Gait analysis, as waste of time?

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  • I believe the top  elite runners could save  5 to 6 seconds per mile over the marathon by shredding the weight of a shoe and manning up and running bare foot. 3.5 to 4 minutes could be shaved off world record time by shifting to bare foot. 

    Running without shoes, without the ankle weights shoe impose could very well lead to running faster times. If the average runners can save minutes on their long distance races by shifting to bare foot running. Imagine what the elite runners could do if they ran bare foot ala Adebe Bikilia style?

    I have a belief that running shoes are a heavy resistant force that slows runners down and does not really do much by just being a status symbol of perceived wealth and power. Runners wearing expensive shoes is show boating wealth just like a person wearing a Rolex watch, wearing designer label clothes, driving an expensive Sports car, owning a yacht or owning a mansion and investment property/share portfolio. 

    By simply removing shoes and running bare foot a runner can run his best time possible if he/she believes. It is the fear and conservative nature most runners have that they will not give a bare foot marathon a shot.

    More efficient stride and carrying less weight resistance force will help generate faster speeds and faster times. Shoes are a resistance force slowing runner down. Remove shoes and reveal the true speed and time runner could achieve. Because of the conservative nature of most runners they do not want to take the risk of running without shoes. 

  • Christopher McDougall has a lot to answer for!

  • Wow this is a somewhat lively thread! Personal experience, I had a couple of pairs of trainers that were fine, then when I went for a pair that didn't do my legs/feet I went and had a gait analysis, tried god knows how many different pairs and found a pair (being size 13 with wide feet is fun) that I have got on well with. Bought a new set couple of weeks ago (diff brand) and again didn't work. Have now gone for another pair of the same post-analysis "Newer model". It helped me. Marketing and all that jazz doesn't matter, if it helps it helps. The cynical would make it all about that but advancements in all aspects (knowledge of the body, improved materials etc.) means it's not just marketing BS. 

  • Wah wah wah. What exactly is your point? 

  • How are the shoes slowing down someone RW.? If you've got the right running technique your foot hardly touches the ground when running. 

  • When you run off-road, the cushioning takes on an additional function. 

    When you slam your foot down on a sharp rock, or a tree root, it protects the foot like a boxing glove protects the hand. 

    The rock/tree root is going to bite into something!

  • linky thing not working?

  • Copy and paste into browser

     

  • I did. Very interesting. Ben take note. Seems like quite a good study following nearly a thousand novice runners for 12 months. 

  • Gait analysis is useful for showing up a weakness in the kinetic chain that you don't readily notice yourself.  For instance, you may be dropping a hip causing a twist in the running motion.  This will have effects further down the chain in both the knee and ankle.  A good running store will point this out to you and suggest ways to correct it.  They won't try and sell you a pair of shoes you don't need. 

    Some people want the quick fix method; a pair of shoes or an orthotic insert to correct their pronation, and this is fine.  In the long run, it is always better to fix the source of the problem.  This can take a lot of small adjustments over a long period of time, and may not always be possible due to a number of factors.

  • And when I click my fingers you will wake up. What planet are you living on Chris? Running faults can be diagnosed by a FULL GAIT ANALYSIS. Not the sales trickery in the shops.

  • Yes, there may be some shops out there using VGA to shift stock.  However, you must be mistaken in thinking I suggested anything other than VGA a useful tool to have. The experience and knowledge of the staff in a good running shop is invaluable.  A good running shop, as I said above won't sell you shoes you do not need.

     

  • Chris Pearson 8 wrote (see)

    Yes, there may be some shops out there using VGA to shift stock.  However, you must be mistaken in thinking I suggested anything other than VGA a useful tool to have. The experience and knowledge of the staff in a good running shop is invaluable.  A good running shop, as I said above won't sell you shoes you do not need.

     

    Yet looking at the study posted earlier today, if the running shop is selling anything other than a neutral shoe to a new runner then they're doing just that (selling you shoes you don't need).  Or maybe there simply are no good running shops?

    (Except Run To Live, obviously image)

  • So a good running shop has gait analysis in order to point out faults in our running style rather than selling shoes? Is that the running shop in Cloud Cuckoo Land?

  • That is a fair point, but like I said earlier; People who are not prepared to take the time to sort out their running form want a quick fix - Shoes or orthotics.  You may say it is the evil shoe companies pushing this upon us, but there are countless stories of peoples running being transformed by changing shoes.

    I wear a neutral cushioned shoe and a 4mm, low drop shoe.  I have no problem with my feet.  Running shops sell shoes because the market exists.

  • The last point is key Chris. If the customers buy into the blurb then the running shops have to. In fact the ones pushing the blurb are the shoe companies. The shops hands are tied. The can't say here's a pair of 140 pound shoes which you are paying 75% for marketing and suspect technology. They would soon be out of business.

  • VGA of the type running shops offer is about selling 'special' shoes whilst making the buyer feel they've had 'special' treatment.

  • Shoes smell like horse piss wrote (see)

    VGA of the type running shops offer is about selling 'special' shoes whilst making the buyer feel they've had 'special' treatment.

    The independent running shop I use offers VGA on request.  Generally, they will ask to see an old pair of your shoes and get you to run outside for a short distance.  They will then make a suggestion based on their experience and knowledge, and get you to try a variety of shoes.  They will also get you to run on their treadmill without the VGA switched on, and just watch you run.

    As an independent shop they suffer the customer who comes into the shop with no intention of buying to try on a shoe then buys at huge discount from an online retailer with half the overheads and doesn't give a stuff about running.  You can choose to buy your running kit from wherever you like.  Independents offer a service, which you have to pay for; the same as any other service provider.  You don't have to pay for it if you don't want it.  They are passionate about running, but they also have to make a living.

    In a similar way, the shoe companies are passionate about running.  They design and make shoes based on years of R&D and customer feedback because they want to produce a fantastic product.  This does involve a lot of marketing and sometimes hype.  But lets be grown up about this; they also have to make a profit to continue what they are doing.  If you could get away with selling something you were passionate about (I'm sure there is a joke in there somewhere), and make a profit at it, wouldn't you do it?  They wouldn't continue doing what they are doing if there wasn't a market for it.  And if you think the prices are over inflated, don't buy the shoes.  Go out and buy a pair of Hitec Silver Shadows instead and have done with it, or just go barefoot. 

    (Editimage And just to get back to the original point; VGA is a useful tool when used correctly.  Not all retailers use it correctly, and just blindly follow what the software is telling the retail assistant.  Often, software will be pre loaded with a list of suitable shoes based on a fairly basic algorithm.  This kind of VGA has no real merits except for shifting shoes off the shelves. 

  • Shoe companies are not passionate about running.  Like any company, their sole purpose is to make profits for their shareholders.  There may be some people working for shoe companies who love running, but that's not the same thing at all.  No matter what those people think, profit is the company's only reason for selling shoes, not the other way round.

  • The running shoe shop VGA seems to me to be based solely (sorry) about pronation control. Why worry about that when there's no evidence to show it has any impact on injury rates? Why worry about pronation when the runner might overstride? Why worry about pronation when the runner slams down on their heel with an overstride? Why worry about pronation when the runner bends at the waist or has a really slow cadence? They don't offer analysis and expertise on these things. If they want to offer analysis, then look at the right things!

    The best thing running shops could offer is a way to scan your feet for size and shape and have a way to connect that info with the data of all running shoes to quickly find the best and most comfortable fit for you, because that's what really matters.

  •  Cheerful Dave wrote (see)

    Shoe companies are not passionate about running.  Like any company, their sole purpose is to make profits for their shareholders.  There may be some people working for shoe companies who love running, but that's not the same thing at all.  No matter what those people think, profit is the company's only reason for selling shoes, not the other way round.

     

    It's not the way they start though. The venture capitalist vultures get their claws in when they see an opportunity to make money.  It is a mutually beneficial partnership. 

    Big global company buys small running shoe company; small running shoe comapny gets investment; running shoe company gets bigger; running shoe company makes profit; big global company gets a return on its investment.  

    That opportunity exists with sports shoes companies because there is a market for sports shoes.  The ventur caopitalists wouldn't bother their arses if we didn't buy the shoes.  We are all free to make our own minds up.  We don't have to buy into the hype.

  • Absolutely right Chris. The only thing that gets my goat is people who come on this site and say " get yourself a gait analysis" I think all those runners being given that advice should have a link to this thread and let them make their own mind up. 

     

  • As a newbie I've had a shocking time with specialist running shops and the gait analysis they offer. The old pumas I use are great but discontinued, looking for the 'same as' really but running shops are insistent these pumas are all wrong for me (really? They've done 500 miles ish with no injuries, not even a blister). 10 pairs of recommended shoes I've brought on advice, worn a couple of miles on the treadmill and returned because of bad fit and blisters. They are obsessed with me being slightly over pronounced in one foot (me and the rest of the world).  The small independent running shop was just rude. Suggesting that novices don't appreciate how expensive running shoes are (I had £150 budget) and that real runners don't care what the shoes look like (yeah sure). I didn't realise that the 'experts' are really just taking an educated guess and there is no advantage to getting a gait analysis over trying on lots of pairs of shoes. What's more I'm am not being picky or 'not giving the shoes a chance' if after a couple of miles I get blisters or shin splints. 

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I don't care what my shoes look like. Although I think the most I've paid for a pair in the last 4 years is about 50 quid.

    If you got 500 miles out of your old shoes then try to find something similar.
  • NoodleBug wrote (see)

    As a newbie I've had a shocking time with specialist running shops and the gait analysis they offer. The old pumas I use are great but discontinued, looking for the 'same as' really but running shops are insistent these pumas are all wrong for me (really? They've done 500 miles ish with no injuries, not even a blister). 10 pairs of recommended shoes I've brought on advice, worn a couple of miles on the treadmill and returned because of bad fit and blisters. They are obsessed with me being slightly over pronounced in one foot (me and the rest of the world).  The small independent running shop was just rude. Suggesting that novices don't appreciate how expensive running shoes are (I had £150 budget) and that real runners don't care what the shoes look like (yeah sure). I didn't realise that the 'experts' are really just taking an educated guess and there is no advantage to getting a gait analysis over trying on lots of pairs of shoes. What's more I'm am not being picky or 'not giving the shoes a chance' if after a couple of miles I get blisters or shin splints. 

     

    That's some bad luck.  TEN pairs you've bought and returned. Wow.  What evil running shops you use.

    And blisters and shin splints after a couple of miles.  I really feel for you.

    Pretty bad luck for a guy who, two weeks ago, said they're a new runner, running for about a year, but never run a race and never had an injury.

    Good luck with your next pair.

  • I swing between sizes so in fairness some of the returns were due to trying different sizes. I am gutted about some of them, the Ravenna 5's -my profile picture- were gorgeous and fit great but the adjustable stability bar rubbed me raw in about 800metres. On a positive note yesterday I learnt from a lovely young chap in a high street sports shop (the only person to actually look at my current running shoes) that my pumas are a junior boys size so slightly wider than women's shoes of the same size and with more basic technology so less lumps and bumps in the sole. I'll be looking at the junior lads shoes from now on then I guess. The blisters have been a pain but the shin splints didn't hang about and I have doubled my millage with all this extra treadmill work trying new shoes so not all bad.

  • I have bought my last 10 pairs of shoes from an independent running shop.  I'm lucky, because I have a neutral gate and a light mid foot strike.  I know which shoes suit my feet.

    If somebody asks for my advice about purchasing running shoes, I generally point them in the direction of a specialist independent running shop.  The chains are ok if you know what you want, but if you don't......... prepare to be underwhelmed! 

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