Pronation is a normal part of ambulation. As you walk or run, your foot rolls so as to distribute your weight and the force of impact across the sole of your foot. In normal pronation, your foot would roll inward by about 15%. It would come in contact with the ground from heel to toes with slight space for your arch and would absorb and support your weight evenly.
Overpronation is something that can be aided and corrected quite easily with the right support and fit in our shoes but if it is left too long then the problem can lead to a series of other foot complaints – such as Plantar Fasciitis – and sufferers end up requiring more from their orthotic shoes than a simple piece of arch support.
The popular running shoe styles for overpronators, that are highlighted below all place heavy emphasis on motion control and/or arch support to aid and correct the overpronating foot but from there they can differ greatly in the other supportive features for additional complaints, the comfort features that make them desirable sports shoes and the style.
Stability Running Shoes
1. ASICS GT 1000 11
Designed for runners with neutral to overpronating feet, the Asics GT 1000-11 is a budget-friendly shoe that offers exceptional comfort and support.
It includes a 10mm drop and cushion throughout the sole. The heel of the shoe uses a gel system to absorb shock and reduce the impact of long miles on pavement. Utilizing a dual-density FLYTEFOAM cushioning for the middle of the foot, this runner ensures that your arch doesn't collapse when you strike the ground. Additionally, there is a guidance system built in to perfect your gait further. By running with a proper stride, you can save your body from aches and injuries down the line.
If you are a runner who prefers not only a soft sole but also a shoe that assists in correcting your form, the Asics GT 1000s a great choice.
2. Hoka One One Gaviota 4
Hoka One One Gaviota running shoes take support to a new level as a full-motion control shoe, instead of merely a support sneaker. Your feet have no risk of rolling inward with these shoes.
Their J-frame technology supports your foot and holds it in place while guiding it through every part of your strike and stride. Their late stage meta-rocker geometry provides comfort and stability for your forefoot by acting as a stable base. Arch-lock wings support the midfoot. Their heel design locks your foot into place while guiding you through a smooth heel transition.
Even with all this support, these shoes are still lightweight and extremely comfortable. With maximum cushioning throughout and a 3D-puff print frame providing superior stability, you won't feel as if you're walking around on blocks of cement like other shoes on the market.
Add in the benefits of an odor-reducing sock liner and a removable insert, and you'll see why the Hoka One One Gaviota is the preferred running shoe for many overpronators.
3. ASICS GT 2000 10
The ASICS GT 2000 10 is designed to provide a satisfying running experience for mild to moderate overpronators. Unlike other lightweight shoe models, this one doesn't reduce support or comfort as it sheds weight. In fact, it increases.
An original heel clutching system uses memory foam to lock your heel in place, while a FluidRide midsole design adapts and responds to your foot shape. The sockliner is both antimicrobial and removable, another benefit for pronating runners who use custom inserts. You don't have to fight to rip out the existing liner anymore!
Unlike some support shoes without consistent padding throughout, this model maintains even levels of SpEVA 55 throughout the sole of the entire shoe.
Add the low-top design to the long list of unique, desirable features, and it's easy to understand the popularity of the GT 2000.
4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 combines advanced gait control with unique customization options and wraps them up in a comfortable shoe.
Unlike other supportive shoes that seem to leave the upper as an afterthought, the breathable, flexible mesh in Adrenaline GTS shoe is designed to add structure and support. A plush tongue and collar increase comfort.
Dropping down to the bottom of the shoe, the rubber outsole of the Adrenaline features appropriate support based on the gender and weight of the runner. Runners will experience more flexibility having a shoe created to work with their bodies, instead of against them.
To further empower the runner and improve their gait, the midsole and crash pad designs work together to control pronation in a way that smooths out transitions and makes the gait cycle more even. A V-groove deeper than most comparable shoes enables a better release.
Overall, for the technique-minded runner experiencing moderate to extreme overpronation, the Brooks Adrenaline is the ideal shoe.
5. Altra Provision 6
For runners with fallen arches and severe overpronation, even stability shoes don't quite meet their needs. The Altra Provision design focuses on providing not only cushion and support but also elements that encourage proper technique that often can’t be found in more traditionally styled running shoes.
The Provision 6 is a zero-drop shoe with 27mm of stack in the sole. So, while there is no difference between the height of the heels and the front of the foot, every step still experiences a considerable amount of shock absorption and comfort. As a bonus, the midsole construction adds extra spring and rebound to every foot strike.
Add in the Varus, StabiliPod, and GuidRail stability technologies with the removable 6mm sculpted footbed, and your foot will be prevented from even considering a roll inward. With the Altra Provision, you've got a shoe that encourages a natural stride and is prepared to carry you over the miles of pavement.
6. New Balance Vongo 5
The New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo 5 is an innovative shoe that addresses the challenges and needs of runners with pronation problems from a unique angle. While other stability shoe designs focus on supporting the foot from underneath and behind, the Vongo takes a more holistic approach.
The sole of the shoe is a 3D screen print of dual-density rubber that doesn't break down so that it can help to hold your foot in place. Having everything in one piece and with the same material ensures that no part of the shoe gives out before the rest, outside of normal wear.
Another benefit to the Vongo 5 is its small, 4mm drop. Other stability shoes have soles between 8 and 15mm. A smaller drop is preferred by runners who appreciate a more barefoot mindset to their running technique.
All in all, this original design has it all for runners looking for both comfort and stability.
7. Mizuno Wave Horizon 6
One of the most expensive stability shoes available for those who overpronate, the Mizuno Wave Horizon 6 is worth it. Reviews show that it's not perfect for everyone, but it does include many of the features you would expect.
The most notable element of the Wave Horizon is its cushioning. There is Cloudwave technology included in almost every aspect of the sneaker from the sole through the sock liner. Expect to feel as if you're running on plush pillows while wearing these shoes.
The shaft, or distance from the top of the arch to the top of the shoe, is a low-top. Some stability trainers make up for their lack of built-in support by creeping up the ankle – not a worry when choosing the Wave Horizon.
An air-mesh upper completes the robust design of this Mizuno running shoe. If you're looking for overpronation support with high levels of comfort and aren't on a budget, look hard at this option.
8. Nike Air Zoom Structure 22
Most stability shoes on the market have high drops, lots of cushion, and solid construction—not the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22. This is one of the only low profile, lightweight running shoes available to overpronators and is, hands down, the best at what it does.
Starting its support from the inside out, the Structure 22 sock liner forms around the shape of your foot. Unique, Flywire cables surround the middle of the foot from the outside to prevent your foot from rolling inward.
The low profile of the shoe means that you'll be able to feel the ground below you as you run, instead of there being 8 to 15mm of material between your foot and the pavement.
The rubber sole has extra deep grooves to add traction and prevent slipping on your runs. Reflective stripes on the heel add an extra level of visibility and safety as well.
If you need the support of a stability shoe, but dislike the high platform, Nike Air Zoom may be the best choice for you.
9. Sacouny Liberty ISO 2
As a stability shoe with comfort at the forefront of its design, the Sacouny ISO is an excellent choice for pronating road runners.
8mm of plush cushioning is offset throughout the sole of the shoe, which gives even support and encourages a more balanced foot strike. Combined with a unique Everrun bottom and tri-flex outsole design that spreads impact, this shoe helps to reduce running's harmful effects on your joints.
As a high-stability shoe, the Sacouny ISO has many elements to keep your foot from rolling inward when striking the ground. Bordering on a shoe with complete motion control, your arch and ankle will stay in the proper line with every step.
Plus, the design of the upper part of the shoe includes fewer layers of fabric than most running shoes which allows for a more dynamic experience on the road. Your feet will be able to breathe and move with ample supported while proper technique is maintained.
Good pronation is key to painless and problem-free walking and running. When you pronate correctly, your foot rolls smoothly and you push off from the entire front part of your foot in an even manner at the end of the roll.
Unfortunately, not all runners pronate smoothly and evenly. A number of things can affect pronation. Arch height is one very important factor in determining whether a walker or runner underpronates, pronates normally or overpronates.
People who have an average arch typically pronate normally. Those who are flat-footed or have very low arches usually overpronate (aka: hyper-pronate), and this can cause walking and running related injuries. Those with very high arches underpronate or supinate.
In this article, we will focus on overpronation. We will explain the importance of proper motion control, padding and support in running shoes. We have also listed some shoe styles that we would recommended if you are looking for shoes that provide good stability when running Read on to learn more.
How Does Overpronation Look?
In overpronation, as in normal pronation, the heel touches the ground first; however, instead of rolling smoothly forward, a walker or runner who overpronates experiences an exaggerated inward rolling. This phenomenon causes the ankles and feet to become stressed while attempting to stabilize the body. This asymmetrical ambulation leads to inefficient shock absorption.
As the foot rolls forward, the stress of the final push-off falls mainly to the big toes rather than being spread across all five toes. This situation should be avoided as it can eventually lead to a very painful condition called Hallux Limitus (limited range-of-motion of the big toe). This can subsequently lead to a debilitating condition known as Hallux Rigidus, which is even more painful and involves complete inability to move or flex the big toe.
Overpronation Can Lead to a Number of Painful Injuries
Pain and injury to the big toes is not the only problem caused by overpronation. Excessive pronation can lead to a wide variety of overuse injuries to the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons of the hips and legs. Overpronation causes the entire leg to rotate inward in an exaggerated manner. This can cause overall stress to the lower limbs.
The excessive stress caused by the uneven distribution of weight and haphazard shock absorption can also cause problems such as:
These problems can significantly interfere with your ability to walk, run and engage in exercise. Overall, unaddressed overpronation can lead to a decline in your health and general physical condition.
What Can Be Done?
Begin by understanding that pronation is a natural part of movement and there are many proactive measures you can take to guide and mold your pronation to prevent injury and enjoy comfortable, efficient, effective walking, running and general exercise.
First, you must determine your level of pronation. You can do this in a number of ways both at home and through formal testing.
Get professional testing and analysis
What Will You Learn From Testing & Analysis?
Formal testing and analysis combined with consultation with your podiatrist or sports medicine specialist can help settle exactly what sort of arch and gait you have. It can help you get a very clear idea of how you pronate and what sort of footwear will suit you best.
- 1High Arch: People with very high arches typically have problems with underpronation. This means that as they walk or run, the outer side of the foot bears the most weight and impact with the ground. This causes very poor shock absorption and a great deal of pressure on the smaller toes. This can lead to problems such as ankle strain, shin splints and plantar fasciitis. Shoes that provide a great deal of cushioning and good arch support are recommended for underpronators (supinators).
- 2Neutral Arch: People who have neutral or normal arches experience normal pronation which distributes weight and absorbs shock evenly. This does not mean that they never experience exercise related injuries, but they are far less likely to have problems than men and women who have either high or low arches. Good cushioning and proper support are still recommended for runners with normal pronation patterns, but they do typically have a lot more choices in footwear than runners who have special considerations.
- 3Flat Feet or Low Arch: People who have flat feet tend to experience an extreme inward roll of the foot when walking or running. While they start the stride by striking the outer edge of the heel to the ground in a normal fashion, the foot rolls inward as the stride progresses and ends up pushing off from the big toe. This puts a great deal of weight and stress on the inner part of the ball of the foot and on the big toe joint.Injuries especially associated with this problem include heel spurs, shin splints, bunions and plantar fasciitis.
To avoid these injuries, men and women with flat feet or very low arches should seek out very supportive, well-structured, shoes that provide ample cushioning.With a complete understanding of your degree of pronation, you can make a wise and informed choice in running shoes. If you have performed some of the evaluation steps we have mentioned so far and found that you overpronate, read on for valuable information regarding running shoes to address overpronation.
What To Look For In Stability Running Shoes Designed For Overpronation
A well-designed stability running shoe will help to distribute your weight and the impact of ambulation more evenly and effectively. In addition to stability, the very best of these shoes provide very structured cushioning and maximum support. A good running shoe should have the following qualities:
Medial support and firm midsoles consist of a thicker, harder foam structure along the inner area of the sole, especially at the arch. This structuring helps prevent the foot from rolling inward and flattening the sole of the shoe.
The term “last” refers to the shape of the sole of the shoe. To help support the inner portion of your foot and prevent rolling inward, seek shoes with a “straight last”. This means that the sole should be fairly straight from toe to heel or just slightly curved. An exaggerated “C” shape is considered a “curved last”. Shoes with this shape of sole provide less support for the arches and inner portion of the foot.
A shoe with a straight or slightly curved last will provide more structure. Added cushioning will provide greater protection and motion control. You will find that this type of shoe is a bit heavier; however, for the amount of comfort they provide for flat feet the added weight is worth is a small trade-off.
Motion Control Running Shoes
These days there are all sorts of specialty running, walking and exercise shoes. Each claims to be more specialized and more perfect than the last. How can you know exactly what sort of shoe is right for you? In this article, we will describe several different types of running shoes and discuss the criteria for making your choice. We will focus on motion control running shoes designed especially for runners with low or no arch, and we will make specific recommendations in brands and styles to suit the needs of these runners. Read on to learn more.
Our Top Picks for Motion Control Sneakers
When seeking running shoes, you will probably find a vast assortment of stability shoes, which offer a combination of cushioning and support. If you are truly flat-footed and have a real problem with overpronation, these are unlikely to give you enough control and support. Here are our top picks for effective motion control running shoes:
1. New Balance 1540V3
This New Balance shoe has plenty of interesting features within the design to help users who need maximum support. Ideal for bigger or heavier persons who pronate excessively. There is a posting system to prevent rear-foot movement, enhanced support in the EVA cushioned midsole and a dual-density foam in the collar. In addition to this, wearers can enjoy great comfort from the soft lining, the seamless construction and the padding around the tongue. This shoe appears to cover users’ needs across the whole of the product and remains lightweight – with a lighter type of foam within the midsole than is seen in other models.
This may be classed as a diabetic shoe with a which could be approved under medicare funding, but that doesn’t mean that it looks like a medical product. Onlookers can see you walking or running in these shoes and be none the wiser about your needs. This is true for the men’s and women’s styles – both of which come in some great color schemes.
2. Brooks Beast 20
This has the look of a secure running shoe, and is specially designed for overpronators who need a higher degree of stability. The motion control system is meant to aid those with more severe pronation issues. This includes the external saddle, omega flex grooves and the high-level cushioning on the Super DNA midsole. A highlight here is the segmented crash pad for improved heel-to-toe transitions. In addition to this, users can achieve great comfort from the removable sock moisture-wicking lining and the plush tongue for maximum cushioning. Add in the tough rubber outsole and lace up closure and it ticks most of the right boxes.
3. Brooks Ariel 20
This includes the same grooves, saddles and other support features across the product. The aim with both shoes is to address severe overpronation by providing a rigid structure around the mid-foot and more fluidity in the heel and toes. There is also a similar approach to comfort with the padding provided.
This is all a surprise because the Ariel is the female version. It seems that the designers didn’t see a need to weaken the specification too much – just the name. The colour options are different too. While the men get an all-black option, a female pronator has one with pink accents.
What’s The Difference Between Cushioning Shoes, Stability Shoes & Motion Control Shoes?
Cushioning shoes are intended for people who have an average or high arch. They are useful for people who have a neutral gait when walking or running and for those whose feet tend to roll outward (supinate). They do not provide enough support, stability and motion control for people with low or no arch whose feet tend to roll inward (pronate).
If you have normal arch, you may still have a bit of a problem with pronation. Stability shoes are designed to help prevent and correct this tendency. If you are flat-footed and/or your weigh more than 180 pounds, you will have more of a tendency to overpronate. In this case, a motion control shoe is highly recommended. These shoes provide even more stability and can help prevent damage and injury to your feet, legs and lower back.
Most running shoes are stability shoes and provide some pronation control. They are equipped with firm medial and/or lateral posts, which provide extra support at mid-foot and in the heel. They are usually fairly flexible and cushiony.
Motion control (aka: high-stability shoes) typically have a very firm midsole, and they provide very strong support to help prevent overpronation. This type of shoe always has a very firm medial post and a very firm lateral post to keep the foot securely in place from the heel to the toe of the shoe.
This extra support and structure does make the shoe a bit heavier and somewhat inflexible; however, the end result is that your foot will not slide about inside your shoe. The added support and structure keep your feet securely aligned to prevent an asymmetrical gait, which can lead to torque in the ankles, knees and hips, resulting in injury.
Are Motion Control Running Shoes Backed By Science?
There have been a number of studies regarding the efficacy of motion control shoes, but the results are somewhat sketchy for a number of reasons. For one thing, the studies were often funded by makers of motion control shoes. Furthermore, very often the studies where informal and not truly scientific, so they were plagued with problems such as inconsistent methodology and participants dropping out before results could be tallied. Nonetheless, the findings are of some interest; although, they should be taken with a grain of salt.
Some studies have found that people who wear shoes that are specifically designed for their foot type experience no fewer running injuries than those who do not. Other studies have found that flat-footed people who wear motion control running shoes experience greater foot comfort and less pain in the quadriceps.
In one study reported that women who switched from their accustomed running shoes to shoes that were specifically designed for their foot type experienced pain when running. This may, or may not be significant as any switch in equipment can cause some initial pain. Additionally, if the participants in this study were not experiencing any problems with their accustomed shoes, there was no reason to switch.
One of the very best and most conclusive studies comes from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers conducted a large scale study for the purpose of investigating whether or not motion control shoes actually help reduce injuries in runners who tend to overpronate.
The study included over 300 participants with varying degrees of arch structure. In the final analysis, researchers found that motion control shoes do, indeed, reduce risk of injury significantly for this flat-footed runners. The researchers caution that use of motion control shoes by runners with neutral or high arches is not beneficial and may actually be damaging.
It should also be noted that podiatrists and running specialists caution against total reliance on footwear to avoid injuries. Remember that form and fitness also play a very big role in avoiding injury. Podiatrist, Nicholas A Campitelli points out that knowing how to run correctly is at least as important as wearing the right footwear.
How Does Motion Control Help Prevent Or Soothe Plantar Fasciitis?
This type of shoe holds your foot firmly in place. This helps prevent over-stretching of the plantar fascia. When this ligament is held secure, it is less likely tear. Without proper arch control, your arches (even flat arches) are very stressed and may collapse as you run. Shoes that hold and support your foot firmly can prevent this from happening.
Motion control shoes stop your heel from sliding about in your shoe. They have a deep heel cup that holds your heel firmly in place and prevents it sliding up and down or side-to-side. Excessive motion in the heel can cause the plantar fascia to become detached from its connecting point in the heel. This is an extremely painful event that may require surgery to correct.
Qualities To Seek In Footwear For Motion Control
Medial support is the most important quality in motion control shoes. This is the aspect of the sole that stops your foot from rolling in as you ambulate forward.
A firm, heel with a deep heel cup is also very important. Look for shoes that hold your heel in place firmly. The back of the shoe should have a padded collar that prevents your heel from slipping up and down as you flex your foot.
Avoid shoes with excessive cushioning as this creates potential for motion. When cushioning begins to break down, space is created inside the shoe.
It may feel strange at first to wear shoes with very little cushioning, but remember that firm support prevents injuries. Excessive cushioning can cause injuries. Seek a balance between comfort, support and control.
The Bottom Line
Every body is different. That is why there are so many different types of running shoes and so many different ideas about what is right for which type of foot, body and runner.
As a matter of fact, there may be no single type of perfect running shoe for you. In addition to considering your feet, your body type and your level of fitness, you must also consider use. You may need different shoes for running long distances, sprinting and running over different surfaces. The shoes you use for trail running may be very different from those you would wear when running a marathon over paved roads.
I’m a adult male with overpronation and wider feet in the toebox area. Big toe is the longest and I have 1/8 to 1/4 inch space between all toes except my little toe and the toe next to it. The little toe is curved inward from years of cramming them into shoes. I’m a chef. I skateboard, snowboard, and love hiking. Basically my life is standing. But for whatever reasons, I can’t seem to find a pair of shoes that are the holy grail.
Where can I find a wide toebox shoe for overpronation that’s mainly designed for everyday comfort and wear (not running)? With style would be great as well.