“Give a girl the right shoes & she will conquer the world”
Running enthusiasts near & far, avert your eyes! To be completely honest, I’ve never really paid much attention to the quality of my running shoes. Essentially whatever happened to be available in the closet that day, whether that be my mother’s wide-set runners or my beyond ancient kicks, is what would wind up on my feet. Perhaps not the best decision for a pigeon-toed gal who suffers from the occasional aches & pains that inevitably accompany shin splints. Needless to say, I needed to find a proper pair of running shoes – like yesterday!!! Insert: SportChek Yorkdale & their insanely amazing [& FREE] gait analysis service… did I mention free?!
What is Gait Analysis you ask? Based on my own personal understanding, gait analysis is basically the study of human motion or movement. At SportChek, trained staff utilize gait analysis techniques to assess an individual’s running/walking patterns in order to select a running shoe that best accommodates their unique movements. Below are some pictures demonstrating how it all goes down….
You’ll be asked to run barefoot on a treadmill for around 30 seconds (1 or 2 times), while trained staff monitor your running patterns & movements (ie. hand placement, how your feet strike the ground, running cadence etc) from several different angles/perspectives. ** Be sure to bring comfortable running gear that you would typically workout in!
This is ME running from a couple of different angles. It’s a perfect example of how inverted my feet can get – look at my right foot in the right photo!!
What’s great about this service, is that staff are also able to give you incredibly practical tips to help improve your running technique! Take for example the picture above, as I’m sure you can all see, my leg is most definitely not at a 90 degree angle! This I’m told… is no bueno. So over the past few days, I’ve been making a conscious effort to correct this, & work toward running with my legs at a 90 degree angle & improve my running cadence to 180 steps/minute -> giving my foot less “time” to pronate AKA roll inwards!
Another great example of my “inversion tendencies”! In a perfect world, my right leg would not cross over that green line! Again, something for me be mindful of & work toward.
The Verdict? Based on my own natural running habits, it was determined that I am a “heel striker” – meaning that my heels are the first to make contact with the ground! Not the best technique out there (I’m told that a mid-foot strike is the “gold standard”) & perhaps a contributing factor toward some of my aches & pains! *** I therefore require a running shoe that has a bit more padding or cushion in the actual heel of the shoe!
We pulled some shoes that fit the profile, re-analyzed my running technique with each of them… & voila! I have now found my very own, “perfect” shoe!
I’m OBSESSED. Not to mention, they’re pretty cute to boot!
Have you ever used gait analysis to find your perfect running shoe?!