Pronation is a term that is often used by runners to explain the inward movement of the foot as it rolls to optimally distribute the force of impact on the ground s you run. Pronation is crucial for proper shock absorption, and it gives your front foot an even push off. When it comes to neutral pronation, the inward roll of the foot is about fifteen percent, as it comes in contact with the ground and supports your body weight without a problem.
Although pronation is a natural movement that even beginners can follow, the size of the runner’s arch can however affect the ability of the foot to roll, giving rise to underpronation (supination) or overpronation. When you first start off as a runner, it is key to find a shoe that supports your arch and pronation tendencies. Runners with a normal arch are likely neutral pronators and can use running shoes that offer moderate pronation control. For runners who are flat-footed, opt for a motion control shoe that controls pronation. Runners with high-arched feet typically underpronate and need a neutral cushioned shoe that promotes a more natural foot movement.
In the case of overpronation, the outside of the heel makes the initial ground contact. However, unlike neutral pronation the, in overpronators, the foot rolls inward more than the ideal fifteen percent. Due to this excessive movement, the foot and the ankle are unable to stabilize the body and the shock from the impact isn’t absorbed as efficiently. The body compensates this instability by pushing the foot off the ground using mainly the big toe and the second toe, which then do all the work.
Injuries: Overpronation causes additional stress and tightness in the muscles. Involving a good stretching session before you head out on a run will help ease up your muscles to take on the stress during the run. The foot injuries prevalent in overpronators are calluses, bunions, runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinitis.
Shoes to opt: Runner’s World suggests that overpronators should wear shoes with straight or semi-curved lasts. Find yourself a good pair of motion control or stability shoes with multidensity midsoles and external features that limit pronation.
In the case of underpronation, there is an insufficient inward roll of the foot that occurs at less than fifteen percent. Since there is less rolling compared to neutral and overpronator runners, the forces of impact are concentrated on a smaller area of the foot and are not distributed equally. When you take off on a run, most of the push off is done by the smaller toes on the outside of the foot.
Injuries: Since this places extra stress on the foot, underpronators can suffer from iliotibial band syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. In such runners, one will see that the outer edge of the running shoe wears out sooner. Supinators have tight muscles and need to do extra stretching of the calves, hamstrings, quads, and iliotibial band. Replacing worn out shoes will also help in preventing injuries.
Shoes to opt: Underpronators should wear shoes with curves, says Runner’s World. Invest in a good pair of lightweight trainers and they will allow more foot movement.