Underpronation is a condition in which the foot does not roll inward enough during a runner's stride; it usually results from a tight achilles tendon or high arches. Telltale signs of underpronation, also known as supination, are shoes that bulge on the outside part of the shoe's upper and/or soles that are worn down on the outside. Shoes with stiffer soles actually tend to encourage an outward roll, so underpronators should look for lightweight, neutral shoes with flexible soles to allow for a more even gait.
Newton Men's Gravitas Trainer
Newton's Men's Gravitas Neutral trainer is a lightweight trainer with a flexible sole to allow underpronators to run with a more pronated gait. Featuring lightweight mesh and a high-rebound sole to provide cushioning while maintaining a flexible sole, the Gravitas was designed to encourage an efficient stride. The review by Runner's World indicates that testers love the lightweight racing feel, the breathablity of the open mesh upper and the flexibility.
MIzuno Wave Rider
Mizuno's Wave Rider (around $85 as of 2010) is an extremely lightweight racing shoe, but it doesn't scrimp when it comes to cushioning. Mizuno's trademark plastic Wave midsole adds support and cushioning without adding weight or decreasing flexibility by absorbing shock during footstrike and dispersing it throughout the foot. Runningshoesguru.com noted that the Rider is incredibly light and breathable, offers superb heel cushioning, and its neutral cushioning will fit the needs of neutral pronators and supinators.
Nike Free Everyday +2
With its soft midfoot saddle and more cushioning than most barefoot shoes, the Nike Free Everyday +2 (around $75 as of 2010) ably straddles the line between flexibility and support. Described by Nike as best for runners with mildly underpronated to mildly overpronated gaits, the Free Everyday is designed to emulate barefoot running while providing cushioning. Its unobstructive design is due in part to an extremely flexible combination midsole/outsole. The flexibility doesn't come at a loss of comfort, however, its segmented crash pad provides shock absorption and the molded sock liner adds support. Barefoot Running Shoes indicates that this is comfortable shoe that provides "a good mix of cushioning and support."
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.