Mark Williams, Owner, The Sports Room WicklowWhat type of runner is right for you?
Mark Williams, owner of  The Sports Room, explains how he’ll help you choose the right running shoe with the aid of gait analysis. 

Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a beginner just starting out, a running shoe is the most important investment you need.

Thanks to Mizuno Running, we’re thrilled to say gait analysis is now available at The Sports Room. Not sure what’s involved?

Using a treadmill, Dartfish Software and video analysis, we’ll look at your foot arch type and how your running foot strikes the ground, commonly known as Gait Analysis, in order to help you choose the right running shoe to suit your running needs and to avoid injury.

Everyone needs comfort and support when it comes to a running shoe. When you come into The Sports Room we will measure your foot size. Then we test your arch type with our foot disc. We examine your previous footwear, discuss running experience, watch how you walk and how your foot rolls as you take each step. Now we are taking it to the next level and using software and video analysis to determine the foot’s pronation in more detail.

What’s pronation?

It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your foot!! Pronation is simply the way your foot rolls inward when you walk or run. It acts as a type of shock absorber for your legs. Running shoes are now designed for different pronation patterns.

Find the right runners for you

At The Sports Room, we suggest that you try on as many pairs of running shoes as you need until you find the right pair. The Sports Room team will discuss some of the following with you:

  • Does your foot feel snug inside the shoe? It should, but not uncomfortable. Tying the final eyelet in the shoe will help keep your foot secure within the shoe.
  • Can you wiggle your toes? There should be a thumb’s gap between your longest toe and the top of your shoe.
  • Are the running shoes wide enough? Your little toe should be a quarter of an inch away from the edge.
  • Do they feel comfortable? Run around the shop or on the treadmill to be sure they fit your foot well.
  • When you do find your perfect pair, make note of the date you bought them as it is best to change your runners every 800km.

Good running shoes can be expensive. However, it is worth the investment to avoid painful running injuries. There is such a huge interest now in running and keeping fit. My advice would be to spend what you can on the best you can.

Technical Bits

There are three main types of gait and running shoes to match.

  1. Foot Type: High Arch Gait Type: Underpronation – Your foot rolls along the outside of your foot to the ball of your foot and then to toe off to finish the step – this generally indicates high arches. You need lots of cushioning to avoid stress fractures.
  2. Foot Type: Neutral Gait Type: Normal Pronation – Your foot stays in a neutral position and slowly pronates at the ball of your foot before toe off. You need a neutral running shoe.
  3. Foot Type: Flat Gait Type: Over pronation – Your heel strikes the ground, then rolls inwards, known as pronation. It is this inward rotation that can often cause problems for runners. You need a support runner.