How to Measure Foot Pronation

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Foot pronation refers to the amount your foot rolls from side to side when you run. The ideal foot strike should roll to the outside, then roll back to the inside and then roll back to the outside as the foot leaves the ground. Pronation helps the body absorb the foot's impact on the ground. Underpronation, also known as supination, occurs when the foot does not roll to the inside enough, and overpronation occurs when the foot rolls too much to the inside. You can help minimize potential problems by wearing proper shoes; failing to address these issues will put you at a greater risk of injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Paper towel
  • Worn-down running shoes
  • Wet your feet so they are damp but not dripping wet.

  • Step onto a paper towel with each foot for a long enough time to leave your imprint but not long enough to thoroughly soak the paper towel. You want a clean print of which areas of your foot touch the ground.

  • While seated, make another imprint of your feet on a separate paper towel.

  • Compare the imprint of your foot from when you were standing to the imprint from when you were sitting. If you made a larger print when standing than when seated, you are likely an overpronater.

  • Compare your results with the wear on the soles of your old running shoes. If your old shoes have worn on the outside, you are probably underpronating. If the wear is concentrated on the inside of the shoes, you are probably overpronating.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you underpronate, find shoes classified as minimum neutral or neutral, with a lot of flexibility. If you overpronate, get shoes with more support and motion control.
  • Make sure your running shoes match your pronation; otherwise, you will put yourself at greater risk for injuries.

References

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