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Am I an Overpronator?


Updated June 30, 2014



Wendy Bumgardner © 2014

Question: Am I an Overpronator?

How do I know whether I am an overpronator? What signs show that you need motion control shoes to correct overpronation?

Answer: Overpronators have a stride where the ankle rolls too much inward during each step. It is normal for the foot to roll slightly inward after the heel strikes, 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 can put strain on the ankle, shins and knee.

Motion control shoes help overpronators by having a stiffer heel and medial support to prevent the foot from rolling too far inward. This helps overpronators, but if you have a normal gait you don't need motion control shoes.

Detecting That You Are an Overpronator

1. 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.

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 inward? If so, you may be an overpronator.

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 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. 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.

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