Pronation can effect a high percentage of runners at novice or pro level. Finding good advice on overcoming the issue can be tough. Therefore we’ve created a great video that should help explain it all.
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Today we’re are going to take a detailed look into choosing the perfect for you. Now to understand what the right footwear is we will need to take a look at some specific aspects which come with this choice, such as understanding your pronation, looking at what foot type you are and how to test it and finally what types of footwear and features are ideal for your specific type of foot and pronation.
Pronation is quite simply the motion of your foot rolling from the heel to your toe as your foot strikes the floor whilst you run.
As with most things, everyone will run slightly differently and this is why there are three different types of pronation and when choosing the right pair of running shoes it is very important to know which type you have:
Neutral pronation is the most common type, this is the action of the foot making impact with the outside of the heel and rolling up to the ball of your foot nice and evenly at about 15 degrees inward. This means you are distributing the stress of the impact proportionately and are pushing off evenly from the front of the foot.
Over pronation will again make initial contact with the outside of the heel, however when the foot continues to roll, the ball of your foot will tilt inward more than the ideal 15 degrees. This means the foot and ankle have problems stabilizing the body and shock isn’t absorbed efficiently, then at the end of the cycle the front of the foot is mainly pushing off of the big and second toe causing an excessive force. You can also have a severe over pronation which means the ball of your foot will roll excessively inwards causing great pressure on the big toe as you run.
Under pronation means the foot will make contact with the ground with the outside of the heel, however the foot will then continue to roll onto the outside of the foot. This means the impact is forced onto a concentrated area of the foot and when pushing off – the pressure is mostly applied to the smaller toes.
Determining Your Foot Type
Pronation is generally associated to the height of your arch, or general foot type. The arch of your foot is simply the middle area of the foot, and this will vary from person to person, ranging from people with ‘flat feet’ all the way up to a ‘high arch’. The best way to test which foot type you have is by performing the ‘wet test’ – it is a very simple method and all you need is a small bowl or tray, some water, and some brown paper, card or something similar.
Step 1 – pour the water into your container and place your card on the floor
Step 2 – softly place your bare foot into the container, ensuring to get all areas wet
Step 3 – remove your foot from the container, shaking off any excess water and gently place it onto your card. Stand normally for a few seconds then remove your foot.
The shape of your foot will now appear on the card and depending on what shape you see is how you classify your foot type:
A Normal arch is generally associated with a neutral pronation; you have a distinct curve along the inside of the foot and in the middle should be a little less than half the width of your foot.
A High Arch is mostly linked to under pronation; you will have a very sharp curve along the inside of the foot and your center width is very thin.
A low arch is generally associated with over pronation which can lead to overuse injuries; there’s not much of a curve along the inside and your imprint shows a large percentage of the entire area of your foot. In instances of severe over pronation you will see the entire area of your footmark.
Choosing The Correct Running Shoe For You
So now you know what your foot type is and what type of pronation you have, it is time to choose the correct running shoe.
Firstly simply sweat is a great place to buy specific running shoes as we allow you to categorize your selections by pronation type, cushioned, motion control and stability styles which are all great to ensure you choose the perfect footwear for your foot type:
Motion control footwear prevents your foot from rolling in too far, has a straight shape that gives maximum support to your foot and is the most rigid, control-oriented running shoe.
Cushioned footwear allow your feet to roll inward (absorbing shock), have a curved shape to encourage foot motion and have the softest mid-sole with the least medial support..
Stability footwear offers a good blend of cushioning, medial support and durability. They often have a semi-curved shape and don’t control foot motion as strictly as motion-control shoes.
There is a simple chart, which clarifies all the foot types and pronation types into which category of footwear you will want to be looking at:
So if you are an over pronator you will definitely want to be looking at a motion control type, and possibly a stability style if you have a milder pronation for that added control.
If you have a neutral pronation you will have a choice of either the stability or cushioned range for extra support or comfort.
And finally if you are an under pronator you will simply want to look at the cushioned range to give you the added shock absorbency.
So that’s a detailed look into pronation, foot types and choosing the perfect footwear for you, we hope this has been of help and please feel free to browse our other departments here at simplysweat.com