What Are the Best Running Shoes for Supinators?

Table of Contents

Specifics of Supination

Supination, also known as underpronation, refers to the way your foot rolls inward as you walk or run. For most people, the outer edge of the heel hits the ground first, and the foot rolls inward, flattening the arch slightly and preparing the body for the push-off phase of the gait cycle. This natural inward roll is called pronation.

However, some runners roll too much to the outside of the foot during their gait cycle, failing to provide an adequate push-off from the ball of the foot. This results in the outer edge of the foot sharing most of the body weight. This type of gait, where the foot rolls outward, is known as supination.

Supinators exert more weight and pressure onto the smaller toes on the outside of the foot, which can lead to pain, instability, and injuries such as Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, and iliotibial band syndrome. It can also exacerbate foot conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

Understanding your pronation type can help you choose the correct running shoes and avoid discomfort and injury. Professional running shops can offer a gait analysis service to help determine if you overpronate, underpronate, or have a neutral gait.

Choosing the Right Shoes

When it comes to choosing the right running shoes as a supinator, there are few things to seriously consider:

1. Neutral or Cushioned Shoes: As a supinator, the outer edge of your foot takes an inordinate amount of stress with each stride. Therefore, you’ll want to steer clear of shoes designed for stability or motion control as they can further discourage pronation. Instead, opt for neutral or cushioned shoes, which help encourage natural movement. Cushioned shoes, in particular, offer more shock absorption and flexibility, a prime need for underpronators.

2. Flexibility: Shoes that have more flexibility in the midsole and the upper can help encourage foot motion. Try to bend the running shoe you’re considering buying. If it’s flexible and bends easily in the forefoot area, that’s a good shoe for a supinator.

3. High Impact Absorption: Shoes that feature superior cushioning, especially in the forefoot area, are best suited for supinators. They help with shock absorption and can greatly decrease the impact stress on the outside of the foot.

4. Lighter Weight: A lighter shoe will generally offer the comfort and flexibility a supinator needs. Heavy shoes can add stress to the outer edge of the foot and compound the impact force during running, which may lead to discomfort or injuries.

5. Proper Fit: A good running shoe is one that fits well. It should not be too tight or too loose. It should be snug in the heel and midfoot, but not squeezing your foot. The toe box should allow your toes to move freely. If in doubt, a running shoe specialist can help to find the perfect fit for you.

Corrective Exercises and Techniques

While the right shoes are crucial for supinators, they are not the only solution. Corrective exercises, orthotics, and embracing proper running techniques can help reduce the risk of injuries.

1. Corrective exercises: They can strengthen muscles and improve balance. For instance, exercises that target the arch and the muscles around the shin can help increase stability and reduce the strain on the foot.

2. Orthotics: Podiatrists or sports medicine specialists often recommend custom orthotics. These are support inserts that fit into your shoe, aligning your foot and ankle into an anatomically correct position, thus reducing the strain caused by supination.

3. Running techniques: Embracing correct techniques are essential. Try to keep your body weight centered and avoid “bouncing,” which can put more stress on the foot.

Always consult a specialist before starting a new exercise regimen or changing your running technique.

Comparing Top Brands for Supinators

Here’s an in-depth look at different brands known for creating superior shoes for supinators:

1. Brooks: Known for their innovative cushioning technology, Brooks shoes typically feature roomy toe boxes, another perk for supinators. The Ghost series is particularly known for its soft and balanced cushioning system that absorbs shock and facilitates smooth transitions as you run.

2. Asics: Asics has a reputable series of shoes with features designed specifically for underpronation. Forefoot and rearfoot gel technology provides excellent cushioning, the lightweight FlyteFoam midsole aids in energy return, while the high-abrasion rubber outsole offers durability. The Gel-Nimbus series is a top-rated option for supinators.

3. New Balance: With a reputation for designing comfortable athletic shoes, New Balance offers good options for supinators. Their FreshFoam technology provides ultra-cushioned and lightweight support that aids in shock absorption.

4. Saucony: Known for its advanced cushioning system, Saucony offers shoes that can help protect underpronators from impact damage. Their shoes often feature a cushioned midsole and outsole that evenly distribute impact. The Ride series specifically features an engineered mesh upper for a dynamic, lightweight fit.

5. Nike: Nike has several neutral shoes that are great for supinators. The Air Zoom Pegasus series provides increased cushioning and outstanding responsiveness, which can help reduce the strain on the outer edge of the foot.


In conclusion, if you’re a supinator, the right running shoes are crucial in helping you run effectively and safely. They should have ample cushioning, be flexible and lightweight, and fit well. Shoes from brands like Brooks, Asics, New Balance, Saucony, and Nike can serve your needs well.

However, remember that shoes are not the only solution for underpronation issues. Embrace corrective exercises, orthotics, and proper running techniques to enhance foot strength and stability. Always consult with a specialist before taking measures.

Running is a rewarding physical activity. Being a supinator shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your run. By taking the necessary steps and getting the right gear, you can still enjoy the exhilarating feeling of running freely, and most importantly, safely. Happy running!

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