Understanding Foot Pronation Types

Running may be its own reward, but if you’re looking for some extra motivation to get on the move, check out Moms on the Run in Reno, set for May 10. This volunteer-run, charitable 5k/10k run raises donations to support living expenses for Nevada women dealing with breast or gynecological cancers.

Even relatively short distances can be trouble for running beginners, though. One of the first questions you should ask: “What’s my pronation style?”

In simple terms, pronation refers to how your foot behaves as you transfer weight from your heel to your forefoot. A “normal” pronator, for example, will hit the ground on the outside portion of the heel, the foot will roll inward about 15% as it makes full contact, and pushes off evenly with your weight balanced.

We put quotes around “normal” because many people do not fit this ideal pattern. Overpronators, those whose feet roll further inward than they should, are quite common, especially among those with low arches or flat feet. This gait style tends to be less efficient at providing stability and shock absorption, and puts extra stress on your ankles and the inside of your foot (especially the first and second toes) during the push-off.

Likewise, underpronators (or supinators) don’t roll their feet far enough, meaning weight stays on the outside of the foot and the push-off is concentrated toward your smallest toes. This can put extra stress on your legs.

Over- or under- pronating are both common, and they aren’t necessarily “bad,” either, as long as they aren’t severe. That said, knowing your pronation style can help you make smart choices about how to run or what kind of shoes to wear, helping you prevent soreness, aches, and injuries.

So, what’s your pronation? If you don’t know and your feet are aching after a run, give Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM a call. We can diagnose and treat any underlying structural problems you may have, as well as provide recommendations about what kind of shoes will offer the most comfort, support, and protection during your run. Dial (775) 783-8037 to set up an appointment today.

Photo Credit: GLady via Pixabay.com

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