What to Expect At Your First Gait Analysis

Fitness Tips

What to Expect At Your First Gait Analysis

As a regular runner, it’s smart to get a little insight into how your body moves with a gait analysis. This process helps you discover overactive and underactive muscles and where you are more susceptible to injury and inefficiencies. With this information, you can train better and become a stronger runner.

If you’ve signed up for your first gait analysis, you may be asking yourself what it will be like. Luckily, it’s painless, and even fun, as you get to learn more about how your body works best. There are just a few things to know beforehand so you’ll be fully prepared when the appointment comes.

What to Expect at Your First Gait Analysis

You Will Be Running

This may seem obvious, but the need-to-know here is that you have to wear proper running clothes. This is easy to forget because your gait analysis is like any other appointment—you’re running to it between work and the grocery store and dinner with your friends. As such, you likely aren’t wearing proper attire, and jeans or non-running clothing will be restrictive, potentially affecting the results of the analysis.

Pro tip: Set an alarm on your phone to pack workout clothes if you’re going after work. If you forget things as often as I do, you’ll understand why setting an alarm is important—you don’t want to be rushing around if you can avoid it.

You Will Try a Variety of Running Shoes

This is the fun part: trying on new shoes. Different shoes cause our body to work in different ways, which is critical to being a good runner and the gait analysis process:

“Keep in mind that the running shoe serves as a structural and functional extension of the foot. Chosen correctly, it can improve your running. Chosen improperly, it can amplify biomechanical and functional flaws thereby increasing your risk of injury,” according to experts at Fit2Run, an online running shoe retailer that also offers in-store gait analyses.

The hard part: running shoes are not inexpensive, and you may feel nervous about saying no to buying the best shoe for your body because of the price. Avoid any potential issues by going into the analysis with your budget in mind and sticking to it.

Pro tip: Tell the person running the analysis that you truly can’t purchase a $X pair of shoes, no matter how much better they are for you. Being honest up front will help you find the best shoes for your mechanics, without going over budget or feeling like you have to say yes.

You Will Be on Information Overload

Once the running has been done and the video’s been taken, it’s time to slow it down, analyzing movement of the feet, legs and body as a whole to uncover inefficiencies, injury-prone areas and more. This can also point to the root of a recent injury, helping you to avoid more in the future.

As you go through this with the gait analysis professional, you’ll likely be learning a lot about movement mechanics and how that relates to your body specifically.

All of this information is easy to forget but important to remember, so don’t hesitate to ask clarifying questions to help you understand. Remember to ask about any concerns or issues you’ve had or are currently having to make sure you get the most out of the process.

Pro tip: Write your questions down beforehand, so you don’t forget and ask for a printout of the gait analysis results before you start talking about it. This way you can take notes as you go. If they can’t give you a printout before, take notes on your phone so you can refer back to them later.

A gait analysis is a smart way to locate areas that are susceptible to injury and find the shoes that will help your body work properly. Wear the right clothes, be up front about what you can afford, and don’t hesitate to ask questions and take notes. This is your time to learn and discover how your body moves, which is critical to becoming the best runner you can be.


Return to Workouts and Training Tips​