We often hear the terms Over and Under pronation, particularly with respect to running and running shoes, but what do these terms mean? And why are they important?
OVERpronation means that your foot excessively rolls in when you land upon it. Your first and second toes take most of the weight. Your shoes will be more worn on the inner edge of the sole. This is common if you have flat feet or falling arches and can lead to Plantar Fasciitis, Runners knee and Achilles tendon problems. It is usually corrected through getting the correct footwear and strengthening exercises for the foot and quads and hips.
UNDERpronation or excess Supination is the opposite. Your fourth and fifth toes take most of your weight. It is much less common than Overpronation and is usually caused by high arches and an inflexible ankle. Your shoes will be more worn on the outer edge of the sole. This means less shock absorption upon landing and can lead to injuries including ITB syndrome, stress fractures and ankle sprains. It can be helped by getting the correct footwear and strength training in the hips and Glutes to help stabilize the lower legs.
If you are regularly getting injured and suspect you may over or under pronate then it is best to get checked out by a gait analysis specialist before buying the correct shoes and following a recommended rehab program.