When to replace your running shoes (part 4)

As a runner, you know there are plenty of obstacles that may cause injury. The most dangerous time for injury, is when the foot strikes the ground. Ideally, it is best to have the weight of the runner comfortably centered and balanced from the arch, to the ankle, and all the way up the body, to the knee, hip, and back.

Runner's that have a "neutral" arch and running foot-strike, are less likely to suffer from injury. Selecting the proper shoe will help your foot to land in a more neutral position, and launch forward with the most power.

The drawings below are the three general types of feet. You can see how the arch has a significant effect on the runners impact with the ground, weight distribution, and power into the next stride.

Foot position when running

Example One - Over Pronation   Example Two - Neutral     Example Three -Supination (under pronation)

In our previous issue of Running Tips, we talked about injuries caused when the shoe is worn-out. Lets take a moment to look at injuries that can be associated with wearing the wrong shoe... even if it is a new shoe, with less than 300 miles on them.

In each example, you can see how important the arch support is for the runner. It is also easy to see that each of the three examples have distinctively different size, and shaped arches.

Selecting the proper shoe, can improve your power, speed and minimize the chance of injury.

At Inside Out Sports we take great care with helping you to select the proper shoe to enhance your running experience.


In overpronation, the ankle rolls too far downward and inward with each step. It continues to roll when the toes should be starting to push off. As a result, the big toe and second toe do all of the push-off and the foot twists more with each step

Overpronation is seen more often in people with flat feet, although not everyone with flat feet overpronates.

Overpronation can lead to strain on the big toe and second toe and instability in the foot. The excessive rotation of the foot leads to more rotation of the tibia in the lower leg, with the result being a greater incidence of shin splints (also called medial tibial stress syndrome) and knee pain.

Overpronation can also lead to excessive strain on the posterior tibialis tendon, causing shin splints and posterior tibialis tendon dysfunction in older adults. Motion-control shoes, insoles, and orthotics are designed to correct your foot motion in overpronation.

Normal Pronation

Pronation refers to the natural side-to-side movement of the foot as you walk or run. Your foot normally rolls a bit inward with each step. Here is what happens during normal pronation: All of the toes aid in push-off in normal pronation, but the big toe and second toe do more of the work whilethe others stabilize.

During push-off, the sole of the foot is facing the rear of your body in pronation and is not tilted so the sole is facing either inward or outward.From the time your heel strikes the ground, your arch begins to flatten and cushion the shock. If you have a neutral gait, your foot should begin to roll outward with the toe-off. The arch rises and stiffens to provide stability as the foot rolls upward and outward. Your weight shifts to the outside of your foot and then back to the big toe.The posterior tibialis muscle primarily controls pronation. It is an eccentric action in gait, not a concentric action, meaning the muscle lengthens instead of contracting.

Supination (Underpronation)

Supination is a rolling motion to the outside edge of the foot during a step. The foot naturally supinates during the toe-off stage of your stride as the heel first lifts off the ground, providing leverage to help roll off the toes.

However, with supination, the foot does not pronate enough at the toe-off stage. This results in all of the work being done by the outer edge of the foot and smaller toes, placing extra stress of the foot. Supination is seen more often in people with high, rigid arches that don't flatten enough during a stride.

Supination can be associated with running injuries, such as ankle injury, iliotibial band syndrome, ("IT Band Inflamation), Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. Shoes that are well-cushioned and flexible are best for people who supinate.

Simple Solutions for Problem Gaits

If you have mild to moderate overpronation or supination and experience pain while running or walking, you can select the right kind of shoes for your gait for improved comfort. If you still have pain, you may need prescription orthotics from a podiatrist.


  • Stability shoes (mild)
  • Motion control shoes (pronounced)
  • Custom orthotics (severe)

Supination (underpronation)

  • Neutral, flexible shoes
  • Cushioned shoes
  • Custom orthotics (severe)

One of the best options when selecting your running shoes is to spend some time with a our running shoe experts. At Inside Out Sports we take great care with helping you to select the proper shoe to enhance your running experience.