Your pronation style, or how your foot rolls after your heel strikes the ground, has a huge effect on your running.
This movement is important to help your body weight get distributed across your whole foot to absorb shock and help you push off the ground. But your pronation style can be negatively affected by gait and foot problems, and can also put you at risk for shin splints and foot injuries.
Don’t worry – it’s normal to pronate when you walk or run. A normal pronation, or neutral pattern that distributes your weight most evenly across your foot, is an inward roll of 15°. You can see if you have a normal pronation by examining your old shoes. If you can see an “S” pattern worn on the sole of your running shoes from your toe down to your heel, you probably have a neutral pronation.
Overpronation – When the Foot Rolls In Too Much
When the foot rolls inward more than a neutral 15°, it is called overpronation. Individuals with flat feet often overpronate.
If you overpronate, your big toes must work extra hard to stabilize the body when pushing off the ground. Also, the legs don’t move as they should because more body weight shifts to the inside of the foot.
Runners who overpronate can be subject to knee and hip problems along with bunions and calluses. Check your running shoes – you should see extra wear on the inside of the heel and at the big toe joint.
Underpronation – When the Foot Rolls Outward at the Ankle
Underpronation is also called supination and is often found in runners with high arches. When the heel strikes the ground, it rolls in less than 15°. This movement forces the body’s weight to the outside of the foot and ankle.
For runners, underpronation forces the little toes to drive most of the forward momentum, making this area susceptible to stress fractures.
Consider Your Pronation Style When Purchasing Running Shoes
A smart runner will choose a running shoe based on pronation style for comfort and to avoid injury:
- Those with normal pronation can wear almost any running shoe, but look for moderate support.
- With overpronation, go for a shoe with the maximum amount of support, especially by the arch area.
- A runner with underpronation will need plenty of cushioning to allow a natural foot motion. For more support, use an arch insert.
Please call us for a foot and gait evaluation. We will be happy to meet with you to help identify your pronation style and guide you in choosing a running shoe to reduce your risk of injury. Custom-fitted orthotics can help correct a pronation problem.
Let Us Help Reduce Your Risk of a Running Injury
Board certified podiatrist Dr. Lawrence J. Kales has the right experience to evaluate pronation styles and to diagnose and treat all types of foot and ankle problems and sports injuries. Please come in to Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an examination – you can request an appointment via the website or call us at our Hudson, FL office at (727) 868-2128 or our Spring Hill, FL office at (352) 683-5799.