Gait Analysis and Our Fitting Process

The Run Hub Shoe Fitting Process involves 5 key steps…

  • 1

    Step 1

    We discuss your training, injury history and future goals.

  • 2

    Step 2

    Feet assessment – We measure your feet for size, width and arch height.

  • 3

    Step 3

    Gait Analysis- We analyse your unique running gait by looking at how your feet naturally move barefoot on our purpose built running track. Foot type, foot strike and degree of pronation is analysed on camera.

  • 4

    Step 4

    Shoe Selection – Based on specific goals and needs, we fit you in a selection of running shoes suitable for you.

  • 5

    Step 5

    The Right Shoe – These options are then tested on the running track and further gait analysis is used to find the perfect shoe for you.


Gait Analysis

No two runners are the same and as a result there is no one shoe that suits all. Runners differ in fitness, weight, biomechanic efficiency, degree of pronation and many more variables, all of which make the shoe fitting process a far more complicated process than some people believe.

Gait Analysis is the study of human motion to identify biomechanical inefficiencies and help identify running/walking related problems that may result in injury.

Running shoes are the most important piece of equipment a runner will ever need and while some people will select footwear based on price, colour or a recommendation from a friend, we aim to take all of the guesswork out of this decision making.

Generally speaking runners are classified into 3 main categories, neutral, pronators and supinators (or underpronator). In terms of pronation the word over-pronation is often used but this is not technically correct as there is no standard against which to measure the degree of pronation and thus classify it as ‘over-pronation’.

The Wet Foot test – You may have heard of this test to help you choose the correct footwear but this is an over simplification of the biomechanics involved and is regularly contradicted by the findings of detailed gait analysis. This thought process classifies footwear simply into neutral (high arch), stability (low arch) and motion control (flat arch and widening of the foot). The problem with tests such as this is that it is a static test and fails to take into account the dynamic movement of one’s foot when in motion (running or walking).

At The Run Hub we take all the guessing out of shoe selection with our fully transparent 5 step gait analysis driven fitting process. All of our team are fully trained in gait analysis and combine this with extensive knowledge of the anatomy of the feet and legs, and a comprehensive understanding of running related injuries.

Not only will a visit to one our stores get you in the right shoes, you can also avail of the extensive knowledge about all things running our friendly team have to offer. Our aim is to help you improve your biomechanic efficiency, optimise performance, reduce risk of injury and ultimately bring more comfort and enjoyment to your running.


Why is Gait Analysis at The Run Hub so highly rated?

At The Run Hub we help you figure out what shoe YOU need and what suits YOUR unique running style/gait. Finding the right shoe can make a world of difference in terms of comfort and help avoid injuries and make your running more enjoyable. All of our team are runners and are fully trained in all areas of running biomechanics. The Run Hub offers Natural Gait Analysis and use expert video analysis to record and breakdown your running gait piece by piece. This process involves an initial assessment of your arch heights, foot width and size, an injury history discussion, followed up by you doing a short jog on our customised track with a full video analysis by one of our running team experts. Following this, we then carry out a second Gait Analysis of you running in a range of different brands and shoe types suited to your gait. e.g. neutral cushioned, stability or motion control shoes.


Why Natural Gait Analysis vs Treadmill analysis?

So what differentiates our Natural Gait Analysis from treadmill or pressure plate foot assessment? We have tried all different methods used in the market but find assessing your gait by watching you run naturally produces the best possible results. In simple terms the key difference can be explained as follows:

Road Running:

Runner moves and ground is static.  Here the runner’s legs create the propulsive forces to move forward. We use our 20m track to reflect real outdoor running.

Treadmill Running:

Ground moves and the runner is static  The treadmill belt creates the propulsive force and the leg muscles take on a more stabilising role to keep us on the belt. Additionally, there is a slight adjustment in the hip alignment which can affect how the feet interacts with the ground, altering your gait.

The major focus of our Gait Analysis is focusing on the degree of pronation (natural inward roll of the foot as the outside part of the heel strikes the ground). This is how the body absorbs the shock and distributes the loading forces as your foot pivots on the ground.


The Gait Cycle Explained:

In general there are 3 different stages of the gait cycle:

1. Contact Phase

This begins when the foot makes contact with the ground, usually the outside of the heel first. It ends when the foot is in full contact with the ground. Here we take a look at the alignment from ankle to knee to hips and see how the ladder affect looks.

2. Mid-Stance Phase

During mid-stance the foot is now in full contact with the ground and the foot and legs act as a platform to allow the weight to pass over. We will now have a look at the degree of pronation and if the foot is still pronating then there is too much instability. We also see people who under- pronate where the foot stays on the outside during the mid-stance phase and those that are lucky enough to have a neutral foot strike.

3. Propulsive Phase

This is the final stage of the gait cycle. It begins immediately as the heel lifts off the ground. As the big toe dorsi-flexes the windlass mechanism comes into play, tightening the plantar fascia and helping to raise the arch of the foot. This mechanism is very important since it allows the foot to act as an efficient lever.


How often does one need to get Gait Analysis?

We recommend that you get analysed at least once every 12-18 months as variations in levels of fitness, injury history and diet can all impact on your running form.

At The Run Hub we are about getting people in the right footwear that suit you. Getting your gait analysed on a regular basis is important no matter what level you are at whether it be beginner or elite.


What is the best shoe for running?

No two runners are the same and as a result there is no one shoe that suits all. Runners differ in fitness, weight, biomechanic efficiency, degree of pronation and many more variables, all of which make the shoe fitting process a far more complicated process than some people believe.


Experts in fitting insoles and customised orthotics.

It is our belief that while there is no one shoe that suits all, there is a shoe on the market for everyone.  In extreme circumstances, runners may have to resort to customized orthotics.  We always advise that this should be a last resort and not a route to take unless all else fails.   At The Run Hub, all of our team are experts in fitting custom made orthotics that have been prescribed by various practitioners. Orthotic depth, width and background knowledge of the reason for the orthotics are all factors in correct shoe selection to optimise the effects on one’s biomechanics

 

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