Pronation, Overpronation & Supination: Causes & Treatments
When you walk or run, your ankles and feet roll inward in a process called pronation. Incorrect form, foot structure, unsupportive shoes, and other factors can cause your feet to roll too much or too little, leading to problems with stability, foot health, and even pain. Keep reading to find out if your feet overpronate or underpronate, and how PowerStep® orthotic insoles help correct both.
Pronation of the Foot
Foot pronation is the natural inward rolling of the foot. This motion allows for an even distribution of pressure and shock absorption from foot fall to lift. Depending on your arch shape and gait, your foot may roll too much or too little, creating an uneven distribution of weight and increasing your risk of injury, pain, and certain foot conditions.
Orthotics like PowerStep insoles help control the motion of your ankle and foot to prevent abnormalities like overpronation and underpronation, giving you a healthier stride with every step.
After your heel strikes the ground, the arch of a normal pronated foot starts to flatten as it falls to cushion and absorb shock. Once the sole of the foot hits the ground, it then rolls about 15% inward and pushes off at the first and second toes while the other toes help stabilize the forefoot.
After the outside of the heel touches the ground with each step, feet that overpronate roll beyond the ideal 15%, resulting in less stability. The ankle collapses inward, twisting the lower leg, and your first toe strains to push off the weight, leading to excess stress on the forefoot.
While overpronation is common in people with flatfeet or fallen arches, it can also lead to other conditions like back, knee, and hip pain as well as shin splints, ankle sprains, and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD).
Underpronation, or supination, happens when the foot rolls very little or not at all. The outside of your heel still strikes the ground, but not enough movement afterwards means the outside edge of your foot absorbs the majority of the impact.
Foot supination is common in those with high arches. People who have bunions, calluses, or another condition affecting the inside of their foot may also underpronate to avoid pain. Injuries associated with supination include ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.
How PowerStep Insoles Correct Pronation & Supination
PowerStep orthotic insoles are clinically proven to relieve and prevent pain from mild to moderate pronation. Our patented arch shape and deep heel cradle offer the perfect balance of comfort and support that stabilizes and aligns the feet to improve motion control and prevent abnormal pronation. Check out our recommended insoles below so you can walk and run pain free.
If you have normal pronation, you can still benefit from a quality pair of arch supporting orthotics or comfort insoles. PowerStep is the trusted solution for improved foot function and pain relief, preventing foot problems at the source. Get the best support for all your activities with:
- Pinnacle Insoles: PowerStep Pinnacle features firm, yet flexible neutral arch support and a deep heel cradle for increased comfort, stability, and motion control.
- PULSE® Performance: Designed for those who live an active lifestyle, PULSE Performance insoles provide premium arch support and shock absorbing cushioning to reduce fatigue and boost performance.
- PowerStep bridge™: This all-in-one insole features flexible arch support that adapts to your foot shape plus shock absorbing foam, making it the ideal insole for standing all day.
Insoles for Overpronation
Insoles that give you better motion control of your foot and ankle help correct overpronated feet, stopping the ankle from rolling too much inward. PowerStep offers the best overpronation insoles for adults, children, and those with wide feet. Popular options include:
- Pinnacle Maxx Support: Pinnacle Maxx Support insoles feature the signature PowerStep arch shape with a firmer shell and slightly angled heel post for greater correction and arch support.
- PULSE Maxx Support: A great insole for running with flat feet, PULSE Maxx Support insoles prevent overpronation during athletic activity and absorb shock to reduce stress on the feet and ankles.
- Pinnacle Low: If you have low arches or flat feet, Pinnacle Low offers firm, yet flexible low arch support with a deep heel cradle for increased comfort, stability, and motion control.
Insoles for Supination
Insoles with a flexible arch and extra cushion can help correct underpronation, especially for those with high arches. PowerStep offers a selection of underpronation insoles made especially for those with higher arches, including:
- Pinnacle High: Designed with a higher than average arch and dual-layer cushioning, these supination insoles support high arches, provide maximum comfort, and enhance motion control.
- Heat Moldable Insoles: These heat molding insoles provide support for all arch types, conforming to your individual foot shape for a personalized fit.
How to Tell If You Overpronate or Underpronate
Whether you’re shopping for running shoe insoles or a new insert for your walking shoes, it’s important to understand how your feet move. Getting the right amount of support and cushion can prevent injuries, relieve pain, and improve stability. Here are a few ways you can tell if you overpronate or underpronate:
- Shoe Wear Patterns: More wear on the inner side of the heel and forefoot of your shoe means you likely overpronate, while supinators have more wear on the outside edge of the sole.
- Gait Analysis: Specialty foot and ankle stores and running stores analyze your gait and where you put the most pressure on your feet to help determine your pronation type.
- Visit A Podiatrist: If you have foot pain that may stem from how your feet pronate, visit a podiatrist for treatment options like PowerStep ProTech® medical orthotics.
- Take Our Arch Height Test: By finding your arch height, you can better determine the kind of support you need, whether you struggle with overpronation or underpronation.
Find the Best Insoles for Pronation
If you have mild to moderate overpronation or supination and experience pain while walking or running, choose PowerStep orthotics as your trusted solution for foot pain relief. For more help finding the perfect insole for you, try our insole finder.