Arches Tell All: Ten Seconds to a Quick Gait Analysis

Wondering if youíre an overpronator, supinator, or a stable runner? One indicator of your running stride may be your natural arch. Not sure what your arch looks like? One commonly used test is the paper-towel test. Simply wet the bottom of your foot and step on a paper towel for a few seconds. Then take a look at the results.

If you have a high arch: Less of your foot may be hitting the ground with each step. You are likely to supinate, which can cause injury to the ankles. The solution? A semi-curved, cushioned shoe that encourages flexibility.

If you have a normal arch: Lucky you. You are likely making a normal stride. The best sneakers for you are stability shoes that have moderate control features.

If you have a flat arch: There is a good chance you overpronate, which can cause a number of injuries in the knee area. Most likely you will need a running shoe with motion control and high stability, so that the foot stays in place with each step.

The paper-towel test is a good first step to analyzing your gait, but is not 100% correct. The best solution is to talk to a biomechanics expert or go to a running store to get a better idea of your running style.

January 3, 2006. Running Stride.