Gait analysis

I’ve always wanted to do a video gait analysis of myself but never really had access to a relatively private treadmill until recently (well, I’ve had access to this fitness room for about a year but have only recently taken advantage of it). I didn’t think bringing in a camera into my regular busy gym would have been cool so I’ve wanted until I’ve been able to secure a more private treadmill. Here’s some background…

A few years ago when I decided to get serious about running I went into a local running shop to buy a pair of shoes. I could have gone to a big box store and gotten any decent pair of shoes, but I wanted to know what an expert thought would be a good fit for me and my running style and the type and amount of running I wanted to do. Plus, I didn’t want to stop running because of ill-fitting shoes. In other words, I was willing to pay a few dollars more for better equipment. The guy at the running shop looked at how I walk and suggested a motion control shoe because of my overpronation, which didn’t surprise me because the natural state of my feet is to point outwards and not parallel to each other. So for the next couple of years I ran in motion control shoes. I ran my first marathon in a pair of Brooks Addictions.

Now, I could have continued running in motion control shoes, but these types of shoes have a reputation of being relatively clunky and heavy and, like any runner, wanted to get faster. And faster meant running in lighter shoes. So I started to wonder if I could do fine in other types of shoes, namely, support shoes or shoes for mild to moderate overpronation (as opposed to shoes for moderate to severe overpronation and I began buying pairs of support shoes cheaply (on sale online or at Nordstrom Rack) as an experiment. That was 2-3 years ago and I’d have to say that the experiment has worked and I feel like these shoes have been just fine for me, especially when looking at the outer sole wear patterns. I’d run in the ASICS 2000-series, Mizuno Inspire and Elixir, Fila Veloce and Asylum, Brooks Adrenaline, and some others I’ve forgotten.

Then I got injured… plantar fasciitis.

That lead me to wonder if I’d been too hasty in drawing my conclusions. Now that winter has come and my running volume has dramatically decreased, I’ve been thinking about shoes again, hence, the video gait analysis.

So, after viewing the gait analysis I’ve come to a few conclusions:

  1. This should really be done with a real video camera (I used my Canon Powershot A530)
  2. You can really see the misalignment of my feet
  3. I really don’t see a whole lot of overpronation
  4. This is possibly, in part, due to a pretty good cadence of ~180 foot strikes/minute (my foot doesn’t stay on the ground for very long)
  5. I think I could do just fine in any shoe (motion control, support, or neutral)

So how do I explain what I see in my gait analysis and what the guy at the running shop told me? I figure that over the years, I’ve trained myself to be more biomechanically efficient. And that my running gait is quite different from my walking gait, probably because the contact time of my foot to the ground is much shorter when I run relative to when I walk (I’m a leisurely walker). I can feel my overpronation when I walk, but I just don’t perceive it while I’m running. That said, I don’t feel too bad about buying those $40 Puma Complete Phasis IVs (a neutral shoe) at Marshalls last weekend.

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2 Comments

Filed under Running

2 responses to “Gait analysis

  1. Cat

    You are a dork.

    Why did you make such a polished video, complete with title and soundtrack – and neglect to include your conclusions?

    Goofball.

  2. Great Post! Have you ever worn orthotics? Orthotics can help to restore natural foot function and can be custom made for overpronation as well as many other foot conditions.

    It may be worth paying a visit to a Podiatrist who specialises in gait analysis and biomechanics. A good Gait Analysis can diagnose problems with your feet and a pair of custom made orthotics can be manufactured from this diagnosis.

    Good luck and I hope you find a solution.

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