Conciously correcting running form

Since starting running eighteen years ago I used to always overpronate and used to correct it with supportive shoes.

Three years ago I started my dabbling in minimalist/barefoot shoes and have made a pretty good transition.  In changing from heel striking to forefoot striking I also changed into a natural gait with no evidence of pronation on the sole.

Now my legs and feet are comfortable with flatter shoes it's become apparent that i've eveloed into a huge superpronator where the outside edge touches the ground first, rolls onto the middle of the sole and pushes off before the inside edge of the sole can get a look in.

As it's the beginning of the new year and I'm hammering the easy miles for a deep base I'm altering my gait so that i'm landing neutral rather than pronated. What i'm wondering is - is this a good idea or should i just let my feet do what they want to do; am i riskingsomething by conciously correcting my form?

Thanks, and sorry for the long post. 




  • simple answer - if it ain't broke why try to fix it??

  • Because I want to be better, I don't want to pick up injuries and I don't want my shoes to wear down abnormally fast. I figure a non perfect gait is a broken gait.
  • a non-perfect gait may not be your ideal, but you may damage more in the process of trying to change (again).  and if you want to get faster, train harder

    someone I know was a very good junior over 5k - top 3 in the UK.  he went off to Uni and the running coach persuaded him he could get faster if he changed his gait.  result was a succession of injuries, lost motivation, and he packed the sport in.

    your call if you want to try though

  • That's the question though....are you coming from experience, education, or just being obtuse?
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    It sounds like pretty good advice to me.

    If you start to get injuries then I'd start worrying.
  • Try reading a few bools on the subject e.g born to run..... advice as above. I spent years in DMS running with kit on my back no problem. Put on "Running shoes"...injury time especially knees, changed back to fore foot and voila, injury free. Run my shoes into the ground and no injuries got to be worth going with what nature from my pov. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

  • I spent 9 years numbing around carrying the same kit ad you Tinsel (I suspect) but to be fair it was more "stumble jogging" than running.

    I was hoping for a professional opinion if I'm honest.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Best go see a professional then.

    I didn't realise that from your original post. My mistake sorry.
  • ....I read Born to Run a few years ago; could have be summised a bit better in an academic paper rather than the long winded book it is.

    I'm not talking about wearing supportive shoes, just wondering if there are any downsides that I may have missed about consciously changing how the foot lands on the floor. If you were happy with what nature provided then why train for a race? Just turn up and run, eh? Nope, we train, we change what we are, we make ourselves lighter, we work on cadence, get stronger, more efficient, faster.
  • (FB, I'd like to hear your take on this).

    Sean, what is perfect gait?

    Ablefeet image

  • I've read around superpronation, and it's problematic in regard to injury. It's also not particularly efficient as you're only pushing off with your big toe which causes fatigue. Probably not a problem over 5/10k but I'm tending to run a bit further.

    I feel a like I'm being flamed for asking, what I feel, is a perfectly reasonable question. For me a perfect gait would be landing mid/forefoot with only a very slight role in or out at 80-90 strikes per minute.

    I was dismissive to FB initially as the answer dismissed the question, sorry if we got off on the wrong foot (see what I did there). But the detail was in the query.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Well sprinters pronate, its the foot action of real speed, even the fastest distance runners. Neutral is nice in mud and at most speeds efficient. Supinators tend to go well for any given effort.

     All in all you're stuck with the ankles you're born with. Whether or not you get injured is more a function of inherent weaknesses in the structure rather than the type of structure.

    You can't really twist your feet 'right', mainly because there isn't actually a 'wrong'.

    Personally I pronate. In a race, on a mixed terrain course I'm always amused that some runners can keep with me on mud but the moment we hit a road I leave them for dead.

  • Thanks for that, perhaps I'll leave it as it is.


  • Sean, you're not being flamed at all, I am purely asking a very reasonable question myself.  You asked for a professional response, well, I'm the professional with many years experience treating athletes at all levels. So I'll rephrase my question.

    If there is such a thing as perfect gait, why is every athlete on the planet not doing it?

    Ablefeet image

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