Pronation is part of the natural movement of the human body and refers to the way your foot rolls inward for impact distribution upon landing. Understanding your pronation type can help you find a comfortable running shoe.
- Underpronators (supinators) need a lot of cushioning to avoid impact injuries Neutral pronators can wear a wide variety of shoes Overpronators should look for support or structured cushioning shoes
- Neutral pronators can wear a wide variety of shoes
- Overpronators should look for support or structured cushioning shoes
How Your Foot Contacts the Ground: outer side of the heel hits the ground at an increased angle with little or no normal pronation, causing a large transmission of shock through the lower leg.
Push Off: pressure on smaller toes on outside of foot.
Injuries: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ankle strain.
Foot type: high arches.
How Your Foot Contacts the Ground: foot lands on outside of the heel, then rolls inward (pronates) to absorb shock and support body weight.
Push Off: even distribution from the front of the foot.
Injuries: less likely due to effective shock absorption, but neutral runners are not immune to injury.
Foot Type: normal-size arches
How Your Foot Contacts the Ground: foot lands on outside of heel, then rolls inward (pronates) excessively, transferring weight to inner edge instead of ball of the foot.
Push Off: big toe and second toe do majority of the work.
Injuries: shin splints, plantar fasciitis, bunions, heel spurs.
Foot Type: low arches or flat feet.
HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR PRONATION TYPE
TAKE A PRONATION TEST
VIDEO GAIT ANALYSIS
A video is taken of a runner's feet while running on a treadmill. The video footage is slowed down and analyzed in detail by an ASICS professional, expert at a specialty running store, podiatrist, or physical therapist, who will explain your running type and help you select the right pair of running shoes.
3D FOOT MAPPING
The most advanced version of video gait analysis is 3D foot mapping, which, in addition to video, uses both lasers and micro cameras to create a highly detailed 3D image of the foot. A range of information is obtained from the scan, such as arch height and alignment of the Achilles with the leg. This is used to determine the right running shoe and provide additional insight into what may be causing recurrent injuries. 3D foot mapping is unique to ASICS and available to customers via ASICS Running Clinics or the ASICS London store, which is the only store that has the 3D foot mapping equipment in permanent residence.
Visit an ASICS Store for Expert Guidance
Receive individual product advice at one of our running stores. Trained staff members will be happy to assist you with fitting and diagnostic services.
CHECK WEAR PATTERNS ON YOUR SHOE
Wear patterns won't provide the full picture of gait analysis, but they can give additional clues about the impact on your feet. This can give you an idea of where you may need extra support and cushioning in your running shoes.
- Outside of your running shoes show the most wear
- If you put your running shoes on a flat surface, you may notice a slight outward tilt
- Shop Underpronator
For Neutral Runners:
- Soles of your running shoes show wear in an S-shaped pattern, from the outer (lateral) heel to the big toe
- If you put your shoes on a flat surface, you may not notice any tilt
- Shop Neutral Pronator
- Extra wear on the inside of the heel and under the ball of the foot, especially the big toe
- If you put your shoes on a flat surface, you may notice an inward tilt
- Shop Overpronator
CHOOSING THE RIGHT RUNNING SHOES
Once you understand your pronation type, you can find a shoe with the optimal amount of support and cushioning.
Cushioned Running Shoes
As underpronators(also called supinators) tend to be susceptible to shock-related injuries like stress fractures, you should choose a neutral running shoe with plenty of cushioning, for example, the GEL-Cumulus®.
- Focused on midsole cushioning for extra shock absorption
- Cushioning along outside of running shoe to counter outward roll of foot
- Cushioning in the heel
- Flexible shoes help evenly distribute impact
Neutral running shoes
When you have a normal pronation pattern you can run in a wide variety of shoes, but specialized neutral running shoes offering cushioning and support are most suitable. The GEL-Nimbus® is the leading cushioning model for neutral runners.
- Neutral cushioned shoes promote natural foot motion
- Beginners may want to start with a cushioning shoe for support as they build muscle strength
- Some runners may like natural running shoes that provide a feeling of more ground contact
Stability Running Shoes
Overpronators need maximum support, structured cushioning, and stability. The GEL-Kayano® is a leading structured cushioning shoe.
- Stability running shoes help distribute the impact of running more effectively to minimize pronation
- Medial post support, sometimes extended through to the heel
- Firm midsoles provide arch support for flatter feet
- For severe overpronators, you may want to consider a motion control shoe with extra cushioning