Excessive pronation is a condition where the foot rolls too far inward and downward as you walk. Some pronation is normal, but too much causes the arch to flatten and soft tissue to stretch. In order to prevent further aggravating the condition, it is best to invest in motion-control, or anti-pronating, shoes.
Results of Incorrect Shoes
Because the foot turns too far inward, the arch flattens with each step without the proper shoes. Conditions that can then occur as a result include arch pain, bunions, plantar fascitis, ankle sprains, shin splints, Achilles Tendonitis, corns, calluses, flat feet and hammer toes. Wearing motion-control shoes can help to prevent these problems.
Definition of Motion Control Shoes
A motion control, or anti-pronation shoe helps to limit the degree that your foot pronates. One of the features that make motion control shoes different than other shoes is that the midsole, which is the shoe's cushioning system, is much firmer and extends from the top of the toe to the back of the heel.
The medial post is a wedge of particularly dense material that extends from the heel to the ball of the foot. This supports the foot so it doesn't roll in as much. The Rollbar is a lightweight flat or moulded piece of graphite material positioned in the heel of the midsole that increases stability in the back of the foot. Particularly in motion-control running shoes, you will find slip lastings and board lastings. Slip lasting is when the upper part of the shoe is connected directly to the midsole. It is not as efficient at stopping pronation as board lasting, which occurs when the upper part of the shoe is connected to an additional layer of material. Also important is the rigid heel counter, which is the plastic piece of the shoe in the back of and also on either side of the heel.
How to Test a Shoe for Anti-Pronation
Hold the shoe with your hand at its widest point. Twist the shoe with the other hand as if the ankle was turning inward. The more difficult it is to twist, the more effective it is in preventing excessive pronation. To check the firmness of the heel counter, squeeze it between two fingers. The more difficulty you have in squeezing it, the firmer it is, and the better it will be in motion stability.
Some brands to look for when shopping for motion-control shoes are Acorn, Bite, Brooks, Chaco, Comfortrite, Darco, GentleSteop, Drew, Finn Comfort, Kumfs, Moszkito, Naot, Orthaheel, Orthofeet, PG Lite, P.W. Minor, Sanita and Standing Comfort. No matter what brand or shoe you choose, be sure to replace them regularly as the technology begins to wear out.