Pronation – what is it and what it does to my body
What is pronation?
Pronation is a natural movement of the foot that occurs during foot landing while running or walking. Composed of three cardinal plane components: subtalar eversion, ankle dorsiflexion, and forefoot abduction, these three distinct motions of the foot occur simultaneously during the pronation phase. Pronation is a normal, desirable, and necessary component of the gait cycle. Pronation is the first half of the stance phase, whereas supination starts the propulsive phase as the heel begins to lift off the ground.
The normal biomechanics of the foot absorb and direct the occurring throughout the gait whereas the foot is flexible (pronation) and rigid (supination) during different phases of the gait cycle. As the foot is loaded, eversion of the subtalar joint, dorsiflexion of the ankle, and abduction of the forefoot occur. Pronation should not occur past the latter stages of midstance, as the normal foot should then supinate in preparation for toe-off.
Stages of pronation:
Underpronation – supination, this type of supination needs a lot of cushioning to avoid impact injuries and additional stress on feet.
Neutral pronation – more natural moment of the feet movement, wide shoe variety is available for this feet problem.
Foot pronation depends on a few factors like the way how your foot contacts the ground. If your heel touches the ground first at an increased angle with little or normal pronation that causes strong transmission of the shock and stress on the leg. Push off is the pressure that goes on your smaller toes on outside of the foot that can cause problems with balance. Some of the possible injuries are plantar fasciitis, shin splints and ankle strain, there is a long list of other, very serious problems that can happen depending on the pronation type.
Determine your pronation type
Pronation test – video gait analysis – this is very simple test. Runner is put on the treadmill like on the everyday training and legs are being filmed with camera. Taken video footage is slowed down while watching and being analyze by the professional ASICS expert that is physical therapist, podiatrist or expert from the sports running store. Expert will determine persons running type that will help in picking out the right running shoes for pronation type.
Expert guidance by ASICS store assistants – running stores has trained stuff members that work with runners, joggers, hikers and they will help you to find the right fitting shoes by the individual shopping advices on shoes. They can also help you diagnose your pronation type.
Wet feet test
The foot arch test is a simple way to determine whether you have flat feet or high arches! Just follow these easy instructions: pour water into a shallow pan (the pan should be big enough to fit your foot, and the water should be just deep enough for all parts of the bottom of your foot to get wet); step into the water with one foot, then carefully remove your foot from the pan of water and step onto a flattened brown paper bag or piece of cardboard that will show your footprint (don’t just lightly place your foot onto the paper. Be sure to put your weight on it!); remove your foot from the paper and take a photo for reference; repeat the process with your other foot.
Simple pronation test by checking wear pattern on your shoes
Determine underpronation (supination) – if you have this leg condition the outside of your shoe will be most worn out, put your shoes on the flat surface and you will notice slight outward tilt on your shoes.
Determine neutral pattern of walking – soles of the neutral pattern walker shoes show an ”S” shaped pattern from the outer heel in direction of the big toe. Neutral runner shoes will not show any tilt on the flat surface.
Determine overpronation – inside of the heel and under the foot ball will be extra worn out on the shoes of the overpronators. Inward tilt will be noticed on this shoes of ovepronators.
How to choose the right shoes
At the moment when you have correctly diagnosed pronation type of your feet; you can find proper shoes attire that will help you get rid of extra foot stress and lower the chance of injuries. Right shoes will help get body balance back and get neutral posture what will help body; to arrange weight properly on the legs. With determined pronation type, you can find shoes that has optimal amount of cushioning; and support in various designs that will fit your style.
Cushioned running shoes for the underpronation feet type
Underpronators (supinators) tends to be susceptible to the injuries that are shock related like fractures; and supinators needs to find neutral running shoes that will have extra layers of cushioning of some new technologies like GEL cumulus cushion materials and foams.
Underpronation shoes have focus on the midsole cushioning for extra shock absorption to lower possible injuries. Cushioning on the outside part of the shoes; helps foot to counter outward roll that supinators tend to have on the leg movement. Special cushioning is placed in the heel section to lower pressure on the legs. Flexible shoes that are soft enough help distribute impact while walking on the whole body.
Neutral running shoes for neutral condition of the feet
With normal pronation feet condition; it is very easy to find right shoes because neutral movement can find a various shoes. There are specialize neutral running shoes that has extra cushioning and support that makes walking even easier and balanced. Gel nimbus is most famous manufacturer of the cushioning materials for the shoes. Cushioning in the neutral runner shoes helps to promote natural foot motion. Beginners at walking or running would like to have shoes with extra cushioning; for more support to help legs with lowering stress while muscles gets stronger. Natural running shoes gives more ground contact to the feet.
Shoes for the overpronation condition of the legs
Overpronators needs most of the supportive shoes they can get. Gel Kayano is leading manufacturer in making structured cushioning shoes for overpronators. Overpronation needs extra support, layers of structured cushioning and most of the support for stability. Stability running shoes for overpronation condition of the legs; helps to distribute impact of running on the legs to minimize pronation. Medial post support is extra long and extends to the heel area. Flatter feet need the firm midsole for the arch support to get in the natural position. Overpronation can be severe and that is condition when the motion control shoes with extra cushioning are the best choice.
Read also: The Best Running Shoes for Every Type of Run