Hi, very interesting topic.
I confess. When I first started running I went to my local running shop and had a gait analysis done. It was not a video one but I ran on the treadmill while they watched from behind. Then they let me run around the shop in different pairs to see which ones I preferred.
However, it wasn't until I had chosen that I found out the price. I was expecting them to be about £40 - £50 as that is a bit more than I would normally pay for a street pair of trainers.
When they said they were £85 I realised that I could not warrant paying that much. Especially as I had just started running and didn't know if I would continue running or if it was just a passing phase (mid life crisis?).
Anyway I took a note of the model and managed to get some of the previous years model for £40 online. I did feel guilty but that was quite a difference in price.
I have since been back to the shop and purchased several items. I also recently bought another pair of trainers which were in the sale at £65 so I don't feel so guilty now.
I also had a proper video gait analysis done this year at the FLM Expo. This was performed by trained Asics staff.
So in answer to your question I think that I would want to know that the person in the shop had proper training before spending money on an analysis. I would then want the price to be taken off the shoes if I bought a pair. However, I would probably still weigh up the cost of the gait analysis at the shop + buying online against buying in the shop.
IKA, I've also had a good experience at the Sheffield shop. They insisted that the cheapest model I was trying were best for me, which I was slightly taken aback by, very refreshing....
Following on from that, I completely see the point of view of the small retailer Jethro Boot and I wouldn't go for advice and analysis and then buy elsewhere.
However, I can understand why some people feel forced to. The price of running shoes is extortionate. I happen to wear possibly the cheapest of the Asics range at the moment (1120s) and they're at least £70. I quite often speak to women I know who are taking up running to get fit, perhaps don't want to pay crazy gym membership fees, don't have much disposable income etc. but who simply can't afford to pay £70 minimum for shoes, especially not for shoes that need to be replaced every 6 months or so...
I'm not particularly badly off myself, but I've had that Russian roulette feeling in the shop as I've been trying to test shoes objectively and hoping that I've not hit the £130 model jackpot.
I was going to suggest stocking previous season's shoes as an affordable option, but you say that's difficult. Are there any manufacturers who produce a more affordable but functional entry-level range?
As a bit of a follow-on from my last post, I had a very nice experience with another indie running shop on Saturday. As my local was no good, my search for spikes took me on the bus into the city to another indie shop, and they were really nice. Big range of spikes, trainers, racers and kit, plus the guy running the place clearly knew what he was talking about - I got found 3 pairs in my size and would have been happy with any of them - Chose a nice pair of Brooks MD, and got them for £30 to boot - 10/10 guys!
I'd definately go there again, and buy online less often.
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