Guide on Footwear

The human foot is a complex system and sometimes it’s not easy to find the shoes that work for you. But some famous brands have developed their shoe finder tool to help you find your best shoes. You just need to provide your gait type and specify what you are training for.

If you are not familiar with the sequence of your foot movements, a gait analysis can be helpful in identifying posture-related problems and help you run more efficiently.

Types of Pronation of the Foot

In order to reduce the risk of pain and injury when running, you should understand how your foot moves and lands during the gait cycle. Understanding your foot type will help you find the shoes with the right support for you.

1. Neutral Pronation

Neutral pronation occurs when your foot has a normal, healthy movement. The outside of your heel makes the first touch during heel strike, rolls inward to absorb shock and support your body weight, then pushes off at the ball of the foot distributing weight evenly (with more emphasis on the big toe) among all of the toes at the end of your step. Neutral pronation aligns your lower limb on a straight line.

What are the best shoes for neutral pronation?

The best shoes for neutral pronation are neutral shoes. These shoes can encourage a more natural foot motion and help keep the body properly aligned for an efficient running. Neutral runners may also choose to wear minimalist shoes.

2. Supination (also known as Underpronation)

Supination occurs when the outer side of your heel touches the ground at an increased angle transferring your body weight to the outside of your foot. The supinated foot motion has little to no inward roll so shock can radiate through your lower leg. Your weight stays on the outside of your foot transferring pressure to your smaller toes during the toe off phase.

What are the best shoes for supination?

Those who supinate may choose to wear any cushioned shoes. But the supinated foot motion is rigid during different phases of the gait cycle so it needs a flexible shoe for shock reduction. Having said that, neutral shoes are best for the feet that can’t flex very well because they are bendy and are excellent in absorbing shock. Therefore, a well-cushioned neutral shoe is best for supination.

3. Overpronation

Overpronation occurs when the outside of your heel touches the ground during heel strike. Your foot rolls inward excessively transferring your body weight through the inner edge of your foot. Your weight stays there until the toe off phase where your big toe and second toe will be made to bear your weight almost completely (with very little emphasis on the smaller toes) when pushing off to complete your step.

What are the best shoes for overpronation?

The best shoes for overpronation are stability shoes because they have the best overpronation correction. But if you have mild overpronation, you may find neutral shoes comfortable as well because neutral shoes can give support up to mild overpronation.

Stability shoes have excellent support in the arch tendon of the foot and can prevent over flattening of the arch. They can bring back correct alignment of the lower limb and body. A shoe with a contoured footbed will also help in providing stability and correcting overpronation and bringing back the ideal biomechanics of the foot.

See also: Running Shoe Drop Explained