If you’re a runner who overpronates, you may, sooner or later, consider using running shoes specifically designed to help correct this condition.
But what’s overpronation to start with?
And how do running shoes for overpronators actually help (if they help at all)?
Keep on reading to find out the answers.
In this article, I’ll give you a brief overview of overpronation as well as how to choose the best running shoes for overpronators.
Let’s get started.
What Is Pronation
To understand overpronation, let’s first discuss what pronation actually means.
Pronation refers to the natural movement of the foot that happens from heel to toe during foot landing while walking or running.
When your foot hits the ground on impact, it rolls inward to absorb the shock, and your arch bears, on average, three times your body weight.
Those who have arches that collapse excessively are known as overpronators, while those who arches collapse relatively little or not enough are known as supinators.
A neutral runner is someone whose arch collapses an average amount—not too much and not too little.
Overpronation refers to the excessive inward roll of the foot following a foot strike.
Technically, it occurs when your foot rolls more than 15 percent inward or downward during the foot strike cycle
When you overpronate, you’re putting more weight on the inner side of your feet as well as putting excessive strain on your big toe and second toes.
This uneven distribution of weight undermines your foot and negatively impacts other biomechanics of your legs.
Most notably, overpronation can cause strain on the big toe and second toes as well as instability in the lower legs, especially in the tibia, which can increase your risk of shin splints, knee pain, and serious overuse injury.
More than often, runners with the condition are often considered to have “flat feet.”
The Solution To Overpronation
One of the best ways to limit the effects of overpronation is to wear shoes specifically designed to address such a problem.
These are what are called stability and motion control shoes and tend to offer a lot of support and structured cushioning.
This can lessen the excessive inward rolling of the foot during a foot strike, which, in theory, may help prevent injury.
But before you start using shoes for overpronators, first make sure that you do actually overpronate.
Don’t try to fix something that ain’t broken!
How To Determine Your Pronation Style
There are many tests you can take right now to get your pronation checked.
Go To A Running Store
The easiest (and effective) step is to head to the local running specialty store and ask the staff to analyze your technique as you run—or walk—on a treadmill.
In case you don’t have access to a sports store or just want a more personalized approach, consider consulting a podiatrist then have them assess your pronation style.
The Wear Pattern Test
Don’t want to go anywhere nor spend any money?
Then simply check the wear patterns on worn-out shoes.
The wear location, as well as its severity, will let you know whether you need stability or motion control shoes (more on that later).
This method can also provide you with extra clues about the impact on your feet.
This can help you decide where you might need more support and cushion.
To perform this test, get a pair of running shoes that you have already worn out extensively.
Then check the bottom of the shoes and see where the most wear is.
If most of the wear appears on the inside edges along with the ball of the foot and the heel, along the inner edge, and toward the big toe, you likely overpronation.
How to Choose The Right Running Shoes For Overpronator
Got the confirmation about your overpronation?
Time to move to the next step.
Note – First things first, using stability running shoes won’t cure nor correct your overpronation.
Sorry, it’s too late for that.
Every runner pronates.
The natural inward-rolling motion is part and parcel of the gait cycle.
As a runner who overpronates, you’ll need the maximum level of support and stability.
Shoes made for overpronators are usually designed with extra arch support, firmer midsole, and some additional cushioning that will offer the comfort and support needed.
This helps distribute the shock stress of running more effectively to limit pronation.
Since overpronation is a common issue for runners, most running shoe companies provide stability shoes along with their neutral models with various degrees of support available depending on your overpronation level.
Stability Vs. Motion Control
The main difference between stability and motion control shoes boils down to the degree of support and cushioning.
Both stability and motion control shoes are designed to manage overpronation but to different degrees.
Stability shoes only provide support in the midsole and often are designed with few other support systems.
This makes them ideal for runners who overpronate slightly.
On the other hand, motion control shoes are for more severe pronation issues.
These offer support virtually everywhere on the shoe—from the midsole to the heel.
Motion-control shoes are also designed with additional support in the heel of the shoes as well as the arch.
Motion-control shoes also tend to be less flexible than stability shoes, allowing for less movement of the feet.
This is why these shoes tend to be heavier and more durable than the average shoe.
This may make your running experience less comfortable, especially if you’re not used to running in them.
Not sure how to make sense of this?
Err on the side of stability shoes.
These tend to be more flexible and less heavy than motion control shoes.
They’re also easier to run in.
If overpronation is causing problems, try moving onto motion control shoes.
In short, here’s is what to look for when choosing running shoes for overpronation:
- Proper arch support
- Good stability
- A supportive and cushioned midsole or insole
- A firmer structure and sole
- A durable outsole, preferably made from rubber
- Motion control for serious overpronators.
The 5 Best Running Shoes For Overpronators
Below are some of the shoes that offer some of the features that overpronators need.
Feel free to experiment, then choose the shoe that best suits your needs.
Asics GEL-Kayano 24 Lite-Show
ASICS Gel Kayano 24 is one of the best shoes in the market for overpronators, providing comfort and stability.
This shoe focuses on the two primary spots where you need a lot of supports as an overpronator—the heel and midsole.
The shoe is also lightweight and flexible, despite all of the extra cushioning in those key areas.
ASICS lite-show reflective technology helps you stay more visible in low light conditions, which is key for staying safe when running early in the morning or at night when it’s dark outside.
Asics Gel-Kayano 27
Another awesome shoe designed by Asics for the overpronator.
This shoe is one of the top stability shoes out there, designed with a dual-density midsole, a structured heel counter, and an outsole Guidance line to guide your foot straight and lessen pronation.
The sole is also more flexible to help encourage a more natural gait.
The mesh upper helps your feet cool and comfortable.
Brooks Addiction 14
This is a fantastic motion control shoe that works very well for runners who require a lot of stability on their runs as well as heavy runners who overpronate.
It also provides a generous fit, which is ideal for those with flat feet or using custom orthotics.
Just keep in mind that Brooks Addiction shoes tend to heavier than other shoes since it does have a lot of cushioning.
Saucony Omni ISO 2
Latin for “everything” or “all,” Omni ISO 2 is a stability shoe that works very well for overpronators.
It has a good fit and comes in a good-looking design.
The shoe also features ISOFIT technology, which appeals to a variety of foot types as it adapts to most foot types for a comfortable fit.
There you have it!
If you’ve ever wondered how to deal with overpronation while running, then now you know a thing or two about the subject.
Being well-informed is key for making the right decision—running is no exception.
Please feel free to leave your questions and comments in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep training strong.