Should runners be worried about overpronation?

Overpronation is a phrase that creates a great deal of concern among podiatric doctors and running shoe shops because it causes so much confusion and controversy. Pronation is actually a movement of the foot in which the ankle rolls inwards and the mid-foot (arch) of the foot flattens. This is the normal healthy motion that is important for normal foot biomechanics and shock absorption. Overpronation is supposed to be the word employed to identify when there is too much of this normal pronation. The initial aspect of the discussion is exactly what is normal what is actually abnormal and exactly where is the threshold of the split between normal pronation and overpronation. There are actually strong views on every side of this argument and there doesn't seem to be any solution in the controversy coming.

The reason why the subject creates so much debate is that overpronation continues to be thought to be a major factor in overuse injuries in athletes. Podiatric doctors often use foot supports to treat the problem and running shoe producers design running shoes to help runners that have the condition. This signifies there is lots of vested interest in it. The problem arises is that the scientific evidence shows that, yes, overpronation may be a risk factor for a running injury, however it is not a big risk factor. It can be further complex by a lot of runners who may have really severe overpronation and do not develop any problems and don't need foot orthoses or running shoes with the motion control design characteristics. That will not help fix the controversy nor help clinicians make decisions re foot orthotics and for running footwear sellers on advice as to what ought to be the right running shoe. It really comes down to clinicians and running shoe retailer’s individual experience and expertise and making choices in the context of precisely what is suitable for the individual athlete.