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Running Trainers - Getting The Right Fit!


Running shoes are the most essential piece of kit for any runner. Knowing how your feet work is vital for finding the right trainers to keep you injury free and keep you running!

Little did I know when I started my running journey that trainers would play such a big part – I mean I had some comfy trainers, that’s all you need - right?

Once I was running over a mile, I couldn’t work out why my feet hurt (a bit like pins and needles) or why I would occasionally get painful shins and ankles.

I had gait analysis recommended to me. I had no idea what this was or that it even existed! It turns out there’s a neat way of looking at the feet and how you run to make a running shoe recommendation.

Most big cities have running shops that offer gait analysis and some of the bigger Sports Direct stores offer it too.

So what is it?

Essentially, gait analysis is a scientific way of assessing a runner's biomechanics. By doing this, running shoes that work with a runners' natural biomechanics can be recommended.



What are you asked to do?

I was asked to run up and down over an electronic pad on the floor; this was linked to a computer to give an assessment of how you run and how the foot lands. (a lot of places do it via treadmills)

Typically, it’s one of 3 ways:

• Neutral – where the foot lands evenly when you run; basically, your trainers will see more wear in the middle

• Over-pronation - when the foot rolls ‘in’ excessively, or at a time when it should not

• Under-pronation – when the foot rolls towards the outside of the shoe

Once your gait is discovered, you’ll be required to try on different trainer styles – again, to add to the confusion, every brand feels different! It’s about trial and error until you find a pair that feels comfortable for you.

Personally, it was one of the best things I did. I had no idea it could be done and it turned out I was wearing a totally inappropriate pair of shoes for running. I’m still injury free and I have just completed my first 10k.

Ultimately, to be a successful runner your legs need a good foundation!

This blog was contributed by Lucy Hawkins.