I was scheduled to have yesterday off from work with a plan to do orders from home and watch some football. So naturally I got bored and went to Lucky Road anyway. Just wanted see if there was anything I could do to help out for an hour or so. While I was there a gentleman named Taylor walked through the door and was clearly on a mission. When I greeted him and asked if I could be of service he promptly replied yes, I need someone to help fit me for a good pair of running shoes. He expressed some frustration with his running as of late and how he had been advised, by another shoe fitting expert, that there was no magic bullet for his problems and he should consider taking up another sport. Upon hearing this I knew I had to give Taylor my best effort.
We spent some time together going over his goals and injury history. We also took time to observe his running gait from head to toe. Not jut once but a few times. His current pain was located to the outside of his right ankle. After watching him run we could see why he was in pain. His right foot was inverted (supinated) through it’s full range of motion while his left foot showed a natural degree of pronation. This was putting a lot of stress/strain to the outside of his right ankle. At first it would make sense to suggest a very cushioned neutral shoe. But Taylor had already explained how the high end cushioned models aggravated his pain. Hmmm.
Typically when we observe a gait where one foot is neutral to over-pronated and the other is under-pronated to supinated, it’s a sign that the supinated side is shorter in length. So we tried placing a slight lift in Taylor’s right shoe, then observed his gait again. We got the results we wanted as both feet straightened up. We then fitted Taylor with some neutral models that were a little more firm on the outside of the heel. This also helped.
This was one of those moments when we were able to really show our skills, not just in the art/science of gait analysis and shoe fitting, but in taking a personal interest in someone who came to us for help. We were able identify the source of the problem, fix the problem and then send Taylor home with a positive outlook on his running future. Not sure how long the smile on Taylor’s face lasted but my smile was pretty obvious for the rest of the day. I think beaming was the word used to describe it. I definitely love what I do.
~ Jeff Van Horn, Lucky Road