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Overpronation is one of the most abused and confusing phrases in running as well as health professional communities, especially when it comes to the fitting of running shoes. The whole traditional model of the manufacture of various running shoes are based on the thinking behind the normal or neutral alignment of the foot. Pronation is when the feet tilts inwards at the ankle joint and the arch collapses. Supination occurs when the feet rolls outwards at the ankle and the mid-foot height increases. These are generally normal healthy motions that are required for normal function of the feet. It is how the foot adapts to uneven surfaces and absorbs impact. Nothing is problematic with the motions of pronation or supination.

The phrase overpronation is used to infer when there is too much pronation. The reason why it becomes an issue is that overpronation is supposed to be a risk factor for many different overuse injuries. This is the reason, running shoes have got design options inside them which are supposed to help prevent this overpronation. These kinds of design features include medial heel posts, dual density midsoles and also rigid heel counters. These running shoes are supposed to be sold to those who overpronate. Runners who don't overpronate should use cushioned neutral running shoes.

The problem with this principle is that the phrase is overused significantly. There isn't any agreement for the cut-off stage between normal pronation and overpronation. There is hardly any evidence associating overpronation to overuse injury and if there is any, it is showing that it is only a tiny risk factor. Lots of runners overpronate severely and never have problems. Likewise, there are numerous runners which do not overpronate that have plenty of issues. Due to this confusion, there's been a recent change in the use of the name and the perception of overpronation in relationship to overuse injury and the design of running shoes.

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