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When running, your foot will typically land on the outside edge and roll inward. This inward roll is known as pronation. There is a widely held belief that excessive pronation leads to injuries, and that running shoes can reduce the pronation and prevent injuries. However, The Science of Running Shoes does not support this belief.

Anti-Pronation in Shoes

Shoe manufacturers use several techniques in an attempt to reduce pronation. These measures are generally ineffectual, as even motion control shoes (the category with the most extreme anti-pronation measures) only reduce pronation by around 2%.

  • Medial Post. Running shoes attempt to reduce pronation primarily by using firmer foam on the inside edge of the shoe, just in front of the heel.
  • Heel counter. To try to bind the rear of the shoe to the heel of the foot, the part of the upper that goes around the back of the shoe is often made of a much stronger material.