We all have different running styles. Some more unique than others. But each different from the next. Why does it matter? Because your running style has an effect on the type of trainer you should wear, not only to improve performance but crucially to prevent injury.
Gait is the way in which you run.
How your foot strikes the floor, the posture you assume while running, the length of your stride. It all varies from one person to the next and affects your running style.
It’s important to have an idea of how you run so that you can get the best trainers for your gait – and in doing so, prevent injury.
When you get your gait analysed you’ll be put in a “neutral” shoe – one with minimal cushioning, made for a runner who neither over or under pronates (more on that in a minute).
Then you’ll be watched while you run on a treadmill to see how your foot lands.
There are three different types of pronation. The first is overpronation, which is the most common. This is where the foot rolls inward and transfers your weight to the inside edge of your foot. You’ll most likely be recommended a stability shoe in this case.
The second is underpronation, or supination, when the outer side of the foot strikes at a steep angle with no inward movement. This tends to happen with high arches and it’s most likely a neutral shoe will be recommended.
The third type is neutral pronation, where the foot does what it should and lands on the outer edge, rolling inwards in a controlled manner. Again, a neutral shoe will most likely be recommended to you.
You can get an idea of how your foot strikes if you look at the bottom of your running shoes and ascertain where the wear is, but a gait analysis gives a far better insight into the way you run.
If you’re serious about running – it’s a good idea to check out your gait!
I'm not sure what I believe about gait analysis. I had mine done and was told I was a toe striker (quite unusual) but I am most definitely not. So make sure you go to a place which is recommended and experienced. And one which will accept trainers back after you've tried them for one run too, in case they just don't fit well.