It's the Race for Life tomorrow so although it's a bit last minute thought it would be a good idea to go to Sweatshop today for a gait analysis and see what they suggest as a good shoe for my running style. Mark & his Fiancee Jaime came with me for moral support, and to be honest I think Mark wanted to make sure that I wasn't talked into buying big thick shoes designed for heal striking.
We went to the Hatfield Branch and firstly I have to say that the staff there were really good, they certainly new their stuff and being runners themselves, understood and listened to all my concerns. On their website they suggest taking your running shoes with you and any insoles you normally wear so I took my Vivobarefoot and my Nike Free 7.0 with me. The guy looked at both pairs and also the orthotics I had been given for my walking shoes, he also checked my feet for signs of damage etc. I was then given a pair of new neutral shoes and shown to the treadmill, have to admit I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to run for long enough for the video to be taken. But to my surprise and delight I kept up a steady pace and after a while he told me to stop. He took two videos one when I first started and then another towards the end of my run, he explained that this is because a lot people will start out landing on the forefoot but as they get tired will revert back to heel striking if this is there normal form.
The verdict.............drum roll please.......I have a neutral gait with no overpronation because I always land on my forefoot or midfoot and that I am a natural barefoot runner, I have to say I was pretty pleased to hear that and I could see the delight on Marks face now that it had been confirmed that he was teaching me the correct way to run for my own style. Better news yet was that they couldn't really sell me any new shoes because they didn't have any barefoot or minimal style shoes at that branch. He did suggest a couple of makes that would be suitable but also said that my Vivo's were already really good although I might find it easier to start with a zero drop shoe but with a bit more padding so that roads and pavements would be a little easier and then ease into wearing the Vivo's for more road work, he suggested something like the New Balance Minimus or the Brooks Puredrift. I have already tried on the New Balance Minimus and to be honest I didn't find them that comfortable compared with my Vivobarefoot, but I will check out the Brooks for reviews online.
All in all a good day...........