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The Degrees of Overpronation in Running

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
The Degrees of Overpronation in Running
The legs of two runners in the snow. Photo Credit: Halfpoint/iStock/Getty Images

A normal foot pronates slightly during walking and running, meaning that the foot rolls inward. Pronation beyond normal, though, can cause problems all along your kinetic chain, commonly resulting in shin splints, achilles tendinitis, runner's knee and plantar fasciitis. Overpronation ranges from mild to severe. A gait analysis at a local running store or meeting with your podiatrist can help you determine the degree to which you pronate and what type of shoe is best for you.

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How Many Pronators

According to Running Warehouse, most runners have some degree of overpronation. Between 50 percent and 60 percent of runners are considered mild pronators while 20 percent to 30 percent are severe overpronators. The rest of the population has a normal amount of pronation or tend to supinate, or allow their foot to roll out, as they run and walk.

Shoe Choices

Mild overpronation usually requires a stability shoe that provides some extra support in the arch to prevent you from rolling in too much. For moderate and severe overpronators, a motion-control shoe may be in order. These shoes have stiff heels and a dense material in a section of the midsole to keep the foot in a more desirable degree of alignment.

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