What Is Pronation And How Does It Affect Shoe Choices?

While out to buy any sports shoe you might have come across the word Pronation. The word carries with itself a degree of importance that can be the difference between a good run or one that leads to serious injuries. Pronation is nothing but the degree to which the arch of your foot collapses upon impact. It is also the side-to-side movement of the feet with each step. Understanding your pronation can help you choose the perfect shoe for your feet and make you feel comfortable. There are three types of pronation, Neutral or normal, Overpronation, and Supination or under pronation.

Neutral or Normal Pronation

When your foot rolls naturally inward with each step and allows itself to absorb or cushion the shock, it is called neutral pronation. Your ankles and knees are properly aligned and the weight shifts to the outside of the foot and then rolls back to the big toe. The arch rises when the foot moves outwards. This type of pronation does not lead to any serious injuries. And if you are a beginner runner then any type of shoe will work for you.


In instances of overpronation, the ankle rolls far downward and inward with each step. The moment when it should be starting to push off, it’s still rolling. That leaves the big toe and the second toe to do all the work and push the feet off the ground resulting in the foot twisting with each step. The over-reliance on the big and second toe caused imbalance and instability in the foot. The greater rotation of the foot can cause shin splints posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Shoes for overpronation have insoles and orthotics to correct the foot motion.

Supination or Underpronation.

During supination, the rolling motion to the outside edge of the foot when walking. People with supination have arches that don't collapse very much and that leads to reduced shock absorption. All this results with most of the work done by the outer edge and the smaller toes of the foot, with extra pressure on the foot. Supination can lead to injuries like iliotibial band syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. Shoes are custom made with great cushioning and flexibility to add to the comfort of such people.

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