Open Site Navigation
3d Ortho Pro logo

What is Overpronation? Find Out How Insoles Can Help

Photo of athletes running in race

You might not have heard of overpronation, but it can cause orthotic insoles to be necessary for certain people. In this blog post, we are going to talk about what overpronation is and how orthotics work in general. We will also go into detail on why orthotic insoles may help with your pain or discomfort.

Knowing what overpronation means is tough enough, but knowing the cause and how to fix it is even tougher. Don't worry though--we're here to help you with both!

The first thing that many people don't know about overpronation is that it's not just something that happens in runners; a lot of non-runners experience it too.

Here are some of the basics surrounding overpronation:

Properly aligning your foot during the course of a walk or run can reduce pain and other medical problems, including arch collapse. This is often accomplished with shoe inserts that correct overpronation by only profiting medial-compressed feet, not by correcting general alignment.

Installing a high-quality insole into your footwear can improve overpronation and provide better alignment. A quality insole should have an arch which is the same as your feet, to help with pain relief.

What is overpronation?

In everyday life, we walk and run upright on hard surfaces, which causes the foot to supinate (instead of pronate) slightly.

Overpronation occurs when one or both feet roll inward excessively during these steps – about 60% of people have this motion more than they need to in order to function properly.

Overpronation often happens when the foot rolls inward before pushing off, and when this occurs at different points of stride there is a loss of efficiency in every step taken.

Basic Foot Biomechanics

To understand overpronation, you need to know what happens to your foot when you take a step. We have broken down the process step-by-step:

Image showing a heel strike on a persons foot

  1. The heel strike is on the outside of your heel.

  2. Your foot rolls inwards, towards the toes. The body weight starts at the heel and goes over to the outside of your foot before moving forward.

  3. When you overpronate, your feet roll inward. This makes it less likely for shock to be distributed efficiently and can lead to back and foot pain. A good pair of shoes with insoles are designed to help absorb this excess force so that the foot is more stable as it hits the ground.

  4. When your foot moves, your ankle, knee and hip also turn.

  5. Push-off should happen when your second toe is on the ground behind you.

  6. It is not good if you keep your feet inside of your shoes. This is overpronation.

Overpronation is when your foot flattens, your toes turn outwards and the surrounding muscles are overworked.

Photo showing over-pronation

  1. The arch of your foot is important. If the arch flattens, it puts pressure on the heel and causes fatigue. It also makes your foot slide forward in your shoe.

  2. When the toes point outward, it is no longer stable. You can't walk forward as well when your toes are turned out.

  3. The inward roll of the ankle, knee and hip can cause you to feel pain. Especially if you are on your feet all day.

One way to reduce overpronation, which can lead to excessive wear on joints and muscles, is with motion control shoes. Support under the calcaneal shelf will help you maintain a more even stride for efficient running and enjoyable walking.

How to tell if you are an overpronator

Photo showing Calcaneal shelf

Pronation is not always obvious- most people take their way of walking and running for granted. You can always consult with a foot and ankle specialist to figure out if you have this common condition, but there are ways you can tell at home as well.