First of all, what is to be a pronator or a supinator ?
To be a pronator or a supinator refer to the angle of your ankle and the parts of your feet which you count on during a race. They are not pathologies. They are related to the biomechanics of your body, i.e. the availability of a set your joints. It is therefore not useful to try to change one’s supination or pronation, as you could do through a bad posture of the back for example. It is a natural feature.
If you are a supinator, your ankle has a closed angle inwards. While if you are a pronator, your ankle has a closed angle on the outside.
Supinator or pronator ?
Supination and pronation are quite difficult to identify with the naked eye or through a touch. Except in some extreme cases, which we will discuss later. However, there is a very simple technique to know if you are a pronator or a supinator.
Look at the soles of your shoes and identify the areas where the wear is most pronounced.
If the outer part of your sole is the most worn out, then you are a supinator, like about 10% of the population.
If it is the inner part of your sole that is the most worn out, then you are a pronator, like 45% of the population.
Finally, when the middle part of your sole has the most wear, you have a so-called neutral or universal stride. Like the pronator, it represents 45% of the population.
The neutral or universal stride is the healthiest stride for the body because the pressure is evenly distributed over the entire foot.
What effect on your race?
Again, being pronator or supinator is completely normal and no correction is necessary.
If you have a so-called pronator stride, the pressure will be absorbed by the outside of your foot when it touches the ground. During the push, this pressure will then be applied to the inside and the front of the foot, at the level of the big toe.
With a supinator stride, the pressure will be absorbed by the inside of the foot during its contact with the ground. Unlike the pronator stride, here, the pressure will remain on the outside of the foot during the whole stride.
However, in case of over-pronation or over-supination, which are exaggerations of these two strides, there is a risk of significant injury. In this case, different types of running shoes are available to correct the defects of each of these “over-strides”.
With an over-pronating stride, you are then predisposed to have blisters, Achilles tendonitis or Plantar fasciitis. These are inflammations of the part of the foot in contact with the ground.
If you have an over-supinating stride, you have a high chance of developing calluses, meniscus pain (at the sides of the knees), as well as tendonitis in the lateral peroneal muscles.
How to cure this?
There are two ways to deal with these risks of injury. The first is the purchase of shoes adapted for running. The second is the purchase of orthopaedic insoles, adapted as well. For running shoes, you can find them at any sports store.
Buy pronator shoes if you are a pronator and supinator shoes in the opposite case. Be careful though, with the size of the shoes. When you do physical activity, your feet become congested. Indeed, there is more blood circulating there than normal in order to provide all the nutrients and oxygen necessary for physical effort. This congestion will result in swelling of the foot and therefore an increase in your size. This increase is about half a size.
As for the orthopaedic soles, they can be bought in supermarkets, which we advise against because they will not suit you optimally. It is much more interesting to go directly to a podiatrist who will make custom-made orthopedic insoles. It will certainly be more expensive, but your feet and your joints will thank you for it.