How does pronation affect running?

Pronation describes the roll of the foot from “initial impact” (at the outer heal of the foot) to “toe-off” at the front of the foot.

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UNDERPRONATION

  • Inflexible/high-arched feet cause “Underpronation”/”supination” which describes and “under-curved” foot roll on the outer edge of the foot(see figure above).
  • Underpronation can contribute to injuries of the IT band, Achillelles tendon and plantar fascia.
  • Shoes can correct underpronation by using (1) lightweight/flexible design and (2) “curved lasts” (i.e. curved shoe shape) design which encourages a more curved footroll (see figure above).

OVERPRONATION

  • Too-Flexible/low-arched feet (i.e. flat feet) cause “overpronation” which describes an “over-curved” foot roll that causes toe-off on the big-toe(see figure above).
  • Overpronation can contribute to injuries of the knee, Achilles tendon and plantar fascia.
  • Shoes can correct underpronation by using (1) stable/rigid design (2) “straight lasts” (i.e. straight shoe shape) and a (3) pronation control device (basically a harder midsole material on the inside of the arch) which “blocks” too much foot roll (see figure above).

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Boron, W.F.; Boulpaep, E.L. Medical Physiology, 2nd ed. 2011 Saunders
  2. Noakes, T. Lore of Running 4th ed. 2001 Human Kinetics. Champaign, IL.
  3. Martin, D.E.; Coe, P.N. Better Training for Distance Runners 2nd ed 1997 Human Kinetics. Champaign, IL
  4. Puleo, J.; Milroy, P. Running Anatomy 2010 Human Kinetics. Champaign, IL

 

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