There’s been a lot of worry over the dangers of pronation in runners who are new to the sport. Special motion control shoes have been sold to runners who have pronated feet to help prevent injury, but recent research has suggested the whole ordeal may have been overblown.
A new, large-scale examination of the dangers of pronation to novice runners has concluded that it might not b so dangerous. DANO-RUN, a Danish research team, based out of the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University, that has done extensive research on running-related injury, looked at 927 runners over the span of an entire year.
All the runners were analyzed for foot type and then used a GPS system to track their mileage over the following year while wearing neutral shoes. Feet on each runner were analyzed separately, as they can sometimes be different. What jumps out most is how few runners actually have problems with pronation. Of the 1,854 feet, only 140 were categorized as being pronated or highly pronated. Many more were supinated, while a vast majority were neutral. Seventy per cent of the feet were deemed to be neutral. The numbers reflects the sales trend back towards neutral shoes at specialty running stores. Only a few years ago stability and motion control shoe sales were on the rise, but they are not shrinking again and lightweight, neutral shoes are on the rise.
The study found that 252 of the 927 runners sustained a running-related injury that kept them sidelined for at least one week during the year, but there was no significant difference between different foot types after 250K of mileage or 1,000K of mileage. The highly pronated feet did hint at a higher chance of injury, but that number of participants with highly pronated feet was so low the authors noted it is not reliable. There were just very few people with highly pronated feet and there needs to be more research done on that group of runners.