As much as I hate to say it, I still do not like running. But like it or not, I am determined to get better at it and work my way up to running a half marathon. To help prepare myself, I’ve been training for and running in 5K races. I’m actually running (or more like jogging) my 3rd 5K later this month. In all of my preparation, I’ve researched training programs, breathing techniques, etc. But my favorite running-related activity thus far has been the purchase of my new running shoes (I’m a fashionista at heart). Unfortunately, my running shoes are ugly and I think they look a bit like orthopedic shoes but whatever…I’m choosing comfort over fashion in this case. Especially since my shoe shopping experience uncovered something I didn’t know about myself. I’m an over-pronator…gasp!
Here’s the scoop…pronation is the natural inward roll of the foot when walking or running. Some degree of pronation is required for your foot to function properly but excessive pronation can cause problems. If you overpronate, like I do, the foot rolls inward too much. This also means that you’re likely flat-footed with no or very little arch. Underpronation, or supination, is the opposite – the foot doesn’t roll inward enough. Underpronators have high arches.
You can get your running gait analyzed and determine what type of pronator you are at a running store. An easier method, however, might be to just check out the bottom of an old pair of kicks. Overpronators will have shoes that are worn down along the inside of the ball of the foot and should invest in a motion-control shoe that will control the pronation. Underpronators will show wear down along outer edge and should invest in a neutral-cushioned shoe. Normal pronators do best in a stability shoe.
I went ahead and purchased a pair of motion-control shoes from Mizuno. I’ll tell you like I told my friend, “running shoes do not a miracle make.” I still find it extremely hard and am still experiencing some discomfort with the artificial arch support that the shoes provide. But no pain, no gain, right?
Here is a great video from RunnersWorld that shows you examples of normal pronators, overpronators and underpronators running and their gait patterns. Enjoy and don’t forget to COMMENT & SUBSCRIBE!