When you shop for running shoes, it’s common to hear about pronation support, but what if you’re a supinator? Since less than 5% of runners supinate, the topic is frequently neglected. If you’ve been feeling like the redheaded stepchild when you shop for running shoes, we’re here to help. Here are the basics on what supination is, how it affects your running and how it should impact your running shoe choice.
What Is Supination?
Supination, sometimes called underpronation, means that when you run your foot remains planted on the lateral side (the outside edge) for the duration of time while the shoe is on the ground. In the typical heel-to-toe foot strike transition, the foot supinates prior to ground contact, pronates (rolls inward) after ground contact to absorb much of the impact, and supinates again at toe-off.
Runners with very high, inflexible arches frequently supinate. To determine if you pronate, take a look at the bottom of a pair of running shoes after you’ve put a few hundred miles on them. If the midfoot of the shoe is worn primarily on the outside edge, then you might be a supinator. We can also help you complete an online gait analysis to determine whether or not you supinate.
How Does Supination Affect My Running?
If you supinate, your feet must absorb a greater impact when you run. While overpronation can lead to a variety of alignment-related injuries in the joints, supination can contribute to an increased risk of impact-related injuries like stress fractures.
How Does Supination Affect Shoe Selection?
While there are plenty o’ running shoe technologies out there to help correct overpronation, there aren’t any to correct supination. A runner who supinates should look for three things when shoe shopping: a neutral shoe, a softer shoe and a curved shoe.
One other factor you may want to consider when shopping for shoes is the placement of outsole rubber. Shoes with a good amount of rubber on the lateral side of the outsole, particularly from the mid-to-forefoot area, will likely be a bit more durable over the long haul, since you’ll be less likely to roll onto the softer foam midsole that can easily be chewed up by pavement and other ground surfaces.