Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Hub Blogging
Regardless of how far you intend running, your feet need to feel comfortable. Runners need footwear that’s supportive and prevents injuries. The best way to choose your new running shoes is through expert analysis and fitting. It’s when you may be surprised to learn how your running gait should have a greater influence on your selection than colour or brand.
Why You Need Gait Analysis
Many novice runners are often unaware that the skeletal anatomy of legs, knees and feet is an important factor in choosing the ideal running shoe. Establishing your personal gait can help find a running shoe that complements your unique bone structure.
During analysis, the way your feet land when you run determines the category of running shoe you should opt for. Choose correctly, and your running shoes help provide support where it’s most needed. They should enable your bones and knee joints to remain comfortably aligned. If you choose shoes that aren’t sympathetic to your gait, they’ll place undue pressure on your joints, causing discomfort and possible injury.
What is Gait Analysis?
Gait analysis is usually carried out in store. An experienced running analyst records how you run on a treadmill. However, if you are ordering your running shoes online, you can still benefit from DIY gait analysis.
It’s an easy procedure that involves wetting the soles of your feet, then seeing how your footprint is shaped when standing on paper. Whichever method you use, the crucial factor is where you unconsciously place pressure as you land each foot.
This is determined by the type of arch your feet have. It directly affects an alignment of the lower leg called pronation. The term refers to which direction your feet are inclined to roll towards when you walk or run. If your footprint is broad with very little arch, you have over pronation. A distinctive hollow in your footprint indicates under pronation. The ideal neutral pronation shows an evenly balanced footprint.
Over or Under Pronation
You can usually identify over or under pronation by checking how the heels have worn on an existing pair of shoes. They don’t even have to be running shoes, but you need to have worn them for a few months. The heel will by now be showing signs of considerable wear at one pressure point, while the rest of the heel still appears reasonably intact.
Wear on the inner part of the heel is over pronation. This means your foot rolls inwards as you place it down. It’s a common trait that affects up to 70% of people. If the outer part of the heel shows more wear, you have under pronation. This has the opposite affect and indicates the landing pressure causes you foot to roll outwards. Very few people enjoy neutral pronation, indicated by centralised heel wear.
Avoiding Unnecessary Injuries Caused by Imbalanced Gait
Incorrect gait leads to a variety of strains and weaknesses such as plantar fasciitis, stressed Achilles tendons, bunions, and painful shins, knees and hips.
However, pronation can be helped considerably by choosing running shoes that counteract the imbalance in your feet. Under pronation is helped by running shoes categorised as neutral. For over pronation, you need shoes with increased stability. The ideal running shoes have additional support in the areas most affected by pronation.
Choosing the Best Running Shoes Online
Once you’ve established your gait and pronation alignment, you need to choose online running shoes that reduce the pressure on your feet. It can be difficult knowing which brands or styles are designed for over or under pronation.
Unless they are clearly labelled, you could still choose a shoe that’s unsuitable for your condition. When shopping online for running shoes, you should find different brands and styles that are suitable for neutral or additional stability.
It’s important to choose the right category for the sake of increased comfort and injury prevention. The best stores have an extensive range of famous names and designs. You’ll find contemporary colours and patterns for stylish good looks while running in comfort.
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