With so many different running shoes on the market, it can be
challenging to determine which type of shoe you need. Runner's feet come in three
- Pronator (with the heel on the ground the medial arch is close
to the ground)
- Supinator (with the heel on the ground the medial arch is
lifted away from the ground)
What is Pronation?
Pronation refers to the inward roll of the foot during normal motion and occurs as the heel's outer edge strikes the ground and the foot rolls inward and flattens out. A moderate amount of pronation is
required for the foot to function correctly. However, damage and injury can occur
during excessive pronation. When excessive pronation does occur, the foot arch
flattens out and stretches the muscles, tendons and ligaments underneath the
foot. The picture right shows a view of the right foot as if looking at it from
behind. As you can see in the picture, the ankle is overpronating or rolling
What is Supination?
Supination is the opposite of pronation and refers to the foot's outward roll during normal motion. A natural amount of supination
occurs during the push-off phase of the running gait as the heel lifts off the
ground, and the forefoot and toes are used to propel the body forward. However,
excessive supination (outward rolling) places a significant strain on the muscles and
tendons that stabilize the ankle and can lead to the ankle rolling completely
over, resulting in an ankle sprain or total ligament rupture. This time, in the
second picture right, the foot is over supinating or rolling outwardly.
How do you determine your style?
If you have an old pair of running shoes, place them on a flat surface. If they lean outwards from each other, then you are a supinator if they lean inwards, a pronator, otherwise, you are neutral. Alternatively, walk on a
tiled floor with wet feet. II the wet strip's width connecting the heel to the toes is more than half the foot width, you are a pronator, less than half the width, a supinator; otherwise, you are neutral..
Type of shoes
The shoe types available are:
- Motion control
- Cushion/motion control
The Running Shoes Guru provides information on the best running shoes in various categories according to their testing experience and thousands of visitors' feedback. In choosing your running shoes, you also need to take into
consideration your weight and the running you will be doing:
- Steady road running
- Fast road running
- Road racing
- Road and trail running
If your foot type is supinator or pronator and you have a coach,
ask them to look at the way you run. Some athletes may need inserts in their
shoes to correct over-pronation and may need a gait assessment by a podiatrist
Rules for Track Shoes
IAAF Competition Rules 142 states:
- The shoes' soles and heel shall be so constructed as to provide for the use of up to 11 spikes. Any number of spikes up to 11 may be used, but the number of spike positions shall not exceed 11.
- When a competition is conducted on a synthetic surface, that
part of each spike that projects from the sole or the heel shall not exceed 9mm
except in the high jump and javelin throw events where it shall not exceed
12mm. These spikes shall have a maximum diameter of 4mm.
- For the non-synthetic surfaces, the maximum length of spike
shall be 25mm and the maximum diameter 4mm.
- The sole and heel may have grooves, ridges, indentations or
protrusions, provided these features are constructed of the same or similar
material to the basic sole itself. In the high jump and long jump, the sole
shall have a maximum thickness of 13mm and the heel in high jump shall have a
maximum thickness of 19mm. The sole and heel may be of any thickness in all other events.
To reduce damage to your running shoes:
- Only wear them for running and do not use for playing other sports
- Undo the laces before removing the shoes
- Avoid running in wet shoes
- Do not wash them in the washing machine
- Do not expose to excessive heat - let them dry naturally
If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:
- MACKENZIE, B. (2000) Running Shoes [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/shoes.htm [Accessed