What's YOUR running gait*?

*Running gait: how your foot hits the ground, motions through the ground and then pushes off the ground and onto the other foot – that’s your running gait.

One of the reasons people seek out a professional to analyze their gait is to insure they are using the best shoe available. But sometimes this might not be as helpful as you think. And here's why.

Everyone’s body is unique and different. That means everyone’s running style will vary drastically from one person to the next. What may be helpful for one person doesn’t mean it will be helpful for the next person, especially when we talk about running. In fact, trying to change or alter your running gait can often result in an injury.

When assessing your running gait, it’s important to analyze how your entire body moves through your gate movement. The thing is, your body already knows how it needs to run and at Hope Clinic, we’re here to help you help your body.

Get shoes that best support your entire body with Dr. Brad's help

Here’s an idea for you. Go find 3 new and different pairs of running shoes, preferably cross-trainers. Next, schedule an appointment with Dr. Brad and bring along your still-in-the-box collection of running shoes. During your appointment, Dr. Brad will have you try on each pair of shoes as he tests which shoe best supports and works for your whole body as it moves through your natural running gait.

Your search for athletic shoes

Good running shoes don’t have to cost you a fortune. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you choose running shoes:

  • You can get a good, supportive running shoe from a main brand for $30 - $60.
  • Try to find cross-trainers. These are typically nice, stable shoes.
  • Try to find simple, straight-laced shoes, without all of the motion and gait control features.
  • Be aware that the lightweight, flexible athletic shoes—that are so popular right now—will not last very long and don’t offer the support many of us need.
  • In Dr. Brad’s experience, good brands to explore are Ryka, Avia and Asics for women and Avia and Asics for men. Cross-trainers not appealing to you? Feel free to bring in whatever shoe you prefer and find out how it tests compared to other shoe options.

If you’re a many-time marathoner, an around-the-lake-leisure jogger or a just-trying-to- keep-up-with-the-kids parent, your body deserves the best support possible for your daily activities.

Bring any questions or curiosities about running and shoes to Dr. Brad during your next appointment.

BONUS TIP: Taping ankles and shins might seem like an intimidating chore. But some of us are in need of a little extra support when we exercise. During your appointment, Dr. Brad can help you identify if your ankles or feet might benefit from some simple taping. He can even show you how to do it yourself so you can help yourself next time.

Learn how to tape for shin splints here.