Why Do You Need A Professional Gait Analysis?
When it comes to choosing running shoes, the variety can seem overwhelming. For most beginner runners, it comes down to deciding whether to buy a pair online or at a local clearance sale.
We hope you're asking some much more technical questions than that. Do you know if you over- or under-pronate? If not, you should go into a running specialty store before buying a pair of running shoes.
Pronation, most simply put, means the movement of your foot from side-to-side as you walk or run. Your pronation will determine if you need a shoe that will correct your foot's natural movement. What works for one runner may not work for another.
Pronation adds a crucial dimension to picking a pair of running shoes. Don't head out and buy a pair of shoes simply because you like the look of them. Proper movement is key to performance and should be your first consideration.
A well-equipped running store will be able to analyze your gait and give you a professional idea of where your posture puts you in the shoe category range. Does the shoe offer proper support for your body in general? Are cushioning and balance sufficient? After all, whether you're running for long distances or sprinting, you'll be wearing them for many hours, potentially days, to come.
Both pronation and gait lead to different styles of wear. In fact, one of the best ways to assess your pronation and gait is to look at the wear on your tread of shoes you've worn quite a bit already.
You can usually tell that you might be prone to supination when the wear is concentrated on the outer edges of the shoe. It's the least common of the tread profiles, and it's usually caused by a high arch.
Overpronation is shown by a tendency for wear to concentrate on the inner part of the tread. It means you're slightly more flat-footed in profile than what's ideal. Not to worry, though. Overpronation is quite typical among runners.
This describes a situation where the wear is focused on the middle of the foot. Biomechanically speaking, this is the most efficient running profile.
Shoe Types for the 3 Groups
Both neutral and supinating runners can wear a "neutral" shoe. These shoes provide some shock absorption and support for the middle of the foot.
For the overpronating, firmness is necessary around the arches, providing the runner with extra, and much needed,
stability. Ask your shoe store for their range of stability shoes if you're an overpronator.
Extreme overpronation is another type of foot altogether. Preventing the arch from collapsing becomes the most critical issue. Ask your running store for a motion control shoe. Think
of these as super-stability shoes.
Training and Competition Shoes
Supposing you need a more beefed up support shoe, these tend to weigh almost double those of racing shoes. It pays to have one pair of running shoes designated for training and another, much like aerodynamic wheels in bike races, set aside, especially for performance.
Shoes are some of the more pricey pieces of equipment around for the sheer reason that they're built for longevity. The golden rule is to never compromise on foot health for the sake of prolonged performance. After all, you're in it for the long haul.
- GrivetOutdoors.com _