Contrary to popular belief, no two people run the same. In fact, it is claimed that every individual has a different style and a different way of running.
However, it can be said that, in terms of running gait, some runners can be categorised as the following;
1. An overpronator
2. An underpronator
3. A neutral runner
The purpose of this article is to explain what each one is and the relevant action you can take to limit the effects that they may have on both your running and health.
Overpronators - When an overpronator runs, the inside of the heel rolls inwards. Although this does happen normally, with this running style the runner's heel continues to roll downwards and inwards. Overpronators should consider choosing maximum support or structured cushioning shoes. Structured cushioning shoes are recommended as they will provide a suitable level of stability.
Underpronators - this is a relatively uncommon running problem. Rather than the overpronator, who will roll their foot inwards too much, the underpronator doesn't roll enough. This prevents their feet from absorbing the forces associated with running which can lead to joint inflammation and muscle injuries. If your trainers are most worn down on the outside edge, then you're an underpronator. People with high arch feet often underpronate and it's recommended that you use trainers with a bit more flexibility in the sole of the shoe.
Neutral runner - If you don't underpronate or overpronate, then you are a neutral runner. The neutral runner's gait is said to be the perfect running motion for avoiding injuries over long distances and this is great if you have a real passion for the sport. In addition, you're lucky that you can choose from a wide variety of running shoes including those made for mild over and under pronators.
The best way to pick out a pair of appropriate shoes is to go to a running-specific shoe retailer that can do pressure plate and video analysis to confirm what type of running style you have. Also, don't try and get a bargain! Whether you're running on your own, as a group or following a fitness training plan, you must invest, as you'll be wearing these trainers a lot and over a long period of time. It really won't do you any good to scrimp on this.
I hope that you have found my analysis useful and you'll be able to buy a pair of trainers, safe in the knowledge that you must pick ones that suit you - not every other runner on the street!