Rare Runners: Underpronation

You may have heard talk among runners about running stride and overpronation.  However, when it comes to underpronation, information about this running gait isn’t so commonly known. Most likely, underpronation isn’t a well-known topic due to the fact that so few runners are affected by it unlike overpronating runners.

What is underpronation?

Underpronation occurs when a runner doesn’t roll their feet inward enough at impact.  This prevents their feet from absorbing the initial shock from hitting the pavement.

Why is it a bad condition to have?

Just like overpronator runners, underpronation creates the same foot complications due to the abnormal gait structure. Joint inflammation, arthritis, muscle injuries, and plantar fasciitis are likely to develop if you continuously run with underpronation.

How can you tell if you have underpronation besides foot pain?

Dr. Harvey Danciger provides these simple tests to answer your question.

  • Check out your running shoes. Look at the wear pattern on the bottom of one of your pairs of running shoes. Place them on a flat surface with the toes facing away from you. Look eye level at the heels to see if they lean to either side. If they tend to lean outward with the soles worn down on the outside edge, you are an underpronator.
  • Measure your arches. Runners with high arches have an increased chance of underpronation since their arches are less flexible than runners with normal ones. To see if yours are higher than normal, get your feet wet and step onto a piece of paper. If your arch print shows up only a little amount, or not at all, then you have high arches.

What can you do if you underpronate in your running gait?

  • Invest in the right pair of shoe. Running shoes that offer flexibility and neutral cushioning will be your best option of choice to protect your feet from injury and to let your feet roll inward while providing enough underfoot support.
  • Know when to get help. If you’ve been suffering with foot pain and think you might have an injury due to running, contact our office to set up an appointment with Dr. Danciger right away. He can help properly treat your condition so you can get back into your running routine without the pain.
Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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