Professional newfit gait analysis


What is gait analysis?


According to Wikipedia: Gait analysis is the systematic study of animal locomotion, more specifically the study of human motion, using the eye and the brain of observers, augmented by instrumentation for measuring body movements, body mechanics, and the activity of the muscles.


But what does this mean?

In more simple terms gait analysis is the study of the way in which we walk or run. To study someone’s gait effectively it is best to use a combination of technology and observation by a knowledgeable and experienced analyst.


Why do we use gait analysis?


Our running shoe philosophy

Gait analysis helps inform us to make sure we are getting customers in the right shoes to suit their running style. Many running shops talk about it being used to determine the degree of pronation of the foot while running which leads to a decision to either offer a stability shoe or a neutral shoe. Most running shops will also suggest the majority of people need a supportive running shoe as the majority of people over-pronate. We do things slightly differently. While we do check the degree of pronation, we use this information in conjunction with a host of other indicators to help us decide which shoes would be best for each customer.

We also see it as a great opportunity to help our customers improve their running. Often we will see imbalances or weaknesses through our analysis that a customer may not be aware of. We can then offer tips on exercises or drills that could be performed to address these issues and improve running.


We feel that far too many people are incorrectly pointed towards overly supportive running shoes, the sort of shoe that has a solid post under the arch to stop the foot rolling in ‘too much’ and acres of cushioning under the heel. Although there are a few people out there who do benefit from this kind of shoe, many people would be much better off with a lighter weight more subtly supportive shoe. We are not talking natural running here, just something to help the foot adjust naturally via its own feedback system to a better foot strike rather than forcing it (our bodies do not like being forced!)



What can I expect in my gait analysis?


Check out our video for a glimpse of what a gait analysis involves.



Your gait analysis could take anything from 20 minutes to an hour. We will never rush an analysis as we want you to feel totally comfortable with the information we have given you.

Your analysis will start with a few questions about the type, amount and speed of running that you do. This helps us narrow down our potential shoe selection to start with. We will ask to see your old running shoes as the wear pattern on the sole and on the upper can give us some very useful clues as to where the majority of the force of your foot strike is going before we have even seen you run.

Sometimes we like to perform a couple of static tests such as a squat. From this we can start to see the way in which your body moves and even work out which muscles we think might be tight and potentially causing issues.

Then we will get you on the treadmill in a pair of neutral shoes. We usually start you running for a minute or so to get comfortable with the treadmill, then we will capture video from behind of your hips down for around 15 seconds.

Next we analyse the footage in slow motion. We combine what we see in the video with what we have observed and the other information we have gathered to make an informed decision about the type of shoe we feel you might need. These fall in to a number of categories (not just neutral or stability). Cushioned, lightweight, guidance, mild stability, neutral, structured are just some of the terms you might hear us say but rest assured, we have seen all sorts of runners and have built up a great bank of knowledge when it comes to which shoes are likely to work best for you.

We’ll then get out the shoes that we feel will work for you and try them all out on the treadmill. We can analyse the footage we capture side by side to see what impact the shoe has on running style, but we also think your feedback is crucial at this stage. We would never try and get you to buy a shoe that didn’t feel comfortable. Comfort is a very important factor in the buying decision.

There is no pressure to buy shoes from us if you don’t find something you like. In that case we want to make sure you are armed with as much information as you need to make sure you can make an informed buying choice elsewhere or at another time.



Do I need to book?


Most of the time we are able to accommodate people with no need to book, but if you want to make sure that a slot is available we have an easy to use online booking system that requires no up front payment.



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