Tried It Tuesday: Nike + Running Analysis

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Yesterday I had a real treat–I got to get my running gait analyzed at the Nike store on Michigan Avenue to get fitted for Nike running shoes! Not only that, I then got to go back to my beloved React Physical Therapy and get a full work up done 😀 It’s been over a year since I’ve been, and with all of the time I spent in the walking boot plus my other ingrained issues, as Missy (my therapist) said, “Well, you’re not in terrible shape.” More on that later. Today, I want to talk about getting my gait analyzed!

Chicago Endurance Sports marathon training (and the Chicago Marathon, actually) is sponsored by Nike, so as a coach for CES, I need to represent the brands (both CES and Nike) by trying to sport the gear when I can. Of course, that means wearing Nike shoes when I can, as shoes are a huge part of the running kit, as we all know. I knew that I wanted to get fit in shoes by people who knew what they were talking about–we all know that I have finicky feet and lots of from problems–so I went straight to the source and contacted my friend Lisa Beachy, who works for Nike, to set up a proper fitting at the store. NIke offers a truly in depth gait analysis at their stores, so I went over and got myself assessed!

Nike + Running Analysis

As a Nike+ member, I logged into my account so that I could have the video and analysis sent to my email so that I can reference it. Thank you to Kimmie for doing such a great job of doing the analysis and explaining the findings!

Step 1: Personal Info and Running Profile

First things first: what type of running will you do? What was your previous shoe? How many miles, and what type of shoe do you like?

Step 2: Running in Nike Free 3.0

In order to properly assess your stride/gait and footfall, first they put you in a pair of Nike Free 3.0, Nike’s most barefoot shoe, and then put you on a treadmill and let you run at a comfortable pace. While you are doing that, they then video you from directly behind and then from the side in order to determine your foot fall, angle of pronation, and rotation of your stride.

Step 3: Analysis of Stride in Nike Free 3.0

After taking the video, Kimmie was able to go through it (about 10 seconds of tape) slowly to get a proper frame, and then she determined the angle of pronation by drawing a line down the back of my leg, and the angle at which my foot turned as it struck the ground.

Guess what? I win the prize of being 10* from straight, or a SERIOUS overpronater.

Then they let the tape roll, slowly, in order to see the rotation of your foot, or how much you fling it around as you run. Regardless of how much you correct your stride, in these types of shoes, you truly revert back to what is innate! I have a serious external rotation, btw.

Then you look at it from the side in order to determine if you are a forefoot, midfoot, or heel striker. Something that I liked is that Kimmie asked me throughout the process what I thought I did, and what I would like to see. As in, I would like to be a midfoot striker, but I know that I tend to revert back to being a heel striker. And that is exactly what we saw!

Step 4: Shoe Suggestions

Then the App makes suggestions as to the shoes that might be best suited for you. Of course, I have the monkey wrench of having custom orthotics, but I was game to try the shoes that the App suggested, and we put me in the LunarGlide 6’s.

Step 5: Test out the Suggested Shoes and Compare Side-by-Side

So I put on the LunarGlides and got up to run. At first, we had me in the wrong size, so we sized down. I did this part without orthotics My pronation and external rotation were markedly better in the new shoes! The shoes were extremely comfortable, but I wanted to see about the orthotics. I put them in and new instantly that they wouldn’t work with the shoes–too much extra support.

So we ended up trying the Zoom Pegasus 32 (which came out a week or so ago), which is what I took home, and I will give them a proper review later. As I told Lisa and Kimmie, if this was a year from now, I might try the LunarGlide without orthotics, but now, at the start of marathon training and following an injury, is not the time!

I had a great time testing out my running and new shoes–this is a fantastic service that Nike offers. It was truly enlightening for me to see how much work I still have to do, and how much my natural stride really does revert back to old habits when I let them slide. Thank you so much Nike, Lisa, and Kimmie for the experience! I can’t wait to give my new kicks a run for their money, so to speak.

Check out your closest Nike store and see if they offer the analysis! Then get the video sent straight to you so that you can not only run in better shoes, but you can work on improving your stride!

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