Shoes: Gait Test

Is it really worth it?

11 messages
29/08/2009 at 21:02

I had a gait test done at a running shop today and to be honest I wasn't impressed.  I thought that it would be a bit more sophisticated than just a webcam on a laptop.  It was good to see how I strike the treadmil but I could have done this at home.  I'd travelled a 4-hour round trip to get this test done and it seemed a bit pointless.  The sales assistant just said I needed a stability shoe and showed me a selection and I couldn't really tell the difference between them when I tried them on the treadmill.  They were all the same price so I went for the same brand as usual.  Is this a common experience for a gait test?  Or did I have a bit of a raw deal from the shop concerned?  So many people have said "get a gait test, go to a proper running shop" but I'm wondering if I've wasted my Saturday and my money.  Is what I describe typical of running shops?  I live in Wales and we're not exactly inundated with choice of running shops and I want to get the best shoe I can.

29/08/2009 at 21:08
A video gait test is about as good as it gets, assuming the person looking at the video knows what they're looking for.  If you want to know if it's any good, try running for a couple of weeks in a non-stability shoe and see what happens.
29/08/2009 at 22:42

I suppose you can take comfort in the fact that now you know your gait you can buy the appropriate trainers anywhere you please.....

If they got it right that is!

29/08/2009 at 23:14

I've had mine done a few times at different places and they have all done the same thing and all came to the same conclusion (I badly over pronate) and advised me to get exactly the same type of shoe.

On each occiasion I've ignored what they've said and just bought more racing flats.

30/08/2009 at 17:31
That's a standard test, and one which you can't replicate at home so you didn't waste your money.  At least you had a treadmill to run on - when I got my gait tested, I had to run up and down the shop a few times with my shoes off and jeans rolled up...    But, I got the correct shoes and I've had no more shoe related injuries since.
01/09/2009 at 12:55

I had mine done while back, although similar in nature but only thing i remember was that the guy froze the picture with my normal shoe on and then superimposed the picture with the recommended shoe on, i could easily tell the difference (over pronate) the shoes were making, since then i stuck to those model and mange to avoid shoe related injuries.

XK
01/09/2009 at 20:23
I will never bother having my gait analysed at a shop again. I've wasted so much time and money with them and much of the time the sales assistant was quoting from what they had been told not from real knowledge.

After many many wrong shoes I just went out and bought the simplest, flattest shoes I could find and found running was instantly better. Then I did some proper research and ended up with Nike Frees which I have used ever since and have been injury free.

A lot of shoe selling is pure hype.
02/09/2009 at 09:15
just to caution against that, I bought a pair without a gait test and buggered my legs up good and proper. Flat shoes worked for you but if someone has high arches or pronates a lot and gets the wrong shoes it will lead to injury
02/09/2009 at 09:20
I have a slo-mo video camera on my phone, I did the gait test on my missus using that and our treadmill!!!
02/09/2009 at 11:25
XK wrote (see
I will never bother having my gait analysed at a shop again. I've wasted so much time and money with them and much of the time the sales assistant was quoting from what they had been told not from real knowledge. After many many wrong shoes I just went out and bought the simplest, flattest shoes I could find and found running was instantly better. Then I did some proper research and ended up with Nike Frees which I have used ever since and have been injury free. A lot of shoe selling is pure hype.

3 legged pony may well be right but I too am a little sceptical.

I went to one very reputable shop in London a few years back and after `testing` was told I was an over pronator.

I was recommended shoes - ran in them for a year or so - got injured (to be honest, it`s difficult to know whether it was the shoes, the increased mileage or just bad luck) and went to another reputable shop near Cambridge.

After testing I was told I was very `neutral`. Certain (different) shoes were recommended which I wore without problems for a few months. I eventually ditched them simply coz they were too heavy.

Over the last 2 years I`ve moved towards lighter shoes and now train, very happily, in racing flats.

I suppose much depends on the experience and expertise of the individual doing the testing.

I think, on balance, it probably is worth going to  a running specialist shop for assessment.

Having said that - there is an enormous amount of b*llshit surrounding shoes. The bottom line is that it`s a hugely lucrative market for someone.

02/09/2009 at 16:41

there does seem to be some shops giving unusual and incorrect gait tests out there (the other day someone on here said they were asked to stand on one leg to assess which shoe they'd need..)

I'm certainly no expert but maybe if you are a runner that can use a neutral shoe it doesn't really matter what they sell you but if you need more support (structured or motion control) and are given a shoe with too little support then problems arise. ie you can get away with too much support but not with too little


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