Today we will discuss your feet. Yes, the feet. They help us moving around and in terms of shock absorption, they are the ones doing all the job. Let’s give them more recognition!
We, humans, don’t walk or run all the same. If you want to achieve long distances and avoid injuries, we should be aware of how our footprint is, to try to avoid as much leg injuries as possible. We can group people into 3 categories depending on how they land their feet on the ground: pronation (or overpronation), supination (or underpronation) and neutral (or neutral pronation).
SUPINATION (or underpronation): it is the opposite of overpronation. You have high arches on your feet. When you strike on the ground, your feet don’t flatten at all. This means that your feet do not absorb the shock against the floor, which can cause several injuries, for example, plantar fasciitis. If you check out the soles of your shoes, you will find out that they will be worn out on the outside because there is an insufficient inward roll of the foot after landing.
NEUTRAL (or neutral pronation): someone belonging to this category has the ideal footprint. It combines in a perfectly balanced way, a bit of pronation and supination since our feet do pronate and supinate when we walk (the difference among the 3 categories comes to the degree of pronation or supination). Your foot flattens and rolls inward as you strike the ground and absorbs some of the forces generated by the impact of landing. It is said that people with the normal footprint will have the least injuries when running or walking.
Now that you are aware of the meaning of the mysterious question that the shop assistant can ask you, how do you know to what group do you belong to?
Apart from looking at the soles of your shoes, you can visit a podiatrist to get a complete analysis. In the meantime, there is also a very simple test that you can perform at home. It is the wet test.
Take a piece of paper, avoid white paper (the groceries’ brown paper bag is perfect), and put it on the floor, on a flat surface. Then, wet the sole of your feet and stand up on the piece of paper. You will get your footprint on it. Pay special attention to the arch shape that has being drawn.
Should you be scared if you don’t fall into the neutral group? Not at all. There are many runners who don't belong to the neutral pronation group, and that is not stopping them from great accomplishments. Just be aware of if, always do some warm-ups to prepare your muscles and tendons and have a stretching routine.
Now go back to that mall and answer, with confidence, to the shop assistant!