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The right kicks can reduce stress on your joints.
If you suffer from illiotibial band syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis or outer foot pain, you may be a supinator. Supination isn't a disease, but a way of striking the ground as you run. It may be your natural way of running, but it does put excess stress on your foot which, in turn, can cause other problems. Typically, supination occurs in people with high arches, but neutral-arched folk can also run this way. Selecting the right type of shoes can help correct any discomfort you feel from running this way.
Certainty About Supination
Having aches, pains and injuries from running doesn't automatically mean you're a supinator, but it does mean you need to check. Head to your local running store or podiatrist and have a gait analysis performed. Most places conduct these for free by having you run on a treadmill in a neutral shoe and videotaping your feet. If your foot tends to roll out excessively, you are deemed a supinator. You can also do a quick check at home by checking the wear on your run shoes -- if it is concentrated on the outer edges of your shoes, you most likely supinate. Although you may have a neutral arch as you stand, when you supinate, your arch rises as the foot goes out to the side.
Lasts for Lasting Comfort
"Runner's World" recommends shoes with curved lasts for supinators because they counter the outward roll of your foot and encourage normal levels of pronation, or turning inward. Lasts refer to the shoe's shape and the form around which a shoe is constructed at the factory. Neutral-arched supinators do best with a last that is not excessively curved -- often called semi-curved.
The rolling-out action of supination causes more impact to reverberate through your joints as you run. Choose running shoes with lots of cushioning to counteract this impact. Avoid motion-control shoes or stability shoes, which discourage pronation. You need a shoe that allows your foot to move inward to better distribute force as you hit the ground.
Shoes made with materials such as synthetic leather and nylon mesh tend to be lighter, which promotes better foot movement for supinators. The best shoes also feature flexibility at the inner side of the shoe. Don't be afraid to bend shoes gently to see if they will provide room for your foot to move.