Understanding Pronation

Buying the right running shoes for you doesn’t mean spending the most money. Learn about how the balance of your stride can impact your health and what the right pair of shoes can do to help it.

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to get into better shape, and running is a great form of exercise. Not only can it help you to shed unwanted pounds and increase your cardiovascular health, but it gives you a chance to forget about the pressures of life and focus on your running. If you are serious about running, it’s important to purchase the right shoes. This doesn’t mean just going out and buying the most expensive women’s running shoes on the market: when it comes to running shoes, there is no “best” type of shoe, only the shoes that are right for you.

The most important thing to consider when shopping for women’s shoes for running is your unique stride and gait. Specifically, you’ll need to find out if your stride puts extra weight on the inside or outside of your feet. The pronation of your stride is the distribution of weight from the heel through the balls of the feet. In a perfect world, the weight should be distributed equally. But many people either have weight unevenly distributed to the outside of their feet (underpronation) or inside of their feet (overpronation).

While you might not notice this when wearing women’s casual shoes around town, underpronation or overpronation can be a serious problem when you start running. Having an unbalanced stride will put extra pressure on muscles and joints, leading to painful problems like shin splints, pulled muscles and stress fractures.

There are several tests that you can take to determine your level of pronation. The simplest is to get the bottom of your feet wet and stand on a paper bag. If your footprint has little to no curve on the inside of your feet, you likely have low arches and tend to overpronate. Similarly, footprints with a big curve on the inside suggest an underpronated stride with high arches.

Knowing this information, you can purchase running shoes that are specifically designed to rectify your problem. Reebok shoes and other brands of running shoes make models that are constructed to correct pronation problems, letting you enjoy a pain-free run.

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