Your Guide To Perfect Running Form and Gait Analysis


man running at dawn

Whether you’re just getting started with running or are a seasoned marathon pro, getting the right form, analysing your gait and understanding how your own body moves will help you run farther, faster and more efficiently. 

Everybody runs differently. Individuality means that no one static approach to health and fitness suits everyone. When researching what to eat to recover, what running shoes to get and how far to run to get a 'good workout' in, the most important factor is understanding your own body, how it moves and how it performs and reacts under different circumstances such as road or trail running.

What Does Perfect Running Form Look Like? 

There are many aspects of perfect running form, but once mastered, these behaviours can become second nature and will help you run more efficiently for longer.

In terms of your upper body, keep your head high and chest braced, core fairly tight and arms relaxed (not too much!) but swinging by your sides.

The lower body is the area that people, ironically, most often forget to pay attention to until it’s too late. Shin splints can cause an awful lot of pain for anyone who may be running for the first time after a long rest or even a regular runner.

There are three different ways in which your foot can land while running: a forefoot strike (when the forefoot hit the ground first), a mid-foot strike (the middle of the foot hits the ground first) and a heel strike (the heel hits the ground first).

When we heel strike, this can send a shock up your heel through to your leg and can cause shin splints. However, landing with a mid-foot strike disperses the energy over a larger part of your foot, allowing that same energy to be more spread out. Landing with a forefoot strike allows your heal to absorb far less shock and then be used as a spring to bounce off for your next stride. 

With running shoes being so comfortable, it's easy to forget just how much your foot position matters. Combining comfortable running shoes, with perfect form can drastically increase your performance and reduce your chances of injury.

What is Pronation?

Pronation refers to the way that your foot lands and rolls as you run and is split into three different types:

Under-pronation (Supination): When more weight is distributed on the outer part of your foot during landing and take off.

Neutral: When weight is distributed evenly in the centre of the foot during landing and take off.

Over-pronation: When more weight is distributed on the inner part of your foot during landing and take off.

It's important to know that no type of pronation is strictly "wrong", but more dependent on your individual foot shape, where individuals with higher arches are more prone to supination, and flatter arches over-pronation.

Different Footwear For Your Personal Gait

Running shoes built for different types of pronation support the specific area of your foot that you land on the most and can guide you into a more neutral landing.

Shoes such as the Asics GT-2000 are built for those with a more over-pronated strike whereas the Brooks Ghost range can be more useful for those with an under-pronated strike.

Our Gait Analysis Service

gait analysis at Greaves

At Greaves, our Gait analysis service can help anyone interested in running figure out the best running shoe, between neutral or support models. Come visit us, we're one of the longest running sports shops in Glasgow.

Once you know which running shoe you need for your individual running style, our expert team can help you can choose from our selection of running shoes from Under Armour, Nike, On Running and more.


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