At one point, Chris was barely able to walk due to plantar fasciitis. Years of chronic pain led her to treat it at home successfully.
Do I Need Special Shoes for Supination?
What is excessive supination, also known as underpronation or rigid foot? Supination is the tendency to turn the foot outward as you stride, placing all your weight on the outside of the foot, as opposed to the more commonly occurring overpronation, which is the tendency to turn the foot inward and place weight on the arch.
If you are a runner who supinates excessively, you may need a special type of running shoe to help prevent injury.
Shoes designed for overpronation (pronation is basically the opposite of supination) have plenty of stabilizing and fancy features. In contrast, running shoes designed for supinators have only moderate, if any, stabilizing features. Instead, they're simply very flexible, with superior cushioning.
Why does this help? I am not doctor, but here is my understanding. I'll use my husband, a classic supinator, as an example. He does a lot of hiking over rough terrain and moves rather like a goat with his high arches, rigid ankles, and extremely stable gait. On uneven terrain he has no problems. But on flat, regular ground, he doesn't run well in shoes that stabilize. Any kind of added stability preventing his foot from rolling inward - moving toward pronation - backfires. What he needs is a shoe that allows his foot to be as flexible as possible and roll in as far as it can at the end of the stride.
As for cushioning, as you'll read below, supinators are already more prone to shin splints, fractures, and ankle and knee injuries due to the mechanics of their stride, so anything that reduces the jarring impact of their stride helps.
Below, you'll find the short list I researched and compiled featuring some of the best running shoes for supination/underpronation. There is also a poll where you can vote for your favorite model of supination-friendly athletic footwear for runners.
Poll: Are You a Walker or Runner Who Supinates (Under-pronates)?
Signs of Foot Supination
Though you should see your podiatrist to be sure, there are certain signs and symptoms of excessive underpronation, also known as pes cavus feet:
- A supinator's running shoes will show wear on the edge or outside of the sole of the shoe at the forefoot or heel.
- The running shoes of somebody who supinates tend to tip outward when lying flat.
- Underpronators may be prone to ankle sprains. (Source: Sports Injury Handbook by Levy & Fuerst, 1993.)
- People with a gait characterized by underpronation may experience shin splints.
- People who oversupinate may suffer from plantar fasciitis.
- A clawed toe is associated with supination, according to the Podiatrist Consumer Fact Sheet put out by the state of Massachusetts.
- Under-pronators may experience stress fractures in the leg and feet.
- Because of their supinated gait, the smaller toes of the feet may be prone to injury, as these are used to push off instead of the larger toes.
- Those who are bow-legged may also underpronate.
Depending on the source of the problem, athletes or non-athletes who have any of these problems may find that the best running shoes for shin splints, plantar fasciitis, high arches, bad knees, and other lower-body injuries may also be the best shoes for underpronators.
Supinators: What to Look for in a Shoe
As you can probably gather from what I said above, supinators need shock absorption in a running shoe. They do not pronate very much, if at all, meaning they do not turn the lateral foot inward toward the midline of the body. They roll the foot outward and let the impact fall on the outside of the foot rather than rolling inward at the end of their gait as they run or walk. Rather than the soft connective tissue taking the brunt of the weight, the delicate bones and the joints bear this burden, leading to strain injuries all down the lower extremity.
Some pronation is necessary for shock absorption, so a runner whose gait lacks pronation needs generous cushioning in the midsole to bear the high impact of running sports. On their running shoe fit guide, the ASICS company says that people needing shoes that are well-cushioned also tend to have a rigid forefoot.
Rather than rigid stabilization, look for a flexible midsole that will allow as much pronation as possible. According to Runner's World, shoes for supinators are lightweight and have a flexible medial section (the medial is the inside of the shoe).
Go Light on Stability Features
Since there are more runners who overpronate than there are who underpronate, many athletic shoes are designed with the very features that can make supination worse. Avoid athletic shoes designed for stability and motion control.
So, to summarize, when choosing a good running shoe for supination, look for:
- superior cushioning
- soft, flexible midsole
- single-density midsoles
- lightweight running shoes
- heavy-duty stabilizers
- hard midsole
- medial support post
Short List of the Best Running Shoes for Supinators
I've compiled a list of some of the highest-rated and most popular running shoes designed for underpronation.
Nike Free 5.0 V4 Running Shoe for Men and Women
Nike designed this very popular shoe to mimic the experience of running barefoot on cushioned earth. It's built with many flexibility features and the shoe is also very lightweight, making it a good candidate for one of the best running shoes for supinators, both men and women.
ASICS Gel Nimbus 11 Running Shoe for Men and Women
The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 11, built to accommodate under-pronators, uses a light midsole material, extra cushioning and memory foam in the heel collar. This one can get pricey, climbing well over $100, but it is very well reviewed at both Zappos and Amazon.
ASICS Gel Cumulus 11 Running Shoe for Women and Men
The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 11 reduces shock absorption with the Twist GEL® Cushioning System, which is also designed to improve the push-off at the toes that tends to be a problem with oversupinators.
Saucony Grid Cohesion NX
The Saucony Grid Cohesion NX appears to be extremely popular with women—more so than with men, judging by the number of reviews. It's not as lightweight as some, but does boast of a superior shock absorption and cushioning system. It's also one of the cheapest models of running shoes for supinators.
Nike Free 5.0 V4—Available for Both Men and Women
Saucony Grid Cohesion NX for Women
Adidas Supernova Cushion 7 and Glide Running Shoes
For Women Underpronators...
Women reviewed the well-cushioned Adidas Supernova Glide Running Shoe very positively for comfort while walking and running with a supinating stride.
And for Guys...
Popular with men especially, the Adidas Supernova Cushion 7 Running Shoe features what supinators and guys with a higher arch need—less built-in stability so that the feet guide the movement during the running stride.
Adidas Supernova Cushion 7 Running Shoe
Orthotics and Insoles
Many podiatrists believe in and prescribe custom orthotics to help men and women who experience foot supination excessively to increase shock absorption and thus lower the chances of injury resulting from foot underpronation.
Talk to your podiatrist, sports medicine doctor, or sports therapist about the possibility of custom orthotics if your over-supination is causing frequent injuries. Cushioned insoles or inserts may also be helpful.
Supinator Runners With High Arches
People who underpronate often, but not always, have high arches, which also benefit from cushioning. In fact, ample cushioning is more important than arch support. Too much arch support can make the problem worse. Ask your physical therapist or podiatrist whether your high arch, normal arch, or low arch is best supported by a low, moderate, or aggressive arch support. (I really do recommend talking to the experts. My physical therapist occasionally had sessions at Jocks & Jills, an awesome Seattle athletic shoe store, where he assisted people choosing footwear with foot problems.)
I caught a forum thread on Coolrunning.com where visitors offer their recommendations and personal experiences with good athletic shoes for runners who underpronate and who have high arches. Some of these folks stated they were big, tall guys who needed a lot of cushioning.
One person said that the New Balance 1060 had good stability and cushioning. Another likes the New Balance 881. One supinator with wide flat feet loves Adidas Supernova.
There is also a recommendation for Brooks Glycerin. Further research at Zappos suggested to me that, though the Glycerin has soft cushioning, it's built for those with a neutral gait or mild overpronators, so it may not be the best option for extreme cases of supination.
The author is not a medical professional and the recommendations in this article should not be taken as medical advice. The author received no freebies in this review but may receive compensation for products bought through links on this page.
© 2010 Chris Telden
Is Supination a Problem for You? What Running Shoes Help You? Comment Here:
Pam Koeth on October 31, 2018:
Adidas Alphabounce. I don’t have to wear my arch supports with them. Only problem is I have to use a shoe horn to get them on. They have the tongue tied down and since my arches are so high my feet don’t go in so easily.
Henry K on November 30, 2017:
I have a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire ,and I am a supinator and these shoes are great for me. My feet don't hurt, hips seem to be gliding and I run fasterer.
Jessica on April 19, 2017:
Asics Quantum 360's have done the job; however, the mesh material tends to rip quickly (going on my third pair in 8 months).
Dante on February 28, 2017:
Hi. I am a supinator and have high arches, and I am very used to wear Nike Pegasus since 5 years ago. I tried other brands but they never stopped to produce injuries in my ankles. I think everyone should use the shoes that work for them; and visit an orthopedist if injuries occur.
Kim on September 26, 2016:
I wear Asics Flux2, it works with my supination.
Jax on July 28, 2016:
Saucony Triumph Iso are excellent shoes for my under pronation/supination. I no longer feel IT band irritation and knee pain. They help move the pressure off the outside of my foot and put me into a more neutral stance.
Frank on May 26, 2016:
Saucony Triumph has been the best so far, Nike Vomero not bad either.
It also depends on your foot strike and your preferred heel to toe drop. For me a "decoupled crash pad" like on the Saucony Triumph has been a huge feature for someone like me- high arches, bow legged, runs on the outside. I like the 8mm drop - good happy medium. I have the version 10 Triumph and understand the newer ISO models are even better.
Clo on April 10, 2016:
ASIC gel 2000 has helped with my High arch supination.
Elizabeth on March 20, 2016:
Wow. I never would have thought so many people would have this problem! I'm currently on the hunt for another pair of shoes. I don't run either... I'm an RN & spend a lot of time standing. I also like taking classes like Zumba & body jam, but have found my shoes to be too bulky & not enough stability. I seem to have developed some tendinitis as well & that worries me. I've also noticed that my pinky toes are getting pinched under my other toe when I walk, causing callouses & further pain still. I have been to the podiatrist & have special made orthotics, but I still struggle with finding a good shoe. I have had some success with Asics Gel nimbus & the orthotics specialist recommend Brooks. I went out& bought a pair as he told me that Brooks are great for women because they hug the heel. They are much less bulky, but the toe box is too narrow for my feet & after only a few uses, I noticed the rubber material on the bottom putter edges were coming apart. I was very upset. Not the quality I expect from such pricey shoes! I have super high arches & severe supination. My feet barely leave an imprint at the middle of my foot except for a thin line on the outer edges. I have dealt with planter fasciitis, back pain, chin splints etc for years & now the tendinitis. Oh to find the perfect shoe!!
Kc on March 06, 2016:
Brooks Ghost 7
Lisa on October 20, 2015:
Brooks Pure Cadence
Chris Telden (author) from Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. on August 04, 2015:
That's an extremely good question! I don't know yet, but I'll try to find out.
Judging by my own experience (as a non-supinator) playing racquetball, I'd guess running shoes would NOT be a good idea, because side-to-side movement needs more stability (read, not so much tall cushioning that can cause you to twist your ankles - you need a low flared profile to prevent this). That said, supinators tend, as I understand it, to have stronger ankles - at least my oversupinating husband does. And you don't want to stint on cushioning because the big problem is the impact on your bones. So I'll try to research this, but in the meantime, if any of you supinating athletes have experience, please let us know.
Karen E. on August 04, 2015:
Hi, I love your article and it is great info. for runners or walkers. I am a supinator and have high arches and I am desperate to find a shoe that works with interval type training. I need shoes that will allow me to go in all directions not just forward like a runner. I also do many other classes at the gym. My feet are killing me after every class and even just walking my dog. The shoes you recommended sound good but do they also work with my type of workout. Or do you know of another shoe that might be better for cross training?
Chris Telden (author) from Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. on July 21, 2015:
Hi Kendall A,
Thanks so much for letting me know. I recently did new research and updated the shoe list back in June (took some off, added some), so I'm surprised they're not available at the moment. Let's hope that's temporary. Also you might consider checking out the women's shoes to see if there are men's versions.
Hey, guy readers, can you help out? What shoes have worked for you? And can you share some of your foot/knee/etc. issues to help other readers make choices?
Kendall A on July 20, 2015:
Most of the shoes recommended for men are not available or I cannot find on Amazon or Zappos?!
I would love to see the shoes for men updated.
Chris Telden (author) from Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. on June 22, 2015:
Hi, all. For some reason, this Hub has fallen out of the search rankings as of a few days ago. I fear this means that people who visit it aren't finding it useful enough. I wrote it a few years ago, revised it regularly, and most recently it was updated by the HubPages editors here. Can you tell me how I can improve it for you? What would you like to see here?
Also, THANK YOU to everyone who's visiting this page directly (wow, there are quite a few of you, so something must still be helpful here!)
Good luck to everyone on your hunt for shoes that help.
Busybrownie on May 29, 2015:
I have high arches, supinate, and have been through plantar fasciitis. No matter which brand I have ever tried--I have always felt the best in a curved last shoe from Nike. The Pegasus from 1983 was phenomenal--and when they brought it back with the Pegasus 25--I was in heaven again--it was made for my feet. Well that didn't last long as Nike continually changes my favorite shoes. So I found a Vomero 5 --Yay-- and then I had the Vomero 7 --Yay--and my last and FAVORITE shoe was the Vomero 9. I put so many miles (walking, jogging) on this shoe, I was sure I would have an injury. Well my only complaint was the Vomero 9 didn't last as long as I thought it would. Now I see they have changed it completely. The Vomero 10 is nothing like the 9. YUCK. I also found a Nike Free Flyknit 3.0 that I like for kicking around--no pain whatsoever. I have now tried the Asics Cumulus and the Brooks Adrenaline and Glycerin and ended up with sore ankles and a sore outer leg muscle. Very unhappy--I just want another pair of Vomero 9's. Can anyone help me find another shoe? I am tired of buying and returning shoes that don't work.
Lauren H. on April 03, 2015:
Brooks Ghost 6
L. Jonsen on February 16, 2015:
Been through all the foot issues described by most everyone! And who knew?!! The years of issues and poor fitting by "experts", and then the era of "self-service" has really led me down the wrong foot path.
After hours and hours of research, I braved the purchase of a pr of Brooks Gycerines 12. I don't run, but immediately solved my planter fashitis. The only negative I feel this shoe model has for me is a too-narrow toe box, however, new too-wide box toe walking shoes caused me to trip and fall, breaking/injuring several bones. Arghhhh! Love my Brooks Glycerine's!
Paul W. on January 30, 2015:
Saucony Trigon Ride 5
Brooks Defyance 6
Reebok Premier Ultra KFS V
mikey on December 01, 2014:
Thank you! EXCELLENT article - both content & style. Very well done indeed! I am 50, way overweight, have suffered shin splints, plantar fascitis and very tight calves. Have used professionally made orthotics for 10 years. Worn shoes tip out exactly as you described. I suffered with OA in my knees for over a decade, but just had both replaced. Surgeon said he fixed some of my bow-leggedness, something I did not realize I had.
Before I had knees replaced, podiatrist said exactly what you said - i needed more cushion & flex BEFORE replacement, and should now need more control.
Only thing that does not fit your article exactly is that I have flat, wide feet. This is yet another indicator that I am just plain weird.
I was confused as hell before, buying exactly what I should not have. Thanks to you, I now have a much better understanding before I go to podiatrist on new knees. Very excited to get back to hiking on uneven ground like your husband. He & I are spirit goat brothers.
Thanks again!!! I appreciate your excellence. You are what is good about the internet. :)
hillside runner on August 29, 2014:
saucony jazz (women) best for this supinator.
Toby on June 28, 2014:
30 years ago I was advised that as a supinator I should choose semi-curved, slip-lasted, forefoot cushioned trainers and Nike was the only brand that had that mix. With a couple of exceptions (mistakes that caused plantar injuries) I had every dedicated supinator shoe from Nike. Currently the Vomero 9+ is the best .
The advantage of being a supinator is I've been a forefoot striker ahead of the trend but I would say totally minimalist shoes would be contraindicated as supinators need forefoot cushioning as our metatarsals are made prominent by high arch foot and need protection. Having said that I use Nike Free 2 for racing for combo of lightness and flexibility. My tip is avoid any shoe with a rigid arch or narrow last and look for outsole pattern that suits 'edge' running traction. Also, your feet do what you hands do, so check you're not "windmilling" or have your hands too high which shortens your stride and compromises forward spring and roll.
Ted on May 29, 2014:
Mizuno Wavy Prophecy hands down. Wide toe box and no supination!
LaurenL on April 04, 2014:
Great article, just what I needed! Am planning on buying a pair of running shoes for my boyfriend who has knee problems because of his supination!
andri on March 24, 2014:
nike running feet and the first time I took a knee and ankle pain after each race. I think it's just the things that when you reach 40, you can. Then I got a pair of Mizuno Wave Creation 11s. I do not find it "remarkable", "Rocks" pillow, but I did not collapse in the metal grating on my heels as they came on board, and my knees felt good .... about 6 minutes on foot monyhs strait. 5 miles per day. (womenshion.blogspot.com)
Kevin on March 23, 2014:
Nike Vomero 8
Stephanie on February 03, 2014:
Just have to say, as a mild supinator with high arches, very cushioned running shoes are the worst for me and tend to result in ankle and peroneal problems. I think stability shoes are in fact the best for supinators, certainly not the worst.
Joanna on December 28, 2013:
I am a supinator nutral runner and I use ASICS Cumulus 15. I also use custom inserts as I have a very high arch :)
ChrissyMcC on December 27, 2013:
I recently discovered HOKA ONE running shoes. They are a life saver!! I am a severe supinator and these shoes keep my feet, legs and hips feeling fresh and ready for another 5+ miles! No Joke! The shoes may look bulky but are very lightweight, so they don't "bog you down". Seriously recommend for any fellow supinators!!
Charles on October 14, 2013:
I'm also a supinator. So much so when I was born that the doctors said I may not walk unaided.
My shoes are super flexible, ultra lightweight and have absolutely no stability features... they also have zero cushioning. Hey, 3 out of 4 ain't bad. =] If it weren't for these shoes, I would not be running today.
The shoes? Vibram FiveFingers. Originally the KSO, but now the SeeYa. I tried numerous shoes, some of the ones on the list, and they all made my feet and/or calves hurt. I was about to totally give up on running but then I was dragged kicking and screaming into the "toe shoes" world... last week I ran my first marathon. I'm considering a 50K two weeks from now.
Alex on August 12, 2013:
I have very high arches and supinate, I run 15-25 km's a week pluse workouts in the gym. I have worn the same style of shoe for the past 3 years and never had a problem, ever. My shoe started with the New Balance 1010, then the 1011 and I still buy them. Great all around shoe
Jeremy on May 17, 2013:
Woow, this is very useful.. Though, i have been using brooks pureflow for several years, and having a new purecadence... And after years of wearing the pureflow, i had this plantar fascitis on my left foot and shinsplints on my right... Do i choosed the wrong type of shoes? Need help... Thanx!
Ava Michaleson on April 01, 2013:
I started running after a good 10 years of not running and did okay for a while but when I started upping the distance I started feeling pain from one hip all the way down to my knee. I was using the Nike Lunarswift 3 which have good cushioning and are very comfortable, but I believe are meant for pronation. I broke down and bought the Asics GT 2000 but will be taking those back because after trying them on again, they also have a tendency to stabilize the foot in a slightly outward position and I don't think they will be the right shoe for my more neutral/slightly under-pronating gait. I will be trying some Saucony and perhaps other Asics models.
Cecilia on January 09, 2013:
I have been running for years in the Nike Air Max shoes (current pair, the Nike Air Max 2012). Didn't realize I over supinate until I just did a series of tests online on the Mizuno website. I have loved the Air Max shoes and have run injury free until last month, when I tore my TFL. Back to running again with a lot of help with a sports injury doc, deep tissue massages, and the Grid (foam roller). Just bought my recent pair of Nike Air Max shoes and can't help but wonder if I should be in a different shoe.
Rod Haumily on December 18, 2012:
It's been a little over a year and I not only discovered a name(s) for how I was inadvertently striding namely underpronation and supination and that was the very first time I chose running shoes with that in mind.
Now with that in mind, I ordered several (5/6/7?) pairs of shoes from Zappos, and after trying several, I ultimately chose one that was not specifically touted for underpronators but they turned out to be ideal.
The pair I ultimately selected was the Saucony Progrid Xodus 2.0.
Alas, they're no longer available; so it's back to the proverbial drawing board. However, now that I need a new pair, the thing I realize the most is the amount of amazing cushioning the Xodus 2.0 has -- it literally "hugs" the soles of my feet. It's a feature that I'll be looking for in any new shoe.
All the best,
Sally on June 25, 2012:
Brooks Switch stopped my feet from hurting.
Denise Lanier on May 24, 2012:
I'm a supinator w/frequent hip, knee & heel pain. The Mizuno ENIGMA shoes was recommended to me at the NYC Marathon last year by the Mizono expert fit guru. I tried them out & bought them on the spot; now I'm on my second pair & in total running shoe heaven!
Trigirl on January 24, 2012:
I generally used ASICS Gel-Nimbus 11, or wahtever permutation of that shoe until this year. I moved to the ASICS Gel-Kinsei and I LOVE them. They are lightwieght and fit well to my foot. I have already noticed even less pain in my knees, legs and back. I'm pretty positive I will be sticking with them for a while. ;-)
Kirk on December 29, 2011:
orthotics didn't work for me and cost 300 quid. The guy was sure they would help me. I am a supinator that lands and push off my forefeet and have tried many brands of trainer all of which have had little releif for my tendonitis. I can run up to 3-4 miles without pain then the more I train the worse the pain becomes until the point where I have to stop running for a few months until I've recovered. Any suggestions, I was thinking of trying the Nike lunarglide3 next, has anyone else???
Eric on November 29, 2011:
ran in nike when i first took up running and had aching knees and ankles after every run. I thought it was just the way things were when you reach your 40's. then i got a pair of Mizuno wave creation 11s. i didn't feel "amazing" "bouncy" cushion,but i can come crashing down on the metal grid with my heels as i run across the bridge,and my knees feel fine....for about a 6 monyhs strait running min. 5 miles a day.
Ron on September 01, 2011:
I would recommend the Asics Gel Tarther. I've found them the best so far for my supination--and I've tried tons of shoes.
Marcy on August 29, 2011:
Just wanted to express my condolences on the tendon damage! I cannot imagine how catastrophic that must have been, emotionally and physically.
Just a note: I presume you are wearing custom orthotics, leather and cork? IF not, get thee to a running podiatrist. I healed up in 3 weeks after a full year of terrible tendonitis and faschitis, (in every tendon and faschia I have)
I would think orthotics more than the shoe would matter. I now run in flats, but only on hilly trails for short fast runs, no roads. Took awhile to retrain my feet and still have IT trouble(of course)but live with it.
michelle on August 23, 2011:
omg i have the wrong shoes. thanks for the article! it was very helpful!
henry on August 20, 2011:
supination, pronation, difficult to work out. all i know i am landing on the outside of, mainly my right foot. i think it has done a lot of damage over the years. other than frequently buying the best of running shoes i have no answer to this problem.
Kerry lemmon on August 20, 2011:
I have flat feet,supination and work on concert all day long. What type of shoe do I need. My feet hurt after few hours at work.
BHart on August 03, 2011:
Wave Ultima 2
Area of application
Maximum / Neutral
Weight of shoe
Maximum cushinoing incorporating forefoot VS-1 shock absorption compound.
Area of application
Maximum / Neutral
Weight of shoe
The revolutionary full-length infinity wave provides unsurpassed cushioning throughout the transition.
Wave Creation 12
Area of application
Maximum / Neutral
Weight of shoe
Luxurious cushioning provided by Infinity Wave technology and AP+ midsole material. Gender engineered.
Wave Creation 12
Area of application
Maximum / Neutral
Weight of shoe
Luxurious cushioning provided by Infinity Wave technology and AP+ midsole material. Gender engineered.
Wave Fortis 4
Area of application
Moderate / Neutral
Weight of shoe
Cushioning and comfort with a transition from Smoothride technology.
Results of analysis These shoes are ideal because your foot over-supinates (rolls outwards) after initial foot strike.
Deanna on July 27, 2011:
I walk/jog 3-6 miles a day for the past 2 months. I was having left knee pain. After reading alot, I checked my shoes and they were Adidas Trail model. I have a low arch. Bought Brooks Trance, they were comfortable starting out but I felt like the arch support was causing me to fall on the upper outer edges with little impact on the inner ball and big toes, near the end of my first workout I was developed a blister on my left little toe. Any tips?
Wendy Davis on May 28, 2011:
I have extremely high arches, and successfully ran (moderately) for 15 years in Sauconys (Grids I think) and loved them. I injured my right ankle in the late 90s, (ran about a mile barefoot on sloped sand at the beach... thought it would be "good for me". BAD! NEVER DO THIS if you are a suppinator!!) Consequently started having aggrivated peroneal tendoitis. Saw an osteopath, had pysical therapy. Kept running for about two more years, until I had to stop and wait for it to heal. about seven years later... hurt less, almost not at all, so I started walking/running again. Pain came right back. Went to another doctor, and they did an MRI. Well, I had TOTALLY severed one of the two peroneal tendons (meaning it was non-existant anymore, snapped back up into my leg and foot like a rubberband) the other tendon was torn and I needed surgery to fix it. (Moral of that story: if it does not heal in a timely fashion, get an MRI! And, dont let the doctor write you off as not injured that much)
So, cut to 3 years post-surgury. I am starting to walk/run again. And find that I cannot find running shoes with enough stability to keep my foot from rotating out to the side. Since I only have one of the "stabilizing peroneal tendons", I must be extra careful, and run on flat asphalt, etc.
While I think a cushioned shoe is good, the most important thing that a supponator needs (in my opinion) is a shoe with soles that are solid/dense on the outer sides, so that the foot is not allowed to "tip" out. So many running shoes, my beloved Sauconys as well, have soles that are like marshmallows, and immedeatly begin to smush down on the outer soles, compounding my problem. I need extreme stability in the sole, even building the sole up on the outer edge with orthotics is called for. I have found that some trail running shoes have more sole stability, and have worn those with some success.
I just wanted to put my two cents in, since it seems that with extreme cases of supination -- like mine-- much more than cushion is called for. The actual sole of the shoe needs to be addressed and studied for superior construction, solidity... don't settle for a sole that will allow your outer foot to drop down. Now, if only I could find that perfect shoe. :)
ed on May 05, 2011:
I have moderate supination with some ankle pain after twisted ankle
the sports store suggested
I use saucony phoenix 4 and it is definitely much better than asics cumulus 11
Eric on May 01, 2011:
I just found out I supinate when i run. I found that the best shoes for me were the puma complete spectana shoes. They provide excellent cushioning and i find that they support the rolling motion of the foot extremely well.
Emm Kutryk on April 09, 2011:
I supinate to the extreme, have extremely high arches, a very narrow heel, and I need as much cushioning possible. So far the best shoe for me has been Asics Gel Kinsei which I wear to run and teach fitness classes. I am waiting for model 4 to be released but I'm also looking for a lighter alternative.....
Tom on March 25, 2011:
Hi @lauryn and @ jayne. Also a supinator and have just invested (hastily) in a pair of asics gel nimbus 12 at no little cost. No doubting the quality of the shoe but experiencing the same problems as you - hip and shin pain. Perhaps they suit overpronators and neutrals better. Shame. The search goes on!
Cathy Lewis on March 19, 2011:
I recently have plantar fasciitis and realized I am now a supinator. I purchased about 5 pairs of different excersize and running shoes trying to find one that was comfortable. The only ones that worked are Newtons. This was the first time I heard of them, I received an e-mail ad. These are the best shoes I have ever run in. (running for 30 years).
Leonardo on March 04, 2011:
Nike Vomero is the best one for supinators. I tried the Asics Nimbus 11, but I think Vomero is better.
Mark S on February 28, 2011:
I completely agree with Janine. I am a supinator and latey i decided to try the Asics Cumulus 12. Well the resuts were horrific - i could not stop having injuries, especially calf and hamstring problems which hampered my training for the last three months. A week ago i bought the Nike Pegasus 27 and suddenly the probems disappeared. Go for the Pegasus immediately.
KSea on February 17, 2011:
Vote for Asics "other" gel shoe: Gel Stratus--cannot find any longer. Will try Gel Nimbus.
gina on February 12, 2011:
i want to start a running program and i have been reading articles about how to choose the right running shoes to start with. i have several choices, but specially interested with the Nike Free Run+. i've been reading good reviews from overpronators about this shoes but i am an underpronator. i got the answer of my question from this article, thank you.
JonPWills on January 31, 2011:
I just bought a set of new balance 1080's. I supinate.
Overall I can not recommend them, only worn them a day and I have a blister on my foot. Really I do not know what to do at this point, going to bring them back to the store i think.
lauryn on January 23, 2011:
Bought cumulus 12 and had to stop before I reached .2 mile. Had calf and ankle pain. So far asics gel 1140 have been only thing I can somewhat run pain free in. However, after awhile, the calf pain comes back and I have to stop for awhile (weeks). Stretching, no stretching ---it doesn't matter either way. Any suggestions?
Amy on January 02, 2011:
Does anybody know much about the new balance 1080's vs the New balance 790? I have high arches and majorly supinate. I have just finished physical therapy for a stress faracture and horrible shin splints to the outside of my legs. My old shoes were a major part of the problem. I know the 1080's are new but they came recommended but I am so fearful of getting hurt again.
Janine on December 27, 2010:
I am a supinator. I always used to wear Nike Pegasus or Air Max but someone at the Running Room (store) suggested that I try the Asics Cumulus 12. It felt great when I tried it out but I started to experience IT Band pain, severe knee pain, and achillies tendon pain. I thought it was the result of overtraining but after suffering a pulled hamstring and enduring four months of physio and massage therapy, I am beginning to wonder if my shoes are the problem. I tried a short run today and now I can't even walk. I haven't been able to run in months. Has anyone else who is a supinator had problems with the Asics Cumulus 12? I am going to go insane if I can't get back to running soon.
Jan Black on November 10, 2010:
It would really help if we could find info for supinators about AEROBICS shoes. I don't run, as I'm 65, but I do aerobic dance (Jazzercise, Zumba, etc.)
High arch, moderate supination, need a LOT of lateral-motion control (falling down is a thing I do well, heh). It would be great to see info on dance/aerobics shoes.
Keith on October 10, 2010:
The best running shoe ever for supinators was the original Saucony Azura ST. Those were the days.
Trayce on October 04, 2010:
Nike vomero 2
Ellen_C on September 19, 2010:
I am currently wearing the Saucony ProGrid ride and I love it. I have worn the Asics Nimbus and love that shoe too and the Mizuno Wave Creation. None of them were bad, but for the price I was able to get on the ProGrid Ride on sale, it has been just as good!
Casey on September 16, 2010:
I've been looking for weeks to find a decent running shoe. I have a high arch, wide foot and I under-pronate. Finding the right shoe for myself has been a task to say the least. I've tried about every shoe (in store) on the list above but the one that works for me is the SAUCONY GRID EXCURSION TR5. What a difference. No more lower back or hip pain after a run now. It's almost like running on a cloud.
Maybe this will help someone who has the same problem I had. Another good thing, the cost was $52.00 with tax.
Tara on September 11, 2010:
Do you have any suggestions on athletic shoes for supinators that have wide wide feet? I found that most of your shoe suggestions the shoes do not come in wide wide EE. Thank you!
Jennifer on September 07, 2010:
I have really been struggling with shoes lately! I'm pretty sure I have a high arch and I, like you find myself standing will all my weight on the outsides of my feet. I have been having hip pain after running even though I stretch after warm up and after my runs. I can deal with the hip pain but what is really bugging me is when I get up to about mile 4.5, the balls of my feet really start to hurt. I did a relay in Va. Beach over the weekend and the balls of my feet felt bruised the next day and it was only 6.5 miles. Do these sound like problems a supinator might have? Right now I'm running in Nike Free Run+ and sometimes the Nike Air Max 2009+. Looking at switching to Asics Gel Nimbus 12. Oh, almost forgot. I am a forefoot runner, not a heel striker. Not sure if that is relevant but thought it was worth mentioning.
Chris Telden (author) from Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. on June 30, 2010:
It sounds like you're a lot like me, except I have a normal arch, not a low one. You might need arch support and something more stabilizing than the shoes listed here.
(By the way, did you know it's hard to tell just looking at your foot what type of arch you have? The best way is to wet your foot, then stand on a piece of paper on a flat hard surface and look at the wet imprint. If there's almost no dry area in the arch section, your arch could be flat. If there's a lot of gaping dry area in the arch space, it's probably high, and if it's a definite arch, but with a continuous thick band dampened from heel to forefoot, it's a "normal" arch.)
In my case, I mildly supinate - I show the most wear on my outside heels, and I tend to want to stand on the outsides of my feet. I don't know anyone else who does that, unless it's my husband, who's an absolutely classic supinator. (He was reading my article on supination and kept nodding, "yup, that's me," and we were both pretty astounded, because until then we hadn't realized that he was an overpronator. However, he doesn't run, he's more of a hiker, so he doesn't have the usual knee injuries and lower body joint issues associated with underpronation and running).
So I don't overpronate that I know of, though I tend to find that shoes designed for moderate pronation work for me. I definitely need some stabilizing, but I'm not sure if it's from too much supination or too much pronation, neither, or both! I sometimes think my standing foot posture is different from my running or walking stride, as well.
I'm a couch potato mom these days with a knee injury, but when I was running and walking a lot, I wore the Brooks Adrenaline and found it perfectly stabilizing, without being too rigid (and it came in wide, which was good for me, since I need a wide-width shoe). To see the Brooks Adrenaline, you can go to Amazon via one of their links above and search for "brooks adrenaline gts 10," which I believe is the latest model (though I think I had the GTS 8).
I also always use Sole insoles in all my athletic shoes and hikers. They're cushier and cheaper than custom-made orthotics from the doctor, but they still have a rigid base that molds to the arch of the foot - you pop 'em in the oven, then put 'em in your shoes and stand on 'em to shape them. I have info on Sole orthotics under the section on shoe inserts in Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options - https://hubpages.com/t/abb2a .
I hope you find something that works for you. Please keep us updated. I tried to pick the best shoes I could find above for supinators, but I think it would really help readers to hear what running shoes are working for different types of people who supinate mildly, severely, or in between.
Cyanide on June 30, 2010:
I have sort of a low arch but I tend to supinate the feet, I notice it with the uneven wearing on the outside of my shoes, and they also tend to tip outwardly after prolonged wear. Also I suffer from plantar fasciitis on my left foot... and I don't know what kind of shoe to wear since most underpronators have high arches and I don't have a high arch...
TroyaCase from London on April 06, 2010:
Great article. Thanks!