It's intimidating to start something from scratch, isn't it? Even so - the topic on my first blog here at eabbate.com was a no-brainer: pronation. Day-in and day-out, I get questions from people I haven't seen in years about sneakers. And while I may know a thing or two about kicks, the first question I ask them in return: What is your foot type?
Generally met with blank stares, the question I'm asking isn't all that complicated: how does your foot interact with the ground during your stride? There are three general types of pronation: Normal, under, and over.
Let's break it down:
Normal: With normal pronation, the outside part of your heel is the first thing to contact the ground, then the foot comes into complete contact with the ground. Rolling from the inside to the outside, the foot then pushes off evenly from the front for a full gait cycle. Click on over to Runner's World to see what normal pronation looks like.
Under (supinate): Just like with normal pronation, the heel is the first thing that hits the ground. But, instead of the entire foot coming into contact with the ground, weight is distributed mostly to the outside of the foot where the smaller toes are doing the brunt of the work. Your weight's not distributed evenly.
Over: In this instance, your foot is rolling inward, toward the midline of the body, pushing off the ground primarily with the big toe.
Generally speaking, normal arches have normal pronation, flat feet overpronate, and high arches underpronate. The question: How do you figure out which one you are? You can either take this wet test or head to a local running specialty store. There, they'll likely have you hit the treadmill running and film how your foot hits the tread.
My biggest piece of advice to those heading into a specialty store? Be open minded. You may have been choosing your sneakers based on aesthetics before, but the truth is that support should be your main focus. Also: Be prepared to spend. Think of your sneaker as your foot suit. The suit that keeps your foot in tip-top condition, workout after workout. Sure, $130 may sound expensive off the bat. But over the course of 300 to 500 miles (the average lifespan of a sneaker), that's a minimal cost per wear.
The good news? There are sneakers that are made for each type of foot pronation. Feel free to comment below if you're looking for specific suggestions.