Signs and Solutions of Being an Overpronator

Use These Tips to See Whether You Need Motion-Control Shoes

Overpronation. Wendy Bumgardner © 2014

Here are some signs and solutions of being an overpronator.

Overpronators have a stride where the ankle rolls too inward during each step. In a person with a normal gait pattern, the foot rolls slightly inward after the heel strikes (this is pronation), but then it straightens and reverses to roll slightly outward at toe-off. With overpronators, the foot continues to roll inward and downward during the step.

This excessive roll is overpronation and it can put a strain on the ankle, shins, and knee.

Do You Need Motion-Control Shoes?

Motion-control shoes have a stiffer heel and medial support to prevent the foot from rolling too inward. This helps overpronators, but if you have a normal gait you don't need motion control shoes. They are not for everyone, so you need to know whether you overpronate, have a neutral gait, or are the rare person who is a supinator.

Detecting Whether You Are an Overpronator

1. Check Your Shoe Wear Pattern: Look at the soles of your current walking or running shoes. Overpronators will see more wear on the inner side of the heel and forefoot. This is one clue that an athletic shoe expert will look at when he or she analyzes you to see if you need motion-control shoes, so always bring worn pairs along when shoe shopping.

2. Shoe Tilt:: Take a pair of shoes or boots you have been wearing regularly for several months.

Put them on a table with the heels facing you. Do the heels tilt in? If so, you may be an overpronator. This tilt is due to them wearing more on the inner side of the heel.

3. Have a Shoe Fit Expert Watch You Walk: The staff at serious running shoe stores are trained to spot overpronation. The salesperson may have you walk or run on a treadmill or watch you walk around the store.

Look for stores that offer free gait and foot analysis.
Finding a technical running shoe store

Motion-Control Shoes for Overpronators

Motion-control shoes have more medial stability to help prevent your foot from rotating too far inward and downward. Most brands of running shoes have motion control shoe models, and many of these are appropriate for walkers who are overpronators.
Top Picks for Motion Control Shoes

Insoles and Orthotics for Overpronators

If you are an overpronator who prefers to wear boots or shoes that don't have motion-control elements, then consider buying over-the-counter insoles and orthotics that can help provide medial stability. You may want to visit a store that specializes in insoles and other minor shoe modifications. It can help to have a foot analysis done with a scanner that senses where you place the most pressure on your feet.

Severe overpronators or those who can't be helped with such generic products may need to be prescribed a custom orthotic to wear in their shoes. You will need to consult with a podiatrist to have this done.


American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.

Donatelli, Robert. "Normal Biomechanics of the Foot and Ankle." The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. November, 1985.

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