Everyone’s feet are slightly different, some of us are prone to overpronation, whilst others are prone to supination. Pronation is normal, and everyone’s feet will pronate to some extent whilst walking and running. Your feet will roll inwards slightly with every step that you take, however for those suffering with overpronation, the ankle will roll too far downward and inward with every step that you take. This is often seen in people with flat feet, but this isn’t the only cause.
Overpronation disrupts your body’s natural alignment whilst running or walking, which exaggerates the impact force felt on your feet as they strike the ground. This can lead to a number of frequent injuries for runners, such as shin splints, lower back pain and knee pain.
But all hope is not lost! Overpronation is common and having the best running shoes for overpronation can go along way in treating your injuries caused by overpronation. But more on that later, first, let’s look at the causes and symptoms of overpronation.
Symptoms of overpronation
So you think you’re one of the many unfortunate people that’s suffering with overpronation? There are many different symptoms that are caused by overpronation, these are the key ones to look out for.
Pain in the heels or arches is a very common symptom that people who overpronate experience. This is because the force that is impacted on your feet whilst running is not being impacted on the right areas of your feet. Feet which are overly pronated will put excess stress on the tendons around the heel and arches area, causing aches and pains than can force you to give up from running.
Pain in the knees and back is also a common symptom. It may seem strange to think that such a minor issue in your feet could cause severe back pain, but it can. This is because your overpronation can lead you to alter the way your run, or even walk, and these small changes to your bodies alignment, posture and balance can work their way up to areas such as your knees, hips and back. Leading to pain. If you are suffering from back pain, it is always best to consult a doctor before assuming that this is caused by your running style. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
What is it that’s causing this overpronation? Let’s look in to it…
Causes of overpronation
As we discussed earlier on in the article, one of most common causes of overpronation is having flat feet, also known as a fallen arch. If you’re wondering what having flat feet means, it’s when your feet lack an arch on the inside of them. This often results in the entirety of the sole touching the ground when barefooted.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you have flat feet, stand side on to a full-length mirror, and take particular note of how arched your feet are.
There are a number ways that people can develop flat feet, and in some cases, you can be born with it. However, being overweight can also increase the likelihood of developing flat feet. Surprisingly, running more often can actually increase your chances of developing flat feet! This is because of the repeated impact that is exerted on your feet as they hit the floor.
There are certain exercises that you can do that may help to relieve the pain caused by overpronation by helping to strengthen the arches of your feet!
We have a full post on the best running shoes for people with flat feet that you can check out here!
This will help to help correct the alignment of your lower legs and could prevent any future issues. Let’s get into them…
Exercises for overpronation
The first exercise we’re going to recommend is the ‘duck stand’. This exercise works the glutes which will help because the glutes play a key role in dictating how much you pronate whilst running.
You need to stand with your heels together, and your feet turned out like, you guessed it, a duck!
Then bend your knees, moving your legs outwards, using only the glute muscles where possible. Repeat this process for up to 1 minute, every day, to help warm up the glutes before running.
The 2nd exercise that can help with overpronation is a simple calf raise. This exercise helps to strengthen the calf muscles, which support the lower legs.
Start by standing tall with your feet facing forwards, shoulder width apart. Lift the heels of your feet up as high as you can, and hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat this process 10 to 12 times per set. Try and do up to 3 sets, 3 times a week if you can! If you want to make things a little bit more challenging, try holding some weights in each hand, this will increase the weight that your calves have to raise, helping them to build muscle.
The last exercise that we recommend is a little bit more unorthodox, but is said to be great for overpronation and heel pain. For this one you’ll need a golf ball…
Golf ball stretch
Place the golf ball on the floor, and place one foot on top of the golf ball. Roll your foot over the ball for 45 seconds, and when you feel that the golf ball has reached a pain point, massage that area for 15 seconds.
Switch and do this on the other foot.
There’s a great video demonstration by ‘HeelThatPain’ of this drill if you’re struggling to visualise it:
Now that we’ve discussed the symptoms, causes and exercises you can do to help at home, let’s get in to the final piece of advice… running shoes!
Wearing the best running shoes for overpronation will always help as they will support your feet and keep them stable and comfortable. Overpronation running shoes are often designed with added padding in the sole which provides extra levels of protection to the delicate arches and heels.
ASICS Gel Kayano 25 running shoes
ASICS are a top, well respected brand in the running community. This is because they’ve built a reputation over the years for making quality pairs of running shoes. The Gel Kayano 25 come with two types of gel within the midsole, one of which is at the heel and is designed to cushion the landing and spread the force on impact with the ground.
This will reduce the stress placed on the heels and arches and reduce the pain felt when running.
As well as offering additional protection and support, the shoes are designed to be comfortable and breathable, helping you to run those long marathons without getting uncomfortable!
New Balance Vongo V3 running shoes
New Balance are another well known brand in the sporting community, not just the running community. They have consistently made top pairs of running shoes that offer both premium quality and design. The Vongo V3 were built with support in mind.
They come with a fresh foam midsole which provides the extra support that those who overpronate need.
In addition to the superior levels of support, they are lightweight and comfortable as well as breathable. This will stop you from getting blisters during your run, which as we all know, can be extremely painful!
A few reviews have noted that these shoes tend to run a half size small, so keep this in mind when ordering your pair!
Brooks Beast 18 running shoes
The only shoes that Brooks make are running shoes. You could say that they are something of a specialist in the area! Having been in the running shoes business since 1977, it’s fair to say that they make quality running shoes, and you should keep the Brooks Beast 18 shoes in mind if you’re prone to overpronation.
These are specialised motion controlled running shoes which offer additional support for the arches and heels as well as stability.
They are also very durable and produced to the highest quality, making them the perfect purchase if you’re looking for a pair that you won’t have to replace in the near future.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 14
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 running shoes are another top pick for those of you that are suffering from overpronation.
The increased levels of support help with shock absorption by offering superior levels of cushioning throughout the shoe. These are also designed to spread the impact energy over the entire foot. This reduces the stress in particular areas of the foot and may reduce the pain experienced when you overpronate.
To summarise, overpronation can be a pain! But there are many different ways to combat it and to help you get back on the running track. From changing your diet, to exercise and buying the best running shoes for overpronation, you can help to fight back against overpronation!
I hope you found this post helpful, if you did please check out the rest of articles advising you on the best running shoes money can buy!