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Gait Analysis

Many people think gait analysis is all about—and only about—someone watching you walk or run and evaluating your feet and your shoes. How many of you have done the following? A clerk in your local running store watches you jog, and suggests a pair of shoes that are more stable, or more neutral, or more cushioned, or are the type that "forces" you to land mid-foot. Voila! Your biomechanical problems are solved. This is what most people know and have come to accept as gait analysis.

 

Let's examine the most common misconceptions about gait analysis, and create a real picture of what it is, what it isn't, and how it can be helpful to you as an athlete. True gait analysis is not a generic exercise, but is a scientifically-based and technically-precise process. It is highly individualized, and reveals a lot about how you will hold up to training and, ultimately, perform.

 

What Is a Gait Analysis?

When we conduct a gait analysis, your feet are only one small piece of your biomechanical puzzle. What happens to your feet is merely part of a holistic, whole body, integrated movement pattern. Running, like most other whole-body activities (such as swimming or many field sports), is essentially a unique way of moving.