Pronation is not a foot problem; in fact it is a completely natural phenomenon. It is the natural rolling of the feet as weight is transferred from the heel to the forefoot when you are running or walking. The problem comes in when there is either overpronation or underpronation.
Under normal circumstances, the natural arch at the centre of the foot controls the degree of pronation. In some people, the foot rolls insufficiently, a condition referred to as under pronation or supination.
This creates excessive pressure on the heel area because pressure is not distributed properly to other parts of the foot. In other people, the foot rolls excessively. This condition, which is far more common than supination, is called overpronation.
Overpronation is often evident in people with ‘flat feet’. Their arches lack the normal foot curvature, which causes an abnormal rolling motion when one is walking or running. Overpronation (and for that matter under pronation) is not an injury in itself but rather a factor that exacerbates the risk of injury and pain.
People who over pronate are at risk of problems like shin splits, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and others. Just like underpronation puts stress on one area of the foot, overpronation stresses the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the feet, shins and lower legs as they are forced to follow exaggerated inwards movements.
In this guide, we review 10 shoes designed to help people with overpronation. We also include a buying guide to help you make the right buy that fits your needs and preferences.
Best shoes for overpronation and flat feet – Our top picks in the UK
For casual use at home or in areas like the hospital, Vionic Laura slippers provide a great solution to overpronation. They are equipped with FMT technology, which works to correct overpronation. This technology consists of a deep heel cup for stability, a biomechanical footbed to support the foot during motion and a flexible midsole to allow natural foot movement.
A hook and loop closure allows the wearer to adjust the slipper based on foot size. The sole is made from gum rubber and faux fur textile uppers. This provides the perfect combination of durability and plush comfort.
- Beneficial for people with overpronation, helping to correct problems such as posture and shin pain.
- Very comfortable.
- They need to be work for a few days before your feet can get used to them. You may experience slight discomfort at first.
These sports shoes are designed for women with mild overpronation and require a little added stability when they are running. The midsole contains guide rails to help the feet, knees and hips move in a more natural way to avoid injury. It also makes use of DNA technology to respond proportionately to the pressure applied on it as you walk or run. This makes it much more responsive compared to normal shoes.
- The midsole is heavily cushioned to provide premium comfort when running.
- Provides adequate support and stability to runners with moderate overpronation.
- A mesh upper keeps air circulation, preventing the build-up of heat and moisture.
- Not ideal for those with serious overpronation.
The new generation of Asics Women’s shoes makes use of the Heel Clutching System to provide better heel support and reduce foot displacement when running. At the same time, this technology encourages the foot to move in a natural way and reduce overpronation. A lightweight mesh upper ensures that your feet are not baking in sweat and heat. Air moves freely in and out, keeping your feet cool and dry.
- Comes with a Sockliner made from antibacterial fabric. This reduces foot odours.
- A gel-infused midsole provides comfortable cushioning which also enhances support.
- Customers note that the shoes have reduced grip when you are running on a wet surface be it grass or pavement.
As with the Vionic Laura slippers, the Vionic Venture Walker shoes make use of FMT technology to provide robust support and stability to the wearer. These lace-up shoes can be used either for running or on jobs that require a lot of walking or standing up. The flat heel works together with the orthotic insole to provide natural motion to the foot.
A cushioned midsole comes in handy when you have to stay on your feet for hours while the mesh upper keeps things cool and dry inside the shoe.
- Made with tough rubber sole for longevity.
- Performs well in both support and comfort.
- Requires 1 to 2 weeks to get used to them. This may cause a bit of discomfort in the first few days.
5. Vionic Fyn
These shoes come equipped with acclaimed Vionic’s FMT technology, designed to increase the amount of support and stability delivered to the shoe. The stretchy outer textile keeps the shoes flexible enough to allow natural rolling and flexing. The footbed is made from EVA, a material that acts a shock absorber to protect the feet and lower legs from excessive shocks when walking or running.
- Ideal as a sports shoe or for professional use in environments requiring one to spend a lot of time on their feet.
- Highly flexible thanks to the stretchy outer textile.
- Lacks a mesh upper, which might cause overheating especially on hot days.
Again, FMT technology is used here to provide added foot support and correct for overpronation. A flat heel is designed to keep the foot stable and reduce excessive rolling. The outsole is made from tough rubber for durability. The footbed consists of EVA material, which provides comfortable cushioning for walking, standing or running.
- The upper consists of a mesh material, which helps with cooling and moisture control.
- A gum rubber sole ensures longevity through months and years of use.
- Designed for sporty, casual or professional use
- Compared to gel insoles, the Vionic Cypress footbed has less cushioning though it is adequate for most wearers.
7. Vionic Hydra
The Vionic Hydra sneakers spot a cool casual look though they could also be used in certain working environments such as a hospital. Like other Vionic shoes, it comes with FMT technology for heel support, flat arch correction and to reduce overpronation.
A lightweight EVA midsole absorbs pressure and allows the feet to flex naturally. A rubber gum outsole with textured treads offers a strong grip on surfaces and ensures the shoes last long.
- Easy slip-on design.
- Effective at reducing overpronation.
- The toe box is a bit tight, which could cause fitting problems for those with wide feet.
An FMT orthotic footbed provides support and stability from heel to toe. At the heel, a deep cup grasps the heel in a snug grasp, providing stability when walking. A flexible midsole ensures that the foot can still flex naturally without any inhibitions. If you suffer from feet aches and strains due to overpronation, Vionic Kristin Mule shoes can help.
- The EVA footbed is covered with a microfiber fabric for comfort and to reduce foot odours.
- Patterned rubber outsole for improved grip on a variety of surfaces.
- Easy slip-on design.
- Need to be work for a few days before the feet can adjust to them. So expect some discomfort when you first wear them.
9. Vionic Upton
If you are looking for a well-designed shoe for professional use at work, the Vionic Upton shoes are a good buy. A smooth leather outer material gives them a cool look while a gum rubber insole ensures they will last long. A flexible insole does most of the support and cushioning work, ensuring that your feet are well cradled and do not over pronate.
- Great design perfect for office or casual use.
- Flexible and soft midsole, which boosts comfort and natural movement.
- The leather outer requires a bit more work than usual in maintenance.
10. Vionic Bromley
Another great design from Vionic, ideal for both office and casual use. The removable FMT-equipped footbed comes with a metatarsal dome designed to reduce foot pain especially in the forefoot. A gum rubber sole and leather outer ensure that these shoes can last very long with proper care.
- Effective in relieving foot pain, knee pain and other problems associated with overpronation.
- Textures outsoles with traction on a wide variety of surfaces.
- Includes metatarsal dome for added foot support.
- Leather materials requires more maintenance work to ensure durability.
Buying guide and key considerations
There are numerous footwear solutions marketed to people with overpronation. Some of these are real and actually beneficial while others do not have any positive effect and could even make things worse. So you need to be careful when shopping for shoes ideal for your condition. To help you buy the right foot wear, here is a checklist of the 3 most important things to look for.
1. Design and technology
When you come across a shoe that is advertised as great for correcting overpronation, check the description and specifics. What technology have they used to provide support and stability?
For instance, Vionics is known for its FMT technology while Brooks has DNA. A good shoe should explain exactly how it provides support for people with overpronation and resulting problems. Try to find out more information about any mentioned technology to determine whether it will work for you.
Also look at the design of the shoe, noting aspects like height and type of heel. Like you would for any other shoe, make sure it is the right fit. Do not just look at the size; also check whether it is narrow, normal or large width.
2. Intended use
What are you planning to use the shoes for? In our reviews above we looked at a mixture of shoe types including sport shoes, casual shoes, slippers and office wear.
If you run every morning, consider getting a sports shoe designed specifically for running. If you work in a hospital or another environment that requires a lot of walking, you can choose a pair of sneakers, clogs or sports shoes.
For those who work in an office, there is a varied selection of well-designed professional footwear. If you spend most of your time at home, a nice pair of sneakers or orthotic slippers will suffice.
3. Customer experiences
Previous customers can tell you a lot about the quality of the shoes you are about to buy. Look at reviews to see what they have to say about their experiences. Were the shoes a good fit? Were they comfortable? Are they durable?
One or two negative experiences should not however discourage you from buying a specific brand as long as enough customers have a positive experience.
4. Brand reputation
Often, the best designed shoes come from popular brands that have earned a reputation for quality. A good example is Vionics. They are known for their quality and durable footwear products. To be on the safe side, stick with brands that are well known and have a proven track record.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Can these shoes completely prevent overpronation?
A good pair of orthotic shoes will prevent overpronation to a great extent but not completely. Reducing the amount and severity of overpronation is often enough to tackle issues like knee and shin pain.
Q: What are the benefits of shoes for overpronation?
They help you walk and run without experiencing problems associated with overpronation. While the foot would normally experience an exaggerated inward roll, the shoes are designed to counter this and maintain normal foot motion.
Customers who wear shoes designed for overpronation often report reduced occurrences of knee pain, shin aches, foot pain and other problems associated with overpronation. They are able to walk or run better thanks to the added stability and support.
Q: Should I consult my podiatrist before buying these shoes?
No, it is not necessary unless you have a chronic foot problem. If you have severe overpronation that has caused various problems, advice from a doctor might help in choosing the right shoes. You can also consult a podiatrist if you want to be more confident in the choice you make.
But for most people, it is not necessary. But if you wear orthotic insoles or shoes and your condition keeps on getting worse, a doctor can help you decide the best solution for you.
Q: How do I know if I have overpronation?
If you are not sure you have overpronation, do the wet footprint test. Get a bucket of water and a piece of cardboard or any surface that will show your footprint.
Dip your foot in the bucket then step on the cardboard. Look at the imprint you leave behind. Normally, there’s a deep ridge between the heel and front part of your foot.
But if you can see most of your foot (meaning a shallower ridge between the front and back of your foot), you have flat arches and overpronation.
If your footprint is on the other extreme – a too deep ridge – it indicates underpronation.
Q: Which shoes are good for overpronation?
The best shoes for overpronation are those that provide additional support under the arch of your foot. They are designed to make it feel like you have normal arches. This reduces overpronation and the negative effects associated with it.
These shoes will typically feature a deeper heel cup to stabilize your foot, a cushioning footbed with a slightly raised middle and a toe rocker design to take pressure of your toes and balls of your feet.
Q: Where can I buy shoes for overpronation?
Check out the wide range of options available on Amazon UK from popular brands like Vionic and Asics. Most local supermarkets, fashions stores and specialty footwear shops also carry shoes specifically for overpronation.