Everybody pronates—and everybody pronates differently. When you take a step (whether walking or running), your foot completes some complex actions. The outside of the heel makes first contact with the ground, and after that, the foot rolls inward a bit to absorb the shock and balance the weight evenly. This is what we mean when we say “pronation.”
So, how can you tell your pronation style? We have two handy tricks you might consider: the shoe method, and the wet step test.
- Shoe Method: If you’ve got an old pair of shoes—especially if you’re an athlete or runner—your tread wear pattern can provide vital clues about your pronation pattern. Those whose feet roll in too much (overpronators) will tend to wear down the inside of their shoes first. If the opposite is true and you’re pushing off mostly with the outside of your foot, you’re likely a supinator.
- The Wet Test: Overpronation and supinaton are often (although not always) associated with a certain arch structure. Overpronators commonly also have flat feet, while supinators are more likely to have high arches. You can test your arch height by getting your foot damp and stepping (with your full weight) on a dry brown paper bag. If your foot shape is “normal,” you should be able to see about half your arch in the impression. A full foot outline indicates flat feet, while little arch or even a complete separation between the front and back of the foot means high arches.
Of course, the best method to assess your pronation style is to visit Dr. Harvey Danciger and let him evaluate your stride. A proper diagnosis will help you make better choices about what kinds of shoes, exercises, or other aids can help you walk, run, and live without pain, whatever your gait style. To schedule an appointment in Palm Desert, CA, give us a call at 760-568-0108.