When you walk in a shoe store or your favorite department store, almost all the pairs of shoes are perfect. They all have a unique design and are manufactured by the best makers. But can you tell which one is the best for your foot type?
Maybe you need to understand what pronation and supination first. What are these terms exactly, and how do they help in choosing the best running shoes for you?
Pronation is not a difficult concept to understand. It refers to the arch of the foot getting flat. When you run or walk, you “pronate” — or your feet flatten or roll in. For your foot to function well, you need moderate pronation. If you are over- or under-pronated, you may suffer from different types of foot problems such as damage or injury as the foot arch flattens out and stretches the muscles, tendons, and ligaments underneath the foot.
Supination, on the other hand, is the opposite of pronation. It refers to the outward roll of the foot during normal motion. When you run, a natural amount of supination occurs during the push-off phase to propel the body forward. However, excessive supination (outward rolling) strains the muscles and tendons that stabilize the ankle, and can lead to the ankle rolling completely over, resulting in an ankle sprain or total ligament rupture.
Well now that you know about pronation and supination, you may now walk in confidently in a shoe store for that coveted pair of running shoes. Why? Because most pronated feet will loose the normal curvature of the foot from the heel to the toe and supinated feet will increase in curvature.
When shopping for running shoes this is important due to the fact that running shoes come in different types of lasts. The last defines the curvature of the bottom of the foot. So a pronated foot requires a straight last shoe while a supinated foot requires a curved last shoe. Shopping for shoes can become much easier once you’re familiar with these two terms.
Before you purchase that coveted pair of running shoes, remember pronation and supination.