Pronation in running refers to the natural inward movement of the foot as it rolls to optimally distribute the force of impact on the ground as you run. Pronation is critical to proper shock absorption and helps you push off evenly from the ball of the foot at the end of the gait cycle.
Although pronation is a natural movement of the foot, the size and strength of the runner’s arch can affect the foot's ability to roll, causing either supination (underpronation) or overpronation.
Overpronation is when the foot rolls inward excessively, transferring weight to the inner edge instead of the ball of the foot, while underpronation (supination) is when the foot rolls inward after landing, but the inward movement of the foot occurs at less than 15 percent. Understanding your foot's level of pronation is important for selecting the right running shoes and preventing injuries.
TYPES OF PRONATION
- Neutral Pronation: The foot rolls inward at a healthy angle (up to 15 degrees). This is ideal for most runners.
- Overpronation: The foot rolls inward too much. This can lead to injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and ankle sprains because of uneven wear on the foot.
- Underpronation (Supination): The foot rolls outward, causing uneven weight distribution. This might result in ankle, knee, or hip injuries.
IDENTIFYING YOUR PRONATION
- Check your shoe wear patterns. Overpronation shows wear on the inside, while underpronation shows on the outside.
- Knowing your pronation type helps choose the right running shoes.
- Overpronators: Need stability shoes with support and cushioning to control inward rotation and support the arch.
- Underpronators: Should opt for neutral cushioned shoes that offer flexibility and shock absorption.
Remember, extreme overpronation or underpronation can lead to injuries. If you're experiencing discomfort or pain while running, consider consulting a medical professional or a running coach. Understanding your pronation type is key to picking the right shoes and reducing injury risks.
There are three types of pronation in running:
- Neutral Pronation: In neutral pronation, the foot rolls inward about 15% upon impact with the ground. This is considered the ideal foot motion, as it allows for even distribution of force and effective shock absorption.
- Overpronation: Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls inward more than 15% upon landing. This excessive inward rolling can lead to the transfer of weight to the inner edge of the foot, potentially causing issues with shock absorption and support.
- Underpronation (Supination): Underpronation, also known as supination, happens when the foot rolls inward less than 15% upon impact with the ground. This results in the concentration of forces on a smaller area of the foot, particularly the outside edge.
Understanding your foot's pronation type is crucial for selecting the right running shoes and preventing potential injuries. The appropriate footwear can provide the necessary support and shock absorption based on your specific pronation pattern.