The Best Shoes for Supination: Your Complete Shopping Guide
If you struggle with supination, you’re probably already aware of how many problems it can cause. If not, that’s what we’re here for! Ahead, we’ll take a look at what supination is (and what it means to be “over supinated“), as well as information, such as:
- What causes it
- Physical issues and injuries it can cause
- How to best treat it
If you’re a supinator, guess what? It’s time to invest in top-quality shoes with the right arch support for supination. That is, if you haven’t already! You’d be surprised at the selection of quality footwear, orthotics, insoles, and more that can be used to battle and prevent this oft-painful issue.
Keep reading for your one-stop shopping guide to finding the best shoes for supination.
What is Supination?
Supination, also known as underpronation, occurs when weight is placed on the outside of the foot while walking. It’s actually a normal part of the gait cycle, or the movement of a foot through each step. In other words, both supination and pronation, its opposite, refer to the foot’s natural movement while walking, running, or hiking. It’s when either of these anatomical movements become excessive that we run into problems — literally!
Those with excessive supination tend not to roll their feet in enough while in motion. Healthline tells us that “in a normal stride, your foot should roll inward a bit (pronate) so that your weight is on the ball of your foot. Then you push off the big toe. If you supinate, most of your weight falls on the outside of your foot and you push off from your outer toes instead.” This can lead to pain and discomfort in the outer foot, ankle, knee, and hip areas, so it’s nothing to take lightly.
The best way to begin correcting supination is to understand what shoes are right for you. With the right arch support, you can correct your gait and provide yourself with the cushion necessary to have a normal, painless stride. Keep reading to find out more about how you can overcome supination, including a look at some of the top shoes on the market that will help you correct the issue!
The Difference between Supination and Pronation
So, what’s the difference between supination and pronation, you ask? Put simply, pronation is the opposite of supination, which mean it occurs when your foot rolls inward as you walk or run. Of course, pronation comes with its own laundry list of issues that you’ll want to avoid by finding a quality shoe. This largely involve pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments on the underside of the foot, which will be overstretched as the foot rolls inward. This problem is more common than supination, increasing the likelihood that you might have or develop it. Against this backdrop, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the shoes later on in this guide that can help you combat these problems!
Why Does Supination Occur, and What Issues Can It Lead to?
Supination can be caused by a number of factors. Let’s take a look at a few to better understand the condition:
Supination can be an inherited issue that affects the structure of the foot. In cases such of these, it’s especially important to find an orthopedic that works for you. After all, the right shoe can set you up for years to come!
- Old (or New) Injuries
Interestingly, a common cause of supination is injury to the ankles (both old and new). This means those suffering from the condition should take extra care to avoid re-injury and find quality shoes with the right level of arch support in order to continue living a healthy lifestyle.
- Exercise (or Lack Thereof)
Studies have revealed that both too much exercise and too little exercise can lead to supination. The short of it is, then, to make sure to get in the recommended amount of movement every day so that you don’t risk your physical health. What’s the recommended amount? You’ll have to ask your physician for that.
- The Wrong Shoes
If you’ve ever worn a pair of shoes that just murdered your feet, you probably already guessed this one. Simply put, the wrong shoes can force undue pressure onto your feet, while also forgoing the support you need in the arches. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that you’re always in a quality pair of shoes that can keep you upright for hours with no ill effects!
What This Means for You
No matter what it’s caused by, the pain, soreness, and potential for injury supination may cause to the supinator cannot be disputed. According to Medical News Today, “excessive supination (underpronation) and excessive pronation (overpronation) can cause problems with the body’s alignment and lead to pain in the feet, knees, hips, and back.” Over time, excessive supination can also lead to issues and even injury in the ankles, since it causes them to roll outward. It can also lead to bad posture, soreness, and pain. Obviously, this should be avoided at all costs.
As if these issues weren’t bad enough, Dr. Axe states that more of the “aches and pains associated with supination abnormalities include . . . developing hammertoes (clawed toes), Achilles tendinitis, running injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, iliotibial syndrome affecting the knees, along with general instability and weakness.”
Hammertoes? Tendinitis? No thanks! We feel the same way about plantar fasciitis, which is a common — and rather painful — inflammation of the plantar fascia, or the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel of your foot to your toes. (Read more about plantar fasciitis here.)
Shin splints refer to pain that occurs along the inner edge of the shinbone, between the knee and ankle. This is the region of the lower leg that is known as the tibia. Iliotibial syndrome (also called ITBS) is one of the leading causes of knee pain for runners.
To break it down for you, the iliotibial band is the thick band of fascia, or connective tissue, that runs along the outer edge of the leg and knee. It’s called “runner’s knee” for good reason!
So, how can we fight the good fight against supination abnormalities and, in the process, prevent far more serious conditions and injuries? You’re about to find out.
How to Prevent Oversupination
The best way to prevent oversupination is to protect your feet with supportive shoes and, in some cases, orthotic insoles. But of course, we’re not doctors — so if you think you’ve already got supination, we’d recommend seeing your podiatrist for a thorough gait analysis.
Once you’ve determined you oversupinate, it’s all about choosing the right shoes for your running gait and foot type. In order to make an informed decision when shoe shopping, it’s a good idea to have your feet measured beforehand.
Remember, the length of your foot is only one part of a fitting! It’s important to know the width and depth of your foot as well, so you can find shoes with the right fit as well as proper support for any issues you may have. Missing out on any one of these elements could mean you wind up with a shoe that doesn’t optimize your support—so be careful and precise when looking for your model.
You should also be sure to stretch regularly, especially before workouts and grueling physical activity. Doing exercises that strengthen and condition the lower leg muscles is important, too. Flexibility is key in keeping your muscles and tendons supple and healthy!
Check out the video below for some great calf strengthening and flexibility exercises for better foot, knee and hip health.
Choosing The Right Shoes With Proper Arch Support for Supination
Since over-supinating generally means you run on the outer edges of your feet, it’s important to invest in shoes with arch support that helps ameliorate this condition.
Those with high arches usually underpronate. In fact, high, inflexible arches and supination are two peas in a very uncomfortable pod. This means supinators should look for a neutral-cushioned shoe in order to provide support and comfort for their feet while, running, jumping, and engaging in other physical activities (you can read about the different arch types here).
Pro Tip: Supinators should avoid motion control shoes, which actually work best for those with the opposition condition—overpronation.
What Are the Best Shoes for Underpronation?
Good news for those who love a good sandal or flip-flop — they, too, can offer the right kind of support, even for those who supinate. The best sandals for underpronation feature an extra-cushioned footbed that can:
- Be flexible enough to allow the natural roll of the foot without sacrificing support and comfort
- Apply the right amount of shock reduction to encourage your feet to have the correct anatomical alignment
- Provide responsive support from heel to forefoot so that your full body weight will be distributed evenly across the entire foot surface (not just the heel and forefoot), in order to soften the impact throughout the gait cycle, therefore, preventing foot pain
- Encourage your foot’s neutral alignment or ideal biomechanics
- Relieve pain in the knee, thigh, hip, and lower back areas
Sound good to you? Great! Keep reading for the best shoes, including sandals, that feature proper arch support for underpronation, ahead.
Brooks Women’s Ghost 11
With medium to high arch support and a removable foam insole that provides plenty of cushioning and support for the underfoot, the Brooks Women’s Ghost 11 is no ordinary running shoe. This lightweight and durable sneaker even features a segmented crash pad that will offer full support no matter how you land on your foot—or what kind of terrain you’re trekking through!
Plus, it comes in a range of colors, from black to vivid color combinations like white, pink, and black—so that you can walk, run, and hike in both style and comfort. Speaking of style, this sneaker sheds the drab look you’ll find with other orthopedics in favor of an athletic design that will have your friends marveling! In other words, the Brooks Women’s Ghost 11 is one of the best women’s shoes for supination and should be toward the top of any list!
The Samara Walking Sandal for Women
But you don’t have to turn to sneakers to find your next quality orthopedic. That’s because sandals, too, can provide that excellent arch support you deserve—whether you’re dealing with supination and fallen arches or other issues.
For supinators, that’s where the Samara sandal from Viakix comes in. This little baby offers a comfortable, customized fit, with stretchy elastic webbing that can adjust to and accommodate your foot size, as well as a cushioned, ergonomic EVA foam midsole with excellent arch support. While that may be enough in and of itself, the benefits of the Samara sandal don’t stop there. These sandles are lightweight and dry quickly, which means you can take them on all sorts of adventures and even a vacation or two.
With durable webbing and a rugged rubber outsole, the Samara women’s sandal with arch support is the perfect pick for supinators who want to lead their lives on the go, regardless of their condition!
Purchase the Viakix Samara Sandal directly here.
Nike Women’s Air Zoom Vomero 13 Running Shoe
This sleek and stylish sneaker is an excellent pick for those who struggle with oversupination but don’t want to let it get in the way of their favorite outdoor activities. It features a durable rubber sole and outer sole, flywire cables that wrap around the midfoot for customizable protection, and a foam midsole with plush cushioning. The result is an incredible amount of traction that will help with balance and provide the support you need for all-day wear.
Choose from a selection of colors, ranging from gray to black and white and even a beautiful combination of teal, white, and silver. No matter what your preferred style, you’ll be sure to find something you like with the amazing style combinations offered by the Nike Women’s Air Zoom Vomero 13 Running Shoes!
New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080v8 Running Shoe
Ready for a game-changer? One of the best walking shoes for supination, the Women’s Fresh Foam 1080v8 Running Shoe from New Balance works for those with high arches, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, and more. It comes with a blown rubber outsole, engineered mesh, plenty of cushioning, and extra room in the toe box!
According to reviews, this model prevents a whole range of issues, including lower back problems. This sneaker is a great pick even for those just getting back into the running grind after suffering from knee injuries. Whatever your reasons, you are sure to benefit from this incredible running shoe!
Vionic Women’s Rest Amber Backstrap Sandal
These walking sandals feature concealed arch support, so that you’ll rock it all day long in comfort and style. With a microfiber-wrapped EVA footbed, adjustable hook-and-loop closure for optimal customization, and a durable rubber outsole, this stylish slingback sandal is just as comfortable as it is chic.
Even better? The Vionic brand is stamped with the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance, in case you needed more convincing. Plus, it comes in 9 different shades, so you can happily purchase more than one. We’re partial to the Gold Cork, ourselves! As one of the best sandals for supination, this model is well worth a try for yourself!
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20 Women’s Running Shoe
The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20 is aptly named. It only takes one wear to feel like you’re running on clouds! It’s got rubber soles, discreetly placed eyelet construction that helps to disperse lace tension, and a special technology cushioning system that attenuates shock during impact for both the forefoot and rearfoot.
Basically, this means it’s a smooth and shock-absorbing shoe that allows the perfect amount of supported movement as the foot shifts throughout the gait cycle. If you’re looking the best walking shoes for underpronation, it’s best to purchase the Dynaflyte 3 fit.
Viakix Napali Sandal
The Napali Sandal from Viakix is a gloriously comfortable orthotic walking sandal that features a thick, ergonomic EVA foam midsole. This foam midsole provides more cushioning and thus, less stress on the joints, as well as being equipped with an arch stabilizer. It absorbs the shocks to ensure your arches are supported during the critical time when they make impact with the ground. Trust us, your feet will thank you for this!
The ergonomically-designed insole provides contoured arch support, essentially acting as a cradle for your feet, while the heel cup provides stability and foot alignment. Plus, this women’s hiking sandal has a rugged rubber outsole that promotes durability and lasting traction.
Sold? We are, too. This must-have option truly has it all, from style to comfort to arch support that will have your feet feeling better than ever.
So why wait? You can purchase the Napali Sandal from Viakix here.
Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15
Steady ride? Check. Cushioned footbed? Check. Lightweight and streamlined fit and feel? Check, check, and check! The Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15 offers plush transition zones and Super DNA cushioning, with improved flexibility and the ability to move and expand your stride.
This sneaker is an excellent choice for high arches and supination, with reviewers gushing that it’s “comfortable and perfect for underpronators.” If it’s good enough for picky Amazon reviewers, it’s good enough for us!
Saucony Triumph ISO 5 Women
Talk about a badass sneaker! The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 features an engineered jacquard, breathable mesh upper, and a contoured, well-fitting footbed. This neutral running shoe is known to be ideal for supinators. Ergonomically designed, it will keep your feet comfortable no matter how active you decide to be!
It comes in blue, blue and navy, or white, purple, and citron. These amazing color combos allow you to get the most out of your dollar and truly impress the crowds with a running shoe that simply does it all.
Under Armour Women’s Marbella VI Thong Sneaker
“Thong sneaker”? Count us in! The Under Armour Women’s Marbella VI features a performance synthetic strap with soft foam lining for a comfy fit and a footbed built with not one, but two layers of memory foam! Lightweight contours provide more cushioning, while a sculpted EVA footsole provides traction, making this pretty much the most supportive flip-flop ever.
Coming in a range of 10 different color options, the Marbella exceeds expectations. No matter what your color preference, you’re sure to find a combo that matches your style and keeps your fashion popping.
You can purchase the Under Armour Women’s Marbella VI Thong Sneaker here.
The Bottom Line
If you suffer from supination, you’ll want to do everything in your power to make the issue better. Not only does the condition cause an irregular gait and tons of foot pain, but it can also radiate pain to other parts of your body and generally lower your standard of living.
Fortunately, solving this problem is sometimes as easy as investing in the right pair of shoes. In this guide, we looked at a number of arch support shoes that will help you overcome the pain of supination and help you correct your under (or over) pronation.
So don’t wait! It’s time to show your feet the love they deserve! Make sure to use this guide as your one-stop reference for finding the best walking shoes for supination!