The Importance of Shot Fitting and Gait Analysis

In the world of running and fitness, selecting the right pair of shoes is more than just color, style and brand. It’s about optimizing comfort, preventing injury, and maximizing performance. With so many options available, it can be confusing to know which shoes are right for you and how to get started. At Dick Pond Athletics, every customer can receive a free gait analysis along with a 3D foot scan from our expert staff to understand the mechanics of your feet and what shoes may be right for you.

You don’t have to be an elite athlete to need a running gait analysis. Everyone and anyone who wants to run or walk more efficiently, comfortably, and safely should do this every time you get a new pair of shoes. So whether you're a seasoned runner or just starting out, a gait analysis can make a significant difference in your running experience. 

Understanding Gait Analysis and Why It Matters 

Gait analysis is a study of how we walk or run by analyzing the movement of our body. By analyzing your gait, our staff can identify how the mechanics of your feet and ankles work, including looking to see if you pronate, overpronate, or if you have a neutral foot. A gait analysis can also alert us to any potential discomfort or injuries you may have had in the past. 

In combination with the gait analysis, we may even use a 3D foot scan device, traditional shoe fitting methods like the Brannock device, and the good old-fashioned pinching of the toes and observations to see how your foot mechanics behave. Depending on your gait, strike, or current concerns or discomfort, we will recommend specific shoes that provide support, cushioning, and stability no matter your movement needs! 

Gait Analysis and Shoe Fitting Process at Dick Pond Athletics 

Our gait analysis assessment is free and provides our staff a better understanding of your body mechanics to key us into what type of shoe you need. Additionally, we ask you some questions such as, what will you be using your shoes for, how long do you stand per day, how many miles are you running per week, do you have any movement goals? Understanding your movement needs cues us into how we can help you best. 

At  Dick Pond Athletics, we perform a gait analysis like this: 

1. Customers will step on a treadmill where we will ask you to do a slow walk, typically with socks on. Don’t worry, we can provide you a pair of socks if you didn’t bring some with you.

2. Our staff will record your walk for a few seconds with video technology or with their keen eye. 

3. Our staff will review the video of your walk and analyze your movement patterns such as foot strike, ankle rotation, and other factors that display to your overall gait cycle. 

4. After that, we will measure your foot with a Brannock device and bring out 2-3 models of shoes that will help support your feet in all the right ways to ensure you are maximizing your comfort and performance. 

5. Our staff will ensure the shoe fits, make sure you have enough space in the toes and on the sides, and watch you walk or run in your shoes inside the store. You can even run on the treadmill we used for the gait analysis to give you a better feel of the shoe. 

6. You can try as many shoes as you like until you find your perfect match! 

It’s a quick and easy process, but something that is overlooked if you simply shop online for a trendy shoe. We take great pride in ensuring our customers are 100% satisfied with their shoes and dedicate the time to giving you personalized recommendations. 

The Importance of Running Gait Analysis 

While most of us find it much easier to simply find a pair of shoes online while laying on our couch, it is not the most beneficial for you in the long run. Take it one step further by coming in person and finding shoes that work just for you! Here are our top benefits from a gait analysis. 

Personalized Recommendations: Gait analysis provides recommendations for YOU. Your feet are different than anyone else’s. Ensuring you find the perfect pair based on your body mechanics, not based on what your friends wear. 

Optimized Performance: By understanding your gait, we can help you select shoes that work with your natural movement patterns, enhancing your running or walking efficiency and overall performance. 

Injury Prevention: Understanding your biomechanics and being in the correct shoe can help prevent common running injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and IT band syndrome. Ensure your shoes support you in the ways that you need! 

Finding Gait Analysis Near You 

Ready to improve your overall foot comfort and support your own body mechanics? Head to one of the five Dick Pond Athletics locations in Chicagoland and ask for a free gait analysis. We have friendly and knowledgeable staff ready to help you! Don’t live near our stores? Search for a professional running store near you and ask if they can help you with a gait analysis. 

We are ready to help you!  View our locations and head in today to take that crucial step towards better shoe fitting experience. Your feet will thank you for it!