Only three short months ago I wrote this post on a purchase of new running shoes. I’d invested time, money, attention and was looking forward to reaping the benefits. The team at Running Free put me on the treadmill, checked my gait, I tried on a number of options and settled on a shoe I felt really good about.
My gait analysis identified I, like 80% of all runners, overpronate when my foot strikes the ground…a quick overview:
Normal Pronation – The outside part of the heel makes initial contact with the ground. The foot “rolls” inward about fifteen percent, comes in complete contact with the ground, and can support your body weight without any problem. If you look at your running shoes you’ll see even wear across your tread.
Over Pronation – As with the “normal pronation” sequence, the outside of the heel makes the initial ground contact. However, the foot rolls inward more than the ideal fifteen percent. If you look at your running shoes you’ll see more wear on the inside of your tread
Under Pronation (supination) – is the insufficient inward roll of the foot after landing. Again, the outside of the heel makes initial contact with the ground but the inward movement of the foot occurs at less than fifteen percent. If you look at your trainers your shoe will show wear on the outside of the tread.
You can find a detailed description of the different types of pronation (with videos!) on Runners World here.
Naturally I was shocked to see this on the outside of my shoe after completing just over 160km mainly road running. On speaking to the folks at Running Free they saw similar wear on a customer who’d just ran from Bournemouth to Edinburgh!
On further reading I’ve found a range of issues that can affect over/under pronation from Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis to shin splints, bunions and a load more besides! I dont want any of those thanks very much…
I’d some how managed to totally transition from over-pronating to under-pronating in the space of a few months. In fact, the transition would probably have been immediate.
In order to address the potential issues with pronating, shoes area designed to account for an excessive roll one way or the other.
I went back to Running Free who, incidentally, responded immediately to my twitter post and picked a discussion with Asics for me. They’ve given me a neutral shoe to trial for a week or two to see what gives.
The GT2000-4 (the one I bought in February) is a stability shoe and corresponded with what we saw on my gait analysis (on heel contact there was noticeable roll inside) and the wear on my previous running shoe (noticeable but not significant wear on the inside of the tread).
I’m now running in a pair of inov Race Ultra’s, they’re an eye catching pair of kicks to say the least! They are setup for a hard pack trail runner with neutral pronation and it seems, only after three or four runs, to be having a positive affect on my run. The niggle on the inside of my right ankle has all but gone but it’s early days yet.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are other opinions on how you can run. I’m looking into motion control, pronation, barefoot and cushioning in order to find a long term solution; this is a great article on all four.
For another week or so I’ll be lighting up the pavements of Bournemouth in these little beauts and I’ll tweet any interesting findings. Such as, this week I knocked 31 seconds off my 5km personal best time!