To understand whether overpronation shoes are helpful, we should first understand what is meant by the terms ‘pronation’ and ‘overpronation’. When we use the term ‘pronation’, we are referring to the way a person naturally moves from side to side during walking or running. Pronation is a natural and necessary component of the gait cycle and happens when weight is transferred from the heel to the forefoot. Some people have a gait with a neutral pattern, while others tend to overpronate or underpronate (also called supination). Overpronation is a foot condition whereby the arches of the feet roll inward too much when walking or standing. Supination, a much less common condition, is when the arches of the feet roll outwards.
People who overpronate or underpronate are more prone to injuries, which is why it’s so important to wear the right shoes if you have either of these foot conditions. Today’s blog reviews over-pronation shoes - why you need them and what to look for when you are shopping for a pair. For a more in-depth discussion on overpronation and what can be done to minimize the problems associated with this foot condition, read our article ‘How to Treat Overpronation’.
Why you might need overpronation shoes
Overpronation is often confused with ‘flat feet’ and sometimes both can occur together, yet they are different. Flat feet occur when the arches of the feet have collapsed and are either very low or non-existent. Both foot conditions do however, make a person more susceptible to injuries. Overpronation interrupts the body’s natural alignment when the ankles roll inward too far and cause the knees and hips to misalign which can lead to back pain and other injuries, An important step in treating flat feet or overpronation is to wear overpronation shoes. There are many different types of over-pronation shoes including walking shoes for overpronation, dress shoes for overpronation, and overpronation running shoes. The objective of all these shoes is the same - to correct your foot motion and provide support. Without proper footwear, people who overpronate or have flat feet are more susceptible to the following types of injuries:
- Achilles tendonitis
- ankle sprains
- chronic lower back pain
- heel pain and heel spurs
- iliotibial band syndrome (a common knee injury)
- plantar fasciitis
- runner’s knee
- shin splints
- strain on the big and little toes
- stress fractures in the lower leg or foot
So how do I know if I overpronate?
There are a few signs that can help you determine whether you overpronate. The simplest way to tell is by looking at the soles of your shoes. If they seem run down on the inside of the sole, there is a chance you overpronate. Looking at your arch can also suggest if you overpronate. If your arch is not defined, sits low to the ground and the sole touches the floor, your feet probably overpronate. An imprint of your foot will show the entire edge around your foot. However, if you are still unsure, the best way to determine if you overpronate is by having a professional such as a podiatrist assess you.
Features of good overpronation shoes
Overpronation is best treated by wearing overpronation shoes and in some cases a combination of overpronation shoes with orthotic insoles. Overpronation shoes are most often designed with extra support on the medial side, preventing the foot from rolling inwards and flattening. Good orthotics provide anatomical arch support and align the foot and limbs to a neutral position. To ensure that you get the very best overpronation shoes, make certain that they have the following features:
- a firm heel counter for increased stability and support
- wide soles for improved motion control
- straight or semi-curved lasts to halt the inward rotation of the foot
- a firm midsole with extra arch support
- orthotic insoles with anatomical arch support
- extra cushioning in the interior of the shoe or the insole
- a shock-absorbing outsole
- Light-weight soles designed to soften steps, facilitate foot motion and alleviate stress on the joints
What else can you do for overpronation?
In addition to wearing shoes for overpronation, there are several foot exercises you can perform to help prevent injuries. A few of them are described below:
- First position: Stand in ballet’s first position, demi plie (or like a duck as some people like to think of this position) – with your toes pointed out and your heels touching each other and bend your knees while keeping your heels on the floor.
- Towel Curls: Place a medium-sized towel in front of you on the floor, and starting at one edge, roll up the towel by using your toes only. Repeat several times.
- Roll your feet: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and then roll your feet outward toward the outer edge of the foot and then back to your normal standing position. Repeat several times.
Strengthen your calf muscles: There are several ways to do this. One way is to stand with your feet hip-width apart and parallel and then rise up on your toes (as high as possible) and stay in that position for 5 seconds. Repeat several times. Another way is to sit on the floor with your legs outstretched and straightened directly in front of you. Without hurting or straining too much, try to touch your toes while keeping your back straight.
Since overpronation is a common foot condition that can be treated rather easily, you should not have difficulty purchasing overpronation shoes. Orthofeet specializes in designing overpronation shoes in a variety of styles for men and women. Orthofeet’s overpronation shoes feature the Ortho-Cushion® System, engineered with premium orthotic insoles, which provide anatomical support that properly aligns the foot and reduces overpronation. It works wonders to help reduce foot pain offering soothing comfort from heel to toe. In addition, all Orthofeet overpronation shoes are designed with Ergonomic-Stride™ lightweight soles that facilitate foot motion and alleviate stress on the joints.
Click here to view Orthofeet’s overpronation shoes for men and women. Try them risk free with the 60-day wear test. If you’re not completely satisfied, you may return them for a full refund with no shipping or re-stocking fees.