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THE FACTS ON OVERPRONATION:

WHAT IS OVERPRONATION?

In order to understand what overpronation is, it’s important to first understand pronation and what it means to pronate. Pronation is a natural bodily foot movement that occurs when you walk or run. Your foot makes contact with the ground at the outside of the heel and then it rolls inward in order to distribute your weight and absorb shock. As the ankles tilt inward, the foot flattens and stretches.

A healthy degree of pronation is necessary but too much pronation can cause issues. With overpronation, the natural movement of pronation is exaggerated and the foot continues to roll at a time when it should be pushing off of the ground. This results in excess weight being transferred to the inner part of the sole of the foot rather than the ball of the foot as should happen. Overpronation can put stress on ligaments, muscles and tendons and in turn increases the risk of pain, injury and foot issues. Common conditions that can result from overpronation include:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bunions
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Heel spurs
  • Sprains
  • Shin splints
  • Hip, back and knee pain

WHAT CAUSES OVERPRONATION?

Loose joints and ligaments in the feet can increase the likelihood of overpronating. When the feet are “loose”, they may allow for excess movement when running and walking. Certain factors can contribute to loose joints and ligaments in the feet, including genetics, pregnancy, excess weight, specific kinds of injuries and certain types of foot deformities.

HOW TO RELIEVE OVERPRONATION?

If you think you overpronate, a gait analysis might be helpful. This can help determine if there are issues with the way you walk and run. If it’s determined that you overpronate, there are several solutions which can help manage the issue and reduce the risk of pain and injury.

Stabilizing shoes, insoles and orthotics are designed to provide additional arch support and help improve stability and alignment in order to balance natural movement and reduce stress on the lower body. Doctors can prescribe custom orthotics. Over-the-counter stabilizing support insoles are also available. Dr. Scholl’s® Stabilizing Support Insoles help boost stability and balance, improve ankle alignment and provide arch support in order to reduce the ability to overpronate and as a result, better distribute weight. The insoles include a shock-absorbing heel cup to help minimize stress on the legs.

Tape and braces can provide support and stability for the ankles in order to reduce pronation.

Icing and NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can reduce inflammation and pain associated with overpronation.

Physical therapy can help minimize the effects of overpronation, reducing pain and the risk of injury.

SHOP PRODUCTS FOR OVERPRONATION

Frequently Asked Questions

How to correct overpronation

Good quality shoes and insoles can help manage overpronation. You might consider getting a gait analysis in order to determine exactly how you’re moving when you walk or run. A gait analysis can identify issues, helping to determine which shoes are right for you. Some podiatrists and physical therapists can perform a gait analysis, as can some other types of healthcare professionals. Many specialty running stores also offer a limited, more basic gate analysis, often free of charge.
There are motion control and stability shoes that are designed specifically for people who overpronate. You may need to experiment with different types of shoes in order to find the ones that work best for you.

Specialty insoles such as Dr. Scholl's® Stabilizing Support Insoles can also be helpful for people who overpronate. Dr. Scholl's® Stabilizing Support Insoles feature a motion control stabilizing shell for managing ankle alignment.

Do overpronators need stability shoes?

It’s not clear whether all people who overpronate need stability shoes. If you overpronate and you’re considering which shoes might be best for you, consider getting a gait analysis from a medical professional or at your running store. This can help give you an indication of which shoes might work well for you.

Stability shoes feature varying degrees of motion control. Generally speaking, the more stability a shoe provides, the stiffer and heavier it will feel. Some people find that they need to balance stability with comfort. You may need to try different shoes in order to find the ideal pair that provides stability without feeling uncomfortable.

In addition to shoes, there are also stability insoles that can help address overpronation.

What is an overpronator?

An overpronator is an individual who overpronates. When someone overpronates, the feet roll inward too far when walking and running. Some pronation is healthy and normal. When the feet strike the ground, they rotate inward, allowing for shock absorption and weight distribution. However, when someone is an overpronator, the feet remain in a pronated position when they need to be pushing off the ground.

What are the best insoles for overpronation?

The best insoles for overpronation are those that provide stability, reducing the amount of motion in the feet and managing ankle alignment. Dr. Scholl’s® Stabilizing Support Insoles are ideal for overpronation. They feature a stabilizing shell for optimal motion control.

What is overpronate?

Overpronate means that the natural bodily foot movement of pronation is exaggerated. Pronation is a normal motion of the foot that helps with shock absorption and weight distribution. When the feet strike the ground during walks and runs, the first contact is made along the outside of the heel. The feet then roll towards the inside, causing the feet to stretch and flatten. When someone overpronates, there is too much inward rolling of the foot. This can increase the risk of pain and injury.

How to tell if you overpronate

It’s not always easy to determine if you overpronate. Wear patterns on your shoes may give you an indication. People who overpronate tend to see a great deal of wear on the inside of the soles of their shoes. Overpronation can increase the risk of a number of issues such as pain in the knees, hips, back and heels. However, these issues can be caused by a number of other factors as well.

If you suspect your overpronate, see your healthcare provider. They may perform an evaluation or refer you to a specialist. In order to determine if you overpronate, it may be necessary to evaluate what happens to your arches when pressure is applied, such as when you're standing.

A gait analysis can also be helpful for determining of you overpronate. Gait refers to the way you walk or run. Certain types of healthcare professionals such as podiatrists and physical therapists can evaluate your gait. Many running apparel stores offer a no-cost gait analysis. However, it’s usually a more limited service and doesn’t typically provide as much detail.

During a gait analysis, you will likely walk or run on a treadmill. The professional performing the analysis may observe your movements, or they may video your movements and observe them afterwards. The analysis will consider how your foot is striking the ground as well as the timing of the ground strikes. Additional tools may be used to help evaluate your gait and determine if you overpronate.

What is overpronation of the foot?

Overpronation of the foot occurs when the foot rolls inward too much when walking and running. When the foot first touches the ground, the initial contact is made along the outside of the heel. The foot then rotates inward, flattening and stretching as it does so. Some pronation is natural and beneficial since it helps the lower body absorb shock. However, when pronation is exaggerated and the foot continues to rotate when it should be pushing off the ground, the risk of pain and injury increases.

How to fix overpronation

There is no fix for overpronation. However, the right shoes and insoles can help address the problem. Shoes that provide support and stability can reduce pronation. There are running shoes that are specifically designed for stability and motion control. Some people who overpronate find these shoes to be beneficial, although you may need to experiment with different shoes in order to find a brand and style that works for you.

Insoles and orthotics that provide extra stability and support can also be very beneficial for those who overpronate.

What does overpronate mean?

Overpronate means too much pronation, which is a natural foot movement. It’s normal to pronate. When a person walks or runs, the feet should pronate. After the feet make initial contact with the ground at the outside of the heel, they tilt inward, stretching and flattening in order to help distribute weight and absorb shock. However, when someone pronates, the inward rolling motion is exaggerated, and it continues when the feet should be pushing off.

What is overpronating?

Overpronating is pronating excessively. Pronating is normal. Pronating refers to a healthy movement that helps the body absorb shock and properly distribute weight when running and walking. Normally, the ankles tilt inward and allow the feet to roll towards the interior after striking the ground. As this happens, there’s a stretching and flattening of the feet. Overpronating occurs if the feet roll inward too much, causing excess flattening and stretching.