If you have a normal arch, you're likely a normal pronator, meaning you'll do best
in a stability shoe that offers moderate pronation control. Runners with flat feet
normally overpronate, so they do well in a motion-control shoe that controls pronation.
High-arched runners typically underpronate, so they do best in a neutral-cushioned
shoe that encourages a more natural foot motion.
The outside part of the heel makes initial contact with the ground. The foot "rolls"
inward about fifteen percent, comes in complete contact with the ground, and can
support your body weight without any problem. The rolling in of the foot optimally
distributes the forces of impact. This movement is called "pronation," and it's critical
to proper shock absorption. At the end of the gait cycle, you push off evenly from
the front of the foot.
Again, the outside of the heel makes initial contact with the ground. But the inward
movement of the foot occurs at less than fifteen percent (i.e., there is less rolling
in than for those with normal or flat feet). Consequently, forces of impact are concentrated
on a smaller area of the foot (the outside part), and are not distributed as efficiently.
In the push-off phase, most of the work is done by the smaller toes on the outside
of the foot.
As with the "normal pronation" sequence, the outside of the heel makes the initial
ground contact. However, the foot rolls inward more than the ideal fifteen percent,
which is called "overpronation." This means the foot and ankle have problems stabilizing
the body, and shock isn't absorbed as efficiently. At the end of the gait cycle,
the front of the foot pushes off the ground using mainly the big toe and second toe,
which then must do all the work.
Understanding your personal pronation type is crucial when choosing the proper running
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