discover · Fitness · Running · Sports

Supination and Underpronation

For clarification purposes, supination and underpronation are the two terms used to describe an individual who either walks or runs on the outside of his or her foot.  Supination is not unusual, but excessive supination/underpronation is. It should be noted that underpronation causes stress on the outside of the foot and it also causes one to use the smaller toes for push-off rather than the more efficient big toe.


So, why have I decided to discuss the random issue of underpronation? Well it is quite simple, I suffer from underpronation, which also means I suffer the issue of finding a proper running shoe.

It was through my endless search for a proper fitting shoe that I discovered the reasons as to why I suffer from such a severe case of underpronation…injuries. It appears that my injuries (frequent stress fractures in my right foot; torn ligaments, torn muscles, and stress fractures in my left foot) have contributed to my underpronation. How do I know that I roll to the outer edges of my foot? I did a treadmill test at my local running store that showed my feet doing as the picture above suggest. If you are in doubt, find a running store that does treadmill tests’ and have them recommend the proper shoes for your feet. Trust me, running is so much more enjoyable when you have a properly fitted shoe.

Since I underpronate, I would like to make a recommendation regarding running shoes for my fellow underpronators.  As many of you runners already know, running shoes are categorized as neutral or stability controlled; that is why it is important to know how your foot strikes the ground. Stability shoes are designed for those that overpronate (roll to the inside of the foot) and neutral shoes with cushioning are for those that underpronate.

Severe supinators, like me, will have more issues finding a proper shoe, which is why I recommend Brooks Pure Flow. Even though I have such severe injuries to my feet, I find that I like a more minimal shoe (not quite barefoot though). The Brooks Pure Flow has a split toe design that encourages me to use my big toe during the push-off phase and the amount of cushioning truly reduces how much my feet ache after I am done running.

I am an avid runner, so I switch terrains often, I use my Brooks while pounding pavement because my feet take such a beating and I use my Nike Free Run+ on the dirt because I am trying to train my foot to naturally maintain a neutral position while using the big toe for push-off.

Brooks PureFlow         Nike Free Run+

I cannot stress enough how important a properly fitted running shoe will make your running experience that much more enjoyable.

Best of Luck My Friends,



2 thoughts on “Supination and Underpronation

  1. I Googled underpronation and got here. Thanks for the info! I underpronate severely (is this the same as saying I supinate, or are they different somehow?) — I roll to the outside. I’ve been having foot problems for months and I went to a local walk-and-run store and the woman assessed me and said I need maximum stability. I got the shoes she recommended and I feel like it’s gotten even worse. If what you’re saying is right (or if I’m understanding right), she put me in the exact wrong shoes — those meant for overpronators. I’ve just ordered a couple of pairs that are supposed to be for underpronators and I hope one or both of them will work for me. Thanks!

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