Gait analysis, as waste of time?

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  • Ja5onW wrote (see)

    What happens when the running style changes ben? 

    Say I went into a shop with serious 'over bullshit pronation' and you sold me some shoes that fitted. 3/4 months down the line I've been doing some strength work in the gym as part of my marathons routine. now those shoes are, in all truth Useless. Why not sell them some neutral shoes and advise strength work. surely that's the better way to sell a shoe to someone in the long run.

     

    Ja5onW wrote (see)

    When you saw they had a serious over pronation. Which in your words was painful to watch why not teach them to run properly, running is realistically the most natural thing to a human.

     

    This is a really interesting debate. And questions like this add to it (unlike those contributors who selectively read only half of what Ben is saying before chucking insults around).

    I've not worked in a shop, with experience of meeting hundreds/thousands of runners for shoe fittings. Nor have I been on dedicated courses at Roehampton University, so mine is an 'amateur enthusiast's' response. But surely the answer to your questions are pretty straightforward. 

    If you change your running style, in the way you suggest... then you'd need to change your running shoe.

    I think a discussion that involved a suggestion that gym-work could improve the pronation issue would be sensible. And I'd hope that a good running shop would indeed do that (in reality, some would and some wouldn't). 

    Now YOU might be dedicated and hardcore, but my guess would be that 95% of runners would take the supportive shoes and never go near that gym to do those strengthening  exercises.  It's the way of the world.

    And as for "why don't you just teach them to run properly?"....  well, yes.  Good idea. But they've just turned up at a running shop.  You certainly can't expect the shop to pull the shutters down and get to work on an intensive running-form teach-in !   And if you wanted to send them away... 95% of people don't have the time/dedication to follow that through, IMO. In the real world, you'd end up with no sale... and a disillusioned runner.

    In short, I think a good running shop should offer the advice you suggest, but for the vast majority of people, they're better having a good shoe to suit their current needs. And if they are one of the few that work to improve their form / strength, then come back and buy shoes to fit the new needs.

    Incidentally, if you did actually do your strength work in the gym and solved your over pronation, didn't your original question include a contradiction?.... Because it can't have been "bullshit" overpronation... because you just solved it.

     

  • Thanks for the reasonable response NN. I wasn't talking about me image I'm perfect and never had a problem image.

    to be honest this is quite an interesting debate and I was merely 'stoking the fire'image.

    The reason it annoys me is the blatant dis-regard for peoples running form, I know like Ben said, some are pretty useless and require some 'support shoes'. I totally agree with that. But the majority of people are like you, an enthusiast (me too)some good running technique/advice would do a lot of people good.

  • One thing I will add on the pronation issue, is that it is fairly common for an overpronator who becomes a serious runner, to become neutral over time as there ligaments become stronger. This is essentially what happened to me. Very often shoe selection is not so much about a shoe for life, as a short term fix to get you to a place where it will be less important. Having said that, you are always reluctant to move the newly neutralised runner away from their support shoe, because it is already proven to be working.

  • Another thing that needs to be clarified, is that gait analysis is not, repeat not about the shape of your foot as it hits the floor.  The shape of your footprint was used as an indicator in early tests, but it is not what you are actually trying to detect, and it is an unreliable indicator.  What you are primarily looking for is the movement of the ankle, the shin bone, and the relationship to the knee. 

    A person cal have a completely flat arch and still be a neutral runner.  It is unusual, but you see it from time to time.  By the same token, you get people who overpronate, and don’t leave a particularly flat footprint.  I would never advocate the footprint test as being a reliable indicator of gait, and neither would most running shops today. 

    There are many types of "gait analysis" and some are more rigourous than others. 

  • When I had my so called gait analysis done at Sweatshop they just looked at footfall and found a still that had my foot landing at a slight angle. No ankles, knees or shin bones were mentioned. 

  • Did they try and flog you the "magic" insoles?
  • The Grinch wrote (see)

    When I had my so called gait analysis done at Sweatshop they just looked at footfall and found a still that had my foot landing at a slight angle. No ankles, knees or shin bones were mentioned. 

    Some assistants are better than others, and some explain the process better than others.  The main thing they should be looking for, is whether the movement of the foot causes the shin bone to be displaced horizontally.  If you place your thumb and index finger either side of the shin bone in a neutral runner, and ask them to place their weight on the foot, it stays in exactly the same place.  In an overpronator, you will feel it pull your fingers sharply sideways. 

    The other thing that critics of the process overlook, is that it doesn’t just constrain shoe choice, it shows you what is going on in terms of the customers biomechanics.  The video allows you to show it to a layman in such a way that they will understand it.  Why would you not want to know? 

    Millsy - The magic insoles were after my time,so I take no responsibility. 

  • A few members of staff at our shop got quite adept at gait analysis seductions, but  that is a story for another day. 

  • Wow! That's really creepy

  • I take it you wont be coming for a gait analysis any time soon then Grinch?

  • Ben Davies 15 wrote (see)
    They look at whether the customer is landing on the heel or the forefoot, because while most shoes are good for heel strikers, many are crap for forefoot strikers.  Above all they look at the customers history more, in terms of previous injuries and what has worked for them in the past. 

     

      Hi Ben sorry for para phrasing you above but I just wondered what your thoughts are fore foot runners and shoe type? If you were still a Sweatshop employee and you had a new runner come in with no shoe history but asked for gait analysis and who clearly demonstrated entirely fore foot running, ie heels not touching at all, how would you deal with that customer?
  • Lå®Ð䮧€ wrote (see)
    Ben Davies 15 wrote (see)
    They look at whether the customer is landing on the heel or the forefoot, because while most shoes are good for heel strikers, many are crap for forefoot strikers.  Above all they look at the customers history more, in terms of previous injuries and what has worked for them in the past. 

     

     

    Hi Ben sorry for para phrasing you above but I just wondered what your thoughts are fore foot runners and shoe type? If you were still a Sweatshop employee and you had a new runner come in with no shoe history but asked for gait analysis and who clearly demonstrated entirely fore foot running, ie heels not touching at all, how would you deal with that customer?

    No problem. 

     

    A forefoot striker will usually be a neutral runner by default, though you get the odd exception.  It is still worth checking. 

    The main issue you have when serving a forefoot striker, is the fact that most shoes are designed around heel strikers.  Pick the shoe up and have a look at it.  Has the manufacturer designed it with a forefoot striker in mind?  Whether the manufacturer uses a gel, or foam or spring like mechanism, have they concentrated it all in the heel and neglected the forefoot area?  If they have then the shoe will likely have a more aggressive drop, which in turn will make it less suitable for a forefoot striker. 

    I would typically offer the customer a choice of slightly more responsive shoes if they land on the forefoot, and I would lean towards ones with less drop.  When the customer tried them on, I would tell them to get up on their tip toes and bounce in them, to better evaluate how they feel when you toe off in them.  I have sometimes lined shoes up on their sides against each other, so that the customer can compare their shape in terms of how they are designed for a forefoot striker.  If you are a forefoot striker, then you must chose the shoe based on the design of its forefoot, and how well it suits your style. 

  • OK, a couple of points. 

    Nikes don’t really have a bias in the design towards heel strikers, because the air cells run the full length of the shoe.  If you want a cushioned Nike for a forefoot striker, then you could try on the Vomero and see how you like the feel.  The NB 1080 is actual another one that I would have suggested. 

    Alternatively, if the Sketchers are working for you, it might be worth sticking with them. 

  • I must take exception to Flob calling me an arrogant twit earlier. 

    I mean, who was he calling a twit?

  • I think the only "evidence" they are interested in is that they sell shoes. Of course they need a few Bens to be able to say black is white and white is black and talk as if they are knowledgable. Ben should move into politics. I'm sure he could hold his own amongst the other twits on Question Time who never answer the question or consider what others have said and then spout their own rhetoric. No offence Benimage

  • The Grinch wrote (see)

    I think the only "evidence" they are interested in is that they sell shoes. Of course they need a few Bens to be able to say black is white and white is black and talk as if they are knowledgable. Ben should move into politics. I'm sure he could hold his own amongst the other twits on Question Time who never answer the question or consider what others have said and then spout their own rhetoric. No offence Benimage

    I think that you are making Sweatshop out to be a lot more organised and calculating than they actually are.  The truth is that they couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.  They don’t even keep accurate records of how much stock they loose to shoplifters for example.  I genuinely found working with them frustrating at times.  

    Interestingly, more people following this thread seem to be interested in the views of the blood sucking shoe salesman, than the naysayers, so to that extent they must have got something right.   

  • Minimalist shoes encourage correct form and technique. Mid foot and fore foot strike is promoted by minimalist running shoes, correct technique. Minimalist shoes cure pronation by forcing the runner to run on his/her fore foot or mid foot. How do I cure and prevent pronation:  I wear minimalist shoes and land fore foot strike every time. When my heel does not touch ground, no pronation.

    It is bad advice to recommend stability or motion control shoes to prevent pronation. In actual fact stability and motion control shoes magnify the pronation problem due to high heel raises that naturally forces a runner to heel strike. Minimalist shoes with lower heel raises encourage fore foot and mid foot strike that reduces injury risk. Minimalist shoes help to prevent pronation and stability/motion control shoes enhance pronation.

  • Almost agree 100% with RoadWarrior, excpet I think that minimal shoes will encourage better texhnique ONLY if you know what that is and feels like. When you know what it is, you can feel it better with less padding under foot, but I see many runners heel striking in minimal footwear. 70% of proprioception comes from your feet -put a thick rubber pad between your feet and the ground and that's reduced to zero.

    PS. I can't beleive this thread is still going on. Ben, you are one stubborn f*****image

     

  • I too almost agree with RoadWarrior.

    BUT

    minimalist shoes will help with pronation perse but the technique in learning minimalist running (in some examples image) is so long winded and difficult to people that are impatient. 

    The risks are outweighed in my opinion but, the people I have seen have transitioned successfully.

    plus minimalist running is a whole other debate image

  • I did actually ask Hugh Brasher the minimalist question once.  He said that Sweatshops position was that they did not know the long term effects of minimalist/barefoot running, so they were not prepared to advocate it at this stage.  I was a bit of a rogue operator within Sweatshop, because I would help a customer to make the transition to barefoot running if the approached me and asked me to do it. 

    We were always under strict instructions never to tinker with a customers ru8nning style, for fear that somebody might sue the company.  It is worth noting that they had no comparable concerns regarding gait analysis.  I am not saying that improving a persons running style is not beneficial, or that it is not the answer to your problems, but it is not something that should be undertaken lightly.  A lot of people have done a lot of harm by taking a person with no history of injuries, and trying to make them run in a different way.  It is certainly not something that a retailer should get involved in. 

  • Ben. I agree with you!

     

  • Running shoe companies have been treating pronation like a form of cancer and they have designed shoes to try and cure and prevent pronation. Running shoe companies introduced high heeled shoes to correct and to prevent pronation. Unfortunately that  has lead to more heel striking leading to more pronation leading to more injury. Pronation is the heel striking the ground and your foot  rolls in or rolls out to absorb the impact from the heel strike. It makes logical sense to avoid heel strike and to run forefoot and mid foot in a way to avoid or reduce pronation.

    Bare foot is the best way to cure or prevent pronation at no cost.  However minimalist shoes protect the bare foot from the ground and are the closest thing to mimicking the natural motion of the bare foot. High heeled traditional shoes result in an unnatural heel strike and results in more pronation caused by more heel striking. By switching to a minimalist shoe between 0 to 6mm drop pronation can be eliminated or reduced by forcing you to avoid heel striking. 

    I plan on running a marathon bare foot and run an Ultra Marathon in the future bare foot to  test out the bare foot theory. Why use running shoes when your bare feet work more efficiently, naturally at no cost?

  • I think you will be fairly brutally disabused of the bare foot theory, if you try an ultra that has a lot of scree in it. 

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