Running shoes - neutral vs support

7 messages
19/11/2012 at 21:50
I had my gait analysed about 3 years ago, when it was neutral. In February this year, I had it done again to be told I am a slight over-pronator. I saw myself running in neutral shoes and slightly supportive shoes and I could see the difference for myself. I bought Brooks Ravenna 3 shoes, which have slight support. However, I also bought, at the same time, some Nike Air Pegasus shoes, just for day-to-day wear. These are neutral but they're beautiful. Now, having done a few races including a marathon, in the Brooks, I'm having real trouble with my hips. Just as a change, I ran a couple of times recently in my Nikes and had no hip issues at all, although the shoes themselves felt a little 'sloppy'. Is this likely to be attributed to the 'a change is as good as a rest' or can my gait have changed again since February?
19/11/2012 at 22:10

Hi Nykie,

It is possible that your gait could have changed - if you have changed your running technique or markedly changed weight.  It might be best if you have another analysis to make sure.  

It is quite possible that you have always been neutral and that in February you were mis-diagnosed.  

20/11/2012 at 09:32

Hi Nykie, if running in the Pegasus doesn't cause pain, then stick with the Pegasus or other neutral shoes.

Gait Analysis isn't an exact science (unless all your runs are limited to 5 mins on a treadmill ).


20/11/2012 at 09:50

Interesting, was it the same test done by the same person? Never tried gait analysis but thought of it many times.

20/11/2012 at 13:07

Thanks for the replies. I'm going to stick with the Pegasus shoes for now and see if I can get past the 'sloppy' feeling.


No Joe, different people and indeed different shops. The first time was Up & Running, the second time was Sweatshop.

21/11/2012 at 23:57
It's weird because 5 years ago I got assessed just by walking and they told me I needed support for over pronating. Now I've signed up for the London marathon I figured I should get some new trainers, was assessed on a treadmill and they told me I was normal. So bought some Brooks Ghost 5 and its been quite painful, pins and needles, maybe just too tight, front of knees hurt a tad and then on Sunday pulled something at the back of my knee. Haven't run since but walking has been difficult, better at the back of the knee but now clicking feeling lower at the top my calf... I have increased my mileage a lot from 6 miles a week to maybe 18 so could that be the cause? Any diagnosis? Can't see a physio till next week unfortunately.
22/11/2012 at 11:40

This is quite a big subject, but in essence, there's no real evidence that gait analysed training shoes help prevent injury.  They did a large study in the US using soldiers, a bunch of whom were gait analysed and given appropriate footwear, and bunch who weren't; they were just issued with a neutral training shoe.

Guess what?  There was no difference in injury rates between the two groups.  

From my own experience, I joined the army when they were still issuing plimsoles and boots; that's all we ran in; and we were fine.  I seem to remember one lad did claim to be suffering with shin splints, but the troop Corporal cured that with a good shouting session.

I'm far from any expert mind, but I believe running form is more important than the training shoe.  Take a look at Chi Running, natural running, barefoot running, Alexander Technique; I think they're all similar and teach a forefoot/midfoot landing, shorter stride, faster cadence, upright posture, etc.

A good best selling book is Born to Run also, and it covers some of the issues surrounding modern over-engineered training shoes, also Panaramas The Truth about Sports Products covers this too:

Many runners say it's important to find out what works for us as individuals though, and I don't disagree with that either; just giving an alternate view from the mainstream.

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