WARNING: This post may offend some self proclaimed experts in gait analysis.

Amanda visited Lucky Road last week. We assessed her running gait as being neutral. She said she was confused because the past two running stores she visited told her she overpronated and sold her stability models. After a few more questions we discovered the “gait analysis” offered at the other two stores isn’t a real gait analysis. They watched her walk barefoot. Thats it, nothing more. Watching someone walk barefoot is not only an incomplete method of assessing ones running gait, it’s “completely” inaccurate. There are distinct differences between a running gait and a walking gait. There are also distinct differences between shod and unshod walking or running gait.

The Tibialis Posterior Muscle/Tendon is responsible for helping to stabilize our arches and subtalor joint. In a nut-shell, it helps prevent excessive pronation while running. However, the tibialis posterior remains dormant while standing or walking. What is commonly accepted as overpronation is more likely to be seen in a walking gait. But that means nothing to a runner. When we run, ground reaction forces are enough to trigger the Tibialis Posterior and prevent pronation forces. The only way to assess a persons’ running gait is actually assess them running. That persons walking gait is of no use in determining their running gait.

We also discovered Amanda was experiencing some lateral knee pain. Most likely her IT Band is stressed due to overcorrection from the stability shoes she purchased prior to visiting Lucky Road. We had her test run a few neutral models until she settled on the pair that was most comfortable to her. Now that she’s wearing shoes that allow her gait to reach a neutral position, the stress to her knee is gone and her pain should start to go away for good.

Last time we checked, 70% of all running shoes sold are from the stability/control category. But only 35% of runners demonstrate a need for that type of shoe. If you have a pair of stability shoes, there’s a 50% chance you don’t need them.

~ Jeff Van Horn, Lucky Road.