How to Correct Overpronation | Vionic

Woman doing foot excercise standing on the floor

Woman doing foot excercise standing on the floor

 

Written by: Brian Hoke

 

What is foot pronation? Pronation is the natural motion your foot makes as it transfers weight from the heel to the ball of the foot with each step.¹ The movement distributes the impact of your stride while absorbing shock. Everyone pronates when they walk, but it’s possible to overpronate or underpronate, which can be a concern. This blog will offer insight into the latter.

Overpronation means that the normal inward roll of the ankle and heel region are excessive.  This extra motion makes the foot looser and the arches of the foot begin to collapse, causing damaging tension to the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot and shifting the pressure to parts of the foot that are not designed to withstand these forces. Someone with a flat foot (fallen arches) is more likely to overpronate, though anyone can experience it.

If you’ve been diagnosed with the condition or think you could be struggling with it, you might be wondering how to correct overpronation. The podiatry pundits at Vionic are here to offer practical tips and useful guidance for remedying the issue, including custom orthotics. Let’s get started.

 

How to Fix Foot Pronation: 4 Approaches

Some pronation is normal. In fact, a person with  the normal amount of pronation (a healthy, natural gait) will roll their ankles slightly inward for shock absorption without losing the proper alignment in their legs, knees and hips.

However, too much rotation can create immense strain and lead to a number of other physical ailments and overuse injuries. So, how do you fix it?

The best ways to correct overpronation include:

  • Doing strengthening exercises

  • Stretching every day

  • Wearing supportive

    shoes

  • Using orthotic inserts

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight

Find detailed instructions and recommendations for each approach below.

shop-arch-support-insertsshop-arch-support-inserts

 

Strengthening Exercises for Overpronation and Inner Ankle Pain

Strengthening exercises can alleviate some of the strain caused by overpronation.³ When the muscles in your arches (as well as the rest of your feet) are strong enough to support your body weight, it can reduce the downward tugging motion. Try working the following moves into your daily routine.

Short Foot Raise: Start sitting down or in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor. Consciously lift up and squeeze your arches without clawing your toes, then release. You won’t be able to see much (or any) movement, but you’ll be able to feel your arches engage.

Heel Raise: Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Squeeze your arches, then slowly lift your heels, and lower back down.

Demi Plié: Start in a standing position with your legs touching, your heels together, and your feet should be turned outward. Bend your knees slowly while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Go as far down as you can, hold for a beat, then return to the starting position.

Foot Roll: Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Roll your body weight to the outer edges of your feet, hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.

We recommend doing at least ten reps of each move every day, though you might have to start with a few and work your way. A physical therapist can also help you strengthen your arches and recommend different at-home exercises.

Shoe insoles

Shoe insoles

 

Daily Stretching for Overpronation and Ankle Pain Inside of Foot

Stretching on a daily basis may also be beneficial. Performing various moves can reduce tightness and alleviate strain on the ligaments throughout your feet and legs. Try working the following stretches into your routine.

Calf Muscle Stretch: Facing a wall, start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart and your hands against the wall. Shift your weight to the outside of your feet and squeeze your arches.  This will protect the foot from overpronation as you stretch the Achilles’ and calf muscle.  Next, tilt your upper body forward and move one leg about 20 inches back while keeping both heels  flat on the floor. Hold the position for about 10 seconds, then switch to the other side.

Plantar Fascia Stretch: Start in a sitting position with one foot placed on the opposite knee. Holding your heel with your opposite hand and your toes with the other, gently pull the toes upward toward the top of your foot. Hold for about ten seconds, then switch to the other side.

We recommend going through each movement at least once every day. You can perform these stretches before or after the strengthening exercises.

 

Supportive Footwear for Overpronation

Supportive footwear can make a world of difference for overpronation. When we say supportive, we’re mostly referring to arch support, as this prevents the ankle from rolling downward and helps keep the foot in a neutral position.

Additionally, you’ll want to look for shoes with adequate stability. When your feet aren’t stable, your body tends to overcorrect by putting weight on areas that may not be able to handle the pressure.

Made with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and overpronation in mind, the orthotic footwear from Vionic can provide relief from various foot conditions. Each pair features our exclusive Vio-Motion Support technology with arch support, motion-control, and heel stability built right into the soles. 

What’s more, our sturdy rubber outsoles are designed to absorb shock and reduce impact on your ankles, knees, and hips. When you slip into a pair of Vionic shoes, you can count on a comfortable stride and a healthy, neutral gait.

 

Over-the-Counter Orthotic Inserts for Overpronation

Orthotics are another great option, as they allow you to wear otherwise unsupportive shoes without contributing to a worsened foot condition. You can get custom orthotics from a podiatrist, but research studies have shown that over-the-counter inserts work just as well for lots of folks.

Vionic carries biomechanically engineered insoles for men and women with the perfect level of arch support and under-foot contact. Whether you go with our Active Series, Relief Series, SlimFits, or 3/4 Insoles, you can bet your feet will feel the difference right away. Vionic orthotics are ideal for athletes, people who work on their feet, professionals, active parents, and everyone in between.

 

Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of overpronation and heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis.⁴ While it’s not the only factor at play, maintaining a healthy body rate might alleviate some of the strain on your inner ankles and arches, allowing you to walk with a more neutral gait.

 

Supportive sports shoe

Supportive sports shoe

 

When Should You See a Podiatrist for Overpronation?

Overpronation doesn’t always require medical intervention. For many individuals, strengthening the arches, performing daily stretches, wearing proper shoes, and maintaining a healthy weight go a long way in remedying the issue.

However, if you’re suffering from ongoing pain, it’s always wise to see a professional. A podiatrist or orthopedic foot specialist can check your gait, examine your footprint, potentially X-ray your feet, and make personalized recommendations for treatment.

 

Where to Buy the Best Shoes for Overpronation

If you’re looking for shoes to correct overpronation, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or another foot-related condition, you’ve come to the right place. Any of these issues can cause sore feet. Sore feet causes a number of inconveniences that can affect your day to day activities. But Vionic’s podiatrist-designed footwear is thoughtfully engineered with all the arch support, motion control, stability, and shock absorption you need.

Not only are our styles comfortable and potentially corrective, but they’re also incredibly stylish. In addition to orthotic shoes for men and women, we carry a line of supportive orthotics. Order yours today!

 

External sources:

  1. Jordi Lippe-McGraw. “The Beginner’s Guide to Pronation”. Healthline. Updated on March 8, 2019, 

    https://www.healthline.com/health/beginners-guide-to-pronation

  2. Jenna Fletcher. “Pronation and overpronation”. Medical News Today. December 22, 2017, 

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320383#overview

  3. Luba Lee. “How to Fix Pronated Feet”. Wiki How. March 29, 2019,

    https://www.wikihow.com/Fix-Pronated-Feet

  4. Irving, Damien B et al. “Obesity and pronated foot type may increase the risk of chronic plantar heel pain: a matched case-control study.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 8 41. 17 May. 2007, doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-41

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6325324_Obesity_and_pronated_foot_type_may_increase_the_risk_of_chronic_plantar_heel_pain_A_matched_case-control_study

  5. Sulowska, Iwona et al. “The Influence of Plantar Short Foot Muscle Exercises on Foot Posture and Fundamental Movement Patterns in Long-Distance Runners, a Non-Randomized, Non-Blinded Clinical Trial.” PloS one vol. 11,6 e0157917. 23 Jun. 2016, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157917

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918976/

  6. “Exercises to help prevent plantar fasciitis”. Mayo Clinic.

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/multimedia/foot-stretches-to-prevent-plantar-fasciitis/img-20008230

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