Running is a great way to exercise, but finding the right shoe can be just as hard as getting started on a new running routine. One of the most common problems runners face is not having the right shoe. If a runner does not have the right shoe for their foot type, over time they will experience pain and injury either in their feet or all the way up to their back. An important thing for runners and even non-runners need to pay attention to is pronation.
What is Pronation?
Pronation is the way a person’s foot rolls inward when their foot is landing from taking a step. It is a very natural movement, but everyone’s foot is different and it will distribute the shock of impact differently. When a person’s foot hits the ground after a step, the foot absorbs the shock by rolling inwards. The arch of the foot supports about three times a person’s body weight. There are a few different varieties of pronation and depending on a person’s foot, it can cause pain and discomfort when walking or running.
Underpronation or supination, as it is commonly known, is a foot that may have an abnormally high arch or instep. This can cause the foot to have minimal flexibility when standing and supporting weight. If a person has an under pronated foot, their heel will often lean outward, putting weight on the outer edge of their foot. This will often cause callouses to form under the knuckle of their baby toe. Some common conditions or issues that people will face with under pronation are lateral ankle sprains, heel pain, stress fractures, just to name a few.
Neutral or normal pronation is when a person’s feet and ankles are properly aligned. Their foot will roll inwards about 15 percent to absorb the shock of the step. A person who has neutral pronation is a lot less like to be prone to the same injuries as someone with under or over pronation in their feet.
Overpronation is when the foot rolls excessively inwards to the point of flattening the arch of the foot. Instead of supporting weight, the arch will elongate and collapse. This is a common problem for people who are born with flat feet. Overpronation can cause a wide variety of injuries. It causes strain on the big and second toes since when the person’s foot is pushing off for their next step, the toes are doing all the work. As a result, the foot is twisting causing instability. Common injuries include shin splints, heel pain, lower back and leg pain, stress fractures, bunions, and more.
There are solutions to help correct over and under pronation like buying special shoes or insoles. But the first one must determine if and what kind of pronation they have.
How To Determine Pronation
There are multiple ways for a person to determine if they have under, neutral, or overpronation. Some range from very simple to going in to have a professional examine their feet. Determining the pronation of their feet can help them find out what kind of running shoes they should buy that will best serve their feet and health. The first and easiest way is for a person to look at the wear pattern on their shoes.
If their shoe shows most of the wear is on the inside of the heel, the ball of the foot and near the big toe , then it is likely that they have overpronation. With Under pronation, people will notice that there is more wear on the outer edged of their shoes. If a person has a neutral pronation then there will be an “S-shaped” wear pattern that goes from the outer heel to where the big toe is. A person can also bring their shoes in to a store that sells running shoes and have an associate take a look at their shoes’ wear pattern to help determine what kind of pronation they are suffering from. It is also a great time to discuss what kind of shoe and support the customer needs in a shoe to walk and run in comfort.
The second way for a person to determine their pronation is to have a trained expert do a video analysis of the way they walk. This can either be done by professionals at a store that specializes in running shoes, online, or health clubs. The customer interested in having the analysis done will be asked to run and/or walk on a treadmill for a few minutes while having their feet recorded. The video of them walking will then be looked at by the professional helping them. By recording someone walking the video can be slowed down during the different stages of walking and running to help figure out how the customer is walking. The person analyzing the video will then be able to determine if the customer has over, under, or neutral pronation while they walk. Along with determining the kind of pronation the customer has, the professional who is looking at the video can also identify how long it takes to complete a step, how the heel is landing during the step,, and if there are any flexibility issues. These are all issues that could cause injury and impact how efficiently a person is running.
Another helpful tool to determine pronation is foot mapping. There are kiosks at retail stores that a customer can step on to analyzing get a quick foot mapping to help them decide what insoles to buy, but getting a professional foot mapping done is a better way to go. Seeing a podiatrist to have a foot mapping done will help a person see where the most pressure is being put into their feet when walking and running. It is a simple scan and some machines that creates a map of the person’s foot. This gives a more in-depth look at how severe of over or under pronation a person might have. The podiatrist will be able to read the mapping and give the best suggestion to alleviate any pain a person might be feeling and they can also suggest a good shoe or insole.
Some suggestions for a good shoe to help make a runner more comfortable and efficient are ASICS athletic shoes. ASICS was founded in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka with the goal to nurture Japan’s youth through sports and contribute to society’s development. ASICS athletic shoes are created with the best technology and material to give customers the most comfortable shoe possible.
The ASICS Gel Kayano Lite Running Shoes are lightweight and flexible, breathable, and made with soft material, giving support where it is needed most. The flared midsoles generate a load of compression to increase resistance when the foot is landing and begins to roll inward. The wider base creates a more surface area for a stable landing and take-off when running.
The ASICS Gel Kayano 27 Women’s Running Shoes offer a variety of colors and are constructed of mesh to keep the foot cool during a run or walk. A flexible sole ensures a smooth and natural roll when moving through a gait cycle. The sole of the shoes has grooves that isolate the impact during a foot strike. The shoes itself will help stop the foot from rolling inward too much and keep the ankle straight. A “deeper forefoot flex groove” provides stability and a smoother stride to those suffering from overpronation. This a great shoe for everyday wear or for those who run competitively.
The ASICS GT-2000 9 G-TX Running Shoes are for casual runners to marathon runners looking for a great shoe with plenty of support and grip. These shoes can withstand wet conditions while keeping the runner’s feet cool. Made with lightweight material that has been reinforced in key areas for extra support, the GT-2000 has a secure fit with extra cushioning for shock absorption. A runner’s stability and running efficiency will improve with these shoes.
Lastly on the list of best ASICS shoes for overpronation is the ASICS GT-1000 10 Running Shoes comes in a variety of colors. These are lightweight and a great everyday training shoe. The top mesh forms to the foot while providing support and stability. There is a secure fit for the heel with cushioning to absorb shock during foot stride. A firmer foam has been placed midsole to help correct overpronation and keep the foot from rolling inward too drastically.
All these shoes can be found on the ASICS website in a variety of sizes and colors to suit everyone’s needs and style. Over and under pronation don’t have to stop a person from doing what they love or living their lives. It just takes a bit of research and help from professionals to solve their problems. And once that problem is solved, they can get on to living happier, healthier lives and can enjoy exercise again or even start exercising.