Pronation or flat feet is a turning outward of the foot at the ankle, so that one has a tendency to walk on the inner border of the foot.
Pronation can be hereditary from our parents or congenital, meaning the way we were positioned in the uterus. You can test for pronation by looking at the leg and foot from the back. Normally you can see the Achilles Tendon run straight down the leg into the heel. On an over pronated foot the tendon veers outward at the heel making the inner ankle bone much more prominent than the outer ankle bone.
Because pronation is a twisting of the foot, all of the muscles and tendons that run from the leg and ankle into the foot will be twisted. If left untreated the muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissue structures that hold the bones together at the joints become looser than normal and may cause fallen and painful arches, shin splints, Achilles Tendonitis, generalized tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, pain in the ball of the foot, heel spurs, hammertoes, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, cramps, frequent ankle sprains, knee pain, hip pain, lower back pain, and reduced muscle efficiency (endurance and strength).
Those who overpronate tend to push off almost completely from the big toe and second toe. As a result, the shock from the foot's impact doesn't spread evenly throughout the foot and the ankle has trouble stabilizing the rest of the body. Additionally, an unnatural angle forms between the foot and ankle and the foot splays out abnormally. It is common even for people who pronate normally to have some angle between the foot and the ankle, but not to the extent seen in those who overpronate. In normal pronation the weight distributes evenly throughout the foot.
Treatment and Prevention
Overpronation can be treated conservatively (non-surgical treatments) with over-the-counter orthotics. These orthotics should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to prevent the overpronation. Footwear should also be examined to ensure there is a proper fit. Footwear with a firm heel counter is often recommended for extra support and stability. Improperly fitting footwear can lead to additional foot problems.
One way to correct pronation is to install shims between your frames and boots. Shims counter pronation and are used by most of the world's top skaters and snowboarders. And it's not only racers who use shims. Many skate shops, particularly in Switzerland, install shims on new boots to help customers prevent pronation and find their outsides edges.
How can we help snowboarders
Everyone knows that sloppy fitting boots equals an uncomfortable day of skiing or snowboarding. Insole shims fill the excess space for a perfect fit.
There's no question the right pair of snowboard boots can do wonders for your riding, but did you know that even the best pair of boots can be further improved with the addition of a custom foot bed?
With that many bones, muscles and other pertinent parts responsible for making sure the snowboard goes where we want it to, it's imperative the feet are able to function at the highest level possible.
Custom foot beds work by supporting the foot in the shape it was originally meant to be.