Guide to Pronation

If after running your feet hurt more than expected and in a particular area or the outsoles of your shoes may have worn down on a specific side it is possible that you may be feeling the result of non-neutral pronation.  When your body comes into contact with the ground on trails it is responsive through pronation by flexing, absorbing impacts and giving balance for each footstrike, however if it is either over or under pronation that occurs generally it causes pain in the foot and can lead to further muscle problems as the rest of you tries to compensate for it.  In order to avoid long term injury there are ways to correct pronation even with something as simple as finding the right pair of running shoes for your feet.

PronationRecognising Pronation & Solutions

If you think over pronation or supination (under pronation) is causing you problems and aren’t sure exactly which running shoes to choose to help correct it then this guide will clarify the signs and characteristics to look for in the condition and right pair of footwear to help you.

Neutral Pronation

Around a third of all runners have neutral pronation which is the least likely to result in any problems long or short term.  Look out for equal wear all across the heel of your running shoes and roughly a standard height in the foot arch which is caused by a footstrike landing on the heels with a slight inward roll and even weight distribution amongst each toe and when pushing off the toes are primarily used for healthy movement.  You should find that a standard pair of cushioned shoes will be suitable for your feet.

Over Pronation

There are a number of reasons that can cause over-pronation but a single underlying one has yet to be determined; if your big toe and possibly second toe are used to push off it means that the body struggles to stabilise and balance correctly and the inside of the feet takes the brunt of each impact which can lead to injury to the lower leg and knees.  Your outsoles will be more worn on the inside of each heel and under the big toes so you will need specialist Orthotic shoes or even look at Barefoot Running Shoes which encourages a heel strike due to the added weight in the heel cushioning.

Supination (Under Pronation)

Under Pronation or Supination as it is better known happens when the foot strikes the ground with very little inward roll so that any shock is absorbed by the outside of the feet and the smaller toes which can’t handle it thus leading to stress and injury in the feet, ankles, hips and knees.  The sign of this on your footwear is wear predominantly on the outer side of the heels.    For this ideally a running shoe with neutral cushioning is needed as it will more effectively encourage natural flex and movement and help correct it.

Things to look out for

Finding the right type of running shoes as mentioned above is essential for helping to ease problems with pronation and if you do have and of those issues when running initially you should seek medical advice to determine which type of pronation you may have in case of other underlying problems before searching for the footwear best suited to the condition.  Bear in mind that any amount of running will cause fatigue and result in aches, pains and can lead to strain which is a natural aspect to it but if any pains do last long term and cause further strain getting them checked is crucial.  There are a number of brands that produce technical running trainers that will offer the kinds of support needed for the different types of pronation such as Salomon, On Running, New Balance, Mizuno, Asics, Under Armour and others while companies like Vibram and Vivo specialise in Barefoot Shoes should you need those.

Barefoot running can be very beneficial with pronation as it allows the feet to react more with the varied terrain underfoot and lets the muscles and foot flex naturally and can help to give you better posture and overall improved running experience.

Posted in Asics, Merrell, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, On Running, Running Shoes, Salomon, Saucony, Under Armour, Vibram five fingers, Vivo Barefoot | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2014

You may be stuck on finding a Father’s Day Gift this year and if your Dad is an outdoor enthusiast that enjoys taking long hikes through the wilderness or running his favourite trails it may be a little tricky knowing which gear to choose.  At Fitness Footwear we know a thing or two about outdoor sporting gear so we have pulled together a helpful Father’s Day Gift Guide that will help find the perfect pressie.

Walking & Hiking Gear

FD OutdoorIf your Dad enjoys trailing mud through the house after a long days hike or after time away camping there are plenty of quality products to pick from including boots and shoes ready to take on just about any kind of terrain thrown at them like the incredible Brasher Fellmaster Boots which have technical features like GORETEX.  Other lighter shoes include the extremely popular Merrell Jungle Mocs which are great for everything from casual wear to light walks in the outdoors.  As the summer weather isn’t always guaranteed to be sunny we have a range of jackets like the Jack Wolfskin Turbulence Softshell which is light, water and wind resistant, breathable and allows for a lot of freedom of movement so it’s perfect whether carried just in case or giving protection from the elements.

Running Gear

FD RunningAs there are a number of different types of routes that can be run we have everything covered with shoes and clothing for trail running, road & marathon running, barefoot running and more so if your Dad has a particular favourite place to run it is easy to find the right gear best suited to it.  Not only do we have pairs of trainers like the much sought after Salomon Speedcross 3 shoes that any runner will find reliable and comfy even after hours of use but we also stock an array of active base layers for all kinds of weather.  Help your Dad find the best performance while training or out on his chosen route with an Under Armour Heat Gear Sonic Compression base layer top and the Nike Core Compression 2.0 running shorts both of which make it easy to keep cool and support the muscles during activity.

Essential Accessories

FD EAYou may have a Dad who has all of the outdoor gear he needs or need just a little something extra or affordable if on a budget so we have put together a few ideas for Essential Accessories that are must haves on any hiking trip or running trail.  Hydration is a key factor in any sporting activity so why not give him a Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle which is not only perfect for keeping liquids hot and cold but is made from materials that are toxin and BPA free so it’s the safest way to drink.  Sports socks are another great addition to any avid hiker or athlete as they can add more comfort, muscle support, cooling and an improved fit just like the Thorlo Light Hiking Coolmax Crew walking socks thanks to technical fabrics and constructions.  If your Father loses track of the time while in the outdoors and you have a little extra to spend why not look at the Suunto Quest watch to help him not only time his run but also keep an eye on details like location with GPS, the cumulative distance travelled, altitude and more so he won’t be late for dinner again.

Posted in Athletic Shoes, Base Layers, Brasher, Climbing Shoes, Hiking Boots, Jack Wolfskin, Klean Kanteen, Merrell, Miscellaneous, Mountain Jackets, Nike, Running Clothing, Running Shoes, Salomon, Suunto, Thorlo, Under Armour, Walking Shoes, Walking Socks, Water Bottles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off