An Athlete’s Guide to Gait Analysis and Custom Insoles

Every athlete’s movement is unique with gait patterns varying significantly from one individual to the next. Understanding the intricate biomechanics of your gait cycle is a foundational element in enhancing athletic performance and preventing injuries. At PMC Physiotherapy, we offer a gait analysis service and custom 3D printed orthotics, using advanced Footscan technology to optimise athletic performance and prevent injuries.

What is Gait Analysis?

Gait cycle analysis is a study of the phases an individual goes through when walking or running. There are 2 main phases of the gait cycle. 1. Foot contact phase (when the foot is in contact with the ground, 2. Swing phase (when the foot is in the air). This analysis helps in understanding the mechanics of how someone walks or runs. It examines the sequence of movements of your feet and body during in motion, identifying any abnormalities or inefficiencies. The goal is to optimise gait for injury prevention, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement by providing insights into the biomechanical function of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, spine and upper limbs and all the muscles that move and control these body parts.

Objective Measurement Technology

During a gait analysis session, athletes walk or run across a pressure-sensitive Footscan platform, which captures data on foot pressure distribution and gait dynamics. During your assessment, we begin by measuring the size of each foot to account for any subtle differences. We then assess your current footwear before you walk barefoot across our Footscan floor mat. With nearly 4,000 sensors per square foot, we capture your unique gait pattern in exceptional detail.

Gait analysis

Visualising Your Gait

Following the assessment, we analyse the 2D and 3D visualisations of peak pressures and centre of pressure, allocating them to 10 anatomical zones. This objective measurement and analysis inform the customised design of your 3D-printed orthotics, considering parameters such as stiffness direction and navicular support. The technology allows for localised stiffness adjustments in various zones of the insoles, integrating features like heel pad, heel offset, and heel wedge.

Tailored 3D Printing

Your customised Phits insoles are then 3D printed using state-of-the-art printers and materials in collaboration with the renowned RunnersLab in Belgium. These insoles are tailored to your unique biomechanical needs, based on the insights from your personal dynamics. Within two to three weeks, you’ll receive your bespoke insoles, and we’ll schedule a follow-up session for you to test them out.

PMC Physio Recommendation

The majority of people have a normal gait or have effectively adjusted to a mildly abnormal gait pattern and will generally require no intervention. However, it’s estimated that approximately 80% of people will experience foot problems at some point in their lives, often stemming from poor foot positioning. If you’ve encountered foot issues in the past or are currently experiencing discomfort while walking or running, contact us for an objective gait analysis assessment.


PMC Physiotherapy Clinic, Unit 36, Dunboyne Business Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath

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01 8253 997

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