How to deal with Overpronation

Sorry for the delay in posts!

As I discussed in my last post, over-pronation is a very common gait deficiency. If you have ever looked at the tread on your worn running shoes and noticed the inside edge of rubber being unevenly worn down, you are more than likely an over-pronator. This means you are running/walking on the inside of your foot which will in all likelihood create an overuse injury (shin splints, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, stress fractures)  at some point.

Some things to consider if you are over-pronating:

– Specific types of Shoes can help with over-pronation. “Stability” or “Motion Control” shoes have built in support that can help guard against an overuse injury. Some good models of shoes to look at are the Mizuno Wave Inspire, or the New Balance MR760. Both of these are built specifically for support of over-pronation.

Exercises to help strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the foot can also be helpful. provides a great explanation of the exercises HERE.

– If proper shoes and exercises have not helped, then specifically made Orthotics may be the way to go. Orthotic shoe inserts can be ordered and specifically molded to your foot which helps to correct the gait deficiency. Orthotics can get pricey but are sometimes the key to injury free running.


Are you a supinator or pronator?

As I stated in my last post, it is imperative as a runner to establish what type of gait you have and address any deficiencies that are found in the way your feet strike the ground. The terms “over-supination” and “over-pronation” put simply, mean either you are striking the ground too much on the outside of your foot (over-supinate) or the inside of your foot (over-pronate).  Striking the ground unevenly disrupts your body’s ability to absorb shock and will ultimately put unneeded stress on other muscles and joints. Some common injuries that occur from an uneven gait include plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tendontitis of the knee or hip, and stress fractures.

There are several ways to evaluate your gait which I will cover today:

The first of which is to simply look at the tread wear pattern on a used pair of your running shoes. After you’ve put 300-500 miles on a pair of shoes, there should be an obvious wear pattern on the bottom of the shoe. If you notice uneven wear along the inside of the shoe you are most likely over-pronating, if it is worn down along the outside you are probably over-supinating.

Another method of gait analysis  can be done at home as well, follow these directions:

  1. Pour a layer of water into a shallow pan.
  2. Wet the bottom of your foot.
  3. Step onto a paper towel or any surface that will leave an imprint of your foot.
  4. Look at the imprint and match it to one of the arch types below.

Normal arch – After heel strike, this foot type will pronate or roll inward slightly to absorb shock. This is the most common foot type.

Flat arch – This foot type is usually an indication of the excessive inward roll of the foot after heel strike which creates over-pronation.

High arch – This type of foot does not overpronate at all, so its not an effective shock absorber and referred to as over-supination.

These two methods are the simplest and most inexpensive means to gait analysis. However the most effective way to evaluate foot strike, in my opinion, is to find a running specialist who offers “treadmill gait analysis”. What this consists of is the runner (you) being placed on a treadmill and videotaped for a minute or so while running. The videotape is then played back in slow motion so that the specialist can very specifically look at the way your feet hit the ground.

In my next post we will look at over-pronators and what types of shoes, orthotics, and exercises to do. Any questions, feel free to ask!

Determine your GAIT and your legs will thank you.

An absolutely essential part of staying healthy while running is to have an accurate gait analysis performed on yourself.  When I use the term “gait”, I am referring to the movement patterns of your feet striking the ground while running. Different types of gait require different types of shoes, orthotics, or specialized stretching and strengthening exercises. Your feet are the beginning of your kinetic chain, meaning that if there’s a discrepancy in the way your foot strikes the ground, the rest of your kinetic chain (ankle joint, knee, hip, low back) will attempt to compensate thus creating a whole mess of problems. There are three main types of gait that I am going to make you aware of: over-pronation, over-supination, and neutral. My next few posts will show you how to evaluate your gait yourself as well as what types of shoes, orthotics, exercises, and stretches to utilize.

What should be every runner’s best friend……….The Foam Roller

Quite possibly the most under-utilized tool for an endurance athlete in both injury prevention and treatment is this 18-36” piece of foam. As the gentleman above awkwardly shows us how to “foam roll”, you can see that pretty much any muscle or muscle group that is tight or sore can be targeted. The foam roller is a good, cheap way for an athlete to provide themselves with a treatment called “myofascial release”. Myofascial release is a type of soft tissue technique used to treat pain and restricted motion. The roller works by putting sustained pressure on a muscle which triggers a physiological response that restores proper motion, improves blood flow and lymphatic drainage, and speeds up recovery time.

Foam rollers are very easily found to purchase both online and in stores. Prices typically range from $15-$35. Well worth the investment to stay healthy in my humble and sometimes ridiculous opinion.