Best Shoes for Overpronation 2019 Reviewed & Rated
Overpronation is an affliction which affects many people around the world. Do you have discomfort and pain when you walk or run? It may be that your foot is rolling inward too much when your foot hits the ground. Thankfully, picking the best shoes for overpronation can help you with this problem.
Overpronation occurs mainly with people who have flatter arches. When the foot hits the ground, it rolls inwards. Often when you walk or run, your foot will roll inwards slightly, but if it does so too much, it can destabilize you. Not only that, but your foot will naturally try to correct this movement which can lead to difficult movements as well as pain in your hips and knees.
If left untreated, overpronation can stress your joints, fatigue your body, and make it difficult even to run or walk. The best way to combat overpronation is with a high-quality pair of shoes. A great pair of stability shoes can help reduce overpronation and give you the life you deserve. Now, what should you be looking for in a pair of shoes?
Last update on 2020-02-23 PST – Details
Best Men’s Shoes for Overpronation
Last update on 2020-02-23 PST – Details
Choosing the Best Nursing Shoes
Nurses work in unusual conditions with unique pressures and demands. The work can be not only physically taxing, but occasionally physically dangerous. They also need always to be prepared for a broad range of needs, emergencies, and unexpected situations. This scope of requirements, demands, and expectations can make finding good shoes particularly complicated for a nurse. Best nursing shoes need to:
- Support good posture. The feet support the legs, hips, and spine. Proper alignment in the feet supports good adjustment in the whole rest of the body, alleviating excess pressure and preventing long-term strain or degeneration. Good posture also creates a more professional appearance, projecting confidence and authority that people find reassuring in a health care provider
- Provide a full range of motion. The natural gait transfers weight evenly from the heel of the foot to the toe of the foot, continuing a movement that originates in the hips. A nurse’s shoe should fit well enough that it doesn’t require adjusting of the stride, or have so high a heel that the pump makes premature contact with the ground, shortening the gait. As the ball of the foot receives the body weight, it compresses, and the bones of the pad of the feet spread slightly under pressure. A shoe should have room for the natural motion of the foot within the shoe and have the design and fit to ensure natural movement in the gait as a nurse walks
- Reduce the risk of slipping. The occasional spill or mess on the floor is, unfortunately, part of a nurse’s work environment. The shoes should have a firm, non-slip, non-skid sole to reduce the risk of slipping or falling on unpredictable floor surfaces
- Provide shock absorption. The repeated impacts of extended work shifts on your feet can have long-term effects on the health of your feet, legs, and spine. Shoes that provide shock absorption protect your bones and joints from degeneration due to continuous small impact pressure, and prevent fatigue for greater comfort during the length of your shift
- Protect the feet. Not only will a proper pair of shoes protect your health by supporting your feet from below, but nurses should also consider the possibility of the occasional dropped sharp object. Shoes that protect the top of the feet, as well as the soles, can be a valuable piece of safety equipment
- Be easy to clean. Spills and body fluids are just part of a nurse’s job sometimes. Shoes that are easy to clean help prevent some of the unpleasant consequences of these kinds of spills and accidents, and help you take them (literally) in stride
What Kind of Shoes Should Nurses Avoid?
For all these reasons, nurses should avoid shoes that:
- Have high heels. While heels that are 2-3 cm in height are often more comfortable and supportive of the feet, heels that are higher than that begin to unnaturally contract the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, reducing your range of motion and straining the legs and feet
- Have narrow soles or heels. Soles and heels that taper and are narrow should be avoided because they provide less stability, forcing the ligaments of the ankle to work harder to maintain balance. Over time, these ligaments and connective tissues can become overworked and deteriorate
- Have hard soles. While shoe soles should be rigid and supportive, they should not be hard. Hard soles have little to no impact protection and can cause foot pain and fatigue
- Have open-weave uppers, soft fabric uppers, or no uppers at all. Shoes like sandals, ballet flats, or athletic shoes with open weaves in the upper can be extremely comfortable, but provide no protection from dropped sharp objects. They also don’t provide any protection from fluid spills or messes, potentially forcing you to change shoes mid-shift
- Have no arch support. Arch support is critical for protecting the feet from long-term pain and injury. Over time, working long shifts in shoes with no arch support can lead to flattening of the feet, pain and injury in the plantar fascia, and other foot problems
Suitable Comfort for Prolong Standing
As mentioned, the majority of your day as a nurse will be standing or running up and down seeing to patients. Therefore, the cushioning in your shoes should be comfortable enough to last the entire day until your shift ends. Searching for shoes with memory foam and other dense materials are able to offer the support and comfortability your feet need.
Shoes with a squishy or soft insole might feel comfortable at first, but as the shift goes on, the soft insoles tend to compress which doesn’t leave you with any support. So a more dense construction is required to offer long lasting support.
How Often to Replace Your Nurse Shoes
A nurse’s shoes should be replaced every 500 miles of walking, which amounts to roughly twice a year. Over time, shoes naturally lose their cushioning, and the soles develop wear patterns that affect your gait. While the shoes may still look good, the essential supportive structures wear down over time, and they stop providing all the support you need.
It’s also best to not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. The best strategy is to find the best shoes for nurses, get two identical pairs, and wear them on alternate days. Wearing the same pair of shoes day after day allows the inside of the shoe to accumulate moisture, because it doesn’t have time to thoroughly dry between wearing. Excessive moisture can lead to foot odor and even fungal infections. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to moisture is bad for the shoe itself, and reduces the durability of the material and construction.
Remember that there may be incidents at work that damage your shoes or require extensive cleaning, so having a backup pair is desirable in any case.
It’s also important to adopt the best possible shoe and footwear practices from the very beginning of your nursing career. Many shoes that feel comfortable and don’t cause pain when you are younger don’t actually provide the needed support or cushioning, and unnecessarily strain your feet over time.
It often happens that nurses don’t pay adequate attention to their footwear needs until they are experiencing pain and have developed foot problems that require more care to heal. As with all medical problems, an ounce of prevention goes a long way, and nurses should look after their foot health from the first day on the job.
Ultimately, this can mean that a new nurse isn’t looking for a single pair of work shoes; a nurse needs at least 2-3 pairs of work shoes, and to rotate them often, and replace them frequently. In other words, a nurse should adopt the footwear habits of athletes, for whom shoes are essential pieces of performance equipment, and are well maintained and frequently updated.
Additional Foot Care Accessories for Nurses
Many nurses adopt additional footwear accessories in order to promote health and prevent pain and injury. Here are some of the accessories most often advised by long-term nurses.
Compression socks are socks that gently squeeze (or compress) the lower leg. This consistent, gentle pressure supports circulation in your legs, helping the body return blood to the upper body against the pull of gravity. They ease swelling in the legs and ankles, reduce fatigue in the legs, and help to prevent spider and varicose veins. Many nurses love compression stockings and rely on them to get through a long shift.
While it is critical to get shoes that provide the proper arch support, there are times when additional support is needed. For people with high arches that have hard-to-fit feet, or for those suffering from the pain of plantar fasciitis or other foot arch conditions, supportive arch wraps can be an excellent solution. They are lightweight and compact, and can be used as needed to help support the feet and prevent pain and injury.
Again, a good pair of shoes should provide the support, comfort, and impact protection a nurse needs at work, but many nurses also use insoles for an extra boost. Insoles can be particularly helpful for feet that have unusual arches or that pronate or supinate when walking. They can also be a temporary solution for helping imperfect shoes get you through the day, if your favorites are out of commission for some reason.
Changing Needs Over Time
Finally, it’s important to remember that the shoes that were the best and most comfortable a few years ago may not be the best choice for your feet now. Life changes like pregnancy, weight gain or loss, illness or injury, and simple aging can change our footwear needs over time.
Also, shoe manufacturers are always developing new materials and technologies, primarily driven by the needs of athletes, that become more widely adopted and can provide significant benefits for nurses.
Even if you have found the perfect pair of shoes for nurses, keep an open mind and try new options every few years to make sure that your footwear choices are continuing to meet your changing needs and support your long-term health. A nurse should use every tool available to stay as healthy, focused, and as pain-free as possible, and shoes are a critical part of that process. Don’t underestimate what the best shoes for nurses can accomplish in the long run.
Nursing is a demanding job, and nurses need to pay extra attention to their health and safety to have a long, healthy career. Because the situation is so physically taxing, requiring agility, strength, and endurance, it can be helpful for nurses to treat their bodies with the care and attention of athletes and practice the best possible behaviors for lasting health.
Footwear is a critical part of a nurse’s equipment and can help to protect the health and peace of mind for years to come. Choosing shoes that provide good posture and range of motion give the necessary support and impact protection and reduce pain and fatigue help to support a nurse while they focus on the needs of others.
The best shoes for nurses not only benefit the nurse who wears them but has a positive effect on coworkers, patients, and everyone else who relies on a nurse to function at peak performance every hour of the day.
Support and Stability
The support and stability of a shoe are critical. You want the shoe to support your foot so that it does not roll inward when you are walking or running. You also want your foot to be stable enough to have the correct movement when you take a stride. The problem is that feet differ from person to person. There is no one-shoe-fits-all solution. So, what specifically should you be looking at?
This is a weird place to start. What does the material of the upper have to do with how the bottom of your foot rolls inward? Depending on the material of your upper, it can have a lot to do with it. If you have overpronation, your foot will roll when it hits the ground. When this happens, your whole foot will move. If the material of the upper is too soft or flexible, then you run the risk of rolling your ankle along with your sole, or your foot shifting more inside the shoe as your foot is rolling.
Natural materials like leather and suede are great for combatting overpronation, but they are not generally found in the shoe you will need. Overpronation is felt most when you are doing a lot of running or walking. You do not usually find those materials in running or hiking shoes, but if you can find a shoe with this type of upper, then you will get great stability from them.
A mesh upper is common on a hiking or running shoe, but they will not provide you with a lot of support and stability. Stability is usually sacrificed in place of breathability, and for a good reason, just not for us. If you are choosing from synthetic uppers, look for those which mimic suede or leather. You can also find fabric uppers, but they generally do not provide a lot of support on their own.
Making Your Choice
Through trial and error, we have found that leather uppers are best for day-to-day use and walking, while synthetic materials are best for running. When you are choosing your material, always choose the firmer ones. If you are choosing synthetic, then look for firm overlays, such as suede and leather.
This is where most of the stability of your shoe will come from. Manufacturers are now putting a lot of money into developing stabilizing technologies in their outsoles. This is great news for the likes of you and me as we are now gaining choice. Where before, we would find ourselves looking down at one or two shoe choices, we now have hundreds of pairs of shoes to choose from (of course, this also means that we now spend more money on shoes).
When it comes to running, we have found that the best shoes are the ones which are slightly rounded at the front and the heel. This natural shape helps to mimic the natural shape of your foot and will have you feeling as if you are running barefoot.
What Materials to Look For
Rubber and other synthetic materials are what you are going to want to look for in a good sole. Rubber is one of the most flexible sole materials while still being strong and stabilizing. Synthetic materials can be shaped and molded to give you the best stability and traction possible.
Sole Stabilizing Technology
The materials of the sole go a long way in stabilizing your foot when you are walking and running, but there are also some great technological advancements which are being added to shoes now. Look for extra support in the midsole of the shoe. This is the area where the rolling of the foot will occur. Modern shoes will have extra support in this area, such as interlocking components or polyurethane bars beneath the arch. Look for support which will keep the midsole in place and stop it from rolling to the side when your foot hits the ground.
When you are looking for stability shoes, especially if you want shoes to run or play sports in, you should pay particular attention to the heel. We have always found that some extra cushioning in the heel goes a long way to protect your entire foot. An extra wedge in your heel will absorb a lot of the shock as you are running. Less impact on your foot means less chance of your foot rolling when it hits the ground.
We already talked about the chance of your ankle rolling when your foot rolls, so you should pay attention to the heel counter too. This is the part of the shoe which comes up at the back of your ankle.
If you are worried about your ankles, or if you are new to running and do not yet have strong ankles, then we would recommend a high counter (one which extends up the back of your foot and ankle), and one made of firm material. You should also try and get as tight a fit as possible with the counter. Too much room and your ankle will have space to roll.
Do You Need Proper Traction
Great stability shoes will not cure your overpronation, but they will help to minimize it. We know from experience that we have more chance of slipping, tripping, twisting, and falling, all because of a slight rolling of our foot. The best shoe in the world will help, but there is still an increased chance that you will end up on the ground. For this reason, we recommend paying a lot of attention to the traction of the shoes.
The material will impact the traction greatly. Rubber and synthetic materials are great for giving you a good grip, and, thankfully, the outsole of most running shoes are made from these materials. The right material will help, but you should also be looking at the tread of the shoe. A smooth tread may be fine if you are running on a treadmill, but if you are running in a wet environment, you are going to want a tread with lots of indentations.
If you are worried about the traction of the shoes, then you can go one step further. Some shoes come with spikes for gripping. These spikes will give you more traction on the soft, slick, and shaky ground. They can often be removed for times when you do not need them. There are also shoes which are specifically designed for work environments. These shoes have slip-resistant soles, giving you the best grip in the sloppiest areas, such as kitchens or bars.
While the sole of the shoe goes a long way in preventing overpronation, it is a lack of cushioning which can cause a lot of the injuries associated with overpronation. If you have found a shoe which has a great sole and good upper, you also need to check that there is enough cushioning inside to keep your feet comfortable and injury free.
You want to find a shoe with a firm upper, but that firmness can take its toll on the top of your foot. The key is to find enough cushioning in the upper to not dig into the top of your foot while not having so much that it insulates your foot too much and makes it warm.
The insole is another key area for padding. The outsole may have the best cushioning, stability, and traction possible, but without padding inside, you are only going to be uncomfortable throughout your day. A good insole is one which absorbs shocks and impacts. You will find that most shoe companies have developed their own technologies to add cushioning to their shoes. We would recommend memory foam, EVA foam, or dual-density foam for the insole.
If you find that you cannot find the correct stability and fit from running or walking shoe, then you can also look into free-lacing technologies. Most shoes have loops for the laces. With lace-free technology, you have a net or a mesh on the upper of the shoe. This allows you to loop the lace through any of the holes, instead of only the designated ones.
When you can lace your shoes in a variety of positions, you can find a better fit for your foot. A better fit provides you with more support. When the shoe fits correctly, you are going to absorb the impact better, better cushion your foot, and better stabilize your foot. A shoe which fits better also reduces the chance of injury to your foot and your ankle.
Other Things to Think About
You are choosing a shoe for overpronation, but that does not mean that you should be limited in your choice. We all like to look good, and our walking and running shoes should be no different. When I was first diagnosed with overpronation, I went out to look for shoes and was happy to find anything at all. Now, there are numerous shoes to choose from. You should look for a shoe which helps with your overpronation, but also one which you look and feel good in.
My very last tip is to visit your podiatrist regularly and measure your feet regularly. Your podiatrist will be able to diagnose if your pronation is changing in any way, and will also guide you in choosing the correct shoe and inserts. Measuring your feet is also very important. As we grow older, our feet change in size. They can get bigger, and they can get smaller. If your feet change and you do not change your shoes with them, you can be making your pronation worse and putting yourself at risk of injury. I would also recommend that you measure your feet later in the day, as feet tend to swell as the day progresses.
It need not be a hassle to choose the right shoes for overpronation. There are so many pairs of shoes out there to choose from that it has never been easier to choose a pair of shoes which fit comfortably and look good, but choosing the right pair of shoes is about more than that.
A high-quality pair of shoes is going to reduce the risk of injury. From rolled ankles to falls, injuries are a lot more common in people with overpronation. A pair of shoes is not going to solve all of your problems, but they are going to minimize your risk and maximize your comfort.
This buying guide is here to help. Once you are armed with the knowledge needed to buy a pair of shoes to combat overpronation, you can make an informed choice which is going to make your life a lot easier. Overpronation is something which can be with you for life, but the risks need not be.