Activity recognition is one of the most active areas of research in ubiquitous computing. In particular, gait activity recognition is useful to identify various risk factors in people’s health that are directly related to their physical activity. One of the issues in activity recognition, and gait in particular, is that often datasets are unbalanced (i.e., the distribution of classes is not uniform), and due to this disparity, the models tend to categorize into the class with more instances. In the present study, two methods for classifying gait activities using accelerometer and gyroscope data from a large-scale public dataset were evaluated and compared. The gait activities in this dataset are (i) going down an incline, (ii) going up an incline, (iii) walking on level ground, (iv) going down stairs, and (v) going up stairs. The proposed methods are based on conventional (shallow) and deep learning techniques. In addition, data were evaluated from three data treatments original unbalanced data, sampled data, and augmented data. The latter was based on the generation of synthetic data according to segmented gait data. The best results were obtained with classifiers built with augmented data, with F-measure results of 0.812 (s = 0.078) for the shallow learning approach, and of 0.927 (s = 0.033) for the deep learning approach. %Therefore, it can be concluded that deep-approach is better than shallow-approach for all data treatments. In addition, the data augmentation strategy proposed to deal with the unbalanced problem resulted in increased classification performance using both techniques.