Running Gait Explained.

Gait Expectations: What is Running Gait?

Pronation? Supination? Neutral? Just what are they? Let me explain! 

Lets start off with the fundamentals of running gait. Essentially your gait is how your foot moves to accompany your running movements, your ankle and muscles contract in a certain way which moves your foot to allow for shock absorption and there are three different ways that our bodies do this.


Neutral gait / 'Normal' Pronation.

This effectively means that your ankles don't have to compensate as much because your body does a good job in absorbing the shock of your running. There will be an element of supination or pronation in your running gait, because the majority of the time us runners will have some form of weakness. Neutral gait is when your foot comes into contact with the ground and rolls inwards about 15% to absorb the shock of running.


Overpronation is where your foot rolls at a more excessive rate as your foot hits the ground. This is why you see a lot of running shoes that offer 'support' in them to counteract this over compensated roll of your foot to encourage a higher stability with your foot and ankle. Between 50-60 percent of us runner are mild overpronators whilst 20-30 percent are serious overpronators.

A lot of people think that overpronation is a bad thing and a 'disease' to us runners. Runners like Haille Gebrselassie overpronate, he wasn't plagued with injury neither did it slow him down, it is your bodies natural way of dealing with impact. So don't fall into the trap of being obsessed with changing your running gait to neutral because that could leave you with some implications.

Supination / Underpronation

This is the exact opposite of overpronation, your foot externally rotates to deal with the impact of your foot hitting the floor, the outer part of your heel hits the ground first as your ankle rolls out. This type of running gait has potential implications on the stability of your ankles because they are having to overcompensate and work in the opposite direction to what is natural.

Running shoe selection

It is important to get your gait analysed but not always, yes you made need support shoes or neutral shoes but it doesn't come down to a 'one size fits all' approach.

When it comes to picking your running shoes, comfort trumps everything. After all, you are going to be running a fair amount in them, especially if you are marathon training. You need to have a shoe you are going to be comfortable running in for an hour plus.

written by

Marcus Sladden

Digital Marketing Executive from Norwich

Age group: Open
Club: Bungay Black Dog Running Club
Coach: Self Coached

10k Strength Training half marathon Functional Training track & field marathon