Pronation is the way the foot rotates inward while walking or running. Pronation is part of the natural movement that helps the lower leg to cope with the shock. Some people show over-pronation, others have insufficient pronation.
Although not necessarily a negative aspect, it affects the way you run and can increase the risk of injury. Therefore, your type of pronation is an important factor in the correct choice of running shoes.
What is PRONATION?
This occurs at the joint below the ankle, more specifically at the subtalar joint. This describes a movement of the foot’s rotation inward, immediately after it touches the ground.
The moment bears the name of initial contact that is part of the support phase of the gait cycle.
Running shoes are designed according to the types of pronation. When choosing the next pair of running shoes, your type of pronation is a very important factor in the choice you will make.
If, on the soles of your shoes, the trace of S-shaped wear appears, from the outside of the heels to the thumb, then your pronation is of a neutral type.
When you have normal pronation, you can run using a wide variety of shoes, but the neutral pronation running shoes, which offer cushioning and support, are the most suitable.
Some examples of running shoes that belong to this category are: ASICS GEL NOOSA TRI 10 and ASICS GEL KINSEI 5
INSUFFICIENT PRONATION (SUB-PRONATION OR SUPINATION)
Insufficient pronation, also known as sub-pronation or supination, occurs when the foot does not pronounce enough.
The outer or lateral part of the heel reaches the ground at a wide angle, there is too little pronation or it does not appear at all, which results in the transmission of shock waves in the lower part of the foot.
This lateral request of the foot continues throughout the support phase during the run, affecting its efficiency.
As those with poor pronation tend to be susceptible to injury due to shock, such as stress fractures, you should choose a neutral running shoe with high shock absorption, such as the Asics GEL-CUMULUS model.
EXAGERED PRONATION (OVERPRONATION)
It occurs when the foot is rotating excessively outward or when rotating, although it should not. In this case, a large part of the weight is transferred to the inner or middle part of the foot and, as the runner advances, the load is supported rather by the inner edge than by the anterior area of the sole. This destabilizes the foot, which will try to regain its stability by compensating for the inward movement.
And as a chain reaction, the biomechanical efficiency of the foot, especially the knee and hip, is affected.
The shoes of a runner with exaggerated pronation will leave traces of wear on the inside of the heel and under the front area of the sole, especially under the thumb.
For over-pronation it should be chosen between the shoes of the category “maximum support” or “structured cushioning”.
Running shoes in both categories will help your feet more effectively distribute shockwave to impact. The Asics GEL-KAYANO model is a structured cushioning shoe.
- Choose the right shoe length with enough space for your big toe. This will help you avoid losing your nails, since your big toes won’t hit the wall of your shoe when you run down the valley or when your feet are swollen. The width must be adequate and allow room for movement of the foot without rubbing. The laces should be comfortable but not tight.
- Try the shoes at the end of the day. The feet are normally swollen at the end of daily activities and will be at their maximum size. This will help you avoid buying small shoes.
- If you wear an orthopaedic brace to correct your pronation, you may want to wear a neutral shoe, but a motion control shoe can provide additional support.
- Do not wear a shoe intended for another type of pronation than you have! Run a shoe that coordinates with body movement to avoid pain.
- You must make sure that your shoes are suitable before participating in a race. It is best to run ahead with them to roll them and see how they behave.
- Do not expect foot injury to change your shoes. The first property of shoes that degenerate is depreciation. The majority, after 500 km lose about 35% of the depreciation capacity. The lighter models (specific to the competition – they have between 200 and 250 grams) should be changed after about 500-600 kilometres while the training shoes (they have around 300 grams), with the thicker sole resists up to 1200-1500 kilometers. Therefore, if you run an average of 30 kilometers a week you must change them after one year.
- Do not run two consecutive days with the same pair. You must allow the foam or gel inside the soles to return to their original shape.
- Weight matters! You cannot choose the same model if you have 60 kilograms or 90 kilograms. When you run, the shock wave created at each step corresponds to a value of about 3 times your weight and this wave propagates from the heel to the top of the spine. The joints play a role of shock absorber. Choosing the right shoes is essential for shock absorption and vibration dispersion.
So if you have a bigger weight, you have to pay more attention to the cushioning at the heel and toe level.