If you are healthy and plan to start running for the first time, it is perfectly all right to put on a pair of completely ordinary 'neutral' running shoes without any special support, according to new research from Aarhus University.
Ordinary running shoes function perfectly well for new runners regardless of how they pronate. Even though your feet overpronate when you run - i.e. roll inwards.
There appears to be no risk that overpronation or underpronation can lead to running injuries through using neutral shoes for this special group of healthy beginners.
Researchers have followed 927 healthy novice runners with different pronation types for a full year. All study participants received the same model of neutral running shoe, regardless of whether they had neutral foot pronation or not. During the study period, 252 people suffered an injury, and the runners ran a total of 163,401 km.
The study found that the risk of injury was the same for runners after the first 250 km, irrespective of their pronation type.
It further found that the number of injuries per 1,000 km of running was significantly lower among runners who over/underpronate than among those with neutral foot pronation.
The finding contradicts the current assumption that over/underpronation in the foot leads to an increased risk of running injury if you run in a neutral pair of running shoes.
"We have now compared runners with neutral foot pronation with the runners who pronate to varying degrees, and our findings suggest that overpronating runners do not have a higher risk of injury than anyone else," said physiotherapist and PhD student Rasmus O. Nielsen from Aarhus University, who has conducted the study together with a team of researchers from Aarhus University, Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg University Hospital and the Netherlands.
The result of the study has just been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.