Pronation is the way the foot rolls inward when you walk and run. It is part of the natural movement that helps the lower leg deal with shock. Some people pronate more (overpronation) or less (supination) than others.

Though this is not bad in itself, it does affect the way you run and it may increase the likelihood of injury. This makes your pronation pattern an important factor in choosing the right running shoes.


Pronation occurs at the joint below the ankle, the subtalar joint. It describes the inward rolling motion of the foot just after it lands on the ground. This moment is called initial contact, which is part of the stance phase of the gait cycle.

Running shoes are designed today specifically for different pronation patterns. When you pick your next pair of running shoes, your pronation type is a very important factor in your choice.

Supination is the lack of an inward roll or a rolling out of the foot during its foot-strike. This motion inhibits the foots ability to absorb ground forces. Also referred to as under-pronation, a foot that supinates needs a soft ride and quick heel-to-toe transition. Also, excellent flexibility in a shoe is desirable. Minimum neutral shoes and moderate neutral shoes work well for supination.

Neutral refers to alignment in the feet and ankles in which the feet and ankles form a straight line. The feet form a stable platform with pressure distributed evenly across the heel and forefoot. For a neutral foot type, it is best to avoid pronation or medially supportive shoes.

Slight-pronation is the slight inward rolling movement of the foot during its foot-strike. Slight-Pronation is considered to be the ideal motion of the foot during running and walking and greatly reduces the risk for injury. People with slight-pronation tend to find success in neutral shoes or mild support shoes.

Motion control/ over-pronation is excessive inward rolling (pronation) of the foot during its foot-strike and often creates alignment problems within the legs. There is a wide range of degrees of over-pronation. Minimium support shoes, moderate support shoes and maximum support shoes are designed for feet, which need some guidance to steer the foot along a path of neutral pronation. Moderate motion control shoes and maximum motion control shoes are designed for the most excessive degrees of over-pronation and work to control the motion of the foot.

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