Pronation what is it and how does it affect my running shoe choice?

Pronation is a word thrown around by runners and it can be difficult to choose shoes if you have no clue what the word means or how it affects your feet! Supportive shoes is something everyone thinks they need also but this may not be the case too. In this post I’ll try to explain it as simply as possible 🙂

The definition of the word pronation is simply the inward rolling of the foot. Every single one of us has pronation in our feet. From heel/ toe strike to foot flat is pronation. Over pronation is the movement of the foot (the ankle region) from foot flat through to toe off the greater the movement the more support needed.
Also a key factor is the speed of pronation. Think of it as the calf muscles like a piece of Blu-tak, the quicker you pull it apart it snaps, the slower you pull it the longer it becomes. Therefore the slower the foot is able to get to foot flat the less stress on the muscles!

A way for you to simply test yourself is to stand barefoot shoulder width apart and look at your arches then bend your knees forward. Look down and see how much your arch has collapsed in, if they have altered inward it’s likely you over-pronate . This can give you a brief idea of what you do.

Now when it comes to shoes there are technically 3 categories: Neutral, Guidance and Support. Neutral shoes are generally just cushioned. Guidance shoes are supportive through the mid foot (arch area) whet mild over pronation occurs. Support shoes are supportive through from the heel through the arch mostly by using either slightly firmer cushioning or what the shoe companies call a ‘post’ in the shoe.

Under pronation is another word for Supination.
Under pronation is another word for Supination.

Above shows how the foot moves between the phases of running and to what category you foot may fall in. I haven’t yet mentioned supination which basically is the opposite of pronation. This is mainly found in a high arched rigid foot also but neutral shoes are best for these feet!

Generally speaking of you have high arches and a fairly rigid foot your likely to be neutral. If you over pronate very slightly shoes in the guidance category would be best. Lastly if you have feet that totally collapse in under weight then a support shoe is ideal!

To finish I would advise going to a running shop where they video you running on a treadmill to see whether you over pronate. Make sure you ask whether it’s mild or severe over pronation and they should help you see what category of shoes you should choose. Orrr continue to follow my blog and I’ll continue to update shoe reviews on different shoe types 🙂

Happy running feel free to ask any questions below


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