in terms of the customers biomechanics.  The video allows you to show it to a layman in such a way that they will understand it.  Why would you not want to know? 

Millsy - The magic insoles were after my time,so I take no responsibility. 

Edited: 01/01/2014 at 12:26
02/01/2014 at 18:42

A few members of staff at our shop got quite adept at gait analysis seductions, but  that is a story for another day. 

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