Best Gait Analysis Tools for Improved Mobility

About the Author

Doug Adams PT, DPT, SCS, OCS, CSCS Dr. Doug Adams is a Physical Therapist who has published and spoken at an international level on all things related to running. Doug has taught thousands of professionals his systematic approach to providing personalized plans for runners through the Certified Running Gait Analyst and Endurance Running Coaching courses. He also designed and created a portable 3D Motion Analysis system called Helix 3D for analyzing and categorizing running form that is used widely throughout the Department of Defense, professional sports, and commercial sectors.

More from Doug

Exploring the best gait analysis tools for improved mobility opens new avenues for healthcare professionals and fitness experts dedicated to optimizing human movement.

By understanding the intricacies and applications of each gait analysis system, users can enhance treatment outcomes, boost athletic performance, and prevent injuries more effectively.

This guide will equip you with the knowledge to select the most suitable gait analysis tools tailored to your professional needs and the populations they serve.


Our Review of Top Gait Analysis Tools

RunDNA – Helix3D 1

1: RunDNA – Helix3D

In sports facilities, running clinics, and rehabilitation centers, Helix3D proves invaluable.

The Helix3D gait analysis system supports trainers’ professional development by enhancing their diagnostic and training capabilities. Also, it boosts athletes’ confidence in their training programs, knowing they are built on a foundation of precision and expert analysis.

This synergy of technology and expertise makes Helix3D a top choice for those serious about taking their running performance to the next level.

Features of Helix3D

What sets Helix3D apart is its high-speed tracking capabilities, which boast an impressive precision of just 1mm error. This precision ensures that every nuance of a runner’s gait is captured accurately, providing a trustworthy basis for analysis and subsequent training modifications.

Moreover, the ability to deliver instant data means that actionable insights are available when they’re most needed—during the training or therapy session itself. This immediacy is critical for making on-the-fly adjustments, which, in turn, lead to better outcomes.

YouTube video

Benefits for Trainers and Athletes

Trainers can utilize detailed biomechanical insights to prevent injuries by identifying and correcting inefficient movement patterns in their runners.

This level of detail helps craft personalized training regimens that are safer and more effective in enhancing performance.

Athletes, on the other hand, experience the direct advantage of these tailored programs, which are designed to help them achieve their peak performance while minimizing the risk of injury.

Book a Virtual Helix Demo

CIR Systems Inc

2: CIR Systems Inc – GAITRite

GAITRite is a portable walkway system renowned for its ability to capture critical temporal and spatial parameters of gait.

This system is designed to be easily deployed in various settings, making it a versatile tool for assessing walking patterns.

Key Features and Uses

Primarily used in clinical environments, GAITRite helps healthcare professionals assess and monitor patient gait during rehabilitation.

Its portability allows therapists to set up in different rooms or locations, facilitating patient assessments under various clinical conditions. This capability is particularly valuable for tracking progress over time and tailoring rehabilitation treatments to individual patient needs, enhancing recovery outcomes.


zeno walk

3: ProtoKinetics – Zeno Walkway

The Zeno Walkway system by ProtoKinetics is dedicated to measuring both pressure distribution and the temporal-spatial aspects of gait.

With its sensitive mat, it provides a detailed footprint of pressure points, helping to paint a complete picture of a person’s walk.

Application in Clinical Research

The Zeno Walkway’s precise data collection capabilities make it a favorite for conducting detailed gait analysis studies to understand and address various mobility issues.

Researchers and clinicians rely on the Zeno Walkway to gather accurate, comprehensive data that supports the development of targeted therapeutic strategies, enhancing both diagnostic accuracy and treatment efficacy.



4: Tekscan – Strideway

The Strideway system by Tekscan offers a modular pressure measurement platform that is integral to biomechanical assessments. This system captures detailed pressure data and temporal-spatial parameters, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of gait dynamics.

Versatility and Customization

One of Strideway’s standout features is its adaptability.

The system can be customized to fit various environments, from clinical to athletic settings, making it a versatile tool for professionals.

Whether adapting the length of the walkway for different stride lengths or adjusting the sensitivity for specific analysis needs, Strideway can be tailored to meet the diverse requirements of patients and research subjects.

This customization enhances the accuracy of diagnostics and the effectiveness of subsequent treatments.


5: Runscribe – Wearable Sensors

Runscribe is an innovative solution consisting of a set of wearable sensors that attach to a runner’s shoes.

These devices provide real-time feedback on running mechanics, capturing data on stride length, cadence, foot strike, and more.

Benefits for Athletes

For athletes, Runscribe offers a distinct advantage by providing immediate insights into their running mechanics, allowing them to make adjustments on the go.

This real-time feedback helps athletes optimize their performance by fine-tuning their movements to be more efficient and less prone to injury.

Additionally, the detailed data collected can help coaches and trainers develop more personalized training programs that align closely with an athlete’s biomechanical profile, promoting better overall athletic health and performance enhancement.



6: Noraxon – myoMOTION

Noraxon’s myoMOTION system utilizes advanced inertial sensors to provide comprehensive 3D motion capture data. This technology captures a wide array of movements in real time, making it indispensable for detailed movement analysis.

Integration and Analysis

MyoMOTION excels in its ability to integrate seamlessly with other systems, enhancing its utility in biomechanical assessments.

This integration allows for the combination of inertial data with other types of biomechanical information, such as muscle activity and force measurements, providing a holistic view of an individual’s movement.

Such comprehensive data are crucial for developing targeted interventions and advancing rehabilitation practices.



7: Vicon – 3D Motion Capture System

Vicon is renowned for its ultra-high precision and detail in capturing kinematic body movements. Its 3D motion capture system is designed to track complex movements with an unmatched level of accuracy, providing detailed insights into the mechanics of motion.

Applications in Advanced Research and Development

Vicon’s system is extensively used not only in biomechanical research but also in the film industry, where precise motion capture is critical.

In research, Vicon helps scientists and medical professionals develop a deeper understanding of human and animal movement. This data is pivotal in creating advanced treatments and interventions in healthcare.

Meanwhile, in the film industry, Vicon’s technology enables the creation of highly realistic animations by capturing subtle movements that add life and authenticity to digital characters.


Infographic depicting four types of gait analysis tools: Video-Based, Pressure Measurement, Inertial Measurement Units, and 3D Motion Capture Systems.

Types of Gait Analysis Tools

Each method for gait analysis offers unique advantages, depending on the context of use.

Video-Based Gait Analysis Tools

Video-based systems use cameras to capture continuous visual recordings of a person walking or running.

These tools are crucial for visually assessing gait and can be enhanced with software that annotates and analyzes movements.

A video-based gait analysis system is particularly useful in nearby certified gait analysis clinics and training facilities where visual feedback is instrumental for both assessment and educational purposes.

Pressure Measurement Systems

These systems measure the pressure the feet exert on the ground during walking or running.

Pressure mats and insole-based sensors provide detailed information about foot placement, load distribution, and the timing aspects of gait.

This data is invaluable for diagnosing gait abnormalities, designing custom orthotics, and optimizing footwear.

Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs)

IMUs are wearable sensors that capture data on body position, orientation, and motion without the need for external references.

These devices are highly portable and can be used in naturalistic settings outside the lab, making them ideal for monitoring daily activity and performance in sports.

3D Motion Capture Systems

The most advanced type of gait analysis, 3D motion capture systems, uses multiple cameras and markers placed on the body to capture detailed movements in three dimensions.

3D gait analysis motion systems offer the highest level of precision and are widely used in research and development to create highly accurate biomechanical models.

How to Choose the Right Gait Analysis Tool

In addition to completing courses in gait analysis, assessing these factors enables you to select a gait analysis tool that fits seamlessly into your operations and enhances your ability to deliver precise and effective care or research outcomes.

  • Consider Your Needs: Start by identifying the specific biomechanical data required for your assessments. Are you tracking detailed movements or focusing on load distributions? The setting in which the tool will be used—whether in a lab or in the field—also impacts your choice, as does the specific patient or client base you serve. Tools suitable for athletes might differ from those best for elderly patients or rehabilitation scenarios.
  • Price Range: High-end systems, while costly, offer extensive capabilities that might negate the need for other devices, potentially saving money in the long term. Evaluate the potential return on investment (ROI) that different tools offer and balance initial costs against the benefits they bring to your practice.
  • Ease of Use: Choose a system that your team can operate efficiently without a steep learning curve. Look for tools that offer robust support and training materials to facilitate smooth integration into your existing workflow.

Choose The Right Gait Analysis Tool and Enhance Your Practice and Patient Satisfaction

Each type of tool offers unique benefits and is suited to different professional environments and purposes.

Remember, the right tool can transform the quality of your service and the satisfaction of your clients or patients.

Take the time to assess your options thoroughly to ensure you make the best possible investment for your practice or research facility.

Ready to take your running business to the next level? Book a Free Helix3D Demo