Where do you start when it comes to buying running or walking shoes? Should you just decide based off the brand or color of a shoe? There is a lot more that goes into finding the right walking or running shoe than it may seem. That’s why at GH Sports we provide free gait analyses for all of existing and potential customers. We want you in the right shoe for you. Since 2002, we have performed over 13,000 gait analyses and evaluations, and we regularly have clients referred to us by podiatrists and physical therapists. This is why we stand behind every shoe we sell and know it will perform as you want it to.
So what is a gait analysis?
The process begins with a couple of questions about you. We document things like current or past injuries, competition or fitness goals, mileage per week, and anything else you might be concerned about when purchasing shoes. By creating a personalized profile for you, we are better prepared to put you in the best pair of shoes for you.
After we’ve gathered this important information, we begin to analyze your foot by first taking an imprint that will show us the height of your arch, distribution of pressure along the foot, and the shape of the foot. Although it’s not always talked about, different shoes provide different amounts of arch support, and even different shapes and curvatures. Knowing how high or low your arch is and how you distribute your weight will help us recommend shoes with the appropriate arch height. Inappropriate arch heights can displace weight, cause pressure points, or not provide enough support. Common injuries from incorrect arch support consist of hot spots and blisters, heel or metatarsal pain, or even the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis. That’s why this step is so critical!
Now it’s time to hop on the treadmill! We also conduct this barefoot in order to see all of the small movements involved when your foot strikes the ground, absorbing all your pressure, and then taking back off. We have you begin to walk or jog until you are at your normal or natural pace, and we video record your feed in action. We then play back the short clip in slow motion and break down the steps so we can see and fully understand how your feet and body function. We discuss significant items like which part of your foot contacts the ground first and whether you overpronate, supinate, or stay neutral. Actually seeing your own mechanics really helps us and you understand why a specific type of shoe is beneficial to your short and long term health and sustainability.
In the last step, we recommend a few different shoes that work well for you. Each shoe we recommend will provide you with all the features that will help keep your feet, knees and body happy!
You can try each shoe on as many times as you need, walk around or store, or even step outside to take a short jog to get an idea of which shoe is perfect for you.
Our staff also has some good tips and tricks up their sleeve that enhance the way shoes fit and function!
How can you get a GH Sports’ Gait Analysis?
Stop by our store off of Hind Lane in San Luis Obispo during business hours. There is no need to make an appointment, but you can always call us in advance at 1-877-428-9447 or 1-805-541-6019.