Because you walk on flat surfaces most of the time, the wear pattern on
your shoes truly becomes a reflection of your foot and body mechanics.
A person experienced in recognizing the wear pattern can with reasonable
accuracy tell you what kind of pain and dysfunction you have or may soon be
Sole Reading • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Reading wear patterns on shoe soles answers a lot of questions about how a person walks, for example, how hard or soft is the heel strike? Is there a strong push off, or does the person literally pull themselves forward by the heels? Do they favor one side over the other? What is the pattern of pronation and supination relative to where they are in the contact gait cycle? Are the feet steady or unbalanced? Do they walk with their feet pointing out, straight or in? How significant are the shear forces against the ground? Are the feet trying to twist with every step?
All these characteristics have direct implications about present and future musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain.
Classic shoe wear pattern for a pronator
Overpronation is the main cause of supination
Because overpronation carries with it both poor posture and poor gait, many people subconsciously try to correct for it by supinating their feet, often creating a lateral wear pattern.
Classic shoe wear pattern for a supinator