July 9, 2020

Conclusions on Foot Pronation

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Conclusions on Foot Pronation

Two of the most prominent researchers in the Footwear Biomechanics Group, Benno Nigg and Joseph Hamill, and PhD student Anja-Verena Behling, have recently published a white paper on foot pronation in Footwear Science journal. This is the first white paper ever to be published in Footwear Science. In case you’re not familiar with Dr. Nigg and Dr. Hamill, here are some highlights of their work:

Benno Nigg:

Joseph Hamill:

Main conclusions of the white paper:

  1. Pronation is a natural movement of the foot, which corresponds to a term that is widely used, but not well understood. Pronation is often associated with running injuries; however, evidence for this association is weak.
  2. There is no clinical definition for ‘over-’, ‘hyper-’ or ‘excessive’ pronation. Thus, these terms should be avoided.

The complete white paper can be downloaded here

Many brands are marketing their shoes or insoles as solutions for ‘over-’ pronation. But this white paper is basically stating that there are no clear scientifically proven reasons for using stability or motion control running shoes, or using insoles that minimize pronation.

It will be very interesting to follow how media, footwear brands and customers will react to these conclusions. I hope this white paper will inspire and encourage researchers to further research foot pronation and its association with running injuries. Until clear evidence is available, the industry should stop attempting to fix pronation.

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